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Judges reinstate battery charges against drunken casino patron

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The Indiana Court of Appeals found a Switzerland Circuit Court had no grounds to dismiss the information against a man charged with misdemeanor battery after jabbing the shoulder of a pit boss at Belterra Casino.

Daniel Riley went to the casino in December 2011 to play blackjack at a specific seat. When he saw that seat was reserved, he got angry with pit boss Peggy Warfield after she refused to let him play, jabbing her in the shoulder. Security called Indiana Gaming Agent Audrey Smoot to take a complaint that Riley wanted to file. He then decided not to file charges, but Warfield wanted to press charges, so Smoot watched surveillance video of the incident.

She decided battery charges should be filed and Riley should be ejected. Because Riley was too intoxicated to leave and had a hotel room, she let him stay to sober up. When the state charged Riley with battery, Smoot was the affiant for the information, which was signed by the prosecutor. Riley sought to dismiss the charges, which Switzerland Circuit Judge W. Gregory Coy granted without prejudice.

“While there may be several possible grounds for dismissal of an information, we can find no support for the proposition that Smoot acting as affiant would be one of them. Nor has any other basis been alleged,” Chief Judge Margret Robb wrote. “While it may be more common to have a law enforcement officer or prosecutor affirm the information, it is not required by the plain language of the statute, nor by any case law that we can find or that the parties cite.”

As such, the trial court abused its discretion in granting the dismissal in State of Indiana v. Daniel E. Riley, 78A05-1206-CR-311.


 

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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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