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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.
48S02-1305-GU-398
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
49A05-1208-CR-394
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
34A02-1203-CR-224
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.
60A01-1212-MI-592
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
01A04-1211-CT-558
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)
49A02-1211-PL-940
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)
22A04-1208-CR-438
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)
18A02-1209-CR-760
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)
55A01-1212-CR-581
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)
41A01-1212-CR-565
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor intimidation.

Bruce Johnson-El v. State of Indiana (NFP)
09A02-1302-CR-177
Criminal. Dismisses appeal of denial of petition for additional credit time.

Kasiim Weaver v. State of Indiana (NFP)
45A05-1211-CR-564
Criminal. Affirms 34-year sentence for Class A felony voluntary manslaughter.

John D. Rogers v. State of Indiana (NFP)
10A04-1211-CR-592
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)
01A02-1301-JP-31
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)
49A02-1212-CR-1005
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. Where may I find an attorney working Pro Bono? Many issues with divorce, my Disability, distribution of IRA's, property, money's and pressured into agreement by my attorney. Leaving me far less than 5% of all after 15 years of marriage. No money to appeal, disabled living on disability income. Attorney's decision brought forward to judge, no evidence ever to finalize divorce. Just 2 weeks ago. Please help.

  2. For the record no one could answer the equal protection / substantive due process challenge I issued in the first post below. The lawless and accountable only to power bureaucrats never did either. All who interface with the Indiana law examiners or JLAP be warned.

  3. Hi there I really need help with getting my old divorce case back into court - I am still paying support on a 24 year old who has not been in school since age 16 - now living independent. My visitation with my 14 year old has never been modified; however, when convenient for her I can have him... I am paying past balance from over due support, yet earn several thousand dollars less. I would contact my original attorney but he basically molest me multiple times in Indy when I would visit.. Todd Woodmansee - I had just came out and had know idea what to do... I have heard he no longer practices. Please help1

  4. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  5. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

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