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Opinions Jan. 21, 2014

January 21, 2014
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Lovoyne Drain
12-3684
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Sarah Evans Barker.
Criminal. Affirms above-guidelines sentence for possession of a firearm by a felon. Section 4A1.3(a)(3), like every provision of the sentencing guidelines, is advisory. And the judge did not violate Drain’s right to due process by taking into account his arrest history as part of her evaluation of the sentencing factors under 18 U.S.C. Section 3553(a).

Indiana Supreme Court
American Cold Storage, et al. v. The City of Boonville
87S01-1303-PL-157
Civil plenary. Reverses the decision of the trial court and remands for further proceedings consistent with this opinion. Holds that the land in this case, which comprises the portion of State Road 62 included in the annexed territory, should be considered and counted as a single parcel in determining whether the remonstrating Landowners comprise 65 percent of the owners of the annexed territory.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Michael Weist v. Kristen Dawn and State Farm Insurance Companies
49A02-1306-PL-541
Civil plenary. Affirms summary judgment in favor of State Farm on Weist’s complaint for monetary damages based on the direct action rule. Reverses summary judgment in favor of Dawn and remands for a trier of fact to resolve whether she is equitably estopped from asserting the defense that the statute of limitations bars Weist’s claim.

In the Matter of the Petition for Temporary Protective Order: A.N. v. K.G.
49A04-1212-PO-649
Protective order. Affirms order of contempt in favor of K.G. The trial court did not improperly act as an advocate and therefore did not deny A.N. her due process right to a fair trial before an impartial tribunal. Judge Robb concurs in separate opinion.

Terry Berry v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1307-CR-583
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor criminal trespass.

Christopher Jethroe v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1304-CR-155
Criminal. Remands with instructions to the trial court to revise the sentence on the Class C felony dealing in marijuana conviction downward to a term of imprisonment within the range authorized by the Class C felony sentencing statute. Affirms conviction of Class A felony dealing in a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of school property.

Tievon N. Nichols v. State of Indiana (NFP)
20A03-1307-CR-293
Criminal. Affirms aggregate 50-year executed sentence following guilty plea to one count of Class A felony burglary, two counts of Class B felony robbery while armed with a deadly weapon and one count of Class B felony criminal confinement.

Brandon M. Ebeyer v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1304-CR-372
Criminal. Reverses conviction of Class A misdemeanor criminal trespass.

In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of: N.I., the minor child, and K.I., the mother, K.I. v. The Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)
91A04-1305-JT-244
Juvenile. Affirms involuntary termination of parental rights.

Smita Radhakrishnan v. Access Therapies, Inc. (NFP)
49A02-1303-PL-202
Civil plenary. Reverses award of $32,237.60 in damages plus costs for a breach of contract and remands for further proceedings. Affirms dismissal of Radhakrishnan’s counterclaim requesting attorney fees and costs.

Charles E. Howard v. State of Indiana (NFP)
53A01-1304-CR-164
Criminal. Dismisses appeal of denial of motion to correct error following denial of motion for jail time credit.

Edward Zaragoza v. State of Indiana (NFP)
79A02-1209-CR-744
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class A felonies murder, conspiracy to commit robbery, conspiracy to commit burglary, attempted robbery and burglary; Class D felonies conspiracy to commit theft and theft; and Class B felony possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon as well as determination Zaragoza is a habitual offender.

Darrell Kirkwood v. State of Indiana (NFP)
31A01-1305-CR-209
Criminal. Affirms revocation of probation and imposition of previously suspended sentence.

VPR Properties, LLC and Purna Veer and Radhika Veer v. Affiliated Foot Care Clinic, PC (NFP)
10A04-1304-PL-177
Civil plenary. Affirms judgment in favor of Affiliated Foot Care Clinic after it filed a breach of contract action against VPR properties.

Timothy J. Padgett v. State of Indiana (NFP)
51A01-1305-CR-228
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B felony burglary.

Donald Ware v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1304-PC-370
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

The Indiana 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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