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Opinions Dec. 5, 2012

December 5, 2012
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Gregory Wolfe
11-3281
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division, Judge Rudy Lozano.
Criminal. Affirms convictions of bank theft and interstate transportation of stolen goods for Wolfe’s role in a copper theft scheme and his 88-month sentence, followed by concurrent three-year terms of supervised release, and order of more than $3 million in restitution. Wolfe argued that he was deprived of a fair trial because of statements the prosecutor made during closing argument. He also challenged the sentence and restitution order. Wolfe’s contentions lack merit.

Indiana Court of Appeals
In Re the Name Change of John William Resnover and In Re the Name Change of John Arthur Herron
49A02-1205-MI-364
Miscellaneous. Reverses denial of Resnover’s and Herron’s petitions to change their names. The trial court erred when it required a valid driver’s license or valid state ID card as a prerequisite to grant the petition for name change pursuant to I.C. 34-28-2. Remands for further proceedings. Judge Crone dissents in part.

Trenton Teague v. State of Indiana
89A01-1202-CR-86
Criminal. Affirms convictions and sentences for Class A felony burglary and Class C felony battery. The trial court did not abuse its discretion by admitting a 911 call and Teague’s aggregate, executed sentence of 40 years is appropriate. Judge Barnes concurs in result.

Bret Lee Sisson v. State of Indiana
09A02-1102-CR-199
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class B felony burglary, Class B felony unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon, receiving stolen property as a Class D felony and adjudication as a habitual offender. There was no fundamental error when the state refiled the previously dismissed SVF charge and habitual offender allegation after Sisson’s first trial ended in a mistrial due to jury deadlock, and the trial court did not err in denying his motion for change of judge for sentencing purposes only. Affirms in all other respects.

Adoption of K.S., A Minor Child: A.S. and D.S. v. C.Z.
85A04-1205-AD-243
Adoption. Reverses denial of verified petition for adoption of K.S. and remands for further proceedings. The trial court erred in concluding that the natural mother’s consent to the adoption of her minor child by stepmother was required.  

Mitchell Burton v. State of Indiana
71A03-1203-CR-129
Criminal. Reverses conviction of Class D felony resisting law enforcement and remands for the trial court to vacate. The trial court abused its discretion in refusing to give Burton’s tendered self-defense and resistance of unlawful force instructions.

Tarique Henderson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A04-1202-CR-50
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class A felony attempted murder and Class B felony unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon.
 
Agustin Martinez v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1203-CR-197
Criminal. Affirms convictions of two counts of Class C felony child molesting.

Kamari Hogue, A Minor, By and Through His Parent And Next Friend, Trent Hogue v. Robert Critz, Jr. (NFP)
02A05-1204-CT-192
Civil tort. Affirms jury verdict in Critz’s favor on Houge’s suit for negligence.

Robert D. Rogers, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
02A05-1204-CR-211
Criminal. Affirms conviction of failure to register as offender, elevated to a Class C felony as a result of a previous conviction for failure to register.

Mahamat Outman v. State of Indiana (NFP)
20A03-1204-CR-197
Criminal. Affirms application of the credit restricted felon statute to Outman’s conviction for Class A felony child molesting as alleged in Count III was not an ex post facto violation.

Kelvin Whitby v. State of Indiana (NFP)
02A03-1205-CR-226
Criminal. Affirms sentence for Class D felony domestic battery.

First Chicago Insurance Company v. Philip Hempel, Farm Bureau Insurance Company of Michigan, and American Transportation on Time, Inc. (NFP)
71A03-1202-PL-64
Civil plenary. Affirms dismissal of First Chicago’s complaint for declaratory judgment. The trial court did not err in dismissing the declaratory judgment action on principles of comity.

Susan Edwards v. Deutsche Bank National, Trust Company (NFP)
02A03-1201-MF-24
Mortgage foreclosure. Affirms summary judgment in favor of the bank in the bank’s in rem action against real property owned by Edwards.

Term. of the Parent-Child Rel. of: A.T., Minor Child, M.T., Father v. Indiana Dept. of Child Services (NFP)
42A04-1203-JT-118
Juvenile. Affirms involuntary termination of father’s parental rights.

Herman Gehl, II v. State of Indiana (NFP)
13A01-1203-CR-92
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to two counts of Class D felony invasion of privacy.
 

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  1. My daughter was taken from my home at the end of June/2014. I said I would sign the safety plan but my husband would not. My husband said he would leave the house so my daughter could stay with me but the case worker said no her mind is made up she is taking my daughter. My daughter went to a friends and then the friend filed a restraining order which she was told by dcs if she did not then they would take my daughter away from her. The restraining order was not in effect until we were to go to court. Eventually it was dropped but for 2 months DCS refused to allow me to have any contact and was using the restraining order as the reason but it was not in effect. This was Dcs violating my rights. Please help me I don't have the money for an attorney. Can anyone take this case Pro Bono?

  2. If justice is not found in a court room, it's time to clean house!!! Even judges are accountable to a higher Judge!!!

  3. The small claims system, based on my recent and current usage of it, is not exactly a shining example of justice prevailing. The system appears slow and clunky and people involved seem uninterested in actually serving justice within a reasonable time frame. Any improvement in accountability and performance would gain a vote from me. Speaking of voting, what do the people know about judges and justice from the bench perspective. I think they have a tendency to "vote" for judges based on party affiliation or name coolness factor (like Stoner, for example!). I don't know what to do in my current situation other than grin and bear it, but my case is an example of things working neither smoothly, effectively nor expeditiously. After this experience I'd pay more to have the higher courts hear the case -- if I had the money. Oh the conundrum.

  4. My dear Smith, I was beginning to fear, from your absense, that some Obrien of the Nanny State had you in Room 101. So glad to see you back and speaking truth to power, old chum.

  5. here is one from Reason magazine. these are not my words, but they are legitimate concerns. http://reason.com/blog/2010/03/03/fearmongering-at-the-splc quote: "The Southern Poverty Law Center, which would paint a box of Wheaties as an extremist threat if it thought that would help it raise funds, has issued a new "intelligence report" announcing that "an astonishing 363 new Patriot groups appeared in 2009, with the totals going from 149 groups (including 42 militias) to 512 (127 of them militias) -- a 244% jump." To illustrate how dangerous these groups are, the Center cites some recent arrests of right-wing figures for planning or carrying out violent attacks. But it doesn't demonstrate that any of the arrestees were a part of the Patriot milieu, and indeed it includes some cases involving racist skinheads, who are another movement entirely. As far as the SPLC is concerned, though, skinheads and Birchers and Glenn Beck fans are all tied together in one big ball of scary. The group delights in finding tenuous ties between the tendencies it tracks, then describing its discoveries in as ominous a tone as possible." --- I wonder if all the republicans that belong to the ISBA would like to know who and why this outfit was called upon to receive such accolades. I remember when they were off calling Trent Lott a bigot too. Preposterous that this man was brought to an overwhelmingly republican state to speak. This is a nakedly partisan institution and it was a seriously bad choice.

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