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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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  1. I grew up on a farm and live in the county and it's interesting that the big industrial farmers like Jeff Shoaf don't live next to their industrial operations...

  2. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  3. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  4. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  5. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

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