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Opinions Aug.12, 2014

August 12, 2014
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Indiana Court of Appeals
In re the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of C.A., L.A., and M.A. (Minor Children) and B.A. (Mother) and J.A. (Father) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services
55A04-1401-JT-37
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights for mother and father to their three minor children following father’s conviction of Class B felony dealing methamphetamine and mother’s conviction of Class D felony neglect of a dependent. While mother neither received nor signed a case plan negotiated with the Department of Child Services, the record shows mother didn’t lack knowledge of what she needed to do to get her children back, but rather she didn’t participate. Evidence also was sufficient to support termination of mother’s and father’s parental rights.

Kramer Hill v. State of Indiana (NFP)
48A02-1311-CR-924
Criminal. Affirms the revocation of Hill’s probation under two separate causes.

Todd Firkins v. Sheryl Firkins (NFP)
55A01-1311-DR-488
Domestic relation. Reverses the trial court’s child support calculation and remands for recalculation of father’s weekly obligation that includes credit for paying children’s health insurance premium. Affirms awarding sole legal custody to mother, awarding both child dependency tax exemptions to mother for the 2013 tax year, and restriction on father’s parenting time. Rules father did not establish that trial court’s questions rendered the bench trial unfair.  

Sergio Poitan v. State of Indiana (NFP)
73A01-1311-CR-512
Criminal. Affirms convictions for Class B felony burglary and Class D felony theft and aggregate sentence of 10 years.

Dustin Scott Stevenson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
45A03-1312-CR-494
Criminal. Affirms eight-year sentence for pleading guilty to burglary, a Class B felony.

In the Matter of the Involuntary Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of K.A. and S.A., Minor Children, and Their Father H.A., H.A. v. Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)
28A01-1402-JT-70
Juvenile. Affirms termination of father’s parental rights.

Eric William Stahl v. State of Indiana (NFP)
45A04-1303-PC-137
Post conviction. Affirms denial of post-conviction relief petition.

In the Matter of the Paternity of A.E.T., A Minor Child, C.W., Individually and as Next Friend of A.E.T., Minor Child v. L.T. (NFP)
51A04-1401-JP-2
Juvenile paternity. Affirms denial of father’s petition to modify custody to grant him both joint legal and physical custody of minor child. Reverses trial court’s sua sponte restriction on father’s parenting time and remands to eliminate that provision from the order. Finds the trial court’s order on father’s child support was unclear and remands for trial court to determine whether the father’s petition for modifying child support should be granted.

Billy Ray Young v. State of Indiana (NFP)
34A04-1403-CR-114
Criminal. Affirms six-year sentence for pleading guilty to residential entry as a Class D felony and receiving stolen property as a Class D felony.
 

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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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