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COA: Woman’s conduct is harassment, not intimidation

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The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a woman’s misdemeanor intimidation conviction stemming from her communications with the wife of her baby’s father. The court held that the state was unable to prove she committed intimidation as charged.

Rakiea McCaskill had a one-year-old child with Tamika Matlock’s husband when McCaskill called Matlock four times the evening of Oct. 28 and morning of Oct. 29, 2012, and threatened to beat her up. She also said she was outside of Matlock’s home.

The state charged McCaskill under subsection (a)(1) of the intimidation statute, saying she communicated a threat with the intent that Matlock engage in conduct against her will: to leave her husband and/or cause her husband to leave her.

The Court of Appeals reversed the conviction, noting there is insufficient evidence of McCaskill’s intent because she never specified the reason for her threats toward Matlock. At trial, Matlock admitted she didn’t know why McCaskill wanted to beat her up. The state argued there is enough circumstantial evidence to show intent. It argued that because McCaskill and Matlock do not have a relationship other than through the husband, McCaskill’s aim must have been for Matlock to leave her husband.

McCaskill had been in a relationship with the husband for several years before threatening Matlock, Judge Rudolph Pyle III wrote in Rakiea McCaskill v. State of Indiana, 49A02-1306-CR-480. It is not clear why McCaskill would suddenly start threatening Matlock with that aim.   

The state did argue at McCaskill’s trial for the lesser-included offense of harassment, which is supported by the evidence. As such, the Court of Appeals ordered the Class A misdemeanor intimidation charge vacated and that the trial court enter judgment of Class B misdemeanor harassment.
 

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  3. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  4. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  5. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

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