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Opinions July 9, 2010

July 9, 2010
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The following opinion was issued after Thursday’s IL deadline.

Indiana Supreme Court
Steven W. Everling v. State of Indiana
48S05-0911-CR-506
Criminal. Reverses and remands for a new trial following jury’s finding of Everling to be guilty of three counts of child molesting and two counts of sexual misconduct with a minor. While Everling raised several issues for a reversal, the Supreme Court addressed only whether the judge’s conduct during the trial deprived Everling of a fair trial. Concludes the court’s overall conduct evidenced partiality.

Today’s Opinions
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Freddie L. Byers Jr. v. James Basinger, Superintendent of the Wabash Valley Correctional Facility

09-1833
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division. Judge Allen Sharp
Civil. Affirms District Court's denial of Byers' habeas petition. After a jury found Byers guilty of murder, attempted murder and robbery, the Indiana Supreme Court affirmed on direct appeal. The Indiana Court of Appeals denied his petition for post-conviction relief, and the Indiana Supreme Court denied transfer. The District Court later denied Byers’ habeas petition, in which Byers argued that his trial counsel performed deficiently. The 7th Circuit granted Byers a certificate of appealability on the question whether he had been denied effective assistance of counsel. The 7th Circuit affirmed the district court’s denial because, even if Byers successfully exhausted his claim, it lacks merit.

Today's opinions
The Indiana Supreme Court posted no opinions before IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Daniel C. Reinhart v. State of Indiana
57A03-1002-CR-84
Criminal. Reverses Reinhart’s convictions of Class D felony operating a vehicle while intoxicated and Class A misdemeanor possession of marijuana. The sole issue presented for review was whether trial court abused its discretion when it admitted evidence obtained following a traffic stop of Reinhart’s vehicle. Reinhart asserted police violated his Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure.
 
Allen A. Halferty v. State of Indiana
20A03-0910-CR-475
Criminal. Affirms Halferty’s conviction of maintaining a common nuisance by dealing methamphetamine. Reverses his conviction of Class A felony dealing in methamphetamine and remands with instructions to enter a conviction for Class B felony dealing in methamphetamine due to evidence regarding the amount of the drug. Also instructs trial court to revise Halferty’s sentence to reflect the change from Class A felony to Class B felony.
 
Charles Taylor v. State of Indiana
71A04-1001-PC-6
Post-conviction. Affirms post-conviction court’s denial of Taylor’s petition for post-conviction relief. After he initiated a direct appeal of his three convictions of Class B felony unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon, the Court of Appeals had granted Taylor a Davis/Hatton petition, which involves a termination or suspension of a direct appeal already initiated, upon appellate counsel’s motion for remand or stay, to allow a post-conviction relief petition to be pursued in the trial court. Court of Appeals concludes Taylor’s trial counsel did not provide ineffective assistance by failing to object to the admission of the weapons and that his convictions do not violate Indiana’s prohibition against double jeopardy.
 
Ben Gill v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-0912-CR-734
Criminal. Affirms convictions of and sentences for intimidation and battery following a guilty plea without a written plea agreement.

Mark A. Shepard v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-0912-CR-1244
Criminal. Affirms conviction of battery.
 
Robert Townsend v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-0911-CR-1120
Criminal. Affirms classification as a Sexually Violent Predator.

Donald J. Zellers v. Sharon Zellers (NFP)
43A03-0909-CV-433
Civil. Affirms trial court’s distribution of marital property following divorce.
 
Kirby D. Oliver v. State of Indiana (NFP)
45A03-1002-CR-53
Criminal. Affirms trial court’s denial of Oliver’s motion requesting placement in community corrections following a guilty plea to murder.

The Indiana Tax Court posted no opinions before IL deadline.

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  1. It really doesn't matter what the law IS, if law enforcement refuses to take reports (or take them seriously), if courts refuse to allow unrepresented parties to speak (especially in Small Claims, which is supposedly "informal"). It doesn't matter what the law IS, if constituents are unable to make effective contact or receive any meaningful response from their representatives. Two of our pets were unnecessarily killed; court records reflect that I "abandoned" them. Not so; when I was denied one of them (and my possessions, which by court order I was supposed to be able to remove), I went directly to the court. And earlier, when I tried to have the DV PO extended (it expired while the subject was on probation for violating it), the court denied any extension. The result? Same problems, less than eight hours after expiration. Ironic that the county sheriff was charged (and later pleaded to) with intimidation, but none of his officers seemed interested or capable of taking such a report from a private citizen. When I learned from one officer what I needed to do, I forwarded audio and transcript of one occurrence and my call to law enforcement (before the statute of limitations expired) to the prosecutor's office. I didn't even receive an acknowledgement. Earlier, I'd gone in to the prosecutor's office and been told that the officer's (written) report didn't match what I said occurred. Since I had the audio, I can only say that I have very little faith in Indiana government or law enforcement.

  2. One can only wonder whether Mr. Kimmel was paid for his work by Mr. Burgh ... or whether that bill fell to the citizens of Indiana, many of whom cannot afford attorneys for important matters. It really doesn't take a judge(s) to know that "pavement" can be considered a deadly weapon. It only takes a brain and some education or thought. I'm glad to see the conviction was upheld although sorry to see that the asphalt could even be considered "an issue".

  3. In response to bryanjbrown: thank you for your comment. I am familiar with Paul Ogden (and applaud his assistance to Shirley Justice) and have read of Gary Welsh's (strange) death (and have visited his blog on many occasions). I am not familiar with you (yet). I lived in Kosciusko county, where the sheriff was just removed after pleading in what seems a very "sweetheart" deal. Unfortunately, something NEEDS to change since the attorneys won't (en masse) stand up for ethics (rather making a show to please the "rules" and apparently the judges). I read that many attorneys are underemployed. Seems wisdom would be to cull the herd and get rid of the rotting apples in practice and on the bench, for everyone's sake as well as justice. I'd like to file an attorney complaint, but I have little faith in anything (other than the most flagrant and obvious) resulting in action. My own belief is that if this was medicine, there'd be maimed and injured all over and the carnage caused by "the profession" would be difficult to hide. One can dream ... meanwhile, back to figuring out to file a pro se "motion to dismiss" as well as another court required paper that Indiana is so fond of providing NO resources for (unlike many other states, who don't automatically assume that citizens involved in the court process are scumbags) so that maybe I can get the family law attorney - whose work left me with no settlement, no possessions and resulted in the death of two pets (etc ad nauseum) - to stop abusing the proceedings supplemental and small claims rules and using it as a vehicle for harassment and apparently, amusement.

  4. Been on social security sense sept 2011 2massive strokes open heart surgery and serious ovarian cancer and a blood clot in my lung all in 14 months. Got a letter in may saying that i didn't qualify and it was in form like i just applied ,called social security she said it don't make sense and you are still geting a check in june and i did ,now i get a check from my part D asking for payment for july because there will be no money for my membership, call my prescription coverage part D and confirmed no check will be there.went to social security they didn't want to answer whats going on just said i should of never been on it .no one knows where this letter came from was California im in virginia and been here sense my strokes and vcu filed for my disability i was in the hospital when they did it .It's like it was a error . My ,mothers social security was being handled in that office in California my sister was dealing with it and it had my social security number because she died last year and this letter came out of the same office and it came at the same time i got the letter for my mother benefits for death and they had the same date of being typed just one was on the mail Saturday and one on Monday. . I think it's a mistake and it should been fixed instead there just getting rid of me .i never got a formal letter saying when i was being tsken off.

  5. Employers should not have racially discriminating mind set. It has huge impact on the society what the big players do or don't do in the industry. Background check is conducted just to verify whether information provided by the prospective employee is correct or not. It doesn't have any direct combination with the rejection of the employees. If there is rejection, there should be something effective and full-proof things on the table that may keep the company or the people associated with it in jeopardy.

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