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High court grants 6 transfers

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The Indiana Supreme Court granted transfer to six cases April 9, including one involving an election dispute for the mayor of Terre Haute, termination of parental rights cases, and a case involving an injury on school property.

Kevin D. Burke v. Duke Bennett, No. 84A01-0801-CV-2 - A divided appellate court reversed a ruling that held mayoral candidate Duke Bennett could take office as mayor despite the applicability of the federal law questioning his eligibility. The Court of Appeals found Bennett, who was an "officer or employee" at Hamilton Center, which receives federal funding for an educational program, was subject to the Little Hatch Act and ordered a special election. That meant Bennett was disqualified for running in a partisan election for mayor.

Termination of parent-child relationship of M.B. and S. B., No. 34A02-0805-JV-437 - The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the order denying M.B. and S.B.'s mother's motion to set aside its order for the voluntary termination of her parental rights. The addendum to the mother's voluntary consent to termination form is void and unenforceable as a matter of law. The trial court also properly denied her Ind. Trial Rule 60(B) motion to set aside judgment. The Court of Appeals affirmed its ruling in a Jan. 9, 2009, rehearing.

Gary Community School Corporation v. Lolita Roach-Walker and Victor Walker, No. 45A05-0805-CV-275 - The appellate court affirmed the jury verdict in favor of Lolita Roach-Walker in her complaint for damages arising from a slip and fall on the school corporation's property. The issue in the case was whether the school corporation had time and opportunity to treat or remove the ice from the middle school's sidewalk. The school corporation failed to prove the condition of the sidewalk was temporary, which would grant it immunity under the Indiana Tort Claims Act.

In re: Termination of parent-child relationship of J.M., No. 02A05-0807-JV-416 - The appellate court reversed the trial court denial of the Allen County Office of Family and Children's petition to terminate the parental rights of J.M.'s mother and father. Given the evidence presented, including guardian ad litem testimony that termination would be in J.M.'s best interest, the trial court erred in denying the petition for termination. The case was remanded with instructions to enter an order terminating the parental rights of the mother and father.

Ezra Bradshaw v. Gary Chandler and Affirmative Insurance Co., No. 49A05-0806-CV-363 - The Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment in favor of Affirmative Insurance Co., Bradshaw's insurer, disposing of his claim for uninsured motorist benefits. The trial court properly found Bradshaw's claim was time-barred because it was filed more than two years after the date of the accident and that neither the discovery rule nor Indiana Trial Rule 15(C) controls the policy's limitation period.

In re: The marriage of Suzanne Hebert Hamilton v. Richard Wayne Hamilton, No. 82A01-0804-CV-151 - The appellate court affirmed a trial court finding Richard Hamilton wasn't in contempt for failing to pay child support as ordered by a Florida trial court. It held the trial court's decision to enforce the Florida child support obligation for less than the amount ordered by the Florida court wasn't an impermissible modification under the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act. The record also showed Richard complied with the Indiana trial court's order.

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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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