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Opinions July 15, 2014

July 15, 2014
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Indiana Court of Appeals
Antonio L. Vaughn v. State of Indiana
84A01-1302-CR-57
Criminal. Affirmed Vaughn’s conviction and 40-year aggregate sentence for two counts of dealing in cocaine, each as a Class A felony, and one count of maintaining a common nuisance, a Class D felony. Finds the trial court did not abuse its discretion in admitting evidence of the controlled buys, statements of the confidential information and the cocaine. Also finds the trial court did not abuse its discretion in instructing the jury. Rules the evidence was sufficient to support Vaughn’s convictions. Holds the trial court did not abuse its discretion when it sentenced Vaughn but it made a clerical error on the sentencing order. Remanded to the trial court to correct error to reflect that Vaughn was sentenced for maintaining a common nuisance conviction to three years, not three-and-a-half years.

In re: The Grandparent Visitation of C.S.N.: Brooke Neuhoff v. Scott A. Ubelhor and Angela S. Ubelhor
19A05-1311-MI-542
Miscellaneous. Reverses and vacates trial court’s award of grandparent visitation for paternal grandparents Scott and Angela Ubelhor. The trial court erred in findings that awarded visitation because it failed to consider the totality of circumstances in determining that mother’s reasons for restricting visitation were unreasonable. Chief Judge Nancy Vaidik dissented and would affirm the trial court, which wrote that the trial court found visitation would be in the child’s best interests and there was no reason to believe visitation would resume without a court order.
 
Juan Manzano v. State of Indiana
48A02-1310-PC-905
Post conviction. Affirms post-conviction court’s denial of relief from a 50-year sentence for his conviction of Class A felony rape, concluding that Manzano did not receive ineffective assistance of counsel.

Rebecca Stafford, Individually and as Surviving Parent of Drayden Powell, Deceased, and Drayden Powell, Deceased v. James E. Szymanowki, M.D. and Gyn, Ltd., Inc., and Joseph B. Clemente, M.D.
89A01-1401-CT-48
Civil tort. Affirms trial court grant of summary judgment in favor of defendants on a medical malpractice claim. The panel held that the trial court properly concluded that another doctor’s testimony did not create a genuine issue of material fact as to the liability of Dr.  Szymanowski; (2) GYN cannot be held vicariously liable for the perceived acts of medical malpractice committed by Dr. Smith when Dr. Smith’s conduct was never reviewed by the medical review panel; and (3) the trial court properly concluded that no recovery exists for the 2007 death of a child not born alive under the Child Wrongful Death Statute, as amended.

Jacqueline Myers v. Mark Myers
49A02-1310-DR-895
Domestic relation. Affirms in part and reverses in part a grant of Mark Myer’s motion to prevent Jacqueline Myer’s relocation to Texas with her daughter, H.M. Father’s petition was properly before the court. The trial court did not err in finding mother had not met her burden of proof in seeking to relocate. However, the court erred in ordering that father would receive automatic physical custody of H.M. if mother moved to Texas.

In the Matter of J.W., A Child in Need of Services J.W. (Minor Child), and M.K. (Mother), & D.W. (Father) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)
49A04-1312-JC-593
Juvenile. Affirms in part and reverses in part, holding that a child in need of services finding was not error, nor was the trial court’s order that father complete a domestic violence assessment. But because there is no evidence father had a substance abuse problem, the court erred when it ordered him to submit to random drug testing.

In the Matter of the Involuntary Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of W.H., Minor Child, and His Mother, J.F., J.F. v. Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)
79A02-1312-JT-1034
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.

Paul A. Croucher v. State of Indiana (NFP)
89A01-1401-CR-23
Criminal. Affirms in part, reverses in part 40-year aggregate sentence and convictions of Class A felony and Class C felony child molesting. The trial court did not abuse discretion in admitting certain evidence and there was no prosecutorial misconduct. Remands for the trial court to amend its sentencing order because the court abused its discretion in classifying Croucher as a credit-restricted felon.

Alan R. Kohlhaas, on behalf of himself and all others similarly situated v. Hidden Valley Lake Property Owners Association, Inc., and Robert A. Will, William Acra, Carl Adkins, et al. (NFP)
15A01-1308-PL-357
Civil plenary. Affirms grant of summary judgment in favor of Hidden Valley Lake Property Owners Association and other defendants.

Christopher Anderson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A04-1307-PC-340
Post conviction. Affirms denial of post-conviction relief for conviction of murder, intimidation and possession of a handgun without a license.

James E. Manley v. Monroe County Prosecutor (NFP)
53A01-1402-MI-65
Miscellaneous. Affirms trial court denial of Manley’s pro se “complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief/challenge to the constitutionality of Indiana statute” challenging his conviction of multiple counts of child molesting.

Brandon Hicks v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1308-CR-739
Criminal. Affirms aggregate 40-year sentence and conviction of Class B felony manslaughter and Class A misdemeanor possession of marijuana.

Cynthia Marx v. State of Indiana (NFP)
48A04-1311-CR-548
Criminal. Affirms revocation of probation and remands for correction of the sentencing order and abstract of judgment.

Brian Baxter v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1306-CR-285
Criminal. Affirms denial of Baxter’s motion to compel certain public agencies to produce public records relating to his convictions of three counts of murder, conspiracy to commit robbery, resisting law enforcement and carrying a handgun without a license.

James Washington v. State of Indiana (NFP)
10A05-1312-CR-626
Criminal. Affirms conviction of murder, reverses in part and remands. There was sufficient evidence to rebut Washington’s claim of self defense, his sentence was appropriate, but on the state’s cross-appeal, the panel determined the trial court erred by finding conviction of Class B felony robbery was a lesser included offense. Remands with instruction that Washington be resentenced with the additional robbery conviction.

Jerrimica T. Madding v. State of Indiana (NFP)
18A04-1312-CR-608
Criminal. Affirms revocation of probation.

The Indiana Supreme Court and Tax Court issued no opinions prior to IL deadline. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals issued no Indiana decisions prior to 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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