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Opinions July 15, 2014

July 15, 2014
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Indiana Court of Appeals
Antonio L. Vaughn v. State of Indiana
84A01-1302-CR-57
Criminal. Affirmed Vaughn’s conviction and 40-year aggregate sentence for two counts of dealing in cocaine, each as a Class A felony, and one count of maintaining a common nuisance, a Class D felony. Finds the trial court did not abuse its discretion in admitting evidence of the controlled buys, statements of the confidential information and the cocaine. Also finds the trial court did not abuse its discretion in instructing the jury. Rules the evidence was sufficient to support Vaughn’s convictions. Holds the trial court did not abuse its discretion when it sentenced Vaughn but it made a clerical error on the sentencing order. Remanded to the trial court to correct error to reflect that Vaughn was sentenced for maintaining a common nuisance conviction to three years, not three-and-a-half years.

In re: The Grandparent Visitation of C.S.N.: Brooke Neuhoff v. Scott A. Ubelhor and Angela S. Ubelhor
19A05-1311-MI-542
Miscellaneous. Reverses and vacates trial court’s award of grandparent visitation for paternal grandparents Scott and Angela Ubelhor. The trial court erred in findings that awarded visitation because it failed to consider the totality of circumstances in determining that mother’s reasons for restricting visitation were unreasonable. Chief Judge Nancy Vaidik dissented and would affirm the trial court, which wrote that the trial court found visitation would be in the child’s best interests and there was no reason to believe visitation would resume without a court order.
 
Juan Manzano v. State of Indiana
48A02-1310-PC-905
Post conviction. Affirms post-conviction court’s denial of relief from a 50-year sentence for his conviction of Class A felony rape, concluding that Manzano did not receive ineffective assistance of counsel.

Rebecca Stafford, Individually and as Surviving Parent of Drayden Powell, Deceased, and Drayden Powell, Deceased v. James E. Szymanowki, M.D. and Gyn, Ltd., Inc., and Joseph B. Clemente, M.D.
89A01-1401-CT-48
Civil tort. Affirms trial court grant of summary judgment in favor of defendants on a medical malpractice claim. The panel held that the trial court properly concluded that another doctor’s testimony did not create a genuine issue of material fact as to the liability of Dr.  Szymanowski; (2) GYN cannot be held vicariously liable for the perceived acts of medical malpractice committed by Dr. Smith when Dr. Smith’s conduct was never reviewed by the medical review panel; and (3) the trial court properly concluded that no recovery exists for the 2007 death of a child not born alive under the Child Wrongful Death Statute, as amended.

Jacqueline Myers v. Mark Myers
49A02-1310-DR-895
Domestic relation. Affirms in part and reverses in part a grant of Mark Myer’s motion to prevent Jacqueline Myer’s relocation to Texas with her daughter, H.M. Father’s petition was properly before the court. The trial court did not err in finding mother had not met her burden of proof in seeking to relocate. However, the court erred in ordering that father would receive automatic physical custody of H.M. if mother moved to Texas.

In the Matter of J.W., A Child in Need of Services J.W. (Minor Child), and M.K. (Mother), & D.W. (Father) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)
49A04-1312-JC-593
Juvenile. Affirms in part and reverses in part, holding that a child in need of services finding was not error, nor was the trial court’s order that father complete a domestic violence assessment. But because there is no evidence father had a substance abuse problem, the court erred when it ordered him to submit to random drug testing.

In the Matter of the Involuntary Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of W.H., Minor Child, and His Mother, J.F., J.F. v. Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)
79A02-1312-JT-1034
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.

Paul A. Croucher v. State of Indiana (NFP)
89A01-1401-CR-23
Criminal. Affirms in part, reverses in part 40-year aggregate sentence and convictions of Class A felony and Class C felony child molesting. The trial court did not abuse discretion in admitting certain evidence and there was no prosecutorial misconduct. Remands for the trial court to amend its sentencing order because the court abused its discretion in classifying Croucher as a credit-restricted felon.

Alan R. Kohlhaas, on behalf of himself and all others similarly situated v. Hidden Valley Lake Property Owners Association, Inc., and Robert A. Will, William Acra, Carl Adkins, et al. (NFP)
15A01-1308-PL-357
Civil plenary. Affirms grant of summary judgment in favor of Hidden Valley Lake Property Owners Association and other defendants.

Christopher Anderson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A04-1307-PC-340
Post conviction. Affirms denial of post-conviction relief for conviction of murder, intimidation and possession of a handgun without a license.

James E. Manley v. Monroe County Prosecutor (NFP)
53A01-1402-MI-65
Miscellaneous. Affirms trial court denial of Manley’s pro se “complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief/challenge to the constitutionality of Indiana statute” challenging his conviction of multiple counts of child molesting.

Brandon Hicks v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1308-CR-739
Criminal. Affirms aggregate 40-year sentence and conviction of Class B felony manslaughter and Class A misdemeanor possession of marijuana.

Cynthia Marx v. State of Indiana (NFP)
48A04-1311-CR-548
Criminal. Affirms revocation of probation and remands for correction of the sentencing order and abstract of judgment.

Brian Baxter v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1306-CR-285
Criminal. Affirms denial of Baxter’s motion to compel certain public agencies to produce public records relating to his convictions of three counts of murder, conspiracy to commit robbery, resisting law enforcement and carrying a handgun without a license.

James Washington v. State of Indiana (NFP)
10A05-1312-CR-626
Criminal. Affirms conviction of murder, reverses in part and remands. There was sufficient evidence to rebut Washington’s claim of self defense, his sentence was appropriate, but on the state’s cross-appeal, the panel determined the trial court erred by finding conviction of Class B felony robbery was a lesser included offense. Remands with instruction that Washington be resentenced with the additional robbery conviction.

Jerrimica T. Madding v. State of Indiana (NFP)
18A04-1312-CR-608
Criminal. Affirms revocation of probation.

The Indiana Supreme Court and Tax Court issued no opinions prior to IL deadline. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals issued no Indiana decisions prior to IL deadline.




 

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  1. It really doesn't matter what the law IS, if law enforcement refuses to take reports (or take them seriously), if courts refuse to allow unrepresented parties to speak (especially in Small Claims, which is supposedly "informal"). It doesn't matter what the law IS, if constituents are unable to make effective contact or receive any meaningful response from their representatives. Two of our pets were unnecessarily killed; court records reflect that I "abandoned" them. Not so; when I was denied one of them (and my possessions, which by court order I was supposed to be able to remove), I went directly to the court. And earlier, when I tried to have the DV PO extended (it expired while the subject was on probation for violating it), the court denied any extension. The result? Same problems, less than eight hours after expiration. Ironic that the county sheriff was charged (and later pleaded to) with intimidation, but none of his officers seemed interested or capable of taking such a report from a private citizen. When I learned from one officer what I needed to do, I forwarded audio and transcript of one occurrence and my call to law enforcement (before the statute of limitations expired) to the prosecutor's office. I didn't even receive an acknowledgement. Earlier, I'd gone in to the prosecutor's office and been told that the officer's (written) report didn't match what I said occurred. Since I had the audio, I can only say that I have very little faith in Indiana government or law enforcement.

  2. One can only wonder whether Mr. Kimmel was paid for his work by Mr. Burgh ... or whether that bill fell to the citizens of Indiana, many of whom cannot afford attorneys for important matters. It really doesn't take a judge(s) to know that "pavement" can be considered a deadly weapon. It only takes a brain and some education or thought. I'm glad to see the conviction was upheld although sorry to see that the asphalt could even be considered "an issue".

  3. In response to bryanjbrown: thank you for your comment. I am familiar with Paul Ogden (and applaud his assistance to Shirley Justice) and have read of Gary Welsh's (strange) death (and have visited his blog on many occasions). I am not familiar with you (yet). I lived in Kosciusko county, where the sheriff was just removed after pleading in what seems a very "sweetheart" deal. Unfortunately, something NEEDS to change since the attorneys won't (en masse) stand up for ethics (rather making a show to please the "rules" and apparently the judges). I read that many attorneys are underemployed. Seems wisdom would be to cull the herd and get rid of the rotting apples in practice and on the bench, for everyone's sake as well as justice. I'd like to file an attorney complaint, but I have little faith in anything (other than the most flagrant and obvious) resulting in action. My own belief is that if this was medicine, there'd be maimed and injured all over and the carnage caused by "the profession" would be difficult to hide. One can dream ... meanwhile, back to figuring out to file a pro se "motion to dismiss" as well as another court required paper that Indiana is so fond of providing NO resources for (unlike many other states, who don't automatically assume that citizens involved in the court process are scumbags) so that maybe I can get the family law attorney - whose work left me with no settlement, no possessions and resulted in the death of two pets (etc ad nauseum) - to stop abusing the proceedings supplemental and small claims rules and using it as a vehicle for harassment and apparently, amusement.

  4. Been on social security sense sept 2011 2massive strokes open heart surgery and serious ovarian cancer and a blood clot in my lung all in 14 months. Got a letter in may saying that i didn't qualify and it was in form like i just applied ,called social security she said it don't make sense and you are still geting a check in june and i did ,now i get a check from my part D asking for payment for july because there will be no money for my membership, call my prescription coverage part D and confirmed no check will be there.went to social security they didn't want to answer whats going on just said i should of never been on it .no one knows where this letter came from was California im in virginia and been here sense my strokes and vcu filed for my disability i was in the hospital when they did it .It's like it was a error . My ,mothers social security was being handled in that office in California my sister was dealing with it and it had my social security number because she died last year and this letter came out of the same office and it came at the same time i got the letter for my mother benefits for death and they had the same date of being typed just one was on the mail Saturday and one on Monday. . I think it's a mistake and it should been fixed instead there just getting rid of me .i never got a formal letter saying when i was being tsken off.

  5. Employers should not have racially discriminating mind set. It has huge impact on the society what the big players do or don't do in the industry. Background check is conducted just to verify whether information provided by the prospective employee is correct or not. It doesn't have any direct combination with the rejection of the employees. If there is rejection, there should be something effective and full-proof things on the table that may keep the company or the people associated with it in jeopardy.

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