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Opinions Feb. 11, 2014

February 11, 2014
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Indiana Supreme Court
Michael Inman v. State of Indiana
49S00-1207-LW-376
Life without parole. Affirms conviction and sentence to life imprisonment without the possibility for parole for murder, murder while committing or attempting to commit the offense of robbery, robbery, and unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felony. Justice Mark Massa concurred in result but found the trial court’s instruction to the jury was harmless.  

Paul Stieler Enterprises, Inc., d/b/a Harbor Bay, et al. v. City of Evansville and Evansville Common Council; VFW Post 2953, et al. v. City of Evansville and Evansville Common Council
82S01-1306-CT-436 and 82S01-1306-PL-437
Civil. Strikes down an amended Evansville smoking ban that exempted the Aztar riverboat casino in a 3-2 decision. Chief Justice Brent Dickson and Justices Mark Massa and Steven David held that the exception violated Article 1, Section 23 of the Indiana Constitution because it conferred a privilege on the casino that wasn’t extended to similarly situated bars, taverns and clubs. Dissenting Justices Loretta Rush and Robert Rucker found the casino’s inherent characteristics of producing a large flow of revenue and attracting a mostly out-of-town clientele placed it in a distinct group from the tavern and club establishment that challenged the exemption.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Jeff Howell v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1307-MI-634
Miscellaneous. Affirms denial of renewed motion for return of property.
 
Patricia A. Hampton and Joseph A. Hampton, individually as husband and wife; et al v. Metropolitan Property and Casualty Insurance Company (NFP)
02A04-1310-PL-509
Civil plenary. Affirms granting of Metropolitan Property and Casualty Insurance Co.’s motion for summary judgment.

Mayson L. St. Clair v. State of Indiana (NFP)
35A02-1307-CR-577
Criminal. Affirms robbery conviction as a Class B felony.

Stephen T. Perosky v. State of Indiana (NFP)
45A03-1307-CR-255
Criminal. Affirms convictions and nine-year aggregated sentence for disarming a law enforcement officer as a Class C felony; two counts of battery as Class D felonies; and two counts of resisting law enforcement as Class D felonies.

In the Matter of the Involuntary Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of N.M., A.M. and H.M., minor children, and J.M. Father, J.M. v. Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)
48A05-1307-JT-327
Juvenile. Affirms involuntary termination of J.M.’s (father) parental rights to his children N.M., A.M. and H.M.

In the Matter of the Involuntary Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of H.R. (Minor Child) and J.N. (Mother) and M.R. (Father) v. Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)
38A05-1305-JT-206
Juvenile. Affirms termination of J.N.’s (mother) and M.R.’s (father) parental relationship with their minor child, H.R. Judge John Baker wrote a separate opinion, concurring with the majority but finding the termination appeared to be about punishing the parents rather than protecting the child.

Richard Boylls v. State of Indiana (NFP)
82A05-1306-CR-307
Criminal. Affirms conviction for dealing in methamphetamine as a Class B felony.

The Indiana 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. It really doesn't matter what the law IS, if law enforcement refuses to take reports (or take them seriously), if courts refuse to allow unrepresented parties to speak (especially in Small Claims, which is supposedly "informal"). It doesn't matter what the law IS, if constituents are unable to make effective contact or receive any meaningful response from their representatives. Two of our pets were unnecessarily killed; court records reflect that I "abandoned" them. Not so; when I was denied one of them (and my possessions, which by court order I was supposed to be able to remove), I went directly to the court. And earlier, when I tried to have the DV PO extended (it expired while the subject was on probation for violating it), the court denied any extension. The result? Same problems, less than eight hours after expiration. Ironic that the county sheriff was charged (and later pleaded to) with intimidation, but none of his officers seemed interested or capable of taking such a report from a private citizen. When I learned from one officer what I needed to do, I forwarded audio and transcript of one occurrence and my call to law enforcement (before the statute of limitations expired) to the prosecutor's office. I didn't even receive an acknowledgement. Earlier, I'd gone in to the prosecutor's office and been told that the officer's (written) report didn't match what I said occurred. Since I had the audio, I can only say that I have very little faith in Indiana government or law enforcement.

  2. One can only wonder whether Mr. Kimmel was paid for his work by Mr. Burgh ... or whether that bill fell to the citizens of Indiana, many of whom cannot afford attorneys for important matters. It really doesn't take a judge(s) to know that "pavement" can be considered a deadly weapon. It only takes a brain and some education or thought. I'm glad to see the conviction was upheld although sorry to see that the asphalt could even be considered "an issue".

  3. In response to bryanjbrown: thank you for your comment. I am familiar with Paul Ogden (and applaud his assistance to Shirley Justice) and have read of Gary Welsh's (strange) death (and have visited his blog on many occasions). I am not familiar with you (yet). I lived in Kosciusko county, where the sheriff was just removed after pleading in what seems a very "sweetheart" deal. Unfortunately, something NEEDS to change since the attorneys won't (en masse) stand up for ethics (rather making a show to please the "rules" and apparently the judges). I read that many attorneys are underemployed. Seems wisdom would be to cull the herd and get rid of the rotting apples in practice and on the bench, for everyone's sake as well as justice. I'd like to file an attorney complaint, but I have little faith in anything (other than the most flagrant and obvious) resulting in action. My own belief is that if this was medicine, there'd be maimed and injured all over and the carnage caused by "the profession" would be difficult to hide. One can dream ... meanwhile, back to figuring out to file a pro se "motion to dismiss" as well as another court required paper that Indiana is so fond of providing NO resources for (unlike many other states, who don't automatically assume that citizens involved in the court process are scumbags) so that maybe I can get the family law attorney - whose work left me with no settlement, no possessions and resulted in the death of two pets (etc ad nauseum) - to stop abusing the proceedings supplemental and small claims rules and using it as a vehicle for harassment and apparently, amusement.

  4. Been on social security sense sept 2011 2massive strokes open heart surgery and serious ovarian cancer and a blood clot in my lung all in 14 months. Got a letter in may saying that i didn't qualify and it was in form like i just applied ,called social security she said it don't make sense and you are still geting a check in june and i did ,now i get a check from my part D asking for payment for july because there will be no money for my membership, call my prescription coverage part D and confirmed no check will be there.went to social security they didn't want to answer whats going on just said i should of never been on it .no one knows where this letter came from was California im in virginia and been here sense my strokes and vcu filed for my disability i was in the hospital when they did it .It's like it was a error . My ,mothers social security was being handled in that office in California my sister was dealing with it and it had my social security number because she died last year and this letter came out of the same office and it came at the same time i got the letter for my mother benefits for death and they had the same date of being typed just one was on the mail Saturday and one on Monday. . I think it's a mistake and it should been fixed instead there just getting rid of me .i never got a formal letter saying when i was being tsken off.

  5. Employers should not have racially discriminating mind set. It has huge impact on the society what the big players do or don't do in the industry. Background check is conducted just to verify whether information provided by the prospective employee is correct or not. It doesn't have any direct combination with the rejection of the employees. If there is rejection, there should be something effective and full-proof things on the table that may keep the company or the people associated with it in jeopardy.

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