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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. 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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