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Opinions Dec. 17, 2010

December 17, 2010
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The following opinions were posted after IL deadline Thursday:
Indiana Supreme Court

Adoption of L.D.; A.B. and N.E. v. Jo.D. and Ja.D.
49S02-1006-CV-330
Civil. Vacates adoption decree and remands with directions to grant mother A.B.’s Trial Rule 60(B) motion. The paternal grandparents and their attorney did not perform the diligent search required by the Due Process Clause to inform A.B. of their adoption petition.

Indiana Court of Appeals
D.P. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
71A03-1006-JV-391
Juvenile. Affirms commitment to the custody of the Indiana Department of Correction following a delinquency adjudication.

Today’s opinions
7th Circuit Court of Appeals

Karl Schmidt Unisia Inc. v. International Union, United Automobile, et al.
09-4001
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Fort Wayne Division, Judge Joseph S. Van Bokkelen.
Civil. Affirms summary judgment in favor of International Union, et al., on their counterclaim to compel arbitration. The collective bargaining agreement’s arbitration clause creates a presumption that the union’s grievance is arbitrable. Because the CBA does not expressly exclude the grievance from arbitration and Karl Schmidt Unisia has not shown the most forceful evidence of the parties’ intent to exclude the grievance from arbitration, Karl Schmidt Unisia has not rebutted the presumption of arbitrability.

United States of America v. Charles Tanner
09-2370
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division, Judge Rudy Lozano.
Criminal. Affirms convictions of and life sentence for conspiracy to possess cocaine with intent to distribute and attempted possession of 5 kilograms or more of cocaine with intent to distribute. There was no error in the prosecutor’s closing argument. Except for certain testimony regarding Tanner’s possession of a firearm on one occasion, all of the complained-of evidence was clearly admissible. The one exception was harmless. As for the jury instructions, the District Court’s only error was in giving an “ostrich” instruction lacking sufficient factual support in the trial record. That error was also harmless. The District Court properly calculated Tanner’s sentence, and a life sentence was reasonable under these circumstances.

Indiana Supreme Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals

Harold J. Klinker v. First Merchants Bank, N.A.
01A04-1003-PL-247
Civil plenary. Affirms summary judgment for First Merchants Bank in its complaint for fraud and seeking damages. The trial court should have considered Klinker’s affidavit in opposition to the bank’s summary judgment motion, but summary judgment for the bank was still appropriate.

Office of the Trustee of Wayne Township v. Deborah Brooks
49A05-1005-PL-341
Civil plenary. Affirms preliminary injunction ordering the Wayne Township Trustee to continue providing poor relief to Brooks. The trial court applied the proper standard of review – de novo – and the evidence is sufficient to support the decision in favor of Brooks.

Tara Simpson, et al. v. OP Property Management, LLC, et al.
49A05-1006-CT-355
Civil tort. Reverses summary judgment for Metropolitan School District of Wayne Township in Simpson’s suit following an accident with a school bus driver. Simpson’s notice of tort claim was sufficient, the school district isn’t entitled to immunity and there are genuine issues of material fact as to whether the school district and driver were negligent and whether Simpson was contributorily negligent or incurred the risk.

Edward Dawson v. State of Indiana
49A02-1001-CR-155
Criminal. Dismisses appeal of the grant of leave to Dawson to file a belated notice of appeal of his probation revocation order. Post-Conviction Rule 2 is available for direct appeals of convictions and sentences only and not for belated appeals of probation revocation orders.

Kelly Brockmann v. Robert Brockmann
02A04-1003-DR-246
Domestic relation. Reverses order compelling arbitration of a petition to modify custody filed by Robert. Concludes that the parties did not intend for Robert’s petition for modification of legal custody to be submitted to arbitration, or to otherwise submit to arbitration any and all possible future disputes that might arise between the parties.

Charles Saffold v. State of Indiana
49A05-1003-CR-180
Criminal. Affirms denial of Saffold’s motion to dismiss the charge of carrying a handgun without a license. It was not a violation for the officer to conduct a second pat-down search to determine whether Saffold had a gun after discovering ammunition on him and in his car.

Thomas W. Conrad v. State of Indiana
20A03-1004-CR-188
Criminal. Affirms conviction of criminal deviate conduct as a Class B felony. The trial court did not err in excluding evidence of Conrad’s victim’s past sexual conduct under Evidence Rules 412 and 403. Conrad’s rights under the United States and Indiana constitutions to effectively impeach and cross-examine witnesses were also not infringed upon by the trial court’s rulings.

Quintez Deloney v. State of Indiana
22A01-0906-CR-273
Criminal. Affirms conviction of and sentence for Class A felony burglary resulting in bodily injury. Remands to the trial court to reduce Deloney’s conviction of and sentence for attempted robbery from a Class A felony to a Class C felony.

John Eric Warren v. State of Indiana (NFP)
03A01-1005-CR-265
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to two counts of Class B felony armed robbery and one count of Class C felony robbery.

Tyree L. Thomas v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1002-CR-173
Criminal. Grants rehearing to clarify holding on Thomas’ claim of mental illness and reaffirms prior decision.

Judd Ponsler v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1003-CR-179
Criminal. Affirms two Class C felony child solicitation convictions.

Rodney Waye v. State of Indiana (NFP)
85A02-1003-PC-393
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Doris Coffman v. State of Indiana (NFP)
31A04-1004-CR-240
Criminal. Affirms order revoking probation and that Coffman serve all of her suspended sentences.

Michael A. Gilbert v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1005-CR-564
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C felony dealing marijuana in an amount in excess of 10 pounds.

Term. of the Parent-Child Rel. of S.W., et al.; M.C. v. I.D.C.S. (NFP)
55A01-1003-JT-196
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.

James R. Robison v. State of Indiana (NFP)
45A03-1006-CR-291
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to two counts of Class B felony child molesting.

Darren R. Locke v. State of Indiana (NFP)
82A01-1008-CR-374
Criminal. Affirms sentence for Class C felony operating a motor vehicle after the forfeiture of Locke’s license for life.

Jason L. Hatchett v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A04-0912-CR-718
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class B felony attempted robbery, three counts of Class B felony criminal confinement, and one count of Class C felony carrying a handgun without a license.

Martie Allen Henderson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
71A03-1004-CR-207
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class D felony possession of marijuana and Class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement, and the revocation of probation.

Donald Davis v. State of Indiana (NFP)
45A04-1003-CR-168
Criminal. Affirms convictions of two counts of Class A felony dealing in cocaine, three counts of Class A felony dealing in narcotics, Class B felony cocaine possession, and Class D felony maintaining a common nuisance.

Saul R. Cruz v. State of Indiana (NFP)
03A01-1004-CR-175
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to Class A felony dealing in cocaine.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.
 

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  1. California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) End of Year Report 2014. (page 13) Under the current system many local registering agencies are challenged just keeping up with registration paperwork. It takes an hour or more to process each registrant, the majority of whom are low risk offenders. As a result law enforcement cannot monitor higher risk offenders more intensively in the community due to the sheer numbers on the registry. Some of the consequences of lengthy and unnecessary registration requirements actually destabilize the life’s of registrants and those -such as families- whose lives are often substantially impacted. Such consequences are thought to raise levels of known risk factors while providing no discernible benefit in terms of community safety. The full report is available online at. http://www.casomb.org/index.cfm?pid=231 National Institute of Justice (NIJ) US Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs United States of America. The overall conclusion is that Megan’s law has had no demonstrated effect on sexual offenses in New Jersey, calling into question the justification for start-up and operational costs. Megan’s Law has had no effect on time to first rearrest for known sex offenders and has not reduced sexual reoffending. Neither has it had an impact on the type of sexual reoffense or first-time sexual offense. The study also found that the law had not reduced the number of victims of sexual offenses. The full report is available online at. https://www.ncjrs.gov/app/publications/abstract.aspx? ID=247350 The University of Chicago Press for The Booth School of Business of the University of Chicago and The University of Chicago Law School Article DOI: 10.1086/658483 Conclusion. The data in these three data sets do not strongly support the effectiveness of sex offender registries. The national panel data do not show a significant decrease in the rate of rape or the arrest rate for sexual abuse after implementation of a registry via the Internet. The BJS data that tracked individual sex offenders after their release in 1994 did not show that registration had a significantly negative effect on recidivism. And the D.C. crime data do not show that knowing the location of sex offenders by census block can help protect the locations of sexual abuse. This pattern of noneffectiveness across the data sets does not support the conclusion that sex offender registries are successful in meeting their objectives of increasing public safety and lowering recidivism rates. The full report is available online at. http://www.jstor.org/stable/full/10.1086/658483 These are not isolated conclusions but are the same outcomes in the majority of conclusions and reports on this subject from multiple government agencies and throughout the academic community. People, including the media and other organizations should not rely on and reiterate the statements and opinions of the legislators or other people as to the need for these laws because of the high recidivism rates and the high risk offenders pose to the public which simply is not true and is pure hyperbole and fiction. They should rely on facts and data collected and submitted in reports from the leading authorities and credible experts in the fields such as the following. California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) Sex offender recidivism rate for a new sex offense is 0.8% (page 30) The full report is available online at http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Adult_Research_Branch/Research_Documents/2014_Outcome_Evaluation_Report_7-6-2015.pdf California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) (page 38) Sex offender recidivism rate for a new sex offense is 1.8% The full report is available online at. http://www.google.com/url?sa= t&source=web&cd=1&ved= 0CCEQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F% 2Fwww.cdcr.ca.gov%2FAdult_ Research_Branch%2FResearch_ documents%2FOutcome_ evaluation_Report_2013.pdf&ei= C9dSVePNF8HfoATX-IBo&usg=AFQjCNE9I6ueHz-o2mZUnuxLPTyiRdjDsQ Bureau of Justice Statistics 5 PERCENT OF SEX OFFENDERS REARRESTED FOR ANOTHER SEX CRIME WITHIN 3 YEARS OF PRISON RELEASE WASHINGTON, D.C. Within 3 years following their 1994 state prison release, 5.3 percent of sex offenders (men who had committed rape or sexual assault) were rearrested for another sex crime, the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced today. The full report is available online at. http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/press/rsorp94pr.cfm Document title; A Model of Static and Dynamic Sex Offender Risk Assessment Author: Robert J. McGrath, Michael P. Lasher, Georgia F. Cumming Document No.: 236217 Date Received: October 2011 Award Number: 2008-DD-BX-0013 Findings: Study of 759 adult male offenders under community supervision Re-arrest rate: 4.6% after 3-year follow-up The sexual re-offense rates for the 746 released in 2005 are much lower than what many in the public have been led to expect or believe. These low re-offense rates appear to contradict a conventional wisdom that sex offenders have very high sexual re-offense rates. The full report is available online at. https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/236217.pdf Document Title: SEX OFFENDER SENTENCING IN WASHINGTON STATE: RECIDIVISM RATES BY: Washington State Institute For Public Policy. A study of 4,091 sex offenders either released from prison or community supervision form 1994 to 1998 and examined for 5 years Findings: Sex Crime Recidivism Rate: 2.7% Link to Report: http://www.oncefallen.com/files/Washington_SO_Recid_2005.pdf Document Title: Indiana’s Recidivism Rates Decline for Third Consecutive Year BY: Indiana Department of Correction 2009. The recidivism rate for sex offenders returning on a new sex offense was 1.05%, one of the lowest in the nation. In a time when sex offenders continue to face additional post-release requirements that often result in their return to prison for violating technical rules such as registration and residency restrictions, the instances of sex offenders returning to prison due to the commitment of a new sex crime is extremely low. Findings: sex offenders returning on a new sex offense was 1.05% Link to Report: http://www.in.gov/idoc/files/RecidivismRelease.pdf Once again, These are not isolated conclusions but are the same outcomes in the majority of reports on this subject from multiple government agencies and throughout the academic community. No one can doubt that child sexual abuse is traumatic and devastating. The question is not whether the state has an interest in preventing such harm, but whether current laws are effective in doing so. Megan’s law is a failure and is destroying families and their children’s lives and is costing tax payers millions upon millions of dollars. The following is just one example of the estimated cost just to implement SORNA which many states refused to do. From Justice Policy Institute. Estimated cost to implement SORNA Here are some of the estimates made in 2009 expressed in 2014 current dollars: California, $66M; Florida, $34M; Illinois, $24M; New York, $35M; Pennsylvania, $22M; Texas, $44M. In 2014 dollars, Virginia’s estimate for implementation was $14M, and the annual operating cost after that would be $10M. For the US, the total is $547M. That’s over half a billion dollars – every year – for something that doesn’t work. http://www.justicepolicy.org/images/upload/08-08_FAC_SORNACosts_JJ.pdf. Attempting to use under-reporting to justify the existence of the registry is another myth, or a lie. This is another form of misinformation perpetrated by those who either have a fiduciary interest in continuing the unconstitutional treatment of a disfavored group or are seeking to justify their need for punishment for people who have already paid for their crime by loss of their freedom through incarceration and are now attempting to reenter society as honest citizens. When this information is placed into the public’s attention by naive media then you have to wonder if the media also falls into one of these two groups that are not truly interested in reporting the truth. Both of these groups of people that have that type of mentality can be classified as vigilantes, bullies, or sociopaths, and are responsible for the destruction of our constitutional values and the erosion of personal freedoms in this country. I think the media or other organizations need to do a in depth investigation into the false assumptions and false data that has been used to further these laws and to research all the collateral damages being caused by these laws and the unconstitutional injustices that are occurring across the country. They should include these injustices in their report so the public can be better informed on what is truly happening in this country on this subject. Thank you for your time.

  2. Freedom as granted in the Constitution cannot be summarily disallowed without Due Process. Unable to to to the gym, church, bowling alley? What is this 1984 level nonsense? Congrats to Brian for having the courage to say that this was enough! and Congrats to the ACLU on the win!

  3. America's hyper-phobia about convicted sex offenders must end! Politicians must stop pandering to knee-jerk public hysteria. And the public needs to learn the facts. Research by the California Sex Offender Management Board as shown a recidivism rate for convicted sex offenders of less than 1%. Less than 1%! Furthermore, research shows that by year 17 after their conviction, a convicted sex offender is no more likely to commit a new sex offense than any other member of the public. Put away your torches and pitchforks. Get the facts. Stop hysteria.

  4. He was convicted 23 years ago. How old was he then? He probably was a juvenile. People do stupid things, especially before their brain is fully developed. Why are we continuing to punish him in 2016? If he hasn't re-offended by now, it's very, very unlikely he ever will. He paid for his mistake sufficiently. Let him live his life in peace.

  5. This year, Notre Dame actually enrolled an equal amount of male and female students.

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