Opinions May 20, 2014

May 20, 2014
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Indiana Court of Appeals
In the Matter of the Adoption of J.M.: J.P. and J.M. v. R.H. and R.H.
Adoption. Affirms trial court’s judgment that the natural parents’ consent was not necessary in the adoption of their child, J.M. Concludes the trial court did not err when it held a consent hearing which essentially terminated the rights of the natural parents. Also finds the trial court did consider the best interests of the child and that the trial court did not need to consider the natural parents’ fitness at the time of the consent hearing and again at the adoption hearing.  

Tamara Critser v. Chad L. Critser, Jr. (NFP)

Domestic relation. Affirms trial court order granting father Chad L. Critser Jr.’s petition for modification of custody and trial court order denying mother’s petition to relocate.

In Re: Nancy J. McMillen Testamentary Trust, Donna M. McMillen v. Thomas Kane (NFP)
Trust. Affirms trial court denial of Donna McMillen’s petition to remove Thomas Kane as a trustee of a testamentary trust.

Mark Blackburn v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B felony robbery.

Robert Beeler v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A felony attempted murder.

Clifton Brooks v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C felony operating a motor vehicle while suspended for life.

Courtney Smith v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction and 60-year sentence for murder.

In re the Paternity of J.W.: A.P. (Mother) v. A.W. (Father) (NFP)

Juvenile. Reverses trial court denial of mother’s motion for relocation. Remands to the trial court for further proceedings to determine whether relocation is in the child’s best interest, finding that mother met her burden to show a good faith and legitimate reason for relocating from Richmond to New York.

Zackery Reahard v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms convictions and aggregate 44-year sentence for conviction of Class A felony child molesting, Class B felony child molesting, Class B felony sexual misconduct with a minor, Class C felony child molesting, and Class D felony sexual misconduct with a minor.

Pritika Patel, Kala Patel v. Bhupen Ray, Amy Ray, Indiana Hospitality Real Estate & Management, LLC (NFP)
Civil plenary. Affirms trial court rulings and declines to enter judgment in favor or Pritika Patel on her wage claim or for unjust enrichment.

Indiana Supreme Court and Indiana Tax Court issued no opinions by IL deadline. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals issued no Indiana opinions by IL deadline Tuesday.


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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