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Opinions Aug. 26, 2010

August 26, 2010
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
John M. Stephenson v. Bill Wilson, Superintendent of Indiana State Prison
09-2924
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Judge Theresa L. Springmann.
Civil. Stephenson failed to carry his burden of proving prejudice, even on the premise that his counsel should have objected to the stun belt. The question of prejudice from Stephenson being required to wear the stun belt at the penalty hearing will require further consideration of the District Court on remand.

Indiana Supreme Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Term. of Parent-Child Rel. of C.G.; Z.G. v. Marion County DCS and Child Advocates Inc.  
49A04-1002-JT-75
Juvenile. Affirms involuntary termination of parental rights. Mother’s due process rights weren’t violated, the trial court didn’t commit reversible error in the exclusion of evidence, and DCS presented clear and convincing evidence to support the trial court’s judgment.

Dean V. Kruse Foundation, Inc., et al. v. Jerry W. Gates
59A01-1001-CT-125
Civil tort. Reverses summary judgment for Gates on the breach-of-contract claims and the denial of the Kruse parties’ cross-motion for summary judgment on Gates’ fraud and conversion claims. Gates failed to complete the sale within a reasonable time due to no fault of the seller so his earnest money deposit is forfeited. Remands for further proceedings to determine the damage award in favor of the Kruse parties and grant summary judgment in favor of them on the issues of breach of contract, fraud, and conversion.

Tony O. Girdler v. State of Indiana
73A01-1001-CR-14
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony auto theft. The state proved all the elements of auto theft against Girdler, even though he was not the original thief of the van.

Anthony E. Frink v. State of Indiana (NFP)
79A04-1002-PC-150
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Antonio Moore v. State of Indiana (NFP)
48A05-1002-CR-132
Criminal. Affirms revocation of probation ordered following Moore’s guilty plea to Class B felony dealing in cocaine.

Pierre E. Taylor v. State of Indiana (NFP)
45A05-0912-CR-730
Criminal. Affirms convictions of and 175-year aggregate sentence for murder and four counts of Class A felony attempted murder.

Jeremy James Barden v. State of Indiana (NFP)
57A03-1002-CR-64
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C misdemeanor leaving the scene of an accident but remands for correction of sentence.

Michael Pugh v. State of Indiana (NFP)
52A05-1002-CR-90
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to Class B felony burglary.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

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  1. I grew up on a farm and live in the county and it's interesting that the big industrial farmers like Jeff Shoaf don't live next to their industrial operations...

  2. 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

  3. 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!

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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