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Opinions Feb. 27, 2014

February 27, 2014
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. John A. Peters III
12-3830
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Jane E. Magnus-Stinson.
Criminal. Affirms denial of motion to suppress evidence discovered during the search of a car in which Peters was a passenger. The District Court committed no error in crediting the testimony of an experienced police officer who, after observing two cars traveling in tandem for a period of time, said he credibly believed that the trailing car was approximately 75 feet behind the lead car at a speed of approximately 60 miles-per-hour. If an officer knowing these facts could reasonably conclude that this combination of speed and distance violated Indiana law, that is all that is necessary to support probable cause.

Indiana Court of Appeals
State of Indiana v. Chad Bryant
32A01-1306-CR-282
Criminal. Reverses dismissal of charges against Bryant for Class D felony operating a vehicle as a habitual traffic violator. The state properly charged Bryant with Class D felony operating a vehicle as an HTV as a matter of law, and that the trial court abused its discretion when it granted Bryant’s motion to dismiss.

State of Indiana v. Michael E. Cunningham
19A05-1310-CR-489
Criminal. Affirms grant of Cunningham’s motion to suppress marijuana and a marijuana pipe. The state has failed to establish that Cunningham’s purported consent to the pat down was constitutionally valid. As such, the discovery of the marijuana in the pill bottle during the illegal pat down and the subsequent discovery of the pipe must be suppressed as fruits of the poisonous tree. Judge Brown dissents.

In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of: J.G. and C.G. (Minor Children) and B.G. (Mother) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services
84A05-1305-JT-219
Juvenile. Dismisses mother’s appeal of order terminating her parental rights to two of her seven children. The mother forfeited her right to appeal because she failed to file a timely notice of appeal.

Kathy K. Brunner v. Review Board of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (NFP)
93A02-1307-EX-592
Agency action. Affirms denial of claim for unemployment benefits.

M.M. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1307-JV-367
Juvenile. Affirms adjudication as a delinquent child for committing an act that would be Class A misdemeanor criminal mischief if committed by an adult.

Brad S. Brown v. State of Indiana (NFP)
90A02-1306-CR-485
Criminal. Reverses conviction of Class C felony robbery and affirms convictions of Class B felony robbery and Class D felony domestic battery.

Michael L. Wilson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
20A04-1109-CR-531
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B felony burglary and adjudication as a habitual offender.

Jose Ayala Cuevas v. State of Indiana (NFP)
29A04-1306-CR-298
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class A misdemeanor criminal recklessness and Class B misdemeanor reckless driving.

Anna Marie Kelley v. State of Indiana (NFP)
27A05-1307-CR-333
Criminal. Affirms conviction and sentence for Class D felony auto theft.

David E. Matney v. State of Indiana (NFP)
55A01-1308-CR-372
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony auto theft.

David Burroughs v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A04-1307-CR-360
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C felony burglary.

Paul Farrell v. Deborah Farrell (NFP)
40A01-1307-DR-305
Domestic relation. Affirms in part. Concludes that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in the calculation and distribution of the marital estate. Remands with instructions for the trial court to replace the joint and several liability language consistent with its intent that the medical debt be equally divided between the parties.

Johnny D. Wayt v. State of Indiana (NFP)
36A05-1307-PC-338
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

In the Matter of the Civil Commitment of: E.G. v. Eskenazi Health Midtown Community Mental Health Center (NFP)
49A02-1308-MH-724
Mental health. Affirms order concluding that Midtown proved by clear and convincing evidence that E.G. was dangerous to others and ordering him to take his prescribed medications.

Rapkin Group, Inc., as a minority Member on behalf and for the benefit of The Eye Center Group, LLC and Surgicenter Group, LLC. v. L. Marshall Roch, M.D. and Lynnette M. Watkins, M.D. (NFP)
18A02-1302-CT-193
Civil tort. Affirms summary judgment in favor of Drs. Roch and Watkins in Rapkin’s claim for actual fraud, constructive fraud and breach of fiduciary duty.

The Indiana Supreme Court and Tax Court posted no opinions by IL deadline.

 

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  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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