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Opinions April 29, 2014

April 29, 2014
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Indiana Supreme Court
In the Matter of: Karl N. Truman
10S00-1401-DI-55
Attorney discipline. Issues a public reprimand for violation of Indiana Professional Conduct Rule 5.6(a) by making an employment agreement that restricted the rights of a former associate to practice after termination of the employment relationship. The court also accepted the parties’ stipulation that Truman violated Rule 1.4(b), failure to explain a matter to the extent reasonably necessary to permit client to make informed decisions regarding representation.

Martin Meehan v. State of Indiana
71S04-1308-CR-535
Criminal. Affirms Martin Meehan’s conviction of Class C felony burglary that was challenged on the sufficiency of evidence underlying the conviction, chiefly a glove found at the scene that contained Meehan’s DNA. The court held the jury had before it substantial evidence of probative value from which it could have reasonably inferred that Meehan was guilty of burglary beyond a reasonable doubt.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Jamal Ahmad Gore v. State of Indiana
45A03-1305-CR-163
Criminal. Affirms finding that Gore was guilty but mentally ill – instead of not guilty by reason of insanity – of murder and Class C felony battery. Gore has not shown that the evidence is without conflict and leads only to the conclusion that he was insane when the crime was committed.

J.K. v. State of Indiana
66A03-1306-JS-220
Juvenile. Reverses adjudication of J.K. as a delinquent based on acts of illegal possession of alcohol, illegal consumption of alcohol, and aiding illegal consumption of alcohol. The officers’ entry onto J.K.’s curtilage, their lengthy knock and talk, and eventual residential entry were unreasonable searches under the Fourth Amendment. Senior Judge Shepard dissents.

Jeremiah D. Wilkes v. State of Indiana
32A01-1303-CR-120
Criminal. Affirms two convictions of Class B felony sexual misconduct with a minor. No fundamental error occurred from the admission of hearsay testimony that was merely cumulative of the victim’s own testimony, and the vouching testimony was harmless in light of the weight of the evidence in the record. Even when considering all that evidence cumulatively, no fundamental error occurred.

State of Indiana v. David Lott Hardy
49A02-1309-CR-756
Criminal. Affirms dismissal of four counts of Class D felony official misconduct against Hardy, former chairman of the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission. The trial court did not abuse its discretion in dismissing charges which the Supreme Court has interpreted to require resting upon criminal behavior related to the performance of official duties.

Tyler J. Veerkamp v. State of Indiana
16A01-1310-CR-439
Criminal. Affirms denial of motion to suppress evidence. Holds that a law enforcement officer has probable cause that Indiana Code 9-19-8-5 has been violated when fumes or smoke emanating from the engine or power mechanism of a motor vehicle completely obscure a motorist’s view of a portion of the vehicle being followed.

D.D. v. D.P.
49A02-1311-DR-1004
Domestic relation. Affirms denial of stepfather D.D.’s petition to adopt two minor children from his wife’s first marriage. The trial court did not err by finding that “Mother hampered and thwarted Father’s attempts to communicate with the children.” Father demonstrated justifiable cause for not initiating direct communication with the children, who were both under the age of 2 when their parents divorced.

Damon L. Wallace v. Audra C. Wallace (NFP)
29A05-1308-DR-421
Domestic relation. Affirms order requiring Damon Wallace pay child support and arrearage.

Ronald A. Manley v. State of Indiana (NFP)
29A05-1306-CR-306
Criminal. Dismisses appeal of the denial of the pro se motion for modification of sentence.

In re the Adoption of E.M., a minor, R.G. v. R.M. (NFP)

45A04-1309-AD-438
Adoption. Affirms denial of stepfather’s petition to adopt E.M.

In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of C.W., minor child, and L.W., Mother, L.W. v. Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)
79A04-1310-JT-510
Juvenile. Affirms the termination of parental rights.

Mark D. Webb v. State of Indiana (NFP)
03A01-1308-CR-349
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor domestic battery.

In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of: N.H., A.I-H and P.I-H., Minor Children, A.I-H., Father v. Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)
79A02-1310-JT-901
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.

Calumet Township Trustee v. Edward R. Hall (NFP)
45A03-1305-CC-197
Civil collection. Affirms summary judgment in favor of Hall on his mandamus action seeking to order the trustee to pay Hall for the work he performed as an attorney for the Calumet Township Advisory Board. Remands for a determination of reasonable attorney fees for Hall in both the prosecution of the mandamus and this appeal.  

William P. Montgomery v. State of Indiana (NFP)
18A02-1309-CR-825
Criminal. Affirms two convictions of Class A felony dealing in methamphetamine and one conviction of Class B felony dealing in meth.

Willie Johnson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1308-CR-726
Criminal. Affirms revocation of placement in community corrections and probation.
 
In re the Marriage of Laura Hyatt v. Charles Hyatt (NFP)
87A04-1309-DR-454
Domestic relation. Affirms denial of Laura Hyatt’s petition for visitation modification and finding her to be in contempt.

In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of: P.C., J.W., and K.W., Minor Children, S.C., Mother v. Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)
42A01-1307-JT-319
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.

Derrick A. Hicks v. State of Indiana (NFP)
45A03-1307-CR-265
Criminal. Affirms 70-year sentence following guilty plea to Class A felony child molesting, Class B felony incest, Class B felony sexual misconduct with a minor, and finding he is a habitual offender.

Landon Shaw v. State of Indiana (NFP)
45A04-1303-CR-100
Criminal. Dismisses Shaw's appeal of he denial of his motion for jail credit and good-time allowance. 

Cary Lane Lawson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
34A02-1311-CR-990
Criminal. Affirms order Lawson serve the remainder of his suspended sentence after violating probation.

In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of L.W., J.W., M.T., L.P., C.L.Q., and C.Q. minor children, and L.W., Mother, L.W. v. Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)
79A02-1308-JT-721
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.

Warren D. Bowen v. State of Indiana (NFP)
16A05-1309-CR-456
Criminal. Affirms denial of motion to suppress evidence.

In the Matter of the Termination of Parent-Child Relationship of Mi.S. & M.W. (Minor Children), and M.S. (Mother) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)
49A05-1306-JT-282
Juvenile. Grants mother’s petition for rehearing for the sole purpose of granting her motion to strike Footnote 4 on Page 3 of the DCS’ appellate brief and the DCS’ citation to the “Child Welfare Manual” that was not considered in the resolution of her appeal. Affirms in all other respects.

The Indiana Tax Court posted no opinions by IL deadline. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals posted no Indiana decisions by 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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