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Opinions April 30, 2014

April 30, 2014
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The following decisions were posted after IL deadline Tuesday:
7th Circuit Court of Appeals

United States of America v. James V. Carroll
13-2600
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson.
Criminal. Affirms denial of motion to suppress following Carroll’s guilty plea to one count of possession of child pornography and six counts of sexual exploitation of a child. The information in the detective’s affidavit was sufficient to establish fair probability that the computer or other digital storage devices within Carroll’s home would contain evidence of child pornography or exploitation of a child, despite the fact that the photographs were taken approximately five years earlier.

Indiana Supreme Court
Ernesto Roberto Ramirez v. State of Indiana
45S05-1305-CR-331
Criminal. Affirms denial of Ramirez’s motion for a mistrial. Clarifies precedent that defendants are entitled to a rebuttable presumption of prejudice when they can show by a preponderance of the evidence that an unauthorized, extra-judicial contact or communication with jurors occurred, and that the contact or communication pertained to the matter before the jury. Ramirez failed to prove that a juror’s extraneous contact and communications related to his case.

Wednesday’s opinions
Indiana Court of Appeals

L.C. Neely Drilling, Inc. and Maverick Energy, Inc. v. Hoosier Energy Rural Electrical Cooperative, Inc.
49A02-1305-MI-457
Miscellaneous. Affirms ruling in favor of Hoosier Energy upon the parties’ cross-motions for partial summary judgment on Hoosier Energy’s motion seeking judgment that the lease between Maverick and Hoosier Energy had expired and quieting title in favor of Hoosier Energy.

Austin G. Pittman v. State of Indiana
06A05-1305-CR-243
Criminal. Affirms denial of Pittman’s petition to restrict access to the record of his criminal conviction. Affirms appellate court has jurisdiction over the case and rejects state’s argument that Pittman’s appeal should be dismissed.

Gary Community School Corporation v. Prince Lardydell b/n/f Erma Lardydell
45A03-1306-PL-230
Civil plenary. Affirms judgment in favor of Prince Lardydell by next friend Erma Lardydell and $120,000 in damages after Prince was attacked in the hall of his high school. Declines to second-guess the jury’s decision. Finds no error in the giving of Final Instruction 12 or allowing a former school board member to testify.

In Re the Adoption of L.T.: J.M. and S.M. v. C.T.
49A05-1310-AD-493
Adoption. Reverses order terminating guardianship entered in Hamilton County court. The probate court erroneously granted relief from the guardianship order upon concluding that it was void for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Orders a hearing on the best interests of the child.

First Response Services, Inc. v. Vincent A. Cullers (Vincent A. Cullers Counterclaim Plaintiff v. First Response Services, Inc. Counterclaim Defendant)
41A01-1305-PL-224
Civil plenary. Affirms denial of attorney fees for First Response Services. Because the contract failed to comply with the requirements of the Home Improvement Contract Act, the company is not entitled to recover attorney fees in its lawsuit seeking payment from Cullers.

Clarenda Love v. Bruce Love (NFP)
32A01-1311-DR-504
Domestic relation. Affirms division of marital property.

Claricea D. Muse v. State of Indiana (NFP)
33A04-1309-CR-472
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor criminal trespass.

Kristin A. Houssain v. State of Indiana (NFP)
89A04-1307-CR-330
Criminal. Affirms on interlocutory appeal the denial of Houssain’s motion to dismiss her forgery and attempting to obtain a controlled substance by fraud charges.

Yosef M. Hajaji v. State of Indiana (NFP)
43A03-1310-CR-407
Criminal. Affirms aggregate three-year sentence for Class D felony domestic battery.

Eric Davis v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1308-CR-415
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class D felony intimidation, Class B misdemeanor public intoxication and Class B misdemeanor disorderly conduct.

Dillon W. Grissell v. State of Indiana (NFP)
90A02-1308-CR-737
Criminal. Affirms two convictions of Class C felony burglary.

Neil Short v. State of Indiana (NFP)
32A04-1308-PC-422
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Shannon L. Simons v. State of Indiana (NFP)
07A05-1308-CR-436
Criminal. Affirms revocation of probation and order Simons serve 90 days of her previously suspended sentence.

Alan Ramsey v. State of Indiana (NFP)
71A03-1308-CR-341
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class C felony child molesting and Class A felony child molesting.

Timothy E. Strowmatt v. Jennifer Smith, Matt Penticuff, Misty Cecil (NFP)
33A01-1310-PL-441
Civil plenary. Affirms dismissal of Strowmatt’s civil rights complaint.

T.W. v. Review Board of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (NFP)
93A02-1310-EX-871
Agency action. Reverses dismissal of T.W.’s appeal by the Review Board of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development.

Heath Burgess v. State of Indiana (NFP)
79A02-1309-CR-754
Criminal. Affirms aggregate five-year sentence following guilty plea to Class A misdemeanor operating a vehicle while intoxicated and admittance to being a habitual substance offender.

Robin (Bankert) Hall v. Robert H. Bankert (NFP)
06A01-1304-DR-186
Domestic relation. Affirms order disposing of the then-pending issues involving the allocation of extraordinary uninsured medical expenses, tax deductions and the treatment of gratuitous support in a post-dissolution proceeding.

Howard Wilson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1308-CR-384
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor battery.

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

 

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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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