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Opinions April 27, 2011

April 27, 2011
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Indiana Supreme Court
Martin Serrano v. State of Indiana and the City of Fort Wayne
02S03-1104-CV-241
Civil. Reverses trial court judgment in favor of the state allowing for the forfeiture of Serrano’s truck. The state concluded he used the truck to transport or facilitate the transportation of a controlled substance for purposes of committing a drug-related offense. There was insufficient evidence to establish by a preponderance that Serrano’s drug possession at the time he was arrested was furthered by the use of his truck or that his truck was used for the purpose of possessing cocaine.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Mario Brown v. State of Indiana
49A02-1008-CR-905
Criminal. Affirms revocation of placement in Marion County Community Corrections. Declines to find the credit-time statute to be a remedial statute or to retroactively apply the credit-time statute to Brown’s case. The 2010 amendment is not retroactive and the prospective application of it doesn’t violate his constitutional right to Equal Protection.

Doe Corporation v. Lolita Honoré, as special administratrix of the estate of Andrea Honoré
49A05-1007-MI-408
Miscellaneous. Reverses grant of motion to dismiss Doe Corp.’s motion for a preliminary determination of law regarding the validity of an opinion of a medical review panel appointed in the medical malpractice action filed by Lolita Honoré. The trial court did possess subject matter jurisdiction over the issue as it involved a request for enforcement of the requirement that the medical review panel chair carry out his statutory duties. The trial court also erred by dismissing the motion for PDL on Trial Rule 12(B)(8) grounds. Remands for further proceedings.

Robert Beeler v. State of Indiana
49A05-1007-CR-456
Criminal. Affirms revocation of probation and criminal corrections placement after finding Beeler violated the terms of his community corrections placement and probation. The chronological case summary entry in another case which indicated that Beeler admitted to violating the terms of his placement and probation is sufficient to establish an admission. As a result, no evidentiary hearing was required. Judge Crone dissents.

Tyrone G. Postell v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1008-CR-914
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class A felony criminal deviate conduct and Class C felony intimidation. Remands with instructions to set aside the conviction of and sentence for Class A misdemeanor criminal mischief.

Daniel Farris v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1009-CR-973
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor invasion of privacy.

Jon D. Holman v State of Indiana (NFP)
48A05-1008-CR-499
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to Class B felony arson, two counts of Class C felony burglary, Class D felony unlawful possession of a syringe, Class D felony theft, and Class A infraction possession of paraphernalia.

Jesse Savage v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1002-CR-286
Criminal. Affirms convictions of and sentence for three counts of Class A felony child molesting and one count of Class C felony child molesting.

Andrew D. Patterson v. State of Indiana (NFP)

71A04-1009-CR-664
Criminal. Dismisses appeal because none of the issues raised are properly before the court.

Aubra Ferguson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
87A05-1008-PC-565
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Alton Moss v. State of Indiana (NFP)
27A05-1005-CR-310
Criminal. Affirms convictions of murder and Class B felony burglary.

Gary M. Kincade v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1009-CR-978
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor battery.

Term. of Parent-Child Rel. of J.C., et al.; C.C. v. I.D.C.S. (NFP)
49A02-1008-JT-1018
Juvenile. Affirms involuntary termination of parental rights.

Bradley Laycock v. State of Indiana (NFP)
84A04-1009-CR-593
Criminal. Affirms order sentencing Laycock to eight years in the Department of Correction following his guilty plea to Class B felony neglect of a dependent.

Jerome Taylor v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1009-CR-551
Criminal. Affirms revocation of placement in community corrections work release program and order that Taylor serve the balance of his sentence in the Department of Correction.

Steven L. Fortner v. Janet M. Fortner (NFP)
67A01-1011-DR-564
Domestic relation. Affirms order following remand in all respects except that the appellate court remands for findings based upon and satisfying the requirements of the child support worksheet. Judge Friedlander concurs in part and dissents in part.

Jacqueline Gaff v. State of Indiana (NFP)
02A03-1007-CR-417
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony possession of a controlled substance.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

The Indiana Supreme Court denied transfer to nine cases for the week ending April 22.
 

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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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