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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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  1. Whilst it may be true that Judges and Justices enjoy such freedom of time and effort, it certainly does not hold true for the average working person. To say that one must 1) take a day or a half day off work every 3 months, 2) gather a list of information including recent photographs, and 3) set up a time that is convenient for the local sheriff or other such office to complete the registry is more than a bit near-sighted. This may be procedural, and hence, in the near-sighted minds of the court, not 'punishment,' but it is in fact 'punishment.' The local sheriffs probably feel a little punished too by the overwork. Registries serve to punish the offender whilst simultaneously providing the public at large with a false sense of security. The false sense of security is dangerous to the public who may not exercise due diligence by thinking there are no offenders in their locale. In fact, the registry only informs them of those who have been convicted.

  2. Unfortunately, the court doesn't understand the difference between ebidta and adjusted ebidta as they clearly got the ruling wrong based on their misunderstanding

  3. A common refrain in the comments on this website comes from people who cannot locate attorneys willing put justice over retainers. At the same time the judiciary threatens to make pro bono work mandatory, seemingly noting the same concern. But what happens to attorneys who have the chumptzah to threatened the legal status quo in Indiana? Ask Gary Welch, ask Paul Ogden, ask me. Speak truth to power, suffer horrendously accordingly. No wonder Hoosier attorneys who want to keep in good graces merely chase the dollars ... the powers that be have no concerns as to those who are ever for sale to the highest bidder ... for those even willing to compromise for $$$ never allow either justice or constitutionality to cause them to stand up to injustice or unconstitutionality. And the bad apples in the Hoosier barrel, like this one, just keep rotting.

  4. I am one of Steele's victims and was taken for $6,000. I want my money back due to him doing nothing for me. I filed for divorce after a 16 year marriage and lost everything. My kids, my home, cars, money, pension. Every attorney I have talked to is not willing to help me. What can I do? I was told i can file a civil suit but you have to have all of Steelers info that I don't have. Of someone can please help me or tell me what info I need would be great.

  5. It would appear that news breaking on Drudge from the Hoosier state (link below) ties back to this Hoosier story from the beginning of the recent police disrespect period .... MCBA president Cassandra Bentley McNair issued the statement on behalf of the association Dec. 1. The association said it was “saddened and disappointed” by the decision not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson for shooting Michael Brown. “The MCBA does not believe this was a just outcome to this process, and is disheartened that the system we as lawyers are intended to uphold failed the African-American community in such a way,” the association stated. “This situation is not just about the death of Michael Brown, but the thousands of other African-Americans who are disproportionately targeted and killed by police officers.” http://www.thestarpress.com/story/news/local/2016/07/18/hate-cops-sign-prompts-controversy/87242664/

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