Opinions July 19, 2011

July 19, 2011
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Dana Woods, et al. v. Commissioner of the Indiana Department of Corrections
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Jane E. Magnus-Stinson
Civil. Affirms U.S. District Court’s finding that the Indiana Department of Correction policy preventing inmates from advertising for pen-pals and receiving materials from websites that allow persons to advertise for pen-pals is constitutional.

Indiana Supreme Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Mark McCann v. The City of Anderson, Indiana, and the Hon. Donald R. Phillippe
Civil plenary. Affirms summary judgment for the city of Anderson and Judge Donald Phillippe, holding McCann is not due any wages from the city court, as he was not an employee of the city court.

Douglas Cottingham v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms trial court’s order that Cottingham, after admitting to a probation violation, serve the remainder of his sentence incarcerated for Class D felony operating a vehicle while intoxicated, endangering a person. Remands to the trial court because Cottingham is entitled to good time credit for his home detention.

Michael Sharp v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms convictions of and sentence for Class A felony child molesting and Class C felony child molesting, holding that being named a credit-restricted felon does not guarantee a defendant will receive credit for time served, and that convictions on both charges did not violate double jeopardy standards, as each offense required additional proof not used to support the other offense.

Shane A. Schmidt v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms conviction of and sentence for Class C felony criminal confinement, holding that there was sufficient evidence to support the conviction and Schmidt had not demonstrated his sentence was inappropriate.

Paternity of T.M.; B.M. v. S.K.
Juvenile paternity. Affirms trial court’s denial of father’s motion to set aside paternity affidavit and for DNA testing regarding paternity of his child, holding that a DNA test conducted independently by the father had not been consented to by both parents, and that the trial court had not abused its discretion in denying admissibility of that test.

Term. of Parent-Child Rel. of J.C., et al.; M.C. v. IDCS (NFP)
Juvenile termination of parental rights. Affirms termination of father’s parental rights.

Billy Raines v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms juvenile court’s waiver of jurisdiction to adult criminal court and subsequent order in adult criminal court denying dismissal and remand.  

Term. of Parent-Child Rel. of A.O. and C.O.; T.T. v. IDCS (NFP)
Juvenile termination of parental rights. Affirms termination of mother’s parental rights.

Paternity of A.G.; J.B. v. H.G. (NFP)
Juvenile paternity. Reverses and remands to the trial court to recalculate father’s post-secondary education contribution for A.G. Affirms court’s finding that father was not in contempt and therefore not liable to pay the mother’s attorney fees.

Richard Brooks v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms trial court’s denial of Brooks’ motion to suppress evidence from a vehicle search.  

Charles Farrell, III v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of felony murder.

Victor Rybolt v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms convictions of two counts of Class D felony invasion of privacy.

John L. Katzioris v. Martin Service, Inc., et al. (NFP)
Civil plenary. Affirms the denial of Katzioris’ motion for a status conference to determine whether the Court of Appeals decision in Martin Oil Mktg. Ltd. v. Katzioris, 908 N.E.2d 1183 (Ind. Ct. App. 2009), reh’g denied, resolved all of his claims.

Randy Swisher v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Post-conviction relief petition. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Term. of Parent-Child Rel. of B.M.; D.M. v. IDCS (NFP)
Juvenile termination of parental rights. Affirms termination of mother’s parental rights.

Daurrel Figgs v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class B felony aggravated battery and two counts of Class B felony robbery while armed with a deadly weapon.

Paternity of A.A.; C.A., et al. v. J.B. (NFP)
Juvenile paternity. Affirms trial court’s order awarding custody of son to his father and court’s decision to change child’s surname.

Aaron Isby v. D. Gilstrap, et al. (NFP)
Civil tort. Affirms the trial court’s dismissal of Isby’s declaratory judgment action for failure to state a claim and affirms the trial court’s denial of Isby’s Trial Rule 60(B)(3) motion for relief from judgment based on fraud.

Eugene Lamar Robinson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B felony criminal confinement.

Robert L. Clark, Jr., et al. v. Robert L. Clark, Sr. (NFP)
Civil tort. Reverses and remands summary judgment on Robert Clark, Jr., and wife Debra’s tort against Robert Clark, Sr., holding the couple’s claims are not precluded by the Indiana Guest Statute.

Alex Russell v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms the revocation of Russell’s probation and the imposition of the entire suspended sentence.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.


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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. rensselaer imdiana is doing same thing to children from the judge to attorney and dfs staff they need to be investigated as well

  5. Sex offenders are victims twice, once when they are molested as kids, and again when they repeat the behavior, you never see money spent on helping them do you. That's why this circle continues