ILNews

Opinions April 14, 2011

April 14, 2011
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Indiana Supreme Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Diane Werner v. Gregory Werner

46A03-1008-DR-447
Domestic relation. Affirms order finding it would be in the children’s best interest for their father to be their primary physical custodian and awarding mother parenting time. Diane Werner waived her argument that the court used the wrong standard in determining whether to modify custody because she didn’t object at the custody hearing. The trial court’s findings are sufficient to support its judgment under the “best interests” standard. Judge Kirsch dissents.

Larry T. Bass v. State of Indiana

63A01-1007-CR-340
Criminal. Affirms convictions of and aggregate sentence of seven years with two years suspended for Class C felony child molesting and Class C felony attempted child molesting. Touching a child’s breasts or genitals isn’t required to sustain a child molesting conviction under I.C. Section 35-42-4-3(b). The trial court didn’t err by denying Bass’ motion for a directed verdict and he waived his claim of prosecutorial misconduct. There is no fundamental error on that issue.

Gloria Benefield v. State of Indiana
41A01-1006-PC-310
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief. Her trial counsel’s decision not to object to the testimony regarding Benefield’s knowledge as to whether she was a certified qualified medication aide or to Jury Instruction 6 on the definition of “defraud” wasn't ineffective assistance of trial counsel. Benefield fails to carry her burden to establish that her attorney’s failure to object to the jury instruction created prejudice sufficient to that required for a finding of ineffective assistance of trial counsel.

Warren Parks v. State of Indiana (NFP)
24A01-1007-CR-358
Criminal. Affirms trial court did not abuse its discretion by denying Parks’ request to withdraw his guilty plea after he was sentenced for Class A misdemeanor check deception.

Judith Silverman and Morris Silverman v. Arden Johnson, et al. (NFP)

29A05-1006-PL-443
Civil plenary. Affirms judgment in favor of Johnson, Southern Companies Inc. and Southern Pediatrics LLC on the Silvermans’ complaint alleging, among other things, fraud, securities violations, theft, conspiracy, and breach of fiduciary duty.

Leonard J. Laraway v. Cathy A. (Laraway) Fisher (NFP)
29A05-1007-DR-430
Domestic relation. Vacates trial court order that found Leonard Laraway in arrears for child support and college expenses pursuant to a dissolution settlement agreement and in contempt for failure to make such payments. Remands with instructions to provide more specific findings on this issue or base the determination regarding Laraway’s salary and child support obligation on a signed and verified child support obligation worksheet.

Dennis Meadows v. State of Indiana (NFP)

61A01-1009-CR-483
Criminal. Affirms conviction of two counts of Class B felony burglary and one count of Class C felony burglary.

Paternity of T.B.; C.B. v. C.K. (NFP)
56A04-1008-JP-502
Juvenile. Affirms order which increased father C.K.’s parenting time with T.B. on a set schedule without imposing any restrictions on that parenting time.

Otis Chandler v. State of Indiana (NFP)

71A05-1005-PC-340
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post conviction relief.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.
 

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  1. Where may I find an attorney working Pro Bono? Many issues with divorce, my Disability, distribution of IRA's, property, money's and pressured into agreement by my attorney. Leaving me far less than 5% of all after 15 years of marriage. No money to appeal, disabled living on disability income. Attorney's decision brought forward to judge, no evidence ever to finalize divorce. Just 2 weeks ago. Please help.

  2. For the record no one could answer the equal protection / substantive due process challenge I issued in the first post below. The lawless and accountable only to power bureaucrats never did either. All who interface with the Indiana law examiners or JLAP be warned.

  3. Hi there I really need help with getting my old divorce case back into court - I am still paying support on a 24 year old who has not been in school since age 16 - now living independent. My visitation with my 14 year old has never been modified; however, when convenient for her I can have him... I am paying past balance from over due support, yet earn several thousand dollars less. I would contact my original attorney but he basically molest me multiple times in Indy when I would visit.. Todd Woodmansee - I had just came out and had know idea what to do... I have heard he no longer practices. Please help1

  4. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  5. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

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