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Opinions Feb. 7, 2011

February 7, 2011
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Indiana Supreme Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Ricky E. Graham v. State of Indiana
22A01-1008-PC-392
Post conviction. Affirms post-conviction relief court properly rejected Graham’s claims of an inadequate factual basis or ineffective assistance of appellate counsel, and claims of fundamental error. The PCR court’s findings don’t support its rejection of his claim that his plea was illusory or involuntary. Remands for a new PCR hearing to address that issue and the question of the effectiveness of his trial counsel on the grounds raised in his PCR petition, should he resubmit his subpoena request for his trial counsel to appear at the new hearing.

C.H., M.H. and J.S. v. J.D.
29A05-1004-DR-204
Domestic relation. Reverses grant of J.D.’s visitation petition regarding his biological child A.H., who has been adopted. Indiana Code Section 31-19-16-2 is the exclusive means for asserting visitation rights and J.D. did not follow the procedures listed therein. Remands with instructions to vacate the grant of visitation. Judge Crone concurs in result.

Jerry Ehman v. Mary Ehman
48A02-1006-DR-691
Domestic relation. Reverses $31,322 award to Mary, the full amount set forth in the original divorce decree involving her share of Jerry’s retirement account. After the decree was issued, the account declined dramatically due to a drop in the value of General Motors stock. Mary was in the best position to avoid the loss and her failure to submit the Qualified Domestic Relations Order and seek assistance from the trial court in a timely fashion contributed to the dramatic decline in the value of the personal savings plan. Remands with instructions.

Dustan Slade v. State of Indiana
38A02-1007-CR-875
Criminal. Affirms 20-year executed sentence following guilty plea to Class A felony dealing in cocaine. Judicial estoppel does not apply here, and the trial court did not erroneously conclude that his sentence was non-suspendible below 20 years when the state dismissed its firearm sentence enhancement allegation pursuant to the written plea agreement. The trial court concluded it was required to execute at least 20 years of his 30-year sentence because the judge found Slade possessed a firearm during the commission of the crime based on the pre-sentence investigation report.

Arthur Davis v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1006-CR-742
Criminal. Affirms two convictions of Class B felony robbery.

Tracy J. Talley v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1006-CR-641
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor trespass.

Matter of the Civil Commitment of J.G. v. Community Hospital North/Gallahue Mental Health Services (NFP)
49A02-1008-MH-835
Mental health. Affirms order involuntarily committing J.G. to the custody of Community North Hospital/Gallahue Mental Health Services for 90 days.

Dale G. Catron v. State of Indiana (NFP)
24A05-1007-CR-535
Criminal. Affirms revocation of probation after Catron stopped paying restitution.

Carl Andre Coleman v. State of Indiana (NFP)
20A05-1008-CR-553
Criminal. Affirms convictions of and sentence for Class B felony burglary and Class D felony criminal confinement.

Term. of Parent-Child Rel. of Z.S. and A.P.; T.S. v. Knox County DCS (NFP)
42A01-1006-JT-312
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.

Lewis C. Woodward v. State of Indiana (NFP)
10A01-1008-CR-396
Criminal. Dismisses appeal of motion to dismiss charges of Class D felony sexual battery, Class D felony residential entry, and Class B misdemeanor public intoxication.

S.S. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1004-JV-493
Juvenile. Affirms order committing S.S. to the Indiana Department of Correction.

Lawrence Lusk v. State of Indiana (NFP)
71A03-1007-CR-433
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C felony carrying a handgun without a license with a prior conviction.

Darrick Williams v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1008-CR-856
Criminal. Affirms aggregate 40-year sentence following convictions of Class A felony burglary and Class A felony robbery.

Paul Rogers v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1005-CR-585
Criminal. Reverses conviction of Class B felony burglary and remands for a new trial.

D.K. v. Review Board (NFP)
93A02-1006-EX-639
Civil. Affirms denial of request for unemployment benefits.

James Roberson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
22A04-1001-CR-100
Criminal. Affirms denial of motion to withdraw guilty plea and sentence for Class A felony robbery resulting in serious bodily injury.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at 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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