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Divided court reverses teen’s intimidation adjudication

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Split over whether a teen’s threats toward his grandfather were intended to place the man in fear of retaliation for a prior lawful act, two Indiana Court of Appeals judges reversed a teen’s delinquency adjudication for committing intimidation.

Terry Landis called 911 and told law enforcement that he had escaped from his residence after his teenage grandson C.L. had held him hostage for several days because Landis refused to give a portion of a home loan he planned to take out to C.L. to buy a car. C.L. said if he didn’t get the money he would beat his grandfather and that if he got sent to jail he would kill his grandfather when he got out. Landis was fearful of his grandson because of his strength and size.

C.L. was adjudicated delinquent for committing one count of what would be Class A misdemeanor intimidation if committed by an adult. In In Re: The Matter of C.L., a Delinquent v. State of Indiana, 05A04-1306-JV-319, Judges John Baker and Terry Crone reversed because the statute requires the threats to place Landis in fear of retaliation for a prior lawful act. The majority held the threats made by C.L. were conditional and targeted a future conduct. Landis testified he had not taken out the loan yet at the time C.L. demanded the money.

Judge Edward Najam dissented, writing that Landis’ decision to get the home loan for repairs and refusal to give C.L. any portion of the loan constitute a prior lawful act. A reasonable inference from the evidence demonstrates that C.L.’s threats were intended to place his grandfather in fear of retaliation for his prior lawful act of having decided not to surrender a portion of the loan proceeds to C.L., Najam wrote.
 

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  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

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