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Opinions April 30, 2014

April 30, 2014
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The following decisions were posted after IL deadline Tuesday:
7th Circuit Court of Appeals

United States of America v. James V. Carroll
13-2600
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson.
Criminal. Affirms denial of motion to suppress following Carroll’s guilty plea to one count of possession of child pornography and six counts of sexual exploitation of a child. The information in the detective’s affidavit was sufficient to establish fair probability that the computer or other digital storage devices within Carroll’s home would contain evidence of child pornography or exploitation of a child, despite the fact that the photographs were taken approximately five years earlier.

Indiana Supreme Court
Ernesto Roberto Ramirez v. State of Indiana
45S05-1305-CR-331
Criminal. Affirms denial of Ramirez’s motion for a mistrial. Clarifies precedent that defendants are entitled to a rebuttable presumption of prejudice when they can show by a preponderance of the evidence that an unauthorized, extra-judicial contact or communication with jurors occurred, and that the contact or communication pertained to the matter before the jury. Ramirez failed to prove that a juror’s extraneous contact and communications related to his case.

Wednesday’s opinions
Indiana Court of Appeals

L.C. Neely Drilling, Inc. and Maverick Energy, Inc. v. Hoosier Energy Rural Electrical Cooperative, Inc.
49A02-1305-MI-457
Miscellaneous. Affirms ruling in favor of Hoosier Energy upon the parties’ cross-motions for partial summary judgment on Hoosier Energy’s motion seeking judgment that the lease between Maverick and Hoosier Energy had expired and quieting title in favor of Hoosier Energy.

Austin G. Pittman v. State of Indiana
06A05-1305-CR-243
Criminal. Affirms denial of Pittman’s petition to restrict access to the record of his criminal conviction. Affirms appellate court has jurisdiction over the case and rejects state’s argument that Pittman’s appeal should be dismissed.

Gary Community School Corporation v. Prince Lardydell b/n/f Erma Lardydell
45A03-1306-PL-230
Civil plenary. Affirms judgment in favor of Prince Lardydell by next friend Erma Lardydell and $120,000 in damages after Prince was attacked in the hall of his high school. Declines to second-guess the jury’s decision. Finds no error in the giving of Final Instruction 12 or allowing a former school board member to testify.

In Re the Adoption of L.T.: J.M. and S.M. v. C.T.
49A05-1310-AD-493
Adoption. Reverses order terminating guardianship entered in Hamilton County court. The probate court erroneously granted relief from the guardianship order upon concluding that it was void for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Orders a hearing on the best interests of the child.

First Response Services, Inc. v. Vincent A. Cullers (Vincent A. Cullers Counterclaim Plaintiff v. First Response Services, Inc. Counterclaim Defendant)
41A01-1305-PL-224
Civil plenary. Affirms denial of attorney fees for First Response Services. Because the contract failed to comply with the requirements of the Home Improvement Contract Act, the company is not entitled to recover attorney fees in its lawsuit seeking payment from Cullers.

Clarenda Love v. Bruce Love (NFP)
32A01-1311-DR-504
Domestic relation. Affirms division of marital property.

Claricea D. Muse v. State of Indiana (NFP)
33A04-1309-CR-472
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor criminal trespass.

Kristin A. Houssain v. State of Indiana (NFP)
89A04-1307-CR-330
Criminal. Affirms on interlocutory appeal the denial of Houssain’s motion to dismiss her forgery and attempting to obtain a controlled substance by fraud charges.

Yosef M. Hajaji v. State of Indiana (NFP)
43A03-1310-CR-407
Criminal. Affirms aggregate three-year sentence for Class D felony domestic battery.

Eric Davis v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1308-CR-415
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class D felony intimidation, Class B misdemeanor public intoxication and Class B misdemeanor disorderly conduct.

Dillon W. Grissell v. State of Indiana (NFP)
90A02-1308-CR-737
Criminal. Affirms two convictions of Class C felony burglary.

Neil Short v. State of Indiana (NFP)
32A04-1308-PC-422
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Shannon L. Simons v. State of Indiana (NFP)
07A05-1308-CR-436
Criminal. Affirms revocation of probation and order Simons serve 90 days of her previously suspended sentence.

Alan Ramsey v. State of Indiana (NFP)
71A03-1308-CR-341
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class C felony child molesting and Class A felony child molesting.

Timothy E. Strowmatt v. Jennifer Smith, Matt Penticuff, Misty Cecil (NFP)
33A01-1310-PL-441
Civil plenary. Affirms dismissal of Strowmatt’s civil rights complaint.

T.W. v. Review Board of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (NFP)
93A02-1310-EX-871
Agency action. Reverses dismissal of T.W.’s appeal by the Review Board of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development.

Heath Burgess v. State of Indiana (NFP)
79A02-1309-CR-754
Criminal. Affirms aggregate five-year sentence following guilty plea to Class A misdemeanor operating a vehicle while intoxicated and admittance to being a habitual substance offender.

Robin (Bankert) Hall v. Robert H. Bankert (NFP)
06A01-1304-DR-186
Domestic relation. Affirms order disposing of the then-pending issues involving the allocation of extraordinary uninsured medical expenses, tax deductions and the treatment of gratuitous support in a post-dissolution proceeding.

Howard Wilson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1308-CR-384
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor battery.

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

 

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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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