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High court grants 2 transfers

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The Indiana Supreme Court granted transfer to two cases Jan. 29, one involving statements given to police and the other whether a man's trial counsel was ineffective.

In Thomas Williams and Sanford Kelsey v. Kelly Eugene Tharp, and Papa John's U.S.A. Inc., No. 29A02-0707-CV-625, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed summary judgment in favor of the pizza chain and its employee, Kelly Tharp, finding genuine issues of fact as to whether Tharp's statement to police was protected by privilege. Tharp told a passerby and other workers at Papa John's that Sanford Kelsey had a gun when he and Thomas Williams picked up a pizza. Tharp gave police the license plate number and description of Kelsey's car. Police didn't find a gun on the men.

As a result of the question of whether Tharp's statement was protected by privilege, summary judgment on the false imprisonment count was improperly premised on the qualified privilege.

Because of other issues of fact on the intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent hiring, and punitive damages claims, granting summary judgment in favor of the pizza chain and Tharp was an error. The appellate court remanded the case for trial.

In James H. Helton, Jr. v. State of Indiana, No. 20A04-0710-PC-589, the appellate court reversed the denial of James Helton's petition for post-conviction relief, ruling his trial counsel was ineffective as a matter of law because he didn't file a pre-trial motion to suppress evidence obtained at Helton's home pursuant to a search warrant. The Court of Appeals found his trial counsel misunderstood the law applicable to Helton's defense, so he couldn't have given his client competent advice on whether to plead guilty. Helton pleaded guilty to possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver and was sentenced to 45-years in prison.

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  1. What is this, the Ind Supreme Court thinking that there is a separation of powers and limited enumerated powers as delegated by a dusty old document? Such eighteen century thinking, so rare and unwanted by the elites in this modern age. Dictate to us, dictate over us, the massess are chanting! George Soros agrees. Time to change with times Ind Supreme Court, says all President Snows. Rule by executive decree is the new black.

  2. I made the same argument before a commission of the Indiana Supreme Court and then to the fedeal district and federal appellate courts. Fell flat. So very glad to read that some judges still beleive that evidentiary foundations matter.

  3. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  4. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

  5. I will agree with that as soon as law schools stop lying to prospective students about salaries and employment opportunities in the legal profession. There is no defense to the fraudulent numbers first year salaries they post to mislead people into going to law school.

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