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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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  3. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  4. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  5. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

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