Opinions July 18, 2013

July 18, 2013
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Indiana Supreme Court
In Re the Guardianship of A.J.A. and L.M.A., Minor Children; J.C. v. J.B. and S.B.
Guardianship. Holds the trial court correctly vacated its original order granting grandparent visitation. The Grandparent Visitation Statute does not provide a means by which the paternal grandmother in this case may seek visitation when her son has murdered the mother of her two grandchildren.

Indiana Court of Appeals
James Denning v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A felony attempted robbery and finding Denning is a habitual offender. COA rules it has jurisdiction over the appeal because Denning is appealing a final order, as he was not subject to a pending restitution order. His victim’s testimony was not incredibly dubious and the trial court was not obliged to enter a conviction of a lesser-included offense.

Frederick Herron v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms convictions of two counts of Class A felony dealing in cocaine, one count of Class B felony dealing in cocaine and the finding that Herron is a habitual offender. Because the police officers had probable cause to believe Herron was delivering cocaine, his arrest on being removed from the car was permissible. The trial court therefore did not abuse its discretion in admitting evidence seized from that point forward.

Auditor of Owen County and Treasurer of Owen County v. Asset Recovery, Inc.
Miscellaneous. Reverses order granting Asset Recovery’s verified petition and claim for surplus after tax sale. Asset Recovery is limited in the amount it can receive from the surplus under I.C. 6-1.1-24-7.5(b)(1).

Christopher Halterman v. Adams County Board of Commissioners, Adams County Sheriff, Charles Padgett, Adams County Sheriff's Dept. and Adams County Jail
Civil tort. Affirms summary judgment for sheriff Charles Padgett on Halterman’s lawsuit alleging negligence in the treatment of his abscess. The trial court did not abuse its discretion when it denied Halterman’s motion to strike the affidavit of Dr. House, and Padgett was entitled to summary judgment because Halterman could not show any action or lack thereof by Padgett caused Halterman’s injury.

Marco Puente v. Stark Leasing Company, Inc. (NFP)
Civil plenary. Affirms judgment entered against Puente but reverses award of attorney fees to Stark Leasing Co. Remands for the trial court to hold a hearing on the issue of attorney fees incurred through the trial in this case, not exceeding the $1,800 originally awarded.

Troy Thurman v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Reverses trial court refusal to award credit for time served and good time credit. Remands with instructions to modify the time remaining on Thurman’s sentence.

Clint Bradley a/k/a Sam Jones v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms denial of Bradley’s motion to withdraw his guilty pleas to counts of Class B felony dealing in cocaine and unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon.

Jeremiah Walls v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms trial court’s determination that the state did not violate the 14th Amendment by striking a prospective juror and affirms the trial court’s refusal to give Walls’ tendered jury instruction.

Todd D. Kelly v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor intimidation.

Bruce Johnson-El v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Dismisses appeal of denial of petition for additional credit time.

Kasiim Weaver v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms 34-year sentence for Class A felony voluntary manslaughter.

John D. Rogers v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms denial of motion for specific performance of a plea agreement.

In the Matter of the Paternity of: L.M.D. (Minor Child) D.H. v. A.D. (NFP)
Juvenile. Reverses denial of father’s petition to change the last name of his daughter to match his own. Remands with instructions to grant the petition.

James F. Noel v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A felony attempted murder.

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


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  1. I think the cops are doing a great job locking up criminals. The Murder rates in the inner cities are skyrocketing and you think that too any people are being incarcerated. Maybe we need to lock up more of them. We have the ACLU, BLM, NAACP, Civil right Division of the DOJ, the innocent Project etc. We have court system with an appeal process that can go on for years, with attorneys supplied by the government. I'm confused as to how that translates into the idea that the defendants are not being represented properly. Maybe the attorneys need to do more Pro-Bono work

  2. We do not have 10% of our population (which would mean about 32 million) incarcerated. It's closer to 2%.

  3. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  4. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  5. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.