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Opinions April 24, 2014

April 24, 2014
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Indiana Court of Appeals
Donnetta Newell v. State of Indiana
49A02-1309-CR-744
Criminal. Affirms Class A misdemeanor intimidation conviction. The trial court did not abuse its discretion in admitting evidence of the incident that led to Newell’s eviction and there is sufficient evidence for the finder of fact to conclude that Newell knew her statement to a security guard would be transmitted to the subject of her threat.

Brandon Robey v. State of Indiana
12A02-1306-CR-502
Criminal. Affirms convictions of four counts of Class A felony child molesting and two counts of Class C felony child molesting. The trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying Robey’s motion to correct error on the basis of alleged juror misconduct. Robey failed to establish fundamental error in the admission of alleged vouching testimony or alleged improper remarks by the prosecutor during closing. Robey cannot challenge the factual basis for his habitual offender adjudication on direct appeal because he admitted to being a habitual offender.

Jason Taylor v. State of Indiana
45A03-1310-CR-406
Criminal. Reverses denial of petition for expungement. Determines that the word “shall” in Section 35-38-9-2(d) is mandatory language requiring expungement. And such an interpretation does not render Section 35-38-9-9(d) meaningless because that section applies to other parts of the statute where the trial court does have discretion to deny a petition for expungement. Opinion was originally handed down April 17.

Bryan Swineford v. State of Indiana (NFP)
90A05-1311-CR-568
Criminal. Affirms denial of Swineford’s petition to convert his Class D felony conviction of operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 to a Class A misdemeanor.

Charles K. Corn v. State of Indiana (NFP)
84A01-1304-CR-161
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B felony aggravated battery.

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. Access to the court (judiciary branch of government) is the REAL problem, NOT necessarily lack of access to an attorney. Unfortunately, I've lived in a legal and financial hell for the past six years due to a divorce (where I was, supposedly, represented by an attorney) in which I was defrauded of settlement and the other party (and helpers) enriched through the fraud. When I attempted to introduce evidence and testify (pro se) in a foreclosure/eviction, I was silenced (apparently on procedural grounds, as research I've done since indicates). I was thrown out of a residence which was to be sold, by a judge who refused to allow me to speak in (the supposedly "informal") small claims court where the eviction proceeding (by ex-brother-in-law) was held. Six years and I can't even get back on solid or stable ground ... having bank account seized twice, unlawfully ... and now, for the past year, being dragged into court - again, contrary to law and appellate decisions - by former attorney, who is trying to force payment from exempt funds. Friday will mark fifth appearance. Hopefully, I'll be allowed to speak. The situation I find myself in shouldn't even be possible, much less dragging out with no end in sight, for years. I've done nothing wrong, but am watching a lot of wrong being accomplished under court jurisdiction; only because I was married to someone who wanted and was granted a divorce (but was not willing to assume the responsibilities that come with granting the divorce). In fact, the recalcitrant party was enriched by well over $100k, although it was necessarily split with other actors. Pro bono help? It's a nice dream ... but that's all it is, for too many. Meanwhile, injustice marches on.

  2. Both sites mentioned in the article appear to be nonfunctional to date (March 28, 2017). http://indianalegalanswers.org/ returns a message stating the "server is taking too long to respond" and http://www.abafreelegalasnswers.org/ "can't find the server". Although this does not surprise me, it is disheartening to know that access to the judicial branch of government remains out of reach for too many citizens (for procedural rather than meritorious reasons) of Indiana. Any updates regarding this story?

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