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Opinions Jan. 26, 2011

January 26, 2011
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Ty Brock
10-2385
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division, Chief Judge Philip P. Simon.
Criminal. Affirms denial of motion to suppress items found in Brock’s car during a checkpoint stop. Because the checkpoint was neither objectively nor subjectively intrusive in any way that would outweigh the government’s interest in operating it, the checkpoint stop didn’t violate his Fourth Amendment rights.

Maurice Gipson v. United States of America
09-2756
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Terre Haute Division, Judge Larry J. McKinney.
Civil. Reverses summary judgment for the government in Gipson’s suit under the Federal Tort Claims Act complaining about complications of neck surgery because the prison’s medical staff didn’t tell him that he needed to stop taking blood thinners at least five days before the surgery. The medical staff should have told Gipson to stop taking the aspirin, and there is conflicting evidence as to whether he ran out of aspirin more than five days before his operation as the government argues. Remands for further proceedings.

Indiana Supreme Court
Fredrick Michael Baer v. State of Indiana
48S00-0709-PD-362
Death penalty. Affirms denial of post-conviction relief following previous affirmation of Baer’s death sentence for two counts of murder. He did not receive ineffective assistance of trial or appellate counsel, his death sentence doesn’t violate the Eighth Amendment, and the trial judge didn’t error in rejecting his guilty but mentally ill plea.

Indiana Court of Appeals
S.S. v. Review Board
93A02-1006-EX-738
Civil. Affirms dismissal of S.S.’s appeal following the denial of unemployment benefits and the denial of her request for reinstatement of her appeal. S.S. was afforded due process and a reasonable opportunity for a hearing, and there was no error in the review board’s consideration of evidence or in its denial of her request to reinstate her appeal. Judge Brown dissents.

Dan Cristiani Excavating Co. Inc. v. Jeremy Money and Kerri Money
10A05-1002-CT-114
Civil tort. Affirms verdict in favor of the Moneys for injuries sustained by Jeremy in a bulldozer accident. The trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying bifurcation of the trial or in declining to allow the jury to view actual or photographic evidence of the bulldozer involved. Cristiani waived the issue of whether Jeremy’s life-care planner was qualified to testify as an expert and that the weight to be given to her testimony was properly conceded by the jury. Cristiani failed to establish actual personal bias by the trial judge.

A.H. v. State of Indiana
10A05-1003-CR-256
Criminal. Reverses one count of Class B felony incest. The evidence, which included A.H.’s stipulated polygraph, was insufficient to prove this conviction beyond a reasonable doubt. Remands for the trial court to vacate this conviction and accompanying sentence and for further proceedings.

Term. of Parent-Child Rel. of T.T., et al.; A.T. v. I.D.C.S. (NFP)
29A05-1008-JT-475
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parent-child relationship.

Gene Hooks v. State of Indiana (NFP)
82A01-1005-CR-220
Criminal. Affirms convictions of two counts of Class C felony child molesting.

Jonathan R. Dye v. State of Indiana (NFP)
21A01-1004-CR-168
Criminal. Revises sentence following guilty plea to two counts of dealing in a controlled substance, one as a Class B and one as a Class C felony, and remands for a sentence of 10 years with two years suspended.

Christopher West v. State of Indiana (NFP)
21A04-1004-CR-303
Criminal. Affirms West’s convictions of two counts of dealing in cocaine as class B felonies and one count of possession of cocaine as a Class D felony. Reverses the trial court’s imposition of consecutive sentences as to the two dealing convictions. Remands for further proceedings.

Melissa A. (Scales) Crupper v. Charles D. Scales, Jr. (NFP)
87A05-1008-DR-500
Domestic relation. Affirms judgment granting father physical custody of the children.

Tevin Reaves v. State of Indiana (NFP)
71A04-1005-CR-332
Criminal. Affirms conviction of murder but sua sponte vacates the conviction of conspiracy to commit murder and sentence on double jeopardy grounds.

Paternity of T.A.; J.M. v. A.A. (NFP)
28A01-1007-JP-387
Juvenile. Affirms order that J.M.’s minor child should assume the surname of A.A., the child’s mother.

Arthur E. Lott, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
02A04-1006-CR-383
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C felony burglary.

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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