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Opinions July 11, 2013

July 11, 2013
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Danny Harmon
12-1502
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Jane E. Magnus-Stinson.
Criminal. Affirms convictions of marijuana conspiracy and related offenses and 360-month sentence. A trial continuance did not violate his Sixth Amendment right to a speedy trial and the disclosure of Harmon’s prior drug conviction did not deprive him of a fair trial. The court did not make a mistake in finding Harmon responsible for more than 10,000 kilograms of marijuana.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Lindsay Tatusko v. State of Indiana
29A04-1208-CR-413
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class C felony forgery and Class D felony theft. Tatusko’s electronic alteration of an authorized tip amount constitutes forgery. She also hasn’t shown she was denied effective assistance of trial counsel.

Kenneth Smith v. State of Indiana

49A02-1212-CR-1017
Criminal. Affirms order Smith pay $1,380 in restitution to William Kirkham. The trial court did not err when it allowed the state to present evidence at the restitution hearing of the victim’s actual loss that was not presented during Smith’s theft trial. The trial court also inquired into Smith’s ability to pay restitution.

In the Matter of the Paternity and Maternity of Infant T.
67A05-1301-JP-36
Juvenile. Reverses denial of father M.F.’s request to establish paternity and affirms the denial of surrogate M.F.’s petition to disestablish maternity. Her request is not cognizable so the trial court properly denied it. Indiana law presumes the birth mother is the child’s biological mother. Remands for the trial court to enter an order establishing M.F.’s paternity.

Robert M. Gates v. City of Indianapolis
49A04-1210-OV-503
Ordinance violation. Reverses denial of Gates’ request for a jury trial on three municipal ordinances the city alleges Gates violated. The nature of the underlying substantive claims brought against him is quasi-criminal, and he is entitled to a jury trial under Article I, Section 20 of the Indiana Constitution. Remands with instructions to grant the jury trial request.

Paul Monet Fontaine v. State of Indiana (NFP)

45A03-1211-CR-476
Criminal. Affirms sentence for Class C felony forgery.

Cecilia Kelly v. GEPA Hotel Owner Indianapolis LLC, GEPA Hotel Operator Indianapolis LLC, and Schindler Elevator Corporation (NFP)
49A04-1210-CT-509
Civil tort. Reverses grant of summary judgment in favor of GEPA Hotel Owners Indianapolis, GEPA Hotel Operator and Schindler Elevator Corp. on Kelly’s negligence lawsuit.

David L. Howard v. State of Indiana (NFP)

46A04-1212-PC-639
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Dana L. Smith v. James L. Smith (NFP
)
49A05-1210-DR-554
Domestic relation. Affirms order denying Dana Smith’s motion to correct error following the entry of the decree dissolving the Smiths’ marriage. Remands with instructions for the trial court to add an exhibit nunc pro tunc and to redistribute the decree to the parties.

The Indiana Supreme Court and Tax Court posted no decisions 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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