Opinions Aug. 15, 2014

August 15, 2014
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The following 7th Circuit Court of Appeals opinion was posted after IL deadline Thursday:
United States of America v. Randall Ray Fletcher Jr.
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division. Judge Joseph S. Van Bokkelen.
Criminal. Affirms 30-year sentence in prison plus a lifetime of supervised release following a guilty plea to five counts involving child pornography that occurred over a seven-year period. Because his crimes spanned a range of years during which the guidelines for child pornography offenses underwent significant changes, his sentencing posed complex calculations and raised potential constitutional problems. Any errors the court made in calculating the guidelines sentence for Fletcher were harmless.

Friday’s opinions
Indiana Court of Appeals

Dee Ward v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class C felony battery and Class A misdemeanor domestic battery. The Confrontation Clause does not apply because victim J.M.’s statements to the treating paramedic and forensic nurse were not testimonial and the evidence is sufficient to prove Ward committed the underlying battery by means of a deadly weapon.

Michael Kevin Mallory v. State of Indiana
Miscellaneous. Reverses denial of Mallory’s petition to expunge his Class D felony conviction records. Because the word “shall” is ordinarily construed as mandatory language, I.C. 35-38-9-3(e) unambiguously requires expungement if all statutory requirements are met. Remands with instructions.

Allison I. (Wagaman) DeCloedt v. Shane C. Wagaman
Domestic relation. Affirms dissolution court’s order denying DeCloedt’s motion to relocate and granting Wagaman’s petition to modify custody and parenting time. It is in the best interests of the child to stay in Indiana with his father and future stepsiblings, both sets of grandparents and cousins living nearby.

In the Matter of: S.A. (Minor Child), Child in Need of Services and M.H. (Father) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services
Juvenile. Reverses order continuing the adjudication of S.A. as a child in need of services. The evidence does not support that court intervention is required for father to meet S.A.’s needs.

In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of: D.D. (Minor Child) and B.T. (Mother) and D.D. (Father) v. Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.

Thomas Yoder v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Reverses part of the sentencing order that restitution for the victim be ordered through a victim-offender reconciliation program instead of determined by the court. Remands for a restitution hearing.

Terry A. Moore v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

J.E. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Juvenile. Affirms adjudication of delinquency based on findings J.E. committed what would be two counts of Class B felony child molesting if committed by an adult.

In Re: The Paternity of R.M.: Laura K. Chivers v. Jeffery L. Marquardt (NFP)
Juvenile. Affirms order modifying custody and parenting time.

Dennis Wireman v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms sentence for convictions of three counts of Class D felony illegal possession of a controlled substance, Class D felony illegal possession of a syringe and Class D felony operating a vehicle while intoxicated with a prior conviction.

In the Matter of Q.F. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Juvenile.  Finds entering true findings of both battery resulting in bodily injury and disorderly conduct violates double jeopardy principles. Remands with instructions to vacate Q.F.’s true finding of disorderly conduct. Affirms true finding of battery resulting in bodily injury.

Marshawn A. Moore v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A felony burglary.

Debb Durbin v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor criminal trespass.

Stephen W. McIntyre v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony theft.

Darnell M. Rias, Sr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Remands with instructions to vacate Rias’ conviction for Class D felony failure to register as a sex or violent offender due to double jeopardy principles. Affirms second conviction and sentence for Class D felony failure to register as a sex or violent offender as a Class D felony.


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  1. I think the cops are doing a great job locking up criminals. The Murder rates in the inner cities are skyrocketing and you think that too any people are being incarcerated. Maybe we need to lock up more of them. We have the ACLU, BLM, NAACP, Civil right Division of the DOJ, the innocent Project etc. We have court system with an appeal process that can go on for years, with attorneys supplied by the government. I'm confused as to how that translates into the idea that the defendants are not being represented properly. Maybe the attorneys need to do more Pro-Bono work

  2. We do not have 10% of our population (which would mean about 32 million) incarcerated. It's closer to 2%.

  3. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  4. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  5. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.