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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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  1. I have been on this program while on parole from 2011-2013. No person should be forced mentally to share private details of their personal life with total strangers. Also giving permission for a mental therapist to report to your parole agent that your not participating in group therapy because you don't have the financial mean to be in the group therapy. I was personally singled out and sent back three times for not having money and also sent back within the six month when you aren't to be sent according to state law. I will work to het this INSOMM's removed from this state. I also had twelve or thirteen parole agents with a fifteen month period. Thanks for your time.

  2. Our nation produces very few jurists of the caliber of Justice DOUGLAS and his peers these days. Here is that great civil libertarian, who recognized government as both a blessing and, when corrupted by ideological interests, a curse: "Once the investigator has only the conscience of government as a guide, the conscience can become ‘ravenous,’ as Cromwell, bent on destroying Thomas More, said in Bolt, A Man For All Seasons (1960), p. 120. The First Amendment mirrors many episodes where men, harried and harassed by government, sought refuge in their conscience, as these lines of Thomas More show: ‘MORE: And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Paradise for doing according to your conscience, *575 and I am damned for not doing according to mine, will you come with me, for fellowship? ‘CRANMER: So those of us whose names are there are damned, Sir Thomas? ‘MORE: I don't know, Your Grace. I have no window to look into another man's conscience. I condemn no one. ‘CRANMER: Then the matter is capable of question? ‘MORE: Certainly. ‘CRANMER: But that you owe obedience to your King is not capable of question. So weigh a doubt against a certainty—and sign. ‘MORE: Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But if it is flat, will the King's command make it round? And if it is round, will the King's command flatten it? No, I will not sign.’ Id., pp. 132—133. DOUGLAS THEN WROTE: Where government is the Big Brother,11 privacy gives way to surveillance. **909 But our commitment is otherwise. *576 By the First Amendment we have staked our security on freedom to promote a multiplicity of ideas, to associate at will with kindred spirits, and to defy governmental intrusion into these precincts" Gibson v. Florida Legislative Investigation Comm., 372 U.S. 539, 574-76, 83 S. Ct. 889, 908-09, 9 L. Ed. 2d 929 (1963) Mr. Justice DOUGLAS, concurring. I write: Happy Memorial Day to all -- God please bless our fallen who lived and died to preserve constitutional governance in our wonderful series of Republics. And God open the eyes of those government officials who denounce the constitutions of these Republics by arbitrary actions arising out capricious motives.

  3. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

  4. "Meanwhile small- and mid-size firms are getting squeezed and likely will not survive unless they become a boutique firm." I've been a business attorney in small, and now mid-size firm for over 30 years, and for over 30 years legal consultants have been preaching this exact same mantra of impending doom for small and mid-sized firms -- verbatim. This claim apparently helps them gin up merger opportunities from smaller firms who become convinced that they need to become larger overnight. The claim that large corporations are interested in cost-saving and efficiency has likewise been preached for decades, and is likewise bunk. If large corporations had any real interest in saving money they wouldn't use large law firms whose rates are substantially higher than those of high-quality mid-sized firms.

  5. The family is the foundation of all human government. That is the Grand Design. Modern governments throw off this Design and make bureaucratic war against the family, as does Hollywood and cultural elitists such as third wave feminists. Since WWII we have been on a ship of fools that way, with both the elite and government and their social engineering hacks relentlessly attacking the very foundation of social order. And their success? See it in the streets of Fergusson, on the food stamp doles (mostly broken families)and in the above article. Reject the Grand Design for true social function, enter the Glorious State to manage social dysfunction. Our Brave New World will be a prison camp, and we will welcome it as the only way to manage given the anarchy without it.

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