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Justices take 5 cases

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The Indiana Supreme Court accepted transfer to five cases last week, including a challenge to the school voucher program.

The justices will hear Teresa Meredith, Dr. Edward E. Eiler, Richard E. Hamilton, Sheila Kennedy, Glenda Ritz, et al. v. Mitch Daniels, in his official capacity as Governor of Indiana, Dr. Tony Bennett, et al., No. 49S00-1203-PL-172, which is the constitutional challenge to the Indiana Choice Scholarship Program. The high court took the case directly from the trial level. A Marion Superior judge ruled the voucher program that allows parents to send their children to private schools, is constitutional.

The justice took Virginia Garwood and Kristin Garwood v. Indiana Department of State Revenue, No. 82S10-1203-TA-171, in which Tax Judge Martha Wentworth ruled against the state department regarding its use of a criminal tax evasion tool – jeopardy tax assessments – to go after Virginia and Kristin Garwood, whom the state alleged were running an illegal puppy mill. Wentworth ruled the state didn’t prove it had enough justification to issue the jeopardy assessments in this situation.

The high court will also hear:

In the Matter of: T.N.; G.N. v. The Indiana Dept. of Child Services and Child Advocates, Inc., No. 49S05-1203-JC-165, in which the Indiana Court of Appeals found that a father’s due process rights were denied because he didn’t receive the opportunity for a fact-finding hearing. The appellate court held that fact-finding and dispositional hearings in a child in need of services case aren’t interchangeable.

Michael Dodd and Katherine Dodd v. American Family Mutual Insurance Company, No. 12S02-1203-CT-170, which deals with material misrepresentations on an application for homeowners’ insurance and whether American Family Mutual could deny the Dodds’ claim after their garage was destroyed by a fire. The appellate court found disputes of material fact and ordered the trial court to take a closer look at whether the insurer rescinded the policy after discovering the misrepresentations.

Jesse J. Harris, Jr. v. State of Indiana, No. 34S02-1203-CR-169, which in a not-for-publication opinion, the Court of Appeals affirmed Harris’ convictions of and sentence for felony murder and two counts of Class A felony attempted murder.

The justices also denied 18 cases for the week ending March 16.

 

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  1. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  2. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  3. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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