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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. 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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