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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. The child support award is many times what the custodial parent earns, and exceeds the actual costs of providing for the children's needs. My fiance and I have agreed that if we divorce, that the children will be provided for using a shared checking account like this one(http://www.mediate.com/articles/if_they_can_do_parenting_plans.cfm) to avoid the hidden alimony in Indiana's child support guidelines.

  2. Fiat justitia ruat caelum is a Latin legal phrase, meaning "Let justice be done though the heavens fall." The maxim signifies the belief that justice must be realized regardless of consequences.

  3. Indiana up holds this behavior. the state police know they got it made.

  4. Additional Points: -Civility in the profession: Treating others with respect will not only move others to respect you, it will show a shared respect for the legal system we are all sworn to protect. When attorneys engage in unnecessary personal attacks, they lose the respect and favor of judges, jurors, the person being attacked, and others witnessing or reading the communication. It's not always easy to put anger aside, but if you don't, you will lose respect, credibility, cases, clients & jobs or job opportunities. -Read Rule 22 of the Admission & Discipline Rules. Capture that spirit and apply those principles in your daily work. -Strive to represent clients in a manner that communicates the importance you place on the legal matter you're privileged to handle for them. -There are good lawyers of all ages, but no one is perfect. Older lawyers can learn valuable skills from younger lawyers who tend to be more adept with new technologies that can improve work quality and speed. Older lawyers have already tackled more legal issues and worked through more of the problems encountered when representing clients on various types of legal matters. If there's mutual respect and a willingness to learn from each other, it will help make both attorneys better lawyers. -Erosion of the public trust in lawyers wears down public confidence in the rule of law. Always keep your duty to the profession in mind. -You can learn so much by asking questions & actively listening to instructions and advice from more experienced attorneys, regardless of how many years or decades you've each practiced law. Don't miss out on that chance.

  5. Agreed on 4th Amendment call - that was just bad policing that resulted in dismissal for repeat offender. What kind of parent names their boy "Kriston"?

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