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Justices accept 2 appeals and deny 24 cases

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The Indiana Supreme Court has accepted two cases, one involving a tax revenue assessment dispute and a second asking how trial judges decide on restraining defendants who disrupt courtroom proceedings.

A transfer list shows the justices considered a total of 26 transfer petitions and granted transfer in two cases – Rent-A-Center East, Inc. v. Indiana Department of State Revenue, No. 49S10-1112-TA-683, and Kenneth Dwayne Vaughn v. State of Indiana, No. 49S05-112-CR-684.

In Rent-A-Center, the Court of Appeals in May denied the revenue department’s motion for summary judgment and granted one in favor of RAC East. The department failed to designate any facts to show it complied with Indiana Code 6-3-2-2(p), so it hadn’t made a prima facie case that it is entitled to judgment as a matter of law regarding whether the department should consider alternatives to assessing tax based on a combined return. The appellate panel remanded the case to the revenue department, but now the state justices will consider the appeal.

In Vaughn, the intermediate appellate court reversed a Lake County trial judge’s refusal to grant a mistrial for a defendant who claimed the court went too far in physically restraining and preventing him from speaking at his trial. The court used caselaw from the 1980s when making its 2-1 decision concerning how far courts can go in restraining defendants who disturb the court proceedings. In this case, the majority found Lake Superior Judge Thomas Stefaniak Jr. went too far and overreacted in allowing the bailiff to put his hand over Vaughn’s mouth and handcuff him. Judge Ezra Friedlander had dissented, finding the trial judge’s actions were appropriate given the circumstances.

The justices denied 24 petitions in other cases, including In the Matter of the Trust of Harrison Eiteljorg, No. 49A02-1005-TR-495, which involved the two sons of the late Harrison Eiteljorg, founder of the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art in downtown Indianapolis. The appellate court found the brothers breached their duties as trustees on an estate matter, and the ruling issued guidance concerning how long a trustee should wait before turning to a probate court for guidance on distributing money to beneficiaries who dispute the monetary amounts they might receive.

 

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  1. It was mentioned in the article that there have been numerous CLE events to train attorneys on e-filing. I would like someone to provide a list of those events, because I have not seen any such events in east central Indiana, and since Hamilton County is one of the counties where e-filing is mandatory, one would expect some instruction in this area. Come on, people, give some instruction, not just applause!

  2. This law is troubling in two respects: First, why wasn't the law reviewed "with the intention of getting all the facts surrounding the legislation and its actual impact on the marketplace" BEFORE it was passed and signed? Seems a bit backwards to me (even acknowledging that this is the Indiana state legislature we're talking about. Second, what is it with the laws in this state that seem to create artificial monopolies in various industries? Besides this one, the other law that comes to mind is the legislation that governed the granting of licenses to firms that wanted to set up craft distilleries. The licensing was limited to only those entities that were already in the craft beer brewing business. Republicans in this state talk a big game when it comes to being "business friendly". They're friendly alright . . . to certain businesses.

  3. Gretchen, Asia, Roberto, Tonia, Shannon, Cheri, Nicholas, Sondra, Carey, Laura ... my heart breaks for you, reaching out in a forum in which you are ignored by a professional suffering through both compassion fatigue and the love of filthy lucre. Most if not all of you seek a warm blooded Hoosier attorney unafraid to take on the government and plead that government officials have acted unconstitutionally to try to save a family and/or rescue children in need and/or press individual rights against the Leviathan state. I know an attorney from Kansas who has taken such cases across the country, arguing before half of the federal courts of appeal and presenting cases to the US S.Ct. numerous times seeking cert. Unfortunately, due to his zeal for the constitutional rights of peasants and willingness to confront powerful government bureaucrats seemingly violating the same ... he was denied character and fitness certification to join the Indiana bar, even after he was cleared to sit for, and passed, both the bar exam and ethics exam. And was even admitted to the Indiana federal bar! NOW KNOW THIS .... you will face headwinds and difficulties in locating a zealously motivated Hoosier attorney to face off against powerful government agents who violate the constitution, for those who do so tend to end up as marginalized as Paul Odgen, who was driven from the profession. So beware, many are mere expensive lapdogs, the kind of breed who will gladly take a large retainer, but then fail to press against the status quo and powers that be when told to heel to. It is a common belief among some in Indiana that those attorneys who truly fight the power and rigorously confront corruption often end up, actually or metaphorically, in real life or at least as to their careers, as dead as the late, great Gary Welch. All of that said, I wish you the very best in finding a Hoosier attorney with a fighting spirit to press your rights as far as you can, for you do have rights against government actors, no matter what said actors may tell you otherwise. Attorneys outside the elitist camp are often better fighters that those owing the powers that be for their salaries, corner offices and end of year bonuses. So do not be afraid to retain a green horn or unconnected lawyer, many of them are fine men and woman who are yet untainted by the "unique" Hoosier system.

  4. I am not the John below. He is a journalist and talk show host who knows me through my years working in Kansas government. I did no ask John to post the note below ...

  5. "...not those committed in the heat of an argument." If I ever see a man physically abusing a woman or a child and I'm close enough to intercede I will not ask him why he is abusing her/him. I will give him a split second to cease his attack and put his hands in the air while I call the police. If he continues, I will still call the police but to report, "Man down with a gunshot wound,"instead.

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