Opinions Dec. 9, 2013

December 9, 2013
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Indiana Court of Appeals
Lagro Township and Karen Pinkerton Tatro v. George E. Bitzer and Zelma E. Bitzer
Civil plenary. Affirms summary judgment for the Bitzers on Lagro Township’s action seeking to exercise control over an area of land referred to as “the Belden Cemetery,” which is located on land owned by the Bitzers. The statute authorizing a township trustee to exercise control over cemeteries located within the township is inapplicable where the cemetery is located on land on which property taxes have been paid. And here, even though there was a genuine issue of material fact with regard to whether and to what extent the dedication of the Belden Cemetery to the public was accepted by the public through usage, there is no genuine issue of material fact with regard to the Bitzers’ payment of property taxes on the land on which the Belden Cemetery is located for decades. For this reason alone, the township’s claims of authority over the Belden Cemetery must fail.

John Aaron Schoultz III v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms convictions of two counts of Class A felony conspiracy to commit murder and 40-year sentence.

Jacob Phipps v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms order revoking probation and order Phipps serve the entirety of his previously suspended sentence.

In the Matter of the Involuntary Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of B.R., Minor Child and His Father, V.R. v. Marion County Department of Child Services and Child Advocates, Inc (NFP)
Juvenile. Affirms involuntary termination of father’s parental rights.

Edward R. Hoffman v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Jon Alan Young v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms 30-month sentence following guilty plea to Class D felony strangulation.

Willie L. Montgomery v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Dismisses on interlocutory appeal the denial of motion to dismiss a charge that Montgomery failed to register as a sex or violent offender.

Pamela J. (McConnell) Neal v. David A. McConnell (NFP)
Domestic relation. Affirms modification of child custody, reverses modification of child support and remands for proceedings consistent with the opinion.

Lori A. Cissom v. Review Board of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development and Supreme Indiana Operations, Inc (NFP)
Agency action. Affirms denial by the Review Board of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development of Cissom’s request to reinstate appeal of denial of claim for unemployment benefits.

Joshua Wilson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to Class D felony theft and Class B misdemeanor criminal mischief.

The Indiana Supreme Court and Tax Court posted no opinions by IL deadline. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals posted no Indiana opinions by IL deadline.


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  1. I think the cops are doing a great job locking up criminals. The Murder rates in the inner cities are skyrocketing and you think that too any people are being incarcerated. Maybe we need to lock up more of them. We have the ACLU, BLM, NAACP, Civil right Division of the DOJ, the innocent Project etc. We have court system with an appeal process that can go on for years, with attorneys supplied by the government. I'm confused as to how that translates into the idea that the defendants are not being represented properly. Maybe the attorneys need to do more Pro-Bono work

  2. We do not have 10% of our population (which would mean about 32 million) incarcerated. It's closer to 2%.

  3. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  4. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  5. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.