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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. I have been on this program while on parole from 2011-2013. No person should be forced mentally to share private details of their personal life with total strangers. Also giving permission for a mental therapist to report to your parole agent that your not participating in group therapy because you don't have the financial mean to be in the group therapy. I was personally singled out and sent back three times for not having money and also sent back within the six month when you aren't to be sent according to state law. I will work to het this INSOMM's removed from this state. I also had twelve or thirteen parole agents with a fifteen month period. Thanks for your time.

  2. Our nation produces very few jurists of the caliber of Justice DOUGLAS and his peers these days. Here is that great civil libertarian, who recognized government as both a blessing and, when corrupted by ideological interests, a curse: "Once the investigator has only the conscience of government as a guide, the conscience can become ‘ravenous,’ as Cromwell, bent on destroying Thomas More, said in Bolt, A Man For All Seasons (1960), p. 120. The First Amendment mirrors many episodes where men, harried and harassed by government, sought refuge in their conscience, as these lines of Thomas More show: ‘MORE: And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Paradise for doing according to your conscience, *575 and I am damned for not doing according to mine, will you come with me, for fellowship? ‘CRANMER: So those of us whose names are there are damned, Sir Thomas? ‘MORE: I don't know, Your Grace. I have no window to look into another man's conscience. I condemn no one. ‘CRANMER: Then the matter is capable of question? ‘MORE: Certainly. ‘CRANMER: But that you owe obedience to your King is not capable of question. So weigh a doubt against a certainty—and sign. ‘MORE: Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But if it is flat, will the King's command make it round? And if it is round, will the King's command flatten it? No, I will not sign.’ Id., pp. 132—133. DOUGLAS THEN WROTE: Where government is the Big Brother,11 privacy gives way to surveillance. **909 But our commitment is otherwise. *576 By the First Amendment we have staked our security on freedom to promote a multiplicity of ideas, to associate at will with kindred spirits, and to defy governmental intrusion into these precincts" Gibson v. Florida Legislative Investigation Comm., 372 U.S. 539, 574-76, 83 S. Ct. 889, 908-09, 9 L. Ed. 2d 929 (1963) Mr. Justice DOUGLAS, concurring. I write: Happy Memorial Day to all -- God please bless our fallen who lived and died to preserve constitutional governance in our wonderful series of Republics. And God open the eyes of those government officials who denounce the constitutions of these Republics by arbitrary actions arising out capricious motives.

  3. 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)

  4. "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.

  5. 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.

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