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Opinions Dec. 9, 2013

December 9, 2013
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Indiana Court of Appeals
Lagro Township and Karen Pinkerton Tatro v. George E. Bitzer and Zelma E. Bitzer
85A02-1306-PL-520
Civil plenary. Affirms summary judgment for the Bitzers on Lagro Township’s action seeking to exercise control over an area of land referred to as “the Belden Cemetery,” which is located on land owned by the Bitzers. The statute authorizing a township trustee to exercise control over cemeteries located within the township is inapplicable where the cemetery is located on land on which property taxes have been paid. And here, even though there was a genuine issue of material fact with regard to whether and to what extent the dedication of the Belden Cemetery to the public was accepted by the public through usage, there is no genuine issue of material fact with regard to the Bitzers’ payment of property taxes on the land on which the Belden Cemetery is located for decades. For this reason alone, the township’s claims of authority over the Belden Cemetery must fail.

John Aaron Schoultz III v. State of Indiana (NFP)
36A01-1301-CR-9
Criminal. Affirms convictions of two counts of Class A felony conspiracy to commit murder and 40-year sentence.

Jacob Phipps v. State of Indiana (NFP)
48A05-1303-CR-129
Criminal. Affirms order revoking probation and order Phipps serve the entirety of his previously suspended sentence.

In the Matter of the Involuntary Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of B.R., Minor Child and His Father, V.R. v. Marion County Department of Child Services and Child Advocates, Inc (NFP)
49A04-1304-JT-156
Juvenile. Affirms involuntary termination of father’s parental rights.

Edward R. Hoffman v. State of Indiana (NFP)
18A02-1307-PC-587
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Jon Alan Young v. State of Indiana (NFP)
18A05-1303-CR-125
Criminal. Affirms 30-month sentence following guilty plea to Class D felony strangulation.

Willie L. Montgomery v. State of Indiana (NFP)
82A05-1305-CR-246
Criminal. Dismisses on interlocutory appeal the denial of motion to dismiss a charge that Montgomery failed to register as a sex or violent offender.

Pamela J. (McConnell) Neal v. David A. McConnell (NFP)
33A01-1305-DR-202
Domestic relation. Affirms modification of child custody, reverses modification of child support and remands for proceedings consistent with the opinion.

Lori A. Cissom v. Review Board of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development and Supreme Indiana Operations, Inc (NFP)
93A02-1304-EX-404
Agency action. Affirms denial by the Review Board of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development of Cissom’s request to reinstate appeal of denial of claim for unemployment benefits.

Joshua Wilson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
33A01-1305-CR-205
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to Class D felony theft and Class B misdemeanor criminal mischief.

The Indiana Supreme Court and Tax Court posted no opinions by IL deadline. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals posted no Indiana opinions by IL deadline.
 

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  1. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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