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Inmate's complaint dismissed again

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An inmate's complaint, which led the Indiana Supreme Court to find the Three Strikes Law to be unconstitutional last year, was properly dismissed under the Frivolous Law Claim by the trial court on remand, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.

In Eric D. Smith v. J. David Donahue, et al., No. 46A03-0712-CV-571, Eric Smith had filed a pro se complaint in 2007 alleging the defendants acted maliciously and with deliberate indifference when they handled his personal property. He alleged their acts denied him constitutional rights under the Fourth and 14th amendments, and they committed theft, criminal mischief, and conversion.

The trial court originally dismissed his complaint under the Three Strikes Law, but the Supreme Court held that law was unconstitutional because it violated the Open Courts Clause of the Indiana Constitution. The Court of Appeals remanded Smith's appeal to the trial court to be considered under the Frivolous Claim Law. The trial court deemed it frivolous in September 2008.

Analyzing Indiana Code Sections 34-58-1-1 and -2, the appellate court found Smith's claims to be frivolous, lack an arguable basis in fact and law, and aren't claims upon which relief may be granted, wrote Senior Judge George Hoffman. His complaint didn't allege facts concerning how the defendants acted maliciously and with deliberate intent when they handled his personal property. It didn't allege any facts how the defendants committed any criminal acts. Smith didn't plead the operative facts involved in the litigation, the judge wrote.

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  1. Whether you support "gay marriage" or not is not the issue. The issue is whether the SCOTUS can extract from an unmentionable somewhere the notion that the Constitution forbids government "interference" in the "right" to marry. Just imagine time-traveling to Philadelphia in 1787. Ask James Madison if the document he and his fellows just wrote allowed him- or forbade government to "interfere" with- his "right" to marry George Washington? He would have immediately- and justly- summoned the Sergeant-at-Arms to throw your sorry self out into the street. Far from being a day of liberation, this is a day of capitulation by the Rule of Law to the Rule of What's Happening Now.

  2. With today's ruling, AG Zoeller's arguments in the cases of Obamacare and Same-sex Marriage can be relegated to the ash heap of history. 0-fer

  3. She must be a great lawyer

  4. Ind. Courts - "Illinois ranks 49th for how court system serves disadvantaged" What about Indiana? A story today from Dave Collins of the AP, here published in the Benton Illinois Evening News, begins: Illinois' court system had the third-worst score in the nation among state judiciaries in serving poor, disabled and other disadvantaged members of the public, according to new rankings. Illinois' "Justice Index" score of 34.5 out of 100, determined by the nonprofit National Center for Access to Justice, is based on how states serve people with disabilities and limited English proficiency, how much free legal help is available and how states help increasing numbers of people representing themselves in court, among other issues. Connecticut led all states with a score of 73.4 and was followed by Hawaii, Minnesota, New York and Delaware, respectively. Local courts in Washington, D.C., had the highest overall score at 80.9. At the bottom was Oklahoma at 23.7, followed by Kentucky, Illinois, South Dakota and Indiana. ILB: That puts Indiana at 46th worse. More from the story: Connecticut, Hawaii, Minnesota, Colorado, Tennessee and Maine had perfect 100 scores in serving people with disabilities, while Indiana, Georgia, Wyoming, Missouri and Idaho had the lowest scores. Those rankings were based on issues such as whether interpretation services are offered free to the deaf and hearing-impaired and whether there are laws or rules allowing service animals in courthouses. The index also reviewed how many civil legal aid lawyers were available to provide free legal help. Washington, D.C., had nearly nine civil legal aid lawyers per 10,000 people in poverty, the highest rate in the country. Texas had the lowest rate, 0.43 legal aid lawyers per 10,000 people in poverty. http://indianalawblog.com/archives/2014/11/ind_courts_illi_1.html

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