Opinions July 29, 2011

July 29, 2011
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Indiana Supreme Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Don Harley v. State of Indiana
Post conviction. Reverses denial of petition for post-conviction relief and remands for a new trial. Harley’s trial attorney was ineffective when she failed to inform the trial court that Harley’s only income consisted of Supplemental Security Income.

U.S. Bank National Association v. Ethyl R. Seeley, et al.
Mortgage foreclosure. Affirms entry of summary judgment in favor of Clarence and Pamela Davidson in the bank’s suit to foreclose on certain real property owned by them. The designated evidence establishes that the parties understood the Oct. 8, 1999, payment to be a final payment on the agreement, terminating it, which obligated Firstar to release the mortgage.

Derric Price v. Lake County Board of Elections and Registration
Civil plenary. Affirms ruling by the election board that Price was ineligible to appear on the 2011 primary ballot as a Democratic candidate for the mayor of Gary because he did not meet the one-year residency requirement. There is sufficient evidence to support that ruling.

Kenneth Kelly v. State of Indiana
Post conviction. Reverses denial of petition for post-conviction relief. The trial court erred in summarily denying Kelly’s petition as allegations by Kelly alleging ineffective trial counsel raise issues of possible merit. Remands for further proceedings.

David L. Stalker v. Mary C. Pierce
Guardianship. Reverses approval of Pierce’s final accounting and the denial of Stalker’s request for money damages. Pierce breached her fiduciary duty to protect, preserve, and properly manage Stalker’s property. She also breached her fiduciary duty of loyalty. Stalker is also entitled to damages as a result of Pierce violating his due process rights. Remands for a determination of Stalker’s harm and award of damages.

A.T. v. State of Indiana
Juvenile. Affirms ordering wardship of A.T. to the department of correction for murder pursuant to both indeterminate and determinate sentences. The juvenile court did not err in awarding wardship of him to the DOC under a determinate sentence pursuant to Indiana Code 31-37-19-9.

William T. Springer v. State of Indiana
Post conviction. Reverses denial of petition for post-conviction relief. Springer demonstrated at least a reasonable probability that a hypothetical reasonable defendant would have elected to go to trial if properly advised instead of plead guilty.

Paternity of W.C.; P.S. v. W.C.
Juvenile. Reverses order suspending mother’s parenting time and any other contact with her minor child. The trial court abused its discretion in doing so because the father failed to present evidence justifying the suspension of the mother’s parenting time. Remands for further proceedings.

Term. of Parent-Child Rel. of K.S., et al.; A.S. v. I.D.C.S. (NFP)
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.

Term. of Parent-Child Rel. of H.W. & S.W.; A.W. v. I.D.C.S. (NFP)
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.

Kristina L. Phillips v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms sentence for Class D felony neglect of a dependent.

Rachel Mosco v. Ind. Family and Social Services (NFP)
Miscellaneous. Reverses dismissal of petition for judicial review.

Term. of Parent-Child Rel. of S.M.; M.M. v. I.D.C.S. (NFP)
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.

Richard Spradlin v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor battery.

Oswaldo Quizaman v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms sentence of 40 years on each on the two counts of Class A felony dealing cocaine and one count of Class A felony dealing in methamphetamine, but reverses and remands to revise his sentences to run concurrently.

Earnest Jackson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B felony unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon.

Term. of Parent-Child Rel. of B.B.; L.B. and D.W. v. I.D.C.S. (NFP)
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.

Term. of Parent-Child Rel. of R.P.; R.P. and M.P. v. I.D.C.S. (NFP)
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.

Billy Lee McKeehan v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of and sentence for Class B felony dealing in methamphetamine.

Stephen J. Taylor v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

David Brown v. Brandi Brown Wittmer (NFP)
Domestic relation. Affirms in part and reverses in part the final order in the dissolution of the Browns’ marriage. Remands for further proceedings.

Matthew D. Rozinski v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class A felony attempted murder, three counts of Class B felony criminal confinement, and Class D felonies domestic battery, strangulation, criminal recklessness, and three counts of pointing a handgun.

Richard Sullivan v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A felony child molesting.

Boyer Corp. Excavating v. Sheila Forbes (NFP)
Civil tort. Affirms summary judgment in favor of Forbes in a suit seeking to recover an invoice for the use of the Boyer Corp.’s equipment by a laid-off employee.

Jesse J. Harris, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms convictions of and sentence for felony murder and two counts of Class A felony attempted murder.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at 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.