Opinions Aug. 4, 2016

August 4, 2016
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Glenn Patrick Bradford v. Richard Brown, superintendent
Appeal from U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Terre Haute Division. Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson.
Civil. Denies Glenn Bradford’s request for a new trial on 1992 murder and arson charges. Bradford had his chance and failed to present reliable evidence that would establish his innocence of the arson and murder. Judge Hamilton dissents with separate opinion, believing the court should order a new trial to test all the relevant evidence.

Opinions Aug. 3, 2016

August 3, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Lynn K.C. Sines v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms denial of Sines’ motion to modify his 10-year sentence.

Opinions Aug. 2, 2016

August 2, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
State of Indiana v. Wallace Irvin Smith, III
Criminal. Affirms grant of Smith’s petition for alternative misdemeanor sentencing. Indiana Code 35-50-2-7(d) (2014) permits the trial court to modify his sentence and the language in Smith’s plea agreement did not preclude it.

Opinions July 29, 2016

July 29, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
William H. Ellis, Sr. v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Reverses denial of petition for credit time not previously awarded by the Department of Correction. The court denied Ellis’ petition without considering whether he had exhausted his administrative remedies. Remands for the post-conviction court to determine this, and if so, to address his petition on the merits.

Opinions July 28, 2016

July 28, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Anthony J. Wampler v. State of Indiana

Criminal. Affirms 33-year sentence for two counts of Class B felony burglary and Wampler’s status as a habitual offender. Acknowledges Wampler’s mental health problems, but he has not taken medication from 1995 until this case. Also finds sentence be appropriate given the long-term stalking Wampler has done of the victim and his criminal history. Judge Mathias dissents with opinion.

Opinions July 27, 2016

July 27, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Lisa R. Harris v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Reverses denial of Harris’ motion to suppress evidence obtained from a consent search during a seat belt enforcement stop, which led to a Level 6 felony possession of methamphetamine charge. The officer lacked an independent basis of reasonable suspicion justifying inquiry above and beyond the seat belt violation. Remands for further proceedings Judge Najam dissents with opinion.

Opinions July 26, 2016

July 26, 2016
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Mikeal G. Cole Jr. v. Carolyn W. Colvin, acting commissioner of Social Security
Appeal from U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Fort Wayne Division. Judge Robert L. Miller Jr.
Civil. Reverses denial of Cole’s application for disability benefits and remands to the Social Security Administration for reconsideration. The administrative law judge’s decision was unreasoned and should not have been affirmed, as it appears she cherry picked the medical record, which is improper.

Opinions July 25, 2016

July 25, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Darrell Birge and Sandra Birge v. Town of Linden, Indiana
Civil plenary. Reverses trial court dismissal of the Birges’ nuisance and civil conspiracy suit against the town of Linden for damage to their farm property caused after an independent contractor modified an existing drainage system for municipal purposes. The trial court erred in concluding it was clear on the face of the evidence that the town’s discretionary function immunity applied, that the Birges were barred from seeking damages for inverse condemnation, and that the Birges failed to allege facts supporting a civil conspiracy. Remands for further proceedings.

Opinions July 22, 2016

July 22, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Santiago Valdez v. State of Indiana

Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B felony attempted rape and Class C felony criminal confinement. While a prosecutor’s hint during closing arguments that defense counsel improperly influenced an expert witness constituted prosecutorial misconduct, the trial court’s prompt admonishment prevented Valdez from being placed into grave peril. The trial court made no evidentiary errors. Admonishes Delaware County deputy prosecutor Eric Hoffman regarding ‘wild, baseless accusations of misconduct’ hurled at defense counsel.

Opinions July 21, 2016

July 21, 2016
Indiana Supreme Court
In the Matter of: Joseph C. Lehman
Discipline. Disbars Lehman for unauthorized practice of law while suspended. Previous sanctions have not deterred him from continuing to engage in the practice of law in defiance of his suspension order, and his repeated violations have exposed the public to the danger of attorney misconduct by him.

Opinions July 20, 2016

July 20, 2016
Indiana Supreme Court
In the Matter of: Timothy S. Durham
Discipline. Disbars Tim Durham following his conviction on 12 felony counts for securities and wire fraud, 10 of which were upheld on appeal. Finds he violated two Rules of Professional Conduct for “fraudulent looting of funds entrusted to him by investors.”

Opinions July 19, 2016

July 19, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Jonathan Gibson v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Opinions July 18, 2016

July 18, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Pinnacle Properties Development Group, LLC v. Sarah Oliver (mem. dec.)
Small claim. Affirms judgment in favor of Oliver on Pinnacle Properties’ small claim action seeking as damages unpaid rent and an unpaid utility bill, as well as possession of Oliver’s apartment.

Opinions July 15, 2016

July 15, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Larenz Jordan v. State of Indiana

Criminal. Affirms Jordan’s convictions of 12 counts of rape and one count of conspiracy to commit rape, as Level 1 felonies; one count of Level 4 felony burglary, and one count of Level 5 felony robbery. The juvenile court, in waiving him to adult court, did not abuse its discretion as there was no error associated with the judge’s use of the phrase “criminal thinking” without reference to evidence-based measures of criminogenic behavior, where here, the elements of the waiver statute are other properly addressed and supported. Concludes his 40-year aggregate sentence is appropriate.

Opinions July 14, 2016

July 14, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Fireman's Fund Insurance Company v. Matthew W. Ackerman and American Casualty Co.
Civil tort. Reverses denial of the Fireman’s Fund’s motion for summary judgment regarding Ackerman’s claim for underinsured motorist coverage. Given Indiana Code 27-7-5-1.5(b), Fireman’s Fund was not required to provide UM/UIM coverage in the 2008 Evansville Marine policy. Fireman’s Fund was entitled to judgment as a matter of law and there were no genuine issues of material fact. Remands for further proceedings.

Opinions July 13, 2016

July 13, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Noe Escamilla v. Shiel Sexton Company, Inc. (dissent on rehearing) 54A01-1506-CT-602 Civil tort. Denies Escamilla’s petition for rehearing. Judge Baker dissents with opinion, writing that knowledge of a party’s immigration status alone sheds no meaningful light on the question of whether that party will one day face deportation.

Opinions July 12, 2016

July 12, 2016
Indiana Supreme Court
Victor Roar v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms Victor Roar’s Class A misdemeanor intimidation conviction. Grants transfer and incorporates by reference the portion of the Court of Appeals opinion on sufficiency of the evidence and affirms the trial court. Summarily affirms the COA opinion addressing the admission of other evidence.

Opinions July 11, 2016

July 11, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Shawn M. Sobolewski v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class A felony aiding, inducing or causing burglary and Class B felony aiding, inducing or causing robbery.

Opinions July 8, 2016

July 8, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Brad L. Sullivan v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Reverses revocation of Sullivan’s community corrections placement. Based on the totality of the circumstances, including the nature of the violation – Sullivan’s commitment for mental health issues, and the sanction, an order he serve the sentence in the DOC – the trial court abused its discretion in finding his violation warranted revoking his community corrections placement. Remands for placement in community corrections.

Opinions July 7, 2016

July 7, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
In the Matter of the Term. of the Parent-Child Relationship of: K.B., Minor Child, and L.B., Father v. The Ind. Dept. of Child Services (mem. dec.)
Juvenile. Affirms involuntary termination of father’s parental rights.

Opinions July 6, 2016

July 6, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
James E. Rogers v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Reverses the denial of Rogers’ motion to compel a woman who provided social services support to Rogers’ minor victim and her family to answer four questions during a deposition.

Opinions July 5, 2016

July 5, 2016
Indiana Supreme Court
State of Indiana, Acting on Behalf of the Indiana Family & Social Services Administration
Original action. Concludes that the state is entitled to a change of judge. Removes Marion Superior Judge David Dreyer and orders the trial court to grant the change of judge motion. Vacates all orders Dreyer issued in the case on or after May 6, 2016, the date the Supreme Court’s order was certified, and prohibits Dreyer from exercising further jurisdiction except to effectuate the change of judge.

Opinions July 1, 2016

July 1, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Richard J. McVey v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms in part and reverses in part denial of McVey’s petitions to be removed from the lifetime sex-offender registry and to be exempted from the unlawful-entry statute. Finds the lifetime-registration requirement for sex offenders violates the Indiana Constitution’s prohibition against ex post facto laws as applied McVey, who was convicted of molesting his half-sister between 1998 and 2001. Holds the unlawful-entry statute, which makes it a crime for a person who is required to register as a sex offender and who is convicted of child molesting to enter school property, is not an ex post facto law as applied to him.

Opinions June 30, 2016

June 30, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Keyaunna Hurley v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Rules Keyaunna Hurley’s inability to give a sufficient sample on a chemical breath test after she was suspected of driving under the influence was a refusal to take the test under section 2-4-2(b)(5) of Title 260 of the Indiana Administrative Code and the evidence was sufficient to sustain the refusal determination.

Opinions June 29, 2016

June 29, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Anonymous M.D. and Anonymous Hospital v. Kenneth Lockridge, on behalf of Lily Lockridge, Rose Lockridge, and Kenneth Lockridge, Jr., Minors
Civil tort. Affirms ruling that a medical malpractice suit filed by minor children Lily, Rose and Kenneth Lockridge Jr. can proceed due to an exception in the Medical Malpractice Act, and the Act includes derivative lawsuits because the General Assembly did not exclude them when it drafted the legislation.
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  1. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  2. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  3. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.

  4. rensselaer imdiana is doing same thing to children from the judge to attorney and dfs staff they need to be investigated as well

  5. Sex offenders are victims twice, once when they are molested as kids, and again when they repeat the behavior, you never see money spent on helping them do you. That's why this circle continues