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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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  1. Bill Satterlee is, indeed, a true jazz aficionado. Part of my legal career was spent as an associate attorney with Hoeppner, Wagner & Evans in Valparaiso. Bill was instrumental (no pun intended) in introducing me to jazz music, thereby fostering my love for this genre. We would, occasionally, travel to Chicago on weekends and sit in on some outstanding jazz sessions at Andy's on Hubbard Street. Had it not been for Bill's love of jazz music, I never would have had the good fortune of hearing it played live at Andy's. And, most likely, I might never have begun listening to it as much as I do. Thanks, Bill.

  2. The child support award is many times what the custodial parent earns, and exceeds the actual costs of providing for the children's needs. My fiance and I have agreed that if we divorce, that the children will be provided for using a shared checking account like this one(http://www.mediate.com/articles/if_they_can_do_parenting_plans.cfm) to avoid the hidden alimony in Indiana's child support guidelines.

  3. Fiat justitia ruat caelum is a Latin legal phrase, meaning "Let justice be done though the heavens fall." The maxim signifies the belief that justice must be realized regardless of consequences.

  4. Indiana up holds this behavior. the state police know they got it made.

  5. Additional Points: -Civility in the profession: Treating others with respect will not only move others to respect you, it will show a shared respect for the legal system we are all sworn to protect. When attorneys engage in unnecessary personal attacks, they lose the respect and favor of judges, jurors, the person being attacked, and others witnessing or reading the communication. It's not always easy to put anger aside, but if you don't, you will lose respect, credibility, cases, clients & jobs or job opportunities. -Read Rule 22 of the Admission & Discipline Rules. Capture that spirit and apply those principles in your daily work. -Strive to represent clients in a manner that communicates the importance you place on the legal matter you're privileged to handle for them. -There are good lawyers of all ages, but no one is perfect. Older lawyers can learn valuable skills from younger lawyers who tend to be more adept with new technologies that can improve work quality and speed. Older lawyers have already tackled more legal issues and worked through more of the problems encountered when representing clients on various types of legal matters. If there's mutual respect and a willingness to learn from each other, it will help make both attorneys better lawyers. -Erosion of the public trust in lawyers wears down public confidence in the rule of law. Always keep your duty to the profession in mind. -You can learn so much by asking questions & actively listening to instructions and advice from more experienced attorneys, regardless of how many years or decades you've each practiced law. Don't miss out on that chance.

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