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Opinions April 29, 2014

April 29, 2014
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Indiana Supreme Court
In the Matter of: Karl N. Truman
10S00-1401-DI-55
Attorney discipline. Issues a public reprimand for violation of Indiana Professional Conduct Rule 5.6(a) by making an employment agreement that restricted the rights of a former associate to practice after termination of the employment relationship. The court also accepted the parties’ stipulation that Truman violated Rule 1.4(b), failure to explain a matter to the extent reasonably necessary to permit client to make informed decisions regarding representation.

Martin Meehan v. State of Indiana
71S04-1308-CR-535
Criminal. Affirms Martin Meehan’s conviction of Class C felony burglary that was challenged on the sufficiency of evidence underlying the conviction, chiefly a glove found at the scene that contained Meehan’s DNA. The court held the jury had before it substantial evidence of probative value from which it could have reasonably inferred that Meehan was guilty of burglary beyond a reasonable doubt.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Jamal Ahmad Gore v. State of Indiana
45A03-1305-CR-163
Criminal. Affirms finding that Gore was guilty but mentally ill – instead of not guilty by reason of insanity – of murder and Class C felony battery. Gore has not shown that the evidence is without conflict and leads only to the conclusion that he was insane when the crime was committed.

J.K. v. State of Indiana
66A03-1306-JS-220
Juvenile. Reverses adjudication of J.K. as a delinquent based on acts of illegal possession of alcohol, illegal consumption of alcohol, and aiding illegal consumption of alcohol. The officers’ entry onto J.K.’s curtilage, their lengthy knock and talk, and eventual residential entry were unreasonable searches under the Fourth Amendment. Senior Judge Shepard dissents.

Jeremiah D. Wilkes v. State of Indiana
32A01-1303-CR-120
Criminal. Affirms two convictions of Class B felony sexual misconduct with a minor. No fundamental error occurred from the admission of hearsay testimony that was merely cumulative of the victim’s own testimony, and the vouching testimony was harmless in light of the weight of the evidence in the record. Even when considering all that evidence cumulatively, no fundamental error occurred.

State of Indiana v. David Lott Hardy
49A02-1309-CR-756
Criminal. Affirms dismissal of four counts of Class D felony official misconduct against Hardy, former chairman of the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission. The trial court did not abuse its discretion in dismissing charges which the Supreme Court has interpreted to require resting upon criminal behavior related to the performance of official duties.

Tyler J. Veerkamp v. State of Indiana
16A01-1310-CR-439
Criminal. Affirms denial of motion to suppress evidence. Holds that a law enforcement officer has probable cause that Indiana Code 9-19-8-5 has been violated when fumes or smoke emanating from the engine or power mechanism of a motor vehicle completely obscure a motorist’s view of a portion of the vehicle being followed.

D.D. v. D.P.
49A02-1311-DR-1004
Domestic relation. Affirms denial of stepfather D.D.’s petition to adopt two minor children from his wife’s first marriage. The trial court did not err by finding that “Mother hampered and thwarted Father’s attempts to communicate with the children.” Father demonstrated justifiable cause for not initiating direct communication with the children, who were both under the age of 2 when their parents divorced.

Damon L. Wallace v. Audra C. Wallace (NFP)
29A05-1308-DR-421
Domestic relation. Affirms order requiring Damon Wallace pay child support and arrearage.

Ronald A. Manley v. State of Indiana (NFP)
29A05-1306-CR-306
Criminal. Dismisses appeal of the denial of the pro se motion for modification of sentence.

In re the Adoption of E.M., a minor, R.G. v. R.M. (NFP)

45A04-1309-AD-438
Adoption. Affirms denial of stepfather’s petition to adopt E.M.

In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of C.W., minor child, and L.W., Mother, L.W. v. Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)
79A04-1310-JT-510
Juvenile. Affirms the termination of parental rights.

Mark D. Webb v. State of Indiana (NFP)
03A01-1308-CR-349
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor domestic battery.

In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of: N.H., A.I-H and P.I-H., Minor Children, A.I-H., Father v. Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)
79A02-1310-JT-901
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.

Calumet Township Trustee v. Edward R. Hall (NFP)
45A03-1305-CC-197
Civil collection. Affirms summary judgment in favor of Hall on his mandamus action seeking to order the trustee to pay Hall for the work he performed as an attorney for the Calumet Township Advisory Board. Remands for a determination of reasonable attorney fees for Hall in both the prosecution of the mandamus and this appeal.  

William P. Montgomery v. State of Indiana (NFP)
18A02-1309-CR-825
Criminal. Affirms two convictions of Class A felony dealing in methamphetamine and one conviction of Class B felony dealing in meth.

Willie Johnson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1308-CR-726
Criminal. Affirms revocation of placement in community corrections and probation.
 
In re the Marriage of Laura Hyatt v. Charles Hyatt (NFP)
87A04-1309-DR-454
Domestic relation. Affirms denial of Laura Hyatt’s petition for visitation modification and finding her to be in contempt.

In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of: P.C., J.W., and K.W., Minor Children, S.C., Mother v. Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)
42A01-1307-JT-319
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.

Derrick A. Hicks v. State of Indiana (NFP)
45A03-1307-CR-265
Criminal. Affirms 70-year sentence following guilty plea to Class A felony child molesting, Class B felony incest, Class B felony sexual misconduct with a minor, and finding he is a habitual offender.

Landon Shaw v. State of Indiana (NFP)
45A04-1303-CR-100
Criminal. Dismisses Shaw's appeal of he denial of his motion for jail credit and good-time allowance. 

Cary Lane Lawson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
34A02-1311-CR-990
Criminal. Affirms order Lawson serve the remainder of his suspended sentence after violating probation.

In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of L.W., J.W., M.T., L.P., C.L.Q., and C.Q. minor children, and L.W., Mother, L.W. v. Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)
79A02-1308-JT-721
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.

Warren D. Bowen v. State of Indiana (NFP)
16A05-1309-CR-456
Criminal. Affirms denial of motion to suppress evidence.

In the Matter of the Termination of Parent-Child Relationship of Mi.S. & M.W. (Minor Children), and M.S. (Mother) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)
49A05-1306-JT-282
Juvenile. Grants mother’s petition for rehearing for the sole purpose of granting her motion to strike Footnote 4 on Page 3 of the DCS’ appellate brief and the DCS’ citation to the “Child Welfare Manual” that was not considered in the resolution of her appeal. Affirms in all other respects.

The Indiana 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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  3. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  4. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  5. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

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