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Opinions April 22, 2014

April 22, 2014
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Indiana Court of Appeals
Shelly Bailey v. Lance Bailey
25A04-1309-DR-452
Domestic relation. Reverses trial court’s modification of physical custody of the two children. Finds the Parallel Parenting Time Order did not enable the court to modify the children’s custody to joint custody especially since neither parent petitioned for a change in custody. Judge John Baker dissented, writing that, as instructed by the Parallel Parenting Time Order, the trial court was trying to act in the best interest of the children and to prevent any further destructive behavior by the parents.

In the Matter of the Adoption of B.C.H., a Minor
41A04-1308-AD-388
Adoption. Affirms trial court orders denying grandparents’ motion for relief from judgment and motion to correct error that aimed to set aside stepfather’s adoption of 6-year-old B.C.H. Despite having provided care almost exclusively during the child’s first two years, grandparents are not parties required to receive notice and consent to the adoption. Grandparents also had actual knowledge of the proceedings and did not object or attempt to intervene. In a concurring opinion, Judge Paul Mathias would have required stepfather to get grandparents’ consent, but found in this case grandparents cannot pursue a late challenge to the adoption.

Randy E. Black v. State of Indiana
01A04-1310-CR-526
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C felony forgery, holding that the trial court did not err by not ruling on Black’s pro se request for an early trial and that Black did not receive ineffective assistance of counsel. Black, who was serving a sentence in the Department of Correction on unrelated charges, was appointed a public defender at an initial hearing, at which time he told the court he wanted to “file for fast and speedy trial too.” Because a defender had been appointed, that decision was a matter of strategy allocated to defense counsel, and the record does not establish counsel’s assistance fell below an objective standard of reasonableness.

State of Indiana, Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles, and Kent Schroder as Commissioner of Motor Vehicles v. Matthew E. Patty (NFP)
09A02-1311-MI-885
Miscellaneous. Reverses order granting Patty’s petition for issuance of a probationary driver’s license. Finds the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles did notify Patty of his habitual traffic violator status and suspension. Also concludes Patty is ineligible for a probationary license because his license was already suspended for a previous judgment when he was arrested for operating while intoxicated in Hendricks County.

Desmond E. Lewis v. State of Indiana (NFP)
92A05-1306-CR-284
Criminal. Affirms conviction of operating a vehicle while intoxicated in a manner that endangers a person, a Class A misdemeanor.

Corey Bates v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A04-1309-CR-435
Criminal. Affirms conviction for Class C felony forgery.

Conway Jefferson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1309-PC-748
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

The Indiana Supreme Court and the Indiana 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. Whether you support "gay marriage" or not is not the issue. The issue is whether the SCOTUS can extract from an unmentionable somewhere the notion that the Constitution forbids government "interference" in the "right" to marry. Just imagine time-traveling to Philadelphia in 1787. Ask James Madison if the document he and his fellows just wrote allowed him- or forbade government to "interfere" with- his "right" to marry George Washington? He would have immediately- and justly- summoned the Sergeant-at-Arms to throw your sorry self out into the street. Far from being a day of liberation, this is a day of capitulation by the Rule of Law to the Rule of What's Happening Now.

  2. With today's ruling, AG Zoeller's arguments in the cases of Obamacare and Same-sex Marriage can be relegated to the ash heap of history. 0-fer

  3. She must be a great lawyer

  4. Ind. Courts - "Illinois ranks 49th for how court system serves disadvantaged" What about Indiana? A story today from Dave Collins of the AP, here published in the Benton Illinois Evening News, begins: Illinois' court system had the third-worst score in the nation among state judiciaries in serving poor, disabled and other disadvantaged members of the public, according to new rankings. Illinois' "Justice Index" score of 34.5 out of 100, determined by the nonprofit National Center for Access to Justice, is based on how states serve people with disabilities and limited English proficiency, how much free legal help is available and how states help increasing numbers of people representing themselves in court, among other issues. Connecticut led all states with a score of 73.4 and was followed by Hawaii, Minnesota, New York and Delaware, respectively. Local courts in Washington, D.C., had the highest overall score at 80.9. At the bottom was Oklahoma at 23.7, followed by Kentucky, Illinois, South Dakota and Indiana. ILB: That puts Indiana at 46th worse. More from the story: Connecticut, Hawaii, Minnesota, Colorado, Tennessee and Maine had perfect 100 scores in serving people with disabilities, while Indiana, Georgia, Wyoming, Missouri and Idaho had the lowest scores. Those rankings were based on issues such as whether interpretation services are offered free to the deaf and hearing-impaired and whether there are laws or rules allowing service animals in courthouses. The index also reviewed how many civil legal aid lawyers were available to provide free legal help. Washington, D.C., had nearly nine civil legal aid lawyers per 10,000 people in poverty, the highest rate in the country. Texas had the lowest rate, 0.43 legal aid lawyers per 10,000 people in poverty. http://indianalawblog.com/archives/2014/11/ind_courts_illi_1.html

  5. A very thorough opinion by the federal court. The Rooker-Feldman analysis, in particular, helps clear up muddy water as to the entanglement issue. Looks like the Seventh Circuit is willing to let its district courts cruise much closer to the Indiana Supreme Court's shorelines than most thought likely, at least when the ADA on the docket. Some could argue that this case and Praekel, taken together, paint a rather unflattering picture of how the lower courts are being advised as to their duties under the ADA. A read of the DOJ amicus in Praekel seems to demonstrate a less-than-congenial view toward the higher echelons in the bureaucracy.

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