Opinions April 9, 2014

April 9, 2014
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Indiana Court of Appeals
In re the Order for the Payment of Attorney Fees and Reimbursement of Expenses, State of Indiana v. Jeffrey Cook
Miscellaneous. Affirms order the state should pay Pendleton Correctional Facility inmate Jeffrey Cook’s appellate counsel $5,232.35 in attorney fees and expenses. I.C. 33-37-2-4, which recognizes the financial burden placed on counties containing state correctional facilities, and shifts the burden to the state to pay both trial and appellate costs.

State Farm Fire & Casualty Company a/s/o Kenneth Burkhart v. H.H. Niswander
Civil tort. Affirms dismissal of complaint of negligence against H.H. Niswander and award of attorney fees to the car dealership. There was no evidence in the cause-and-origin report that H.H. Niswander was negligent or that the oil change performed by H.H. Niswander caused the car fire. There was no evidence supporting State Farm’s allegations that H.H. Niswander was negligent or caused the fire. Despite this lack of evidence, State Farm pursued the case.

K.L. v. E.H.
Miscellaneous. Affirms order granting the petition for visitation filed by E.H., the paternal grandfather of K.L.’s child. The trial court did not abuse its discretion in excluding the testimony Mother wished to elicit from a mediator regarding visitation. The trial court acknowledged the limited contact mother had with E.H.’s family, the grandfather’s experience caring for and raising children, and that there was no evidence L.L. would be unsafe in his care. Judge Robb concurs in part and dissents in part.

Abelardo Perez-Romero v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms convictions of two counts of Class A felony child molesting.

Matthew McKinney v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms 30-year aggregate sentence following guilty plea to two counts of dealing in a schedule II controlled substance, one as a Class A felony and one as a Class B felony; and Class C felony dealing in marijuana.

Roger T. Fox v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Infraction. Affirms citation for failing to wear a seatbelt under I.C. 9-19-10-2.

In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of: G.G. (Minor Child), And A.S. (Mother) & G.G., Jr. (Father) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.

Risha Warren v. Review Board of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development and Springs Valley Community School Corp. (NFP)
Agency action. Affirms denial of unemployment benefits.

Antione Marshall v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms revocation of probation and order Marshall serve his previously suspended sentence.

Zar Dyson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms that the trial court properly denied Dyson’s motion to strike an amended charging information and acted within its discretion in refusing to give his tendered jury instruction that defined “recklessly.” Concludes that the evidence was sufficient to support Dyson’s convictions for intimidation and pointing a firearm. The conviction and sentence for the lesser offense—pointing a firearm—must be set aside on double jeopardy grounds because there was a reasonable possibility that the jury used the exact same evidence to convict Dyson of both offenses. Affirms 20-year aggregate sentence, except for the erroneous sentence imposed for pointing a firearm. Judge Crone concurs in part and dissents in part.

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