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Opinions April 18, 2012

April 18, 2012
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals had posted no Indiana opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Supreme Court and Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals

Todd Walters and Matenia Walters v. Aaron Austin and Herman & Goetz, Inc.
20A04-1106-CT-342
Civil tort. Dismisses the Walterses’ appeal of the judgment on a jury verdict in favor of Austin and his employer on the Walterses’ complaint for damages arising from a multi-vehicle accident. The appellate court does not have jurisdiction. Judge Darden dissents.

Alebro, LLC v. Review Board of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development and Jason Scheidell
93A02-1110-EX-970
Agency appeal. Reverses grant of unemployment benefits to terminated employee Scheidell. Holds that if an employee’s explanation for the behavior that led to his termination is another terminable offense, that provides just cause for termination.

In Re the Adoption of K.B.M. and L.B.M.; T.M. v. R.P.F. (NFP)
39A01-1109-AD-423
Adoption. Affirms decision that biological father T.M.’s consent to the adoption by stepfather R.P.F. was not required.

In Re the Paternity of K.S.; J.S. v. M.M. (NFP)
17A03-1109-JP-438
Juvenile. Affirms trial court decision to continue joint legal custody, but reverses modification of primary physical custody to mother. Remands with instructions to enter an order addressing father’s contentions as to mother’s failure to pay costs. Judge Riley concurs in part, dissents in part, and would remand for sole legal custody to be awarded to either mother or father.

Chad Jeremy Orme v. State of Indiana (NFP)
73A01-1105-CR-233
Criminal. Reverses revocation of probation and sentence imposed.

Justin A. Staples v. State of Indiana (NFP)
90A04-1109-CR-490
Criminal. Affirms sentence for Class D felony aiding, inducing or causing theft.

Margaret M. Hammond v. Review Board of the Indiana Dept. of Workforce Development and Porter County Commissioners (NFP)
93A02-1110-EX-956
Agency appeal. Affirms Hammond is ineligible for unemployment benefits.

Dennis Mikel v. State of Indiana (NFP)
52A04-1111-SC-598
Small claim. Affirms the trial court did not err in denying Mikel’s request for appointed counsel or in not conducting a jury trial on his complaint. The trial court erred in entering judgment in favor of the defendants. Reverses and remands for an assessment of damages.

Ramon Crawford v. State of Indiana (NFP)
48A02-1108-CR-728
Criminal. Affirms revocation of probation and imposition of previously suspended portion of sentence.

Jason Myers v. State of Indiana (NFP)
09A02-1105-CR-598
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class C felony battery resulting in serious bodily injury and Class B felony aggravated battery.

Huntington Copper, LLC v. Conner Sawmill, Inc. (NFP)
09A02-1110-PL-917
Civil plenary. Reverses denial of Huntington Copper’s motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction.

Derrick Mays v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1107-CR-669
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class B felony robbery, Class D felony criminal recklessness and Class C felony carrying a handgun without a license.

Ronald Edward Madison, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
71A04-1110-CR-597
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony possession of cocaine.

Brandon Ray Carter v. State of Indiana (NFP)
73A01-1108-CR-379
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C felony battery causing serious bodily injury.

Jason A. Reber v. State of Indiana (NFP)
64A04-1107-CR-408
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class A misdemeanor domestic battery and Class A misdemeanor interference with reporting a crime.

Michael Jackson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
71A05-1112-CR-669
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony theft.
 

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  1. Applause, applause, applause ..... but, is this duty to serve the constitutional order not much more incumbent upon the State, whose only aim is to be pure and unadulterated justice, than defense counsel, who is also charged with gaining a result for a client? I agree both are responsible, but it seems to me that the government attorneys bear a burden much heavier than defense counsel .... "“I note, much as we did in Mechling v. State, 16 N.E.3d 1015 (Ind. Ct. App. 2014), trans. denied, that the attorneys representing the State and the defendant are both officers of the court and have a responsibility to correct any obvious errors at the time they are committed."

  2. Do I have to hire an attorney to get co-guardianship of my brother? My father has guardianship and my older sister was his co-guardian until this Dec 2014 when she passed and my father was me to go on as the co-guardian, but funds are limit and we need to get this process taken care of quickly as our fathers health isn't the greatest. So please advise me if there is anyway to do this our self or if it requires a lawyer? Thank you

  3. I have been on this program while on parole from 2011-2013. No person should be forced mentally to share private details of their personal life with total strangers. Also giving permission for a mental therapist to report to your parole agent that your not participating in group therapy because you don't have the financial mean to be in the group therapy. I was personally singled out and sent back three times for not having money and also sent back within the six month when you aren't to be sent according to state law. I will work to het this INSOMM's removed from this state. I also had twelve or thirteen parole agents with a fifteen month period. Thanks for your time.

  4. Our nation produces very few jurists of the caliber of Justice DOUGLAS and his peers these days. Here is that great civil libertarian, who recognized government as both a blessing and, when corrupted by ideological interests, a curse: "Once the investigator has only the conscience of government as a guide, the conscience can become ‘ravenous,’ as Cromwell, bent on destroying Thomas More, said in Bolt, A Man For All Seasons (1960), p. 120. The First Amendment mirrors many episodes where men, harried and harassed by government, sought refuge in their conscience, as these lines of Thomas More show: ‘MORE: And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Paradise for doing according to your conscience, *575 and I am damned for not doing according to mine, will you come with me, for fellowship? ‘CRANMER: So those of us whose names are there are damned, Sir Thomas? ‘MORE: I don't know, Your Grace. I have no window to look into another man's conscience. I condemn no one. ‘CRANMER: Then the matter is capable of question? ‘MORE: Certainly. ‘CRANMER: But that you owe obedience to your King is not capable of question. So weigh a doubt against a certainty—and sign. ‘MORE: Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But if it is flat, will the King's command make it round? And if it is round, will the King's command flatten it? No, I will not sign.’ Id., pp. 132—133. DOUGLAS THEN WROTE: Where government is the Big Brother,11 privacy gives way to surveillance. **909 But our commitment is otherwise. *576 By the First Amendment we have staked our security on freedom to promote a multiplicity of ideas, to associate at will with kindred spirits, and to defy governmental intrusion into these precincts" Gibson v. Florida Legislative Investigation Comm., 372 U.S. 539, 574-76, 83 S. Ct. 889, 908-09, 9 L. Ed. 2d 929 (1963) Mr. Justice DOUGLAS, concurring. I write: Happy Memorial Day to all -- God please bless our fallen who lived and died to preserve constitutional governance in our wonderful series of Republics. And God open the eyes of those government officials who denounce the constitutions of these Republics by arbitrary actions arising out capricious motives.

  5. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

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