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Opinions June 20, 2012

June 20, 2012
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The following opinions were posted after IL deadline Tuesday:

Indiana Supreme Court

Tina Whiting v. State of Indiana
38S05-1206-CR-345
Criminal. Affirms a murder conviction and sentence, holding the trial court did not err when it empanelled a juror after denying a joint challenge for cause. The court ruled that because the defendant had not exhausted peremptory challenges and didn’t move to strike the juror, no error was preserved for review.

Indiana Tax Court
Harsukh and Parul Bosamia v. Marion County Assessor
49T10-1108-TA-53
Tax. Dismisses the Bosamias’ appeal of the Indiana Board of Tax Review’s final determination upholding the commercial real property assessments for the 2007 and 2008 tax years. The Bosamias did not timely file the certified administrative record as required by Tax Court Rule 3(E).

Wednesday’s opinions:
Indiana Supreme Court

In the Matter of: Douglas W. Patterson
82S00-1111-DI-662
Discipline. Disbars Patterson for committing three counts of Class D felony theft of client funds and for engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation.

John Berry v. State of Indiana
49S04-1110-CR-611
Criminal. Affirms Class A felony attempted murder conviction and the trial court’s rejection of Berry’s insanity defense because there was credible expert testimony that his behavior was caused by his voluntary abuse of alcohol.

Rondell Walker v. State of Indiana
34S02-1206-CR-346
Criminal. Grants transfer and orders Walker’s sentence revised from 20 years to 12 years, citing Abbot v. State. Walker pleaded guilty to Class B felony possession of cocaine and originally was referred to drug court, but his participation in the program was terminated and the trial court sentenced him to the maximum term of 20 years. Justice Massa voted to deny transfer.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Town of Zionsville, Indiana and Zionsville Plan Commission v. Hamilton County Airport Authority
49A05-1107-PL-374
Civil plenary. Reverses judgment in favor of the airport authority and orders judgment entered for the town of Zionsville. Rejects the airport authority’s argument that it’s not obligated to seek zoning approval from Zionsville or any other entity before carrying out its duties regarding an airport it owns in Boone County.

Jason Michael Palilonis v. State of Indiana
42A05-1104-CR-197
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B felony rape. Finds trial court’s admittance of evidence of alleged rape victim B.S.’s death because this was the fairest resolution for both parties as to why she was not testifying at trial. The statements B.S. made to the nurse during her sexual-assault examination are admissible under Evidence Rule 803(4) and the reasoning in Perry v. State for the description of the events of the rape. The nurse’s statements that were impermissible vouching testimony should not have been admitted at trial but it did not rise to the level of fundamental error.

Danny L. Weaver v. State of Indiana (NFP)
28A01-1111-CR-582
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to Class A felony child molesting.

Mickey S. Owen v. State of Indiana (NFP)
87A01-1111-CR-562
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to two counts of Class D felony theft.

Walter James Blake v. State of Indiana (NFP)
29A02-1112-PC-1134
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Ronnie D. Inabnitt v. State of Indiana (NFP)
33A01-1110-CR-517
Criminal. Affirms convictions of two counts of Class A felony child molesting but revises sentence from 70 years to 35 years.

Bakari Edwards v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1111-CR-1006
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class D felony obstruction of justice and Class A misdemeanor possession of marijuana. Reverses order Edwards serve a term of imprisonment for a Class A infraction and remands for further proceedings.

Indiana Tax Court posted no opinions at IL deadline.
 

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  1. Applause, applause, applause ..... but, is this duty to serve the constitutional order not much more incumbent upon the State, whose only aim is to be pure and unadulterated justice, than defense counsel, who is also charged with gaining a result for a client? I agree both are responsible, but it seems to me that the government attorneys bear a burden much heavier than defense counsel .... "“I note, much as we did in Mechling v. State, 16 N.E.3d 1015 (Ind. Ct. App. 2014), trans. denied, that the attorneys representing the State and the defendant are both officers of the court and have a responsibility to correct any obvious errors at the time they are committed."

  2. Do I have to hire an attorney to get co-guardianship of my brother? My father has guardianship and my older sister was his co-guardian until this Dec 2014 when she passed and my father was me to go on as the co-guardian, but funds are limit and we need to get this process taken care of quickly as our fathers health isn't the greatest. So please advise me if there is anyway to do this our self or if it requires a lawyer? Thank you

  3. I have been on this program while on parole from 2011-2013. No person should be forced mentally to share private details of their personal life with total strangers. Also giving permission for a mental therapist to report to your parole agent that your not participating in group therapy because you don't have the financial mean to be in the group therapy. I was personally singled out and sent back three times for not having money and also sent back within the six month when you aren't to be sent according to state law. I will work to het this INSOMM's removed from this state. I also had twelve or thirteen parole agents with a fifteen month period. Thanks for your time.

  4. Our nation produces very few jurists of the caliber of Justice DOUGLAS and his peers these days. Here is that great civil libertarian, who recognized government as both a blessing and, when corrupted by ideological interests, a curse: "Once the investigator has only the conscience of government as a guide, the conscience can become ‘ravenous,’ as Cromwell, bent on destroying Thomas More, said in Bolt, A Man For All Seasons (1960), p. 120. The First Amendment mirrors many episodes where men, harried and harassed by government, sought refuge in their conscience, as these lines of Thomas More show: ‘MORE: And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Paradise for doing according to your conscience, *575 and I am damned for not doing according to mine, will you come with me, for fellowship? ‘CRANMER: So those of us whose names are there are damned, Sir Thomas? ‘MORE: I don't know, Your Grace. I have no window to look into another man's conscience. I condemn no one. ‘CRANMER: Then the matter is capable of question? ‘MORE: Certainly. ‘CRANMER: But that you owe obedience to your King is not capable of question. So weigh a doubt against a certainty—and sign. ‘MORE: Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But if it is flat, will the King's command make it round? And if it is round, will the King's command flatten it? No, I will not sign.’ Id., pp. 132—133. DOUGLAS THEN WROTE: Where government is the Big Brother,11 privacy gives way to surveillance. **909 But our commitment is otherwise. *576 By the First Amendment we have staked our security on freedom to promote a multiplicity of ideas, to associate at will with kindred spirits, and to defy governmental intrusion into these precincts" Gibson v. Florida Legislative Investigation Comm., 372 U.S. 539, 574-76, 83 S. Ct. 889, 908-09, 9 L. Ed. 2d 929 (1963) Mr. Justice DOUGLAS, concurring. I write: Happy Memorial Day to all -- God please bless our fallen who lived and died to preserve constitutional governance in our wonderful series of Republics. And God open the eyes of those government officials who denounce the constitutions of these Republics by arbitrary actions arising out capricious motives.

  5. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

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