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. This is ridiculous. Most JDs not practicing law don't know squat to justify calling themselves a lawyer. Maybe they should try visiting the inside of a courtroom before they go around calling themselves lawyers. This kind of promotional BS just increases the volume of people with JDs that are underqualified thereby dragging all the rest of us down likewise.

  2. I think it is safe to say that those Hoosier's with the most confidence in the Indiana judicial system are those Hoosier's who have never had the displeasure of dealing with the Hoosier court system.

  3. I have an open CHINS case I failed a urine screen I have since got clean completed IOP classes now in after care passed home inspection my x sister in law has my children I still don't even have unsupervised when I have been clean for over 4 months my x sister wants to keep the lids for good n has my case working with her I just discovered n have proof that at one of my hearing dcs case worker stated in court to the judge that a screen was dirty which caused me not to have unsupervised this was at the beginning two weeks after my initial screen I thought the weed could have still been in my system was upset because they were suppose to check levels n see if it was going down since this was only a few weeks after initial instead they said dirty I recently requested all of my screens from redwood because I take prescriptions that will show up n I was having my doctor look at levels to verify that matched what I was prescripted because dcs case worker accused me of abuseing when I got my screens I found out that screen I took that dcs case worker stated in court to judge that caused me to not get granted unsupervised was actually negative what can I do about this this is a serious issue saying a parent failed a screen in court to judge when they didn't please advise

  4. I have a degree at law, recent MS in regulatory studies. Licensed in KS, admitted b4 S& 7th circuit, but not to Indiana bar due to political correctness. Blacklisted, nearly unemployable due to hostile state action. Big Idea: Headwinds can overcome, esp for those not within the contours of the bell curve, the Lego Movie happiness set forth above. That said, even without the blacklisting for holding ideas unacceptable to the Glorious State, I think the idea presented above that a law degree open many vistas other than being a galley slave to elitist lawyers is pretty much laughable. (Did the law professors of Indiana pay for this to be published?)

  5. Joe, you might want to do some reading on the fate of Hoosier whistleblowers before you get your expectations raised up.