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Opinions July 11, 2014

July 11, 2014
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The following opinions were posted after IL deadline Thursday:

7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Stephanie Sue Carlson v. CSX Transportation
13-1944 and 13-2054
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Evansville Division, Chief Judge Richard Young.
Civil. Reinstates claims dismissed by the District Court for sexual discrimination and retaliation. Finds that the court erred by dismissing most of Carlson’s Title VII claims for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted or were precluded by the Railway Labor Act. Declines to grant CSX’s cross-motion for summary judgment and remands for proceedings.

Indiana Supreme Court
In re the Involuntary Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of K.W., a Minor Child, and His Mother, C.C.; K.W. v. Indiana Department of Child Services and Child Advocates, Inc.
49S02-1407-JT-458
Juvenile. Vacates termination of mother C.C.’s parental rights to her son, K.W., holding that the juvenile court abused its discretion by denying a motion to continue the termination hearing for which the mother was absent because she had been jailed.
 

Friday's opinion
Indiana Court of Appeals

Scott A. Wright v. State of Indiana
45A05-1310-CR-526
Criminal. Vacates Wright’s conviction of Class A felony child molesting and remands for a new trial. Finds the trial court erred in replacing a juror during deliberations. The juror was the lone vote to acquit and had stopped deliberating but he was not prejudicing the other jurors nor impairing Wright’s right to a trial by jury. Moreover, the trial court failed to explain to the jury that the removal of the single juror was not because the court agreed or disagreed with the juror’s views.

A.H. v. C.E.G., on behalf of G.S.
49A05-1310-PO-525
Protective order. Reverses grant of injunction against A.H. under the Workforce Violence Restraining Orders Act, finding that because the case grows out of a labor dispute, it is governed by the Anti-Injunction Act and therefore the trial court had no jurisdiction to issue the injunction. Remands with instructions to dismiss C.E.G.’s petition without prejudice.

In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of: Z.C., Minor Child, S.C., Mother v. The Indiana Department of Child Services
33A01-1310-JT-434
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights of mother S.C. to son Z.C. Holds DCS presented sufficient evidence that the conditions under which the child was removed from mother’s care would not be remedied and that termination was in the child’s best interests.

Drakkar R. Willis v. State of Indiana
49A02-1310-CR-854
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor criminal trespass. The majority held that circumstantial evidence in the case was sufficient to affirm the conviction in light of the ruling in Meehan v. State, 7 N.E.3d 255 (Ind. 2014), in which DNA on a glove found at a crime scene was sufficient to support a burglary conviction. Dissenting Judge Michael Barnes found that the evidence against Willis wasn’t sufficient and that the ruling in Meehan doesn’t demand that tenets of the definition of “proof beyond a reasonable doubt” be altered.

In the Matter of the Adoption of D.M.B., D.P.B. (Father) v. T.M.N. (Stepfather) (NFP)
53A01-1312-AD-547
Adoption. Affirms grant of stepfather’s petition of adoption.

Andrea M. Fears and Edwin G. Fears v. Charles W. Asxom and Peggy L. Axsom as Trustees of the Charles W. Axsom and Peggy L. Axsom Revocable Trust (NFP)
07A04-1305-PL-243
Civil plenary. Affirms denial of the Fearses’ motion for summary judgment.
 
Racxon Cruze McDowell v. State of Indiana (NFP)
82A01-1311-CR-492
Criminal. Affirms conviction of murder.

In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of: D.R., Minor Child, and A.R., Father v. The Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)
79A04-1312-JT-614
Juvenile. Affirms involuntary termination of father A.R.’s parental rights to D.R.

Damon Quarles v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1306-CR-588
Criminal. Affirms denial of petition for credit time not previously awarded.

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