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 commend Joe for standing up to this tyrant attorney! You ask why? Well I’m one of David Steele victims. I was in desperate need of legal help to protect my child, David saw an opportunity, and he demanded I pay him $3000. Cash. As I received motions and orders from court he did nothing! After weeks of emails asking him to address the legal issues, he responded by saying he was “on vacation “and I should be so lucky to have “my attorney” reply. Finally after lie on top of lie I asked for a full refund, which he refused. He then sent me “bills” for things he never did, such as, his appearance in the case and later claimed he withdrew. He never filed one document / motion for my case! When I finally demanded he refund my money he then turn to threats which scared my family for our lives. It seem unreal we couldn’t believe this guy. I am now over $100,000 in debt digging out of the legal mess he caused my family. Later I was finally able to hire another law office. I met Joe and we worked diligently on my case. I soon learn Joe had a passion for helping people. As anyone who has been through a legal battle it is exhausting. Joe was always more than happy to help or address an issue. Joe was knowledgeable about all my concerns at the same time he was able to reduce the stress and anxieties of my case. He would stay late and come in early, he always went the extra mile to help in any way he could. I can only imagine what Joe and his family has been through, my prayers go out to him and all the victims.

  2. Steele did more than what is listed too. He purposely sought out to ruin me, calling potential employers and then lied about me alleging all kinds of things including kidnapping. None of his allegations were true. If you are in need of an ethical and very knowledgeable family law paralegal, perhaps someone could post their contact information. Ethics cannot be purchased, either your paralegal has them or they do not.

  3. This is ridiculous. Most JDs not practicing law don't know squat to justify calling themselves a lawyer. Maybe they should try visiting the inside of a courtroom before they go around calling themselves lawyers. This kind of promotional BS just increases the volume of people with JDs that are underqualified thereby dragging all the rest of us down likewise.

  4. I think it is safe to say that those Hoosier's with the most confidence in the Indiana judicial system are those Hoosier's who have never had the displeasure of dealing with the Hoosier court system.

  5. I have an open CHINS case I failed a urine screen I have since got clean completed IOP classes now in after care passed home inspection my x sister in law has my children I still don't even have unsupervised when I have been clean for over 4 months my x sister wants to keep the lids for good n has my case working with her I just discovered n have proof that at one of my hearing dcs case worker stated in court to the judge that a screen was dirty which caused me not to have unsupervised this was at the beginning two weeks after my initial screen I thought the weed could have still been in my system was upset because they were suppose to check levels n see if it was going down since this was only a few weeks after initial instead they said dirty I recently requested all of my screens from redwood because I take prescriptions that will show up n I was having my doctor look at levels to verify that matched what I was prescripted because dcs case worker accused me of abuseing when I got my screens I found out that screen I took that dcs case worker stated in court to judge that caused me to not get granted unsupervised was actually negative what can I do about this this is a serious issue saying a parent failed a screen in court to judge when they didn't please advise