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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 like the concept. Seems like a good idea and really inexpensive to manage.

  2. I don't agree that this is an extreme case. There are more of these people than you realize - people that are vindictive and/or with psychological issues have clogged the system with baseless suits that are costly to the defendant and to taxpayers. Restricting repeat offenders from further abusing the system is not akin to restricting their freedon, but to protecting their victims, and the court system, from allowing them unfettered access. From the Supreme Court opinion "he has burdened the opposing party and the courts of this state at every level with massive, confusing, disorganized, defective, repetitive, and often meritless filings."

  3. So, if you cry wolf one too many times courts may "restrict" your ability to pursue legal action? Also, why is document production equated with wealth? Anyone can "produce probably tens of thousands of pages of filings" if they have a public library card. I understand this is an extreme case, but our Supreme Court really got this one wrong.

  4. He called our nation a nation of cowards because we didn't want to talk about race. That was a cheap shot coming from the top cop. The man who decides who gets the federal government indicts. Wow. Not a gentleman if that is the measure. More importantly, this insult delivered as we all understand, to white people-- without him or anybody needing to explain that is precisely what he meant-- but this is an insult to timid white persons who fear the government and don't want to say anything about race for fear of being accused a racist. With all the legal heat that can come down on somebody if they say something which can be construed by a prosecutor like Mr Holder as racist, is it any wonder white people-- that's who he meant obviously-- is there any surprise that white people don't want to talk about race? And as lawyers we have even less freedom lest our remarks be considered violations of the rules. Mr Holder also demonstrated his bias by publically visiting with the family of the young man who was killed by a police offering in the line of duty, which was a very strong indicator of bias agains the offer who is under investigation, and was a failure to lead properly by letting his investigators do their job without him predetermining the proper outcome. He also has potentially biased the jury pool. All in all this worsens race relations by feeding into the perception shared by whites as well as blacks that justice will not be impartial. I will say this much, I do not blame Obama for all of HOlder's missteps. Obama has done a lot of things to stay above the fray and try and be a leader for all Americans. Maybe he should have reigned Holder in some but Obama's got his hands full with other problelms. Oh did I mention HOlder is a bank crony who will probably get a job in a silkstocking law firm working for millions of bucks a year defending bankers whom he didn't have the integrity or courage to hold to account for their acts of fraud on the United States, other financial institutions, and the people. His tenure will be regarded by history as a failure of leadership at one of the most important jobs in our nation. Finally and most importantly besides him insulting the public and letting off the big financial cheats, he has been at the forefront of over-prosecuting the secrecy laws to punish whistleblowers and chill free speech. What has Holder done to vindicate the rights of privacy of the American public against the illegal snooping of the NSA? He could have charged NSA personnel with violations of law for their warrantless wiretapping which has been done millions of times and instead he did not persecute a single soul. That is a defalcation of historical proportions and it signals to the public that the government DOJ under him was not willing to do a damn thing to protect the public against the rapid growth of the illegal surveillance state. Who else could have done this? Nobody. And for that omission Obama deserves the blame too. Here were are sliding into a police state and Eric Holder made it go all the faster.

  5. JOE CLAYPOOL candidate for Superior Court in Harrison County - Indiana This candidate is misleading voters to think he is a Judge by putting Elect Judge Joe Claypool on his campaign literature. paragraphs 2 and 9 below clearly indicate this injustice to voting public to gain employment. What can we do? Indiana Code - Section 35-43-5-3: Deception (a) A person who: (1) being an officer, manager, or other person participating in the direction of a credit institution, knowingly or intentionally receives or permits the receipt of a deposit or other investment, knowing that the institution is insolvent; (2) knowingly or intentionally makes a false or misleading written statement with intent to obtain property, employment, or an educational opportunity; (3) misapplies entrusted property, property of a governmental entity, or property of a credit institution in a manner that the person knows is unlawful or that the person knows involves substantial risk of loss or detriment to either the owner of the property or to a person for whose benefit the property was entrusted; (4) knowingly or intentionally, in the regular course of business, either: (A) uses or possesses for use a false weight or measure or other device for falsely determining or recording the quality or quantity of any commodity; or (B) sells, offers, or displays for sale or delivers less than the represented quality or quantity of any commodity; (5) with intent to defraud another person furnishing electricity, gas, water, telecommunication, or any other utility service, avoids a lawful charge for that service by scheme or device or by tampering with facilities or equipment of the person furnishing the service; (6) with intent to defraud, misrepresents the identity of the person or another person or the identity or quality of property; (7) with intent to defraud an owner of a coin machine, deposits a slug in that machine; (8) with intent to enable the person or another person to deposit a slug in a coin machine, makes, possesses, or disposes of a slug; (9) disseminates to the public an advertisement that the person knows is false, misleading, or deceptive, with intent to promote the purchase or sale of property or the acceptance of employment;

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