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Opinions Dec. 7, 2012

December 7, 2012
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Indiana Court of Appeals
Terry L. Brown v. Tammy S. Brown
77A01-1204-PL-180
Civil plenary. Reverses civil judgment in favor of Terry Brown’s ex-wife. The trial court abused its discretion when it admitted evidence regarding criminal offenses he committed more than 20 years ago. Remands for further proceedings.

Robert Geller and Judy Geller v. Kurt P. Kinney, Holly Kinney, and A.M. Rentals, Inc.
29A02-1111-PL-1202
Civil plenary. Affirms judgment in favor of A.M. Rentals Inc. and the trial court’s calculation of damages for the Gellers against the Kinneys. Holds that the exculpatory clause of the lease and management agreement exempts A.M. from liability for its failure to perform its duties to the Gellers under I.C. 25-34.1-10-10(a)(3)(C). Holds that applying the exculpatory clause on these facts is not contrary to public policy. Holds that the trial court’s conclusion that the Gellers’ sale of their home mitigated the Kinneys’ damages to the Gellers is not clearly erroneous. Judge Kirsch dissents.

Verdyer Clark v. State of Indiana
49A04-1202-CR-66
Criminal. Reverses conviction of Class D felony battery. The state did not prove its case because the only evidence it offered to prove Clark was over 18 at the time of the crime was inadmissible hearsay. Remands so that the state may decide whether to retry Clark.

Phillip T. Billingsley v. State of Indiana
02A05-1204-CR-216
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony possession of marijuana. Holds that based on the totality of the facts and circumstances available to the responding officer at the time he detained Billingsley, the officer initiated an investigatory stop of Billingsley based on a reasonable and articulable suspicion that he was engaged in criminal activity. Accordingly, the trial court did not abuse its discretion when it admitted into evidence marijuana seized following the officer’s detention of Billingsley. Judge Kirsch dissents.
 
Brenda Varo v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1203-CR-144
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class C felony conspiracy to commit battery and Class D felony criminal gang activity.

In Re the Marriage of Lisa L. Shisler and Ned L. Shisler; Ned L. Shisler v. Lisa L. Shisler (NFP)
57A03-1109-DR-450
Domestic relation. Reverses distribution of marital estate and remands for further proceedings.

Vickie Jessie v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1205-CR-413
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A felony criminal deviate conduct and order that Jessie pay $2,090 in restitution to her victim.

Michael R. Krohn v. State of Indiana (NFP)
45A03-1203-CR-131
Criminal. Affirms sentence for Class D felony operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated causing serious bodily injury.

Quinn Nelson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A04-1203-CR-145
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A felony attempted murder and adjudication as a habitual offender.

Anthony White v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1204-CR-321
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class D felony attempted theft and Class A misdemeanor criminal trespass.

Deandre L. Mathews v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1205-CR-416
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B felony burglary.

Andrea Averitte v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1203-CR-251
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C felony forgery.

Michael McClellan v. State of Indiana (NFP)
02A03-1204-CR-180
Criminal. Affirms sentence following conviction of two counts of Class C felony stalking.
 

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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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