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Justices take 6 cases

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The Indiana Supreme Court has granted transfer to six cases and declined to take 22 others.

In State of Indiana v. Andy J. Velasquez II, No. 53S05-1105-CR-280, the state appealed following the acquittal of Andy Velasquez for Class A felony and Class C felony child molesting of his stepdaughter. The state argued, among other issues, that the trial court abused its discretion by concluding the testimony of clinical social worker Judy Kline, psychologist Dr. Jennifer Spencer, and victim G.S.’s grandmother constituted vouching testimony.

The Indiana Court of Appeals found the trial court erred in excluding their testimonies, but double jeopardy grounds barred a second trial since Velasquez had been acquitted.

In Keith M. Ramsey, M.D. v. Shella Moore, et al., No. 45S05-1105-CT-281, the Court of Appeals affirmed the denial of Methodist Hospital’s motion to dismiss Shella Moore’s proposed medical malpractice claim, but reversed the denial of Dr. Keith Ramsey’s motion to dismiss Moore’s medical malpractice complaint against him. The appellate court was split as to whether the trial court’s disposition in this case was final.

In Indiana Department of Insurance, et al. v. Robin Everhart, No. 84S01-1105-CV-282, the Court of Appeals reversed the judgment in favor of Robin Everhart on her claim against the Indiana Patient’s Compensation Fund. The judges held it isn’t consistent with Supreme Court precedent to hold the fund liable for more than the increased risk of harm that the doctor caused. Several months later, the appellate court split in denying a rehearing on the matter.

Judge Margret Robb wanted to grant the rehearing and believed the appellate court shouldn’t have applied Restatement (Second) of Torts Section 323 in the original opinion. Section 323 outlines that one is liable for harm to another if the failure to exercise reasonable care increases the risk of such harm. It allows the plaintiff to avoid summary judgment on the issue of proximate cause even when there was a less than 50 percent chance of recovery absent the negligence.

In LaPorte Community School Corp., et al. v. Maria Rosales, No. 46S04-1105-CT-284, the appellate court held the trial court didn’t abuse its discretion by admitting deposition testimony from an expert regarding school safety and school emergency plans. The judges also found the trial court properly denied the school’s motion for judgment on the evidence as to negligence and properly granted Maria Rosales’ motion for judgment on the evidence as to contributory negligence. They also concluded the jury wasn’t properly instructed regarding negligence and that was a reversible error. The matter was remanded for a new trial. Judge Terry Crone concurred in part and dissented in part.

In D.R. v. Review Board, No. 93S02-1105-EX-285, the Court of Appeals released a not-for-publication opinion affirming the decision by the Review Board of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development denying D.R.’s unemployment benefits. D.R. claimed the record didn’t support the board’s decision to deny her full unemployment benefits.

In Antoine D. Hill v. State of Indiana, No. 45S03-1105-PC-283, the COA reversed the denial of Antoine Hill’s petition for post-conviction relief in an NFP decision. They concluded Hill’s post-conviction attorney abandoned him on appeal, so he was denied the fair setting for post-conviction relief contemplated by Baum v. State, 533 N.E.2d 1200 (Ind. 1989). They remanded with instructions to grant his petition.  

In addition to denying transfer to 22 cases, the justices vacated an order granting transfer to Tonya M. Peete v. State of Indiana, No. 49S05-1104-CR-201; and dismissed Dan Cristiani Excavating Co. Inc v. Jeremy & Kerri Money, No. 10A05-1002-CT-114.

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  1. It really doesn't matter what the law IS, if law enforcement refuses to take reports (or take them seriously), if courts refuse to allow unrepresented parties to speak (especially in Small Claims, which is supposedly "informal"). It doesn't matter what the law IS, if constituents are unable to make effective contact or receive any meaningful response from their representatives. Two of our pets were unnecessarily killed; court records reflect that I "abandoned" them. Not so; when I was denied one of them (and my possessions, which by court order I was supposed to be able to remove), I went directly to the court. And earlier, when I tried to have the DV PO extended (it expired while the subject was on probation for violating it), the court denied any extension. The result? Same problems, less than eight hours after expiration. Ironic that the county sheriff was charged (and later pleaded to) with intimidation, but none of his officers seemed interested or capable of taking such a report from a private citizen. When I learned from one officer what I needed to do, I forwarded audio and transcript of one occurrence and my call to law enforcement (before the statute of limitations expired) to the prosecutor's office. I didn't even receive an acknowledgement. Earlier, I'd gone in to the prosecutor's office and been told that the officer's (written) report didn't match what I said occurred. Since I had the audio, I can only say that I have very little faith in Indiana government or law enforcement.

  2. One can only wonder whether Mr. Kimmel was paid for his work by Mr. Burgh ... or whether that bill fell to the citizens of Indiana, many of whom cannot afford attorneys for important matters. It really doesn't take a judge(s) to know that "pavement" can be considered a deadly weapon. It only takes a brain and some education or thought. I'm glad to see the conviction was upheld although sorry to see that the asphalt could even be considered "an issue".

  3. In response to bryanjbrown: thank you for your comment. I am familiar with Paul Ogden (and applaud his assistance to Shirley Justice) and have read of Gary Welsh's (strange) death (and have visited his blog on many occasions). I am not familiar with you (yet). I lived in Kosciusko county, where the sheriff was just removed after pleading in what seems a very "sweetheart" deal. Unfortunately, something NEEDS to change since the attorneys won't (en masse) stand up for ethics (rather making a show to please the "rules" and apparently the judges). I read that many attorneys are underemployed. Seems wisdom would be to cull the herd and get rid of the rotting apples in practice and on the bench, for everyone's sake as well as justice. I'd like to file an attorney complaint, but I have little faith in anything (other than the most flagrant and obvious) resulting in action. My own belief is that if this was medicine, there'd be maimed and injured all over and the carnage caused by "the profession" would be difficult to hide. One can dream ... meanwhile, back to figuring out to file a pro se "motion to dismiss" as well as another court required paper that Indiana is so fond of providing NO resources for (unlike many other states, who don't automatically assume that citizens involved in the court process are scumbags) so that maybe I can get the family law attorney - whose work left me with no settlement, no possessions and resulted in the death of two pets (etc ad nauseum) - to stop abusing the proceedings supplemental and small claims rules and using it as a vehicle for harassment and apparently, amusement.

  4. Been on social security sense sept 2011 2massive strokes open heart surgery and serious ovarian cancer and a blood clot in my lung all in 14 months. Got a letter in may saying that i didn't qualify and it was in form like i just applied ,called social security she said it don't make sense and you are still geting a check in june and i did ,now i get a check from my part D asking for payment for july because there will be no money for my membership, call my prescription coverage part D and confirmed no check will be there.went to social security they didn't want to answer whats going on just said i should of never been on it .no one knows where this letter came from was California im in virginia and been here sense my strokes and vcu filed for my disability i was in the hospital when they did it .It's like it was a error . My ,mothers social security was being handled in that office in California my sister was dealing with it and it had my social security number because she died last year and this letter came out of the same office and it came at the same time i got the letter for my mother benefits for death and they had the same date of being typed just one was on the mail Saturday and one on Monday. . I think it's a mistake and it should been fixed instead there just getting rid of me .i never got a formal letter saying when i was being tsken off.

  5. Employers should not have racially discriminating mind set. It has huge impact on the society what the big players do or don't do in the industry. Background check is conducted just to verify whether information provided by the prospective employee is correct or not. It doesn't have any direct combination with the rejection of the employees. If there is rejection, there should be something effective and full-proof things on the table that may keep the company or the people associated with it in jeopardy.

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