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Opinions April 9, 2014

April 9, 2014
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Indiana Court of Appeals
In re the Order for the Payment of Attorney Fees and Reimbursement of Expenses, State of Indiana v. Jeffrey Cook
48A02-1307-MI-615
Miscellaneous. Affirms order the state should pay Pendleton Correctional Facility inmate Jeffrey Cook’s appellate counsel $5,232.35 in attorney fees and expenses. I.C. 33-37-2-4, which recognizes the financial burden placed on counties containing state correctional facilities, and shifts the burden to the state to pay both trial and appellate costs.

State Farm Fire & Casualty Company a/s/o Kenneth Burkhart v. H.H. Niswander
35A02-1307-CT-638
Civil tort. Affirms dismissal of complaint of negligence against H.H. Niswander and award of attorney fees to the car dealership. There was no evidence in the cause-and-origin report that H.H. Niswander was negligent or that the oil change performed by H.H. Niswander caused the car fire. There was no evidence supporting State Farm’s allegations that H.H. Niswander was negligent or caused the fire. Despite this lack of evidence, State Farm pursued the case.

K.L. v. E.H.
29A02-1308-MI-681
Miscellaneous. Affirms order granting the petition for visitation filed by E.H., the paternal grandfather of K.L.’s child. The trial court did not abuse its discretion in excluding the testimony Mother wished to elicit from a mediator regarding visitation. The trial court acknowledged the limited contact mother had with E.H.’s family, the grandfather’s experience caring for and raising children, and that there was no evidence L.L. would be unsafe in his care. Judge Robb concurs in part and dissents in part.

Abelardo Perez-Romero v. State of Indiana (NFP)
20A03-1307-CR-290
Criminal. Affirms convictions of two counts of Class A felony child molesting.

Matthew McKinney v. State of Indiana (NFP)
15A01-1309-CR-399
Criminal. Affirms 30-year aggregate sentence following guilty plea to two counts of dealing in a schedule II controlled substance, one as a Class A felony and one as a Class B felony; and Class C felony dealing in marijuana.

Roger T. Fox v. State of Indiana (NFP)
52A02-1307-IF-608
Infraction. Affirms citation for failing to wear a seatbelt under I.C. 9-19-10-2.

In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of: G.G. (Minor Child), And A.S. (Mother) & G.G., Jr. (Father) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)
18A05-1308-JT-418
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.

Risha Warren v. Review Board of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development and Springs Valley Community School Corp. (NFP)
93A02-1311-EX-949
Agency action. Affirms denial of unemployment benefits.

Antione Marshall v. State of Indiana (NFP)
27A05-1308-CR-425
Criminal. Affirms revocation of probation and order Marshall serve his previously suspended sentence.

Zar Dyson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
27A02-1302-CR-135
Criminal. Affirms that the trial court properly denied Dyson’s motion to strike an amended charging information and acted within its discretion in refusing to give his tendered jury instruction that defined “recklessly.” Concludes that the evidence was sufficient to support Dyson’s convictions for intimidation and pointing a firearm. The conviction and sentence for the lesser offense—pointing a firearm—must be set aside on double jeopardy grounds because there was a reasonable possibility that the jury used the exact same evidence to convict Dyson of both offenses. Affirms 20-year aggregate sentence, except for the erroneous sentence imposed for pointing a firearm. Judge Crone concurs in part and dissents in part.

The Indiana Supreme Court and 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. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  2. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  3. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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