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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. I can understand a 10 yr suspension for drinking and driving and not following the rules,but don't you think the people who compleate their sentences and are trying to be good people of their community,and are on the right path should be able to obtain a drivers license to do as they please.We as a state should encourage good behavior instead of saying well you did all your time but we can't give you a license come on.When is a persons time served than cause from where I'm standing,its still a punishment,when u can't have the freedom to go where ever you want to in car,truck ,motorcycle,maybe their should be better programs for people instead of just throwing them away like daily trash,then expecting them to change because they we in jail or prison for x amount of yrs.Everyone should look around because we all pay each others bills,and keep each other in business..better knowledge equals better community equals better people...just my 2 cents

  2. I was wondering about the 6 million put aside for common attorney fees?does that mean that if you are a plaintiff your attorney fees will be partially covered?

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  4. I expressed my thought in the title, long as it was. I am shocked that there is ever immunity from accountability for ANY Government agency. That appears to violate every principle in the US Constitution, which exists to limit Government power and to ensure Government accountability. I don't know how many cases of legitimate child abuse exist, but in the few cases in which I knew the people involved, in every example an anonymous caller used DCS as their personal weapon to strike at innocent people over trivial disagreements that had no connection with any facts. Given that the system is vulnerable to abuse, and given the extreme harm any action by DCS causes to families, I would assume any degree of failure to comply with the smallest infraction of personal rights would result in mandatory review. Even one day of parent-child separation in the absence of reasonable cause for a felony arrest should result in severe penalties to those involved in the action. It appears to me, that like all bureaucracies, DCS is prone to interpret every case as legitimate. This is not an accusation against DCS. It is a statement about the nature of bureaucracies, and the need for ADDED scrutiny of all bureaucratic actions. Frankly, I question the constitutionality of bureaucracies in general, because their power is delegated, and therefore unaccountable. No Government action can be unaccountable if we want to avoid its eventual degeneration into irrelevance and lawlessness, and the law of the jungle. Our Constitution is the source of all Government power, and it is the contract that legitimizes all Government power. To the extent that its various protections against intrusion are set aside, so is the power afforded by that contract. Eventually overstepping the limits of power eliminates that power, as a law of nature. Even total tyranny eventually crumbles to nothing.

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