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Opinions, Aug. 21, 2013

August 21, 2013
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Opinions – Aug. 21, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals

Rodney Melton v. State of Indiana
49A02-1212-CR-1008
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C felony child molesting and Class D felony dissemination of matter harmful to minors, rejecting an argument that the dissemination statute requires a “performance” under that law be public. The court also found Melton’s 11-year aggregate sentence was not inappropriate in light of his character and the nature of the offense.

In Re: The Matter of A.H., and S.H., Minor Children, V.H., Mother v. Indiana Department of Child Services
10A01-1302-JM-93
Juvenile. Affirms trial court order granting Department of Child Services petitions to interview minor children on a complaint the mother was using and selling drugs despite no evidence in a home search or drug screen of the mother. The majority held that DCS’s interest could be served only by interviewing the children and that mother’s due process rights were not violated. Dissenting Judge Patricia Riley would dismiss the case as moot because the trial court declined to stay the order allowing the interviews.

In the Matter of the Commitment of T.K. v. Department of Veterans Affairs
49A05-1303-MH-100
Mental health. Affirms order for regular commitment, agreeing that T.K. was suffering from mental illness and was a danger to others. Although T.K. never harmed anyone, the COA finds his persistent threatening phone calls and hostile behavior is sufficient to find him a danger and to support his involuntary commitment to a mental health facility.

Dustin Trowbridge v. State of Indiana (NFP)
48A02-1205-CR-453
Criminal. Affirms denial of motion to correct erroneous sentence for conviction of murder, rape, robbery, burglary, aggravated battery, criminal confinement, theft, auto theft, abuse of a corpse and escape.

Runyon Equipment Rental, Inc. v. Review Board of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development and Stephen Mortimore (NFP)
93A02-1302-EX-182
Agency action. Reverses Indiana Department of Workforce Development Review Board’s grant of unemployment benefits and remands to the review board, also reversing a denial of a trial court order denying Runyon’s request to present additional evidence.

John Aaron Shoultz, III v. State of Indiana (NFP)
36A01-1208-CR-359
Criminal. Affirms conviction of murder and Class B felony unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon.

Luke Smith v. State of Indiana (NFP)
82A04-1212-CR-650
Criminal. Affirms conviction and seven-year executed sentence on a charge of Class C felony robbery.

David A. Perry v. State of Indiana (NFP)
90A05-1301-CR-24
Criminal. Affirms revocation of probation on a conviction of Class D felony possession of a controlled substance.

Marcella Mullins v. State of Indiana (NFP)
44A03-1303-CR-102
Criminal. Affirms on interlocutory appeal denial of a motion to suppress evidence gathered in a police protective sweep of her residence that resulted in charges of multiple felony methamphetamine charges and related counts.

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

7th Circuit Court of Appeals issued no Indiana opinions by IL deadline Wednesday.

 

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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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