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Opinions April 23, 2013

April 23, 2013
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Indiana Court of Appeals
Kenyatta Erkins and Ugbe Ojile v. State of Indiana
58A01-1205-CR-215
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class A felony conspiracy to commit robbery resulting in serious bodily injury. Rejected all the issues Erkins and Ojile raised on appeal. Found the trial court did not err in permitting the amendment to the charging information; the evidence was sufficient to show the pair intended and agreed to commit robbery that would result in serious bodily injury; the trial court did not abuse its discretion in admitting evidence gathered after Erkins and Ojile left the casino; any error in admitted interpretations of the pair’s phone conversation was harmless; and the prosecutor did not commit misconduct nor cause a fundamental error.

Paul Sparks v. State of Indiana
49A02-1207-CR-593
Criminal. Granted the state’s petition for a rehearing of the COA’s decision in Sparks v. State, 983 N.E.2d 221 (Ind. Ct. App. 2013). Ruled the state cannot rely solely on Sparks’ original admission of a probation violation to revoke his probation.

Joanna S. Robinson v. State of Indiana
20A04-1209-CR-561
Criminal. Reversed Robinson’s convictions for operating a vehicle with a suspended license, a Class A misdemeanor; possession of marijuana, a Class A misdemeanor; and operating a vehicle while intoxicated, a Class A misdemeanor. Ruled that Robinson driving her car over the fog line twice was insufficient to justify a traffic stop.

Term. of the Parent-Child Rel. of J.L.W. (Minor Child) and S.R.W. (Mother), J.C.H. (Alleged Father), and Alleged Unknown Father v. The Indiana Dept. of Child Services (NFP)
02A03-1207-JT-307
Termination of parental rights. Affirmed involuntary termination of mother’s parental rights. Found the trial court did not err in concluding that there is a reasonable possibility that the conditions that resulted in the minor’s placement outside the home will not be remedied.

Ronald A. Bohannon v. State of Indiana (NFP)
28A04-1212-CR-656
Criminal. Affirms sentence of eight years for a reckless homicide conviction, which was enhanced by five years as a result of Bohannon’s habitual offender status; seven years for handgun convictions, to be served consecutively to the enhanced sentence; and two years for a conviction of receiving stolen property, to be served concurrently with the other sentences.

Kenyatta Erkins and Ugbe Ojile v. State of Indiana
58A01-1205-CR-215
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class A felony conspiracy to commit robbery resulting in serious bodily injury. Rejected all the issues Erkins and Ojile raised on appeal. Found the trial court did not err in permitting the amendment to the charging information; the evidence was sufficient to show the pair intended and agreed to commit robbery that would result in serious bodily injury; the trial court did not abuse its discretion in admitting evidence gathered after Erkins and Ojile left the casino; any error in admitted interpretations of the pair’s phone conversation was harmless; and the prosecutor did not commit misconduct nor cause a fundamental error.

In Re the Paternity of A.H., A.E., A.M., A.I., A.N.; A.G. v. A.H. (NFP)
49A02-1208-JP-668
Paternity. Affirms trial court calculation of father’s weekly child support obligation since 2007. Found the trial court did not abuse its discretion when it made the calculations.

Sungold Holdings, Inc., Midwest Auto Body, and Robert H. Gentry, III v. Donald Blair (NFP)
18A02-1207-MI-612
Miscellaneous. Affirms trial court’s decision to issue tax deeds to Blair for three properties sold at a tax sale. Found the trial court did not err in holding that Sungold Holdings, et. al., failed to raise a viable objection to the sale.

D.S. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A04-1210-JV-522
Juvenile. Affirms juvenile court’s adjudication finding that D.S. is a delinquent child for committing what would be the crime of receiving stolen property, a Class D felony, is committed by an adult. Found the juvenile court did not abuse its discretion by permitting the state to reopen its case in chief. Also ruled the juvenile court did not commit a reversible error by denying D.S.’s motion for involuntary dismissal under Indiana Trial Rule 41(B).

Antwan Parks v. State of Indiana (NFP)
79A02-1208-CR-672
Criminal. Affirms Parks’s conviction for Class C felony battery. Concluded the evidence was sufficient to establish bodily injury.

 

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  1. 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)

  2. "Meanwhile small- and mid-size firms are getting squeezed and likely will not survive unless they become a boutique firm." I've been a business attorney in small, and now mid-size firm for over 30 years, and for over 30 years legal consultants have been preaching this exact same mantra of impending doom for small and mid-sized firms -- verbatim. This claim apparently helps them gin up merger opportunities from smaller firms who become convinced that they need to become larger overnight. The claim that large corporations are interested in cost-saving and efficiency has likewise been preached for decades, and is likewise bunk. If large corporations had any real interest in saving money they wouldn't use large law firms whose rates are substantially higher than those of high-quality mid-sized firms.

  3. The family is the foundation of all human government. That is the Grand Design. Modern governments throw off this Design and make bureaucratic war against the family, as does Hollywood and cultural elitists such as third wave feminists. Since WWII we have been on a ship of fools that way, with both the elite and government and their social engineering hacks relentlessly attacking the very foundation of social order. And their success? See it in the streets of Fergusson, on the food stamp doles (mostly broken families)and in the above article. Reject the Grand Design for true social function, enter the Glorious State to manage social dysfunction. Our Brave New World will be a prison camp, and we will welcome it as the only way to manage given the anarchy without it.

  4. When I hear 'Juvenile Lawyer' I think of an attorney helping a high school aged kid through the court system for a poor decision; like smashing mailboxes. Thank you for opening up my eyes to the bigger picture of the need for juvenile attorneys. It made me sad, but also fascinated, when it was explained, in the sixth paragraph, that parents making poor decisions (such as drug abuse) can cause situations where children need legal representation and aid from a lawyer.

  5. Some in the Hoosier legal elite consider this prayer recommended by the AG seditious, not to mention the Saint who pledged loyalty to God over King and went to the axe for so doing: "Thomas More, counselor of law and statesman of integrity, merry martyr and most human of saints: Pray that, for the glory of God and in the pursuit of His justice, I may be trustworthy with confidences, keen in study, accurate in analysis, correct in conclusion, able in argument, loyal to clients, honest with all, courteous to adversaries, ever attentive to conscience. Sit with me at my desk and listen with me to my clients' tales. Read with me in my library and stand always beside me so that today I shall not, to win a point, lose my soul. Pray that my family may find in me what yours found in you: friendship and courage, cheerfulness and charity, diligence in duties, counsel in adversity, patience in pain—their good servant, and God's first. Amen."

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