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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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)
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)
Domestic relation. Affirms division of marital property.

Claricea D. Muse v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor criminal trespass.

Kristin A. Houssain v. State of Indiana (NFP)
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)
Criminal. Affirms aggregate three-year sentence for Class D felony domestic battery.

Eric Davis v. State of Indiana (NFP)
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)
Criminal. Affirms two convictions of Class C felony burglary.

Neil Short v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

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

Alan Ramsey v. State of Indiana (NFP)
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)
Civil plenary. Affirms dismissal of Strowmatt’s civil rights complaint.

T.W. v. Review Board of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (NFP)
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)
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)
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)
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. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  2. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  3. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.

  4. rensselaer imdiana is doing same thing to children from the judge to attorney and dfs staff they need to be investigated as well

  5. Sex offenders are victims twice, once when they are molested as kids, and again when they repeat the behavior, you never see money spent on helping them do you. That's why this circle continues