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Opinions March 25, 2014

March 25, 2014
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Indiana Supreme Court
Joanna S. Robinson v. State of Indiana
20S04-1307-CR-471
Criminal. Affirms trial court’s denial of Robinson’s motion to suppress. Agrees with trial court in giving deference to deputy’s testimony that he initiated the traffic stop after observing Robinson drive off the roadway twice even though the video from the deputy’s in-car camera only shows Robinson weaving onto the fog line. Rucker dissents, asserting giving credit to the deputy’s testimony over the video amounts to reweighing evidence.

State of Indiana v. Darrell L. Keck
67S01-1403-CR-179
Criminal. Affirms the trial court’s grant of Keck’s motion to suppress on the grounds the officer lacked reasonable suspicion to initiate the traffic stop. Upholds trial court’s finding that the poor conditions of county roads necessitated Keck driving left-of-center to avoid the potholes.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Marjorie O. Lesley v. Robert T. Lesley
79A02-1305-DR-472
Domestic. Reverses an order granting rehabilitation maintenance for Marjorie O. Lesley, holding that the court lacked authority to re-evaluate a final dissolution order after she later was found to qualify for disability benefits from the Social Security Administration. Remands for support. In a separate concurring opinion, Judge John Baker wrote the court could have reserved judgment on the disability issue by continuing the hearing at which the final order was issued to await SSA’s determination on disability.

Victor Hugo Mesa v. State of Indiana
36A01-1308-MI-362
Miscellaneous/forfeiture. Affirms forfeiture of a vehicle on the state’s summary judgment motion, holding that Mesa did not properly request a summary judgment hearing and that no issue of material fact existed regarding whether the vehicle was seizable under Indiana Code § 34-24-1-1(a)(3).

Jerid T. Bennett v. State of Indiana
59A05-1306-CR-277
Criminal. Vacates a conviction of Class D felony possession of cocaine as double jeopardy for a conviction in the same case of Class B felony dealing in cocaine, but otherwise lets stand the dealing conviction as well as convictions of Class D felony maintaining a common nuisance and Class A misdemeanor possession of marijuana.

Robert Morris Endris v. Jennifer Lynn Endris (NFP)
41A01-1303-DR-130
Domestic relation. Reverses visitation order that stopped visits between Robert Endris and his daughter and modified parenting time with the other children without explanation. Also reverses order that paternal grandmother, who was not a party to the dissolution, host the children during bi-annual visits. Remands to the trial court to enter an order either complying with Parenting Time Guidelines or explaining the deviation when modifying the visitation for the other children. Affirms denial of Endris’ motion to modify child support.

Vernon Robinson v. Estates At Eagle's Pointe (NFP)
52A02-1306-PL-528
Civil plenary. Reverses the trial court’s order to the extent that it awarded the Estates $57,375 but affirms the remainder of the order. Remands for entry of judgment in favor of Estate in the amount of $46,375 plus attorneys fee of $25,000 and costs.

Dennis Knight v. State of Indiana (NFP)
71A04-1309-CR-475
Criminal. Affirms conviction of one count of Class B felony robbery.

Richard Antonio Clark v. State of Indiana (NFP)
45A03-1308-CR-337
Criminal. Affirms three-year sentence for Class D felony strangulation and Class A misdemeanor domestic battery.

The Indiana Tax Court did not post any opinions by IL deadline. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals did not submit any Indiana opinions by IL deadline.


 

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  1. Indiana's seatbelt law is not punishable as a crime. It is an infraction. Apparently some of our Circuit judges have deemed settled law inapplicable if it fails to fit their litmus test of political correctness. Extrapolating to redefine terms of behavior in a violation of immigration law to the entire body of criminal law leaves a smorgasbord of opportunity for judicial mischief.

  2. I wonder if $10 diversions for failure to wear seat belts are considered moral turpitude in federal immigration law like they are under Indiana law? Anyone know?

  3. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

  4. Justice has finally been served. So glad that Dr. Ley can finally sleep peacefully at night knowing the truth has finally come to the surface.

  5. While this right is guaranteed by our Constitution, it has in recent years been hampered by insurance companies, i.e.; the practice of the plaintiff's own insurance company intervening in an action and filing a lien against any proceeds paid to their insured. In essence, causing an additional financial hurdle for a plaintiff to overcome at trial in terms of overall award. In a very real sense an injured party in exercise of their right to trial by jury may be the only party in a cause that would end up with zero compensation.

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