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Opinions Aug. 15, 2013

August 15, 2013
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. James Simon
11-1837
Criminal. Affirms jury conviction from the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, on charges of filing false income tax returns, failing to file reports of foreign bank accounts, mail fraud and financial aid fraud. There was a legal basis for his convictions, and the District Court did not err in limiting defense evidence regarding some of the charges or in rulings on jury instruction.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Adrian Jackson v. State of Indiana
http://media.ibj.com/Lawyer/websites/opinions/index.php?pdf=2013/august/08151302jgb.pdf
49A04-1211-CR-553
Criminal. Affirms the judgment of the trial court in determining that Jackson’s waiver to his right to counsel was knowing, voluntary and intelligent. Finds Jackson failed to establish his claim that his appointed attorney was burdened by a conflict sufficient to trigger the trial court’s Sixth Amendment duty of inquiry. Also concludes the trial court properly inquired into Jackson’s request to proceed pro se and provided him with sufficient advisements related to his decision to forfeit that right.

Danny Stephens v. State of Indiana
49A04-1301-CR-18
Criminal. Reverses conviction for Class B misdemeanor public intoxication. Finds that although Stephens was drunk in public, he did not meet the conditions amended into the state statute to support a conviction. He was not endangering himself or another person; nor was he breaching the peace or harassing, annoying or alarming another. Stephens made a prima facie showing that the state failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the evidence supported his conviction for public intoxication.

Kenneth McBride v. State of Indiana
49A05-1211-CR-547
Criminal. Affirms 30-year sentence and conviction of two counts of Class B felony criminal confinement, three counts of Class B felony robbery and two counts of Class C felony battery. The court found no reversible error on McBride’s arguments that he did not make a knowing, voluntary and intelligent waiver of his right to counsel when he was allowed to represent himself, or that evidence from a “show-up” identification procedure was obtained improperly. His sentence is not inappropriate.

Natasha F. Hortenberry v. Thomas Palmer
10A04-1301-CT-17
Civil tort. Reverses trial court denial of a motion to set aside a motion treating as timely filed a complaint accompanied by a check for filing fees that was $2 too little, after a check for the remainder came after the statute of limitations ran out. Trial Rule 3 and Indiana Supreme Court precedent clearly indicate payment of the filing fee is required at the commencement of the action, the panel held.

State of Indiana v. Robert Owens
49A02-1210-CR-817
Criminal. Divided panel affirms in part and reverses in part charges arising from an illegal police stop of a pedestrian. Reverses suppression of evidence resulting from Owens’ flight from and subsequent battery of police officers, but affirms the trial court’s suppression of evidence of marijuana and cocaine found on Owens. Dissenting Judge Patricia Riley would affirm the trial court’s suppression of all the evidence.

Charles Kietzman v. Amanda S. Kietzman
39A01-1301-DR-14
Divorce. Affirms trial court order in a dissolution proceeding granting sole custody to a mother planning to move to China, finding that the court did not abuse its discretion, considered statutory factors, distance, time away from father, and the need to preserve the child’s relationship with father through return trips home.

Roger Jay Piatek, M.D., and The Piatek Institute v. Shairon Beale
49A04-1209-CT-463
Civil tort/medical malpractice. Reaffirms on rehearing in all respects the Court of Appeals ruling of May 13 affirming a jury verdict against Piatek. Piatek argued that the jury should have received contributory negligence instructions as it pertained to the patient, Beale. On rehearing, the panel condemned “Piatek’s egregious mischaracterization of the record in Petition for Rehearing.”

Jessica Wilkinson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
33A04-1210-CR-504
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class A felony dealing in a Schedule III controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a public park, Class B felony dealing in a Schedule III controlled substance, and Class D felony maintaining a common nuisance.

William R. Marks, Jr., v. State of Indiana (NFP)
91A02-1210-CR-881
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A felony child molesting.

Mark A. Atherton v. State of Indiana (NFP)
55A01-1211-CR-537
Criminal. Affirms 40-year sentence for Class B burglary and being a habitual offender.

David Newson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A04-1302-CR-81
Criminal. Affirms denial of motion to correct erroneous aggregate sentence of 73 years for murder and Class C felony carrying a handgun without a license.

Willie G. Maffett v. State of Indiana (NFP)
82A01-1212-CR-585
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony theft.

William D. Cornett v. State of Indiana (NFP)
82A01-1302-PC-59
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Antwon Davis v. State of Indiana (NFP)
71A03-1304-CR-130
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony child molesting.

Chad Matthew Hagan v. State of Indiana (NFP)
76A05-1302-CR-63
Criminal. Affirms combined consecutive sentences from a jury conviction of Class D felony possession of methamphetamine and, in a separate case, from a guilty plea to a Class A misdemeanor invasion of privacy charge.

Auto-Owners Insurance Company v. C & J Real Estate, Inc. (NFP)
49A04-1209-PL-477
Civil plenary. Affirms on interlocutory appeal an order compelling Auto-Owners to produce certain documents containing third-party claims and reserve funds.

In Re the Paternity of C.H.: S.L. v. K.H. (NFP)
64A04-1304-JP-198
Juvenile paternity. Reverses dismissal of putative father’s paternity action and remands for further proceedings.

In Re the Matter of I.E.: J.E. v. W.L. and R.L. and N.V. (NFP)
72A01-1212-JP-567
http://media.ibj.com/Lawyer/websites/opinions/index.php?pdf=2013/august/08141307ehf.pdf
Juvenile. Affirms in part and reverses in part, affirming grant of father’s motion for change of custody, reverses order granting visitation to guardians, and affirms denial of visitation for mother, finding no such request was made.

Indiana Supreme Court and Indiana Tax court issued no opinions by IL deadline Thursday.
 

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  1. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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