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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. Well, maybe it's because they are unelected, and, they have a tendency to strike down laws by elected officials from all over the country. When you have been taught that "Democracy" is something almost sacred, then, you will have a tendency to frown on such imperious conduct. Lawyers get acculturated in law school into thinking that this is the very essence of high minded government, but to people who are more heavily than King George ever did, they may not like it. Thanks for the information.

  2. I pd for a bankruptcy years ago with Mr Stiles and just this week received a garnishment from my pay! He never filed it even though he told me he would! Don't let this guy practice law ever again!!!

  3. Excellent initiative on the part of the AG. Thankfully someone takes action against predators taking advantage of people who have already been through the wringer. Well done!

  4. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

  5. Pass Legislation to require guilty defendants to pay for the costs of lab work, etc as part of court costs...

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