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Opinions Feb. 24, 2012

February 24, 2012
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The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, Indiana Supreme Court and Indiana Tax Court had no opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals
CFS, LLC and Charles Blackwelder v. Bank of America, Successor in Interest to LaSalle Bank Midwest National Association

29A02-1105-MF-436
Mortgage foreclosure.  Affirms trial court’s granting of summary judgment in favor of Bank of America, finding that the bank established no genuine issue of material fact existed about whether a successor bank surviving after a merger could enforce the note and mortgage of the predecessor.

Undray D. Wilson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
34A02-1012-PC-1389
Post-conviction. Affirms denial of post-conviction relief in murder case on grounds that trial and appellate counsel were not ineffective.

Sasha Slater v. Ridinger Enterprises, Inc., d/b/a Shakamak IGA (NFP)
28A05-1104-CT-207
Civil tort. Reverses and remands slip-and-fall injury case where a store had obtained summary judgment on grounds that the plaintiff didn’t provide evidence as to what caused her fall. Finds the plaintiff created a genuine issue of material fact about the floor where the injury occurred and ruled the trial court’s summary judgment ruling was an error.

In Re: Levi Jacob Loucks Testimonial Trust and James M. Loucks, Trustee; Angel M. Lepley v. Levi J. Loucks (NFP)
17A04-1107-TR-386
Trust. Affirms judgment of trial court that denied a woman’s request to access principal trust funds to pay child support and also denied her request for attorney fees incurred while trying to collect the child support.

Jeremy D. Stone v. State of Indiana (NFP)
02A04-1007-CR-464
Criminal. Affirms a three-year executed sentence for strangulation, finding that defendant-appellant didn’t demonstrate the trial court abused its discretion in failing to mention the man’s guilty plea as a mitigating factor. Nothing is inappropriate about the sentence based on the offender’s character and nature of the crime.
 
Danny W. Ramsey v. State of Indiana (NFP)
14A01-1102-PC-84
Post-conviction. Affirms trial court’s partial denial of a post-conviction relief petition regarding an evidentiary hearing request, whether trial counsel provided ineffective assistance, and whether appellate counsel’s failure to challenge the sentence constituted ineffective assistance.
 
Antoine L. Skinner v. State of Indiana (NFP)
48A02-1105-CR-514
Criminal. Affirms a probation revocation, finding that the trial court didn’t abuse its discretion in revoking all four years of a suspended sentence because of the man’s single sale of cocaine to a police informant which the defendant-appellant claimed was “a trivial violation.”
 
T.W.O. f/k/a T.L.W. v. G.A.W. (NFP)
64A03-1106-DR-289
Domestic relations. Affirms trial court’s decision in favor of the father on grounds that the trial court didn’t abuse its discretion in denying mother’s request to modify custody, didn’t abuse its discretion in dividing marital property, and didn’t abuse its discretion in declining to modify the mother’s child support obligation to an earlier date.
 
Zachery Lewis v. State of Indiana (NFP)
35A02-1108-CR-796
Criminal. Affirms one-year jail sentence for two counts of Class A misdemeanor battery resulting in bodily injury, finding that the nature of the offense and offender’s character didn’t make the sentence inappropriate.

Henry A. Booker v. State of Indiana (NFP)
03A01-1105-CR-221
 Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A felony dealing in a Schedule II controlled substance, finding the 40-year sentence is appropriate, that the evidence was sufficient and the trial court didn’t abuse its discretion in jury instruction regarding the defendant’s defense to the crime.
 

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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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