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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. Indiana's seatbelt law is not punishable as a crime. It is an infraction. Apparently some of our Circuit judges have deemed settled law inapplicable if it fails to fit their litmus test of political correctness. Extrapolating to redefine terms of behavior in a violation of immigration law to the entire body of criminal law leaves a smorgasbord of opportunity for judicial mischief.

  2. I wonder if $10 diversions for failure to wear seat belts are considered moral turpitude in federal immigration law like they are under Indiana law? Anyone know?

  3. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

  4. Justice has finally been served. So glad that Dr. Ley can finally sleep peacefully at night knowing the truth has finally come to the surface.

  5. While this right is guaranteed by our Constitution, it has in recent years been hampered by insurance companies, i.e.; the practice of the plaintiff's own insurance company intervening in an action and filing a lien against any proceeds paid to their insured. In essence, causing an additional financial hurdle for a plaintiff to overcome at trial in terms of overall award. In a very real sense an injured party in exercise of their right to trial by jury may be the only party in a cause that would end up with zero compensation.

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