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COA affirms probation violation for nonsupport, modifies amount due

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A trial court properly revoked probation of a man sentenced for non-support of a dependent child, but the Indiana Court of Appeals ordered the lower court to revise the arrearage.

Carl Brandenburg was sentenced to time served plus 52 months on probation after he pleaded guilty to the Class C felony in August 2011. Just shy of a year later, after he failed to make the court-ordered $78 weekly child support payment, a warrant was issued and he was arrested. Jennings Circuit Judge Jon Webster subsequently revoked his probation and ordered him to serve the 52 months.

The appeals panel found no abuse of discretion regarding the revocation of probation, but did find that the amount Brandenburg owed in back support had been overstated. He acknowledged owing an amount of at least $10,000, but not the $17,795 the state claimed.

“In short, the amount of the arrearage was approximately $10,000 in August 2011, and Brandenburg’s daughter had turned twenty-one in August 2009,” Judge Edward Najam wrote for the court in Carl J. Brandenburg v. State of Indiana,  40A04-1301-CR-23.

“Therefore, he contends, the arrearage could not have increased to $17,795.05, as found by the trial court, after the date of his sentencing in 2011. We remand to the trial court for a hearing to recalculate the amount of Brandenburg’s child support arrearage.”    

 

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  1. Bill Satterlee is, indeed, a true jazz aficionado. Part of my legal career was spent as an associate attorney with Hoeppner, Wagner & Evans in Valparaiso. Bill was instrumental (no pun intended) in introducing me to jazz music, thereby fostering my love for this genre. We would, occasionally, travel to Chicago on weekends and sit in on some outstanding jazz sessions at Andy's on Hubbard Street. Had it not been for Bill's love of jazz music, I never would have had the good fortune of hearing it played live at Andy's. And, most likely, I might never have begun listening to it as much as I do. Thanks, Bill.

  2. The child support award is many times what the custodial parent earns, and exceeds the actual costs of providing for the children's needs. My fiance and I have agreed that if we divorce, that the children will be provided for using a shared checking account like this one(http://www.mediate.com/articles/if_they_can_do_parenting_plans.cfm) to avoid the hidden alimony in Indiana's child support guidelines.

  3. Fiat justitia ruat caelum is a Latin legal phrase, meaning "Let justice be done though the heavens fall." The maxim signifies the belief that justice must be realized regardless of consequences.

  4. Indiana up holds this behavior. the state police know they got it made.

  5. Additional Points: -Civility in the profession: Treating others with respect will not only move others to respect you, it will show a shared respect for the legal system we are all sworn to protect. When attorneys engage in unnecessary personal attacks, they lose the respect and favor of judges, jurors, the person being attacked, and others witnessing or reading the communication. It's not always easy to put anger aside, but if you don't, you will lose respect, credibility, cases, clients & jobs or job opportunities. -Read Rule 22 of the Admission & Discipline Rules. Capture that spirit and apply those principles in your daily work. -Strive to represent clients in a manner that communicates the importance you place on the legal matter you're privileged to handle for them. -There are good lawyers of all ages, but no one is perfect. Older lawyers can learn valuable skills from younger lawyers who tend to be more adept with new technologies that can improve work quality and speed. Older lawyers have already tackled more legal issues and worked through more of the problems encountered when representing clients on various types of legal matters. If there's mutual respect and a willingness to learn from each other, it will help make both attorneys better lawyers. -Erosion of the public trust in lawyers wears down public confidence in the rule of law. Always keep your duty to the profession in mind. -You can learn so much by asking questions & actively listening to instructions and advice from more experienced attorneys, regardless of how many years or decades you've each practiced law. Don't miss out on that chance.

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