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Opinions Jan. 23, 2014

January 23, 2014
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Indiana Court of Appeals
A.J.R. v. State of Indiana
46A03-1306-JV-243
Juvenile. Holds that the juvenile court did not abuse its discretion by admitting the officer’s testimony, and the evidence is sufficient to prove A.J.R. shot two cattle and to sustain his adjudications for criminal mischief. However, concluding A.J.R.’s actions did not constitute mutilation or torture of an animal, the court reverses his adjudications for cruelty to an animal.

Chubb Custom Insurance Company, et al. v. Standard Fusee Corporation
49A02-1301-PL-91
Civil plenary. Reverses summary judgment and award of defense costs in favor of Standard Fusee Corp. Concludes that the total pollution exclusion clause in Chubb Custom’s comprehensive general liability insurance policies is applicable to Standard Fusee’s liability for the release of perchlorate and therefore its duty to defend and indemnify is not triggered.

Johnathon R. Aslinger v. State of Indiana
35A02-1303-CR-296
Criminal. The trial court erred in admitting the evidence seized in violation of Aslinger’s Fourth Amendment rights and in imposing consecutive habitual substance offender sentence enhancements. Reverses convictions of possession of methamphetamine and paraphernalia and remands in Case No. 127. Instructs the trial court order the HSO enhancements be served concurrently. Concludes that, in Case No. 152, the trial court did not err in excluding Aslinger’s jury instruction, and his sentence for dealing methamphetamine is not inappropriate in light of the nature of the offense and character of the offender. Judge Robb concurs in separate opinion.

State of Indiana v. DeAngelo Banks
49A02-1303-CR-235
Criminal. Affirms grant of Banks’ motion to suppress his confession of murder. The record reveals that the detective’s advisement did not inform Banks that he had the right to have counsel present during the questioning at issue and thus failed to properly advise Banks of his Miranda rights. The trial court considered the evidence presented of Banks’ mental illness, heard his own testimony, and came to the conclusion that his statement was not voluntary. There is substantial evidence supporting the trial court’s conclusion.

Dexter Hawkins v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A04-1305-CR-233
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B misdemeanor criminal mischief.

In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of: R.A.B. (Minor Child) and Z.T.B. (Mother) & R.W.B. (Father) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)

02A03-1306-JT-234
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.

Tyrone Shelton v. State of Indiana (NFP)
71A04-1308-CR-387
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B felony serious violent felon in possession of a firearm.

The Indiana Supreme Court and Tax Court posted no opinions by IL deadline. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals posted no Indiana decisions by IL deadline.
 

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  1. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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