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Justices take 3 cases

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The Indiana Supreme Court has granted transfer to three cases, including one of first impression involving Indiana’s victim-advocate privilege.

In the case In Re Subpoena to Crisis Connection Inc., State of Indiana v. Ronald Keith Fromme, No. 19S05-1012-CR-678, the Indiana Court of Appeals explored the scope of Indiana’s victim-advocate privilege and declined to hold the privilege is absolute. The judges decided a three-step test should be applied to determine whether information is discoverable in a criminal case. They believed it provided a useful framework for balancing a victim’s privacy with a defendant’s constitutional rights.

Crisis Connection, a group that works with domestic violence and sexual assault victims, didn’t believe it should have to turn over records to the court for an in camera review in Ronald Keith Fromme’s criminal case. He was charged with felony child molesting and sought all records relating to his two alleged victims and their mothers.

The Court of Appeals upheld their decision on rehearing, holding that their earlier opinion allowing the in camera review of Crisis Connection’s documents doesn’t send the message that it’s “open season” on the records of victim services providers.

The justices took J.M. v. M.A., et al., No. 20S04-1012-CV-676, in which the Court of Appeals ordered the trial court to vacate its order adjudicating J.M. as the legal father of W.H. and ordering him to pay child support. Because the state conceded that J.M. isn’t W.H.’s biological father, the judges ordered the trial court to set aside the paternity affidavit.

The Supreme Court also accepted Joshua Konopasek v. State of Indiana, No. 25S03-1012-CR-669. The Court of Appeals affirmed Konopasek’s Class C felony conviction of battery causing serious bodily injury. The judges ruled that while evidence about his criminal record shouldn’t have been admitted, any error was harmless, and the state’s evidence was sufficient to prove battery and disprove Konopasek’s claim of self defense.

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  1. The sad thing is that no fish were thrown overboard The "greenhorn" who had never fished before those 5 days was interrogated for over 4 hours by 5 officers until his statement was illicited, "I don't want to go to prison....." The truth is that these fish were measured frozen off shore and thawed on shore. The FWC (state) officer did not know fish shrink, so the only reason that these fish could be bigger was a swap. There is no difference between a 19 1/2 fish or 19 3/4 fish, short fish is short fish, the ticket was written. In addition the FWC officer testified at trial, he does not measure fish in accordance with federal law. There was a document prepared by the FWC expert that said yes, fish shrink and if these had been measured correctly they averaged over 20 inches (offshore frozen). This was a smoke and mirror prosecution.

  2. I love this, Dave! Many congrats to you! We've come a long way from studying for the bar together! :)

  3. This outbreak illustrates the absurdity of the extreme positions taken by today's liberalism, specifically individualism and the modern cult of endless personal "freedom." Ebola reminds us that at some point the person's own "freedom" to do this and that comes into contact with the needs of the common good and "freedom" must be curtailed. This is not rocket science, except, today there is nonstop propaganda elevating individual preferences over the common good, so some pundits have a hard time fathoming the obvious necessity of quarantine in some situations....or even NATIONAL BORDERS...propagandists have also amazingly used this as another chance to accuse Western nations of "racism" which is preposterous and offensive. So one the one hand the idolatry of individualism has to stop and on the other hand facts people don't like that intersect with race-- remain facts nonetheless. People who respond to facts over propaganda do better in the long run. We call it Truth. Sometimes it seems hard to find.

  4. It would be hard not to feel the Kramers' anguish. But Catholic Charities, by definition, performed due diligence and held to the statutory standard of care. No good can come from punishing them for doing their duty. Should Indiana wish to change its laws regarding adoption agreements and or putative fathers, the place for that is the legislature and can only apply to future cases. We do not apply new laws to past actions, as the Kramers seem intent on doing, to no helpful end.

  5. I am saddened to hear about the loss of Zeff Weiss. He was an outstanding member of the Indianapolis legal community. My thoughts are with his family.

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