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High court takes 4 cases

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The Indiana Supreme Court accepted four cases on transfer last week, including a case in which they released an opinion on the day they granted transfer.

On Feb. 24, the justices took D.C. v. State of Indiana, No. 49S02-1102-JV-116; State of Indiana v. Amanda Renzulli, No. 32S04-1102-CR-117; Sarah Haag, et al. v. Mark Castro, et al., No. 29S04-1102-CT-118, and Jason D. Miller v. State of Indiana, No. 08S02-1102-CR-108, in which justices released a three-page opinion ordering Jason Miller to be re-sentenced.

In D.C., the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the order committing D.C. to the Department of Correction for 24 months after he pleaded guilty to what would be Class A felony burglary if committed by an adult. He also was ordered by the trial court to an indeterminate commitment to the DOC until he turned 21.

The judges addressed the interplay between sections 6 and 10 of Indiana Code 31-37-19 governing juvenile commitment for the first time and found when the sections are applied separately, they produce opposite results regarding the purpose of the statutes. Section 6 says except as provided in Section 10, the court awards wardship of a juvenile to the DOC and the DOC determines the placement and duration of placement. Section 10 applies to D.C. because he was at least age 14 when he committed Class A felony burglary and has prior unrelated adjudications. Section 10 says the court can’t place a child in a facility for more than 2 years.

Judge Margret Robb noted in the opinion that Section 10 is clearly aimed at the most serious juvenile offenders, yet it’s possible that someone who offends under Section 6 may be placed in a facility for a time longer than the 2 years ordered under Section 10.  

In Renzulli, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s suppression of evidence obtained after police stopped the car Renzulli was driving. There were three separate opinions: Judge Patricia Riley wrote for the majority, Judge Paul Mathias concurred in result in a separate opinion, and Judge Cale Bradford dissented.

The majority opinion found that granting Renzulli’s motion to suppress wasn’t contrary to law. It pointed to the lack of evidence introduced by the state that officers corroborated that Renzulli’s car was the same vehicle in a 911 call reporting a possible drunk driver. Judge Mathias believed the state forfeited its appeal because it didn’t file its notice of appeal within 30 days after the order granting Renzulli’s motion to suppress.

Judge Bradford believed the trial court erroneously granted the motion to suppress all evidence from the investigatory stop of the car and that the state timely filed its appeal.

In Haag, the Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment in favor of an insurance company, finding a soccer team’s accident while traveling to an activity outside of the trip’s purpose wasn’t covered.

The judges disagreed about what constituted “used in the business of,” and Judge Patricia Riley dissented on the majority’s holding that coach Mark Castro wasn’t using the rented van “in the business of” the Indiana Youth Soccer Association when he took the team to a white water rafting activity unrelated to an out-of-state soccer tournament the team received permission to attend. She wrote that by issuing the permit to travel, the IYSA implicitly and without any limitations assured that the team members were insured during the duration of the trip.
 

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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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