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Opinions Aug. 22, 2013

August 22, 2013
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Indiana Court of Appeals
Roger A. Buchanan and Susan Buchanan v. HSBC Mortgage Services, Inc.
39A01-1211-MF-515
Mortgage foreclosure. Affirms trial court grant of summary judgment in favor of HSBC Mortgage Services, holding that even if a mortgage was not properly acknowledged, the Buchanans don’t deny that they executed a mortgage and note when they purchased their home, on which they stopped making mortgage payments in 2007. The Buchanans’ arguments therefore are without merit.

Dianne M. Ross, William L. Ross, Martha Jane Milhouse and Paul David Milhouse v. Bartholomew County Drainage Board and Stephen A. Hoevener, Jim Pence, Ron Speaker, Jeff Schroer, and Carl Lienhoop
03A01-1210-PL-489
Civil plenary. Affirms ruling that a berm constructed by the Rosses and the Milhouses did impede the draining of a natural surface watercourse and should be removed. Also affirms the reduction of attorney fees related to a violation of Indiana’s Open Door Law, finding the petitioners included reimbursements for work done outside the Open Door Law claim.

Alexander David Toradze v. Susan Blake Toradze
71A05-1212-DR-623
Domestic relation. Affirms trial court’s denial of Alexander Toradze’s motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction. Father is contesting his ex-wife’s petition to a modify child support order to include college expenses. Finds the court does have jurisdiction because recent amendments to the termination of child support and emancipation statute entitle Susan Toradze to file a petition. In a concurring opinion, Judge Elaine Brown concludes the trial court had personal and subject matter jurisdiction.    

Jeremiah Walls v. State of Indiana
55A05-1211-CR-603
Criminal. Affirms conviction and three-year sentence on two counts of Class D felony intimidation and misdemeanor counts of resisting law enforcement, criminal trespass, two counts of battery and disorderly conduct, and a divided appeals panel affirmed the conviction and sentence, rejecting Walls’ arguments that the evidence was insufficient to sustain the criminal trespass and convictions, that the jury was improperly instructed, that the trial court improperly limited his closing argument, and that the voluntary intoxication statute is unconstitutional. Dissenting Judge Patricia Riley would reverse the criminal trespass conviction, holding that residents of an apartment complex could not ask Walls to leave the common areas outside their doors where he was creating a disturbance.

Terry Eldridge v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A04-1301-CR-24
Criminal. Dismisses appeal to trial court’s denial of petition for additional credit time for completing a rehabilitative program prior to sentencing. Rules under Appellate Rule 9, Eldridge did not file a timely notice of his appeal. The proper time to file an appeal was within 30 days of the court’s 2006 sentencing order which Eldridge did not do.   

Kevin Patterson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
48A02-1208-CR-628
Criminal. Affirms convictions for battery, a Class C felony; and intimidation, a Class C felony.

Isaiah Adams v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1212-CR-605
Criminal. Affirms conviction for Class A misdemeanor invasion of privacy.

Joshua Steelman v. State of Indiana (NFP)
15A05-1212-CR-661
Criminal. Affirms convictions for theft, as a Class D felony; criminal mischief, as a Class B misdemeanor; and unauthorized entry of a motor vehicle, as a Class B misdemeanor.

Clifford N. Whitmer, II v. State of Indiana (NFP)
20A04-1302-CR-70
Criminal. Affirms 50-year sentence for conviction of robbery resulting in serious bodily injury, a Class A felony.

Timothy G. Lyles v. State of Indiana (NFP)
08A02-1302-CR-179
Criminal. Affirms convictions of two counts of Class A felony child molesting and two counts of Class C felony child molesting along with sentence for a 40-year aggregate term.

In the Matter of D.S., Child in Need of Services; R.J. v. Indiana Dept. of Child Services (NFP)
49A02-1301-JC-26
Juvenile. Affirms the juvenile court’s adjudication of R.J.’s (father) child, D.S., as a child in need of services.

Indiana Supreme Court and Indiana Tax Court issued no opinions by IL deadline. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals issued no Indiana opinions by IL deadline.
 

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  3. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  4. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  5. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

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