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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. Why in the world would someone need a person to correct a transcript when a realtime court reporter could provide them with a transcript (rough draft) immediately?

  2. If the end result is to simply record the spoke word, then perhaps some day digital recording may eventually be the status quo. However, it is a shallow view to believe the professional court reporter's function is to simply report the spoken word and nothing else. There are many aspects to being a professional court reporter, and many aspects involved in producing a professional and accurate transcript. A properly trained professional steno court reporter has achieved a skill set in a field where the average dropout rate in court reporting schools across the nation is 80% due to the difficulty of mastering the necessary skills. To name just a few "extras" that a court reporter with proper training brings into a courtroom or a deposition suite; an understanding of legal procedure, technology specific to the legal profession, and an understanding of what is being said by the attorneys and litigants (which makes a huge difference in the quality of the transcript). As to contracting, or anti-contracting the argument is simple. The court reporter as governed by our ethical standards is to be the independent, unbiased individual in a deposition or courtroom setting. When one has entered into a contract with any party, insurance carrier, etc., then that reporter is no longer unbiased. I have been a court reporter for over 30 years and I echo Mr. Richardson's remarks that I too am here to serve.

  3. A competitive bid process is ethical and appropriate especially when dealing with government agencies and large corporations, but an ethical line is crossed when court reporters in Pittsburgh start charging exorbitant fees on opposing counsel. This fee shifting isn't just financially biased, it undermines the entire justice system, giving advantages to those that can afford litigation the most. It makes no sense.

  4. "a ttention to detail is an asset for all lawyers." Well played, Indiana Lawyer. Well played.

  5. I have a appeals hearing for the renewal of my LPN licenses and I need an attorney, the ones I have spoke to so far want the money up front and I cant afford that. I was wondering if you could help me find one that takes payments or even a pro bono one. I live in Indiana just north of Indianapolis.

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