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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. I can understand a 10 yr suspension for drinking and driving and not following the rules,but don't you think the people who compleate their sentences and are trying to be good people of their community,and are on the right path should be able to obtain a drivers license to do as they please.We as a state should encourage good behavior instead of saying well you did all your time but we can't give you a license come on.When is a persons time served than cause from where I'm standing,its still a punishment,when u can't have the freedom to go where ever you want to in car,truck ,motorcycle,maybe their should be better programs for people instead of just throwing them away like daily trash,then expecting them to change because they we in jail or prison for x amount of yrs.Everyone should look around because we all pay each others bills,and keep each other in business..better knowledge equals better community equals better people...just my 2 cents

  2. I was wondering about the 6 million put aside for common attorney fees?does that mean that if you are a plaintiff your attorney fees will be partially covered?

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  4. I expressed my thought in the title, long as it was. I am shocked that there is ever immunity from accountability for ANY Government agency. That appears to violate every principle in the US Constitution, which exists to limit Government power and to ensure Government accountability. I don't know how many cases of legitimate child abuse exist, but in the few cases in which I knew the people involved, in every example an anonymous caller used DCS as their personal weapon to strike at innocent people over trivial disagreements that had no connection with any facts. Given that the system is vulnerable to abuse, and given the extreme harm any action by DCS causes to families, I would assume any degree of failure to comply with the smallest infraction of personal rights would result in mandatory review. Even one day of parent-child separation in the absence of reasonable cause for a felony arrest should result in severe penalties to those involved in the action. It appears to me, that like all bureaucracies, DCS is prone to interpret every case as legitimate. This is not an accusation against DCS. It is a statement about the nature of bureaucracies, and the need for ADDED scrutiny of all bureaucratic actions. Frankly, I question the constitutionality of bureaucracies in general, because their power is delegated, and therefore unaccountable. No Government action can be unaccountable if we want to avoid its eventual degeneration into irrelevance and lawlessness, and the law of the jungle. Our Constitution is the source of all Government power, and it is the contract that legitimizes all Government power. To the extent that its various protections against intrusion are set aside, so is the power afforded by that contract. Eventually overstepping the limits of power eliminates that power, as a law of nature. Even total tyranny eventually crumbles to nothing.

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