Opinions Dec. 27, 2013

December 27, 2013
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Dawn Marie Adams v. James Gregory Adams
Civil. Reverses District Court denial of creditor Dawn Marie Adams’ bankruptcy court claim against her former husband and business partner, James Gregory Adams. The bankruptcy court claims were previously adjudicated in state courts and the doctrine of issue preclusion prevented the bankruptcy court from rehearing those issues. Remanded for proceedings.

Indiana Court of Appeals
In the Matter of M.S. (A Child Alleged in Need of Services), and K.S., (Mother) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services
Juvenile. Affirms placement of M.S. with father who lives out-of-state and approval of the Department of Child Services’ petition to dismiss CHINS proceedings. The best interest of the child were served by placement with father and DCS’s efforts at reunifying the family were reasonable, Chief Judge Margret Robb wrote in an opinion joined by Judge Michael Barnes. Judge Elaine Brown concurred in a separate opinion that said M.S.’s interests would have been best served had DCS continued monitoring father’s compliance with court terms for a period of time.

State of Indiana v. Frank Greene
Post conviction. Affirms grant of post-conviction relief from a conviction of Class B felony criminal confinement and remands to the trial court with instructions to resentence Greene on the conviction as a Class D felony.  

In Re the Matter of R.K.: A Child Alleged to be a Child in Need of Services, A.K. v. The Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)
Juvenile. Reverses juvenile court order awarding child custody to father, R.K. Sr., holding that the court abused its discretion by modifying custody without a formal evidentiary hearing. Vacates the modification order and remands for an evidentiary hearing on the modification petition.

DeWayne Nalls v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms concurrent sentences of 35 years for conviction of Class A felony attempted murder and 10 years for unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon, but vacates as illegal a separate five-year enhancement for the firearm charge.  

Cleverly Lockhart v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Reverses trial court’s denial of a petition to file a belated notice of appeal of four counts of child molesting and remands for proceedings.

Clarian Health Partners, Inc., d/b/a Methodist Hospital v. Jessica Sprunger, as next best friend of James Daniel Sprunger, Minor (NFP)
Civil tort/medical malpractice. Finds the trial court erred in denying Clarian’s motion to correct error after a jury award of $500,000 in favor of James Sprunger. The court also abused its discretion in instructing the jury. Remanded for proceedings.

Virginia Davis v. Indiana State Board of Nursing (NFP)
Civil plenary. Affirms Indiana State Board of Nursing’s license revocation.

In Re the Estate of Ruby Shuler Blankenbaker Botkins, Deceased, Mark Allen Shuler and David Lee Shuler v. Estate of George Botkins by Larry Botkins (NFP)
Estate. Affirms probate court’s entry of final accounting.

Jamar Perkins v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of felony murder.

John D. May v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Post conviction. Affirms denial of post-conviction relief from a conviction of Class C felony possession of methamphetamine while in possession of a firearm.

Darrell McNary v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Post conviction. Affirms denial of relief from a conviction of Class B felony dealing cocaine.

Brandon White v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony criminal recklessness.

Bonnie Shipley v. Anonymous Doctor A and Anonymous Hospital C (NFP)
Civil plenary/malpractice. Affirms grant of summary judgment in favor of Anonymous Doctor A and Anonymous Hospital C.

James E. Britt, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class D felony possession of marijuana and Class A misdemeanor carrying a handgun without a license.

Ron Rose v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Post conviction. Reverses denial of a petition for relief from a conviction of Class B felony criminal deviate conduct, holding that the court clearly erred in imposing a lifelong requirement that Ron Rose register as a sexually violent predator rather than as a sex offender. Rose proved by a preponderance of the evidence that he didn’t understand that aspect of his guilty plea, and he had specifically rejected that provision when discussing the plea agreement with his attorney beforehand. Remanded for proceedings.

The Indiana Supreme Court and Tax Court issued no opinions prior to IL deadline.


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  1. I think the cops are doing a great job locking up criminals. The Murder rates in the inner cities are skyrocketing and you think that too any people are being incarcerated. Maybe we need to lock up more of them. We have the ACLU, BLM, NAACP, Civil right Division of the DOJ, the innocent Project etc. We have court system with an appeal process that can go on for years, with attorneys supplied by the government. I'm confused as to how that translates into the idea that the defendants are not being represented properly. Maybe the attorneys need to do more Pro-Bono work

  2. We do not have 10% of our population (which would mean about 32 million) incarcerated. It's closer to 2%.

  3. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  4. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  5. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.