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Opinions August 13, 2013

August 13, 2013
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Opinions Aug. 13, 2013

Indiana Court of Appeals
Rollett Family Farms, LLC. v. Area Plan Commission of Evansville-Vanderburgh County, Vanderburgh County Board of Commissioners, and Vanderburgh County Recorder

82A01-1301-PL-43
Civil plenary. Affirms trial court judgment denying claims that “lots of record” for boundaries of river camps could be established based on the testimony of longtime residents. The lack of official documentation defeats the plain meaning of the words “of record,” requiring some sort of official documentation in the public record, the panel ruled.

Gregory A. Harris v. State of Indiana
39A05-1205-CR-239
Criminal. Affirms trial court rulings denying Harris’s motion to dismiss a charge of sexual misconduct with a minor after a hung jury created a mistrial, as well as a state motion to amend the charge by adding the language “or criminal deviate conduct.” Double jeopardy does not bar retrial on the sexual misconduct charge, but the state is barred from amending the charge because of the statute of limitations.

Richard Littke v. Laurie Littke
64A03-1211-DR-509
Domestic relation. Reserves order dismissing father’s petition for postsecondary educational expenses as untimely and remands to the trial court to make a determination on the merits of father’s petition. Rules that an amendment to Indiana Code 31-16-6-6, which allows a parent to file a petition for education needs until the child becomes 21-years-old, makes the father’s petition timely.   

Gabriel Atkinson v. State of Indiana
12A02-1302-CR-149
Criminal. Affirms trial court’s denial of motion to suppress the evidence obtained during a traffic stop. Concludes although Atkinson did not commit an actual traffic infraction, the deputy’s training and experience along with his protracted observation of Atkinson’s driving gave the law enforcement officer a reasonable suspicion that the driver was impaired and presented a potential risk. This was sufficient to conduct an investigatory stop of Atkinson.  

Cory A. Myers v. State of Indiana (NFP)
35A05-1302-CR-90
Criminal. Affirms conviction for domestic battery, as a Class D felony.  

Jeremiah Kelley v. State of Indiana (NFP)
34A02-1303-CR-281
Criminal. Affirms 21-year sentence imposed following Kelley’s guilty plea to class B felony unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon.  

John Latta v. State of Indiana (NFP)
12A04-1212-CR-618
Criminal. Affirms conviction of one count burglary as a class B felony and five counts of theft as a class D felony. Finds the prosecutor’s questions about the victim’s husband becoming a judge were inappropriate but does not rise to the level of fundamental error.  

In Re The Adoption of S.H., L.H., and J.H., Benjamin Hankins v. G.Nick Peterson, Andrea Peterson (NFP)
18A02-1212-AD-1020
Adoption. Affirms trial court’s determination that Hankins’s consent is not required in the adoption proceedings of his three children, S.H., L.H. and J.H. Rules the determination that Hankins’s consent is unnecessary if supported by clear and convincing evidence, and the adoption by the children’s maternal grandparents is in their best interest.
 
John Dumitru v. State of Indiana (NFP)
75A05-1210-PC-501f
Post conviction relief petition. Affirms post-conviction court’s denial of relief following Dumitru’s conviction for murder, a felony, attempted murder, a Class A felony, two counts of neglect of a dependent, as Class D felonies, and resisting law enforcement, as a Class A misdemeanor.

Lebronze Myles v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1301-CR-25
Criminal. Affirms Myles’ convictions as an accomplice to both Class B felony burglary and Class C felony robbery.  

In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of L.P., D.P., & C.H., (Minor Children), and J.P. (Mother) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)
87A05-1212-JT-622
Juvenile termination of parental rghts. Affirms termination of J.P.’s (mother) parental rights.

Terry Chandler v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1302-CR-166
Criminal. Affirms conviction for Class A misdemeanor possession of cocaine.  

Michael S. Parker v. State of Indiana (NFP)
91A02-1210-CR-830
Criminal. Affirms conviction and 15-year sentence, with 11 years executed, for Class B felony manufacturing methamphetamine.  

Eric D. Smith v. Superintendent, Et Al. (NFP)
46A04-1303-MI-164
Miscellaneous. Dismisses Smith’s appeals of the dismissal of eight complaints he filed in the LaPorte Superior Court. Finds his notices of appeal were untimely filed.  

Jesus Cruz v. State of Indiana (NFP)
38A02-1212-CR-969pdf
Criminal. Affirms conviction and 46-year sentence for two counts of Class A felony child molesting and three counts of Class C felony child molesting.
 
James E. Sizemore v. State of Indiana
(NFP)
31A05-1212-CR-626
Criminal. Affirms conviction for Class A felony dealing in methamphetamine, Class C felony possession of methamphetamine and Class D felony possession of a controlled substance.  

Thomas E. Stevens v. State of Indiana (NFP)
45A05-1301-CR-6
Criminal. Affirms five-year sentence for Class C felony battery resulting in serious bodily injury.  

Karen J. Marshall v. Casa M. Marshall, Center Bank, Treasurer of Porter County, State of Indiana (NFP)
64A03-1212-MF-517
Mortgage foreclosure. Affirms summary judgment in favor of the defendants. Finds the mortgage and loan documents do not constitute a valid and enforceable contract.

Sheldon C. McAuley v. State of Indiana (NFP)
02A03-1302-PC-50
Post conviction relief petition. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief following conviction for Class C felony burglary, Class D felony residential entry and Class A misdemeanor interference with the reporting of a crime.  

LTC Investments Inc., v. EGR Indiana Properties, LLC. (NFP)
18A02-1301-PL-15
Civil plenary. Affirms trial court’s grant of EGR’s summary judgment motion.  

James E. Chalfant v. Lana Lods (NFP)
79A02-1212-CT-986
Civil tort. Reverses and remands trial court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of Lana Lods. Concludes Chalfant did provide evidence in this case to rebut the prima facie evidence of probable cause and to identify a dispute of material fact.

Javier Maldonado v. State of Indiana (NFP)
45A04-1212-CR-654
Criminal. Affirms conviction for child molesting, a Class A felony, and 50-year sentence.  

Kelvin Lee Heyen v. State of Indiana (NFP)
84A01-1207-PC-345
Post conviction relief petition. Affirms denial of post-conviction relief petition following conviction and 21-year sentence for dealing in methamphetamine, a Class B felony, and a habitual offender charge.  

In The Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of: M.A. (minor child): Mi.A. and C.A. v. The Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)
73A01-1209-JT-411
Juvenile termination of parental rights. Affirms juvenile court’s decision to terminate the parental rights of C.A. (mother) and Mi.A. (father) to their minor child, M.A.
 
No opinions were submitted by IL deadline by the Indiana Supreme Court, Indiana Tax Court and the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.

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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.

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  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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