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Opinions June 22, 2011

June 22, 2011
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Michael Lee Mokol Jr.
10-2334
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division, Judge Joseph Van Bokkelen.
Criminal. Affirms two convictions of being a felon in possession of a firearm. The District Court did not abuse its discretion in admitting bad acts testimony through Lori Miller’s testimony as to Mokol’s statement that he would put anyone who told on him “in the ground;” or in admitting bad acts evidence involving his daughter’s testimony about the gun “prank” in the Rising Sun parking lot. The District Court did not err in restricting cross-examination of his daughter and the District Court didn’t abuse its discretion by instructing the jury as to constructive possession.

Indiana Supreme Court
D.M. v. State of Indiana
49S02-1101-JV-11
Juvenile. Affirms admission of D.M.’s confession in a delinquency proceeding, in which D.M. claims he wasn’t afforded an opportunity for meaningful consultation with his mother and the waiver of his rights wasn’t knowing and voluntary. There was substantial evidence of probative value to support the decision to admit the confession. Also concludes the juvenile waiver form used by police in this case should be clarified.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Jerrme Cartwright v. State of Indiana
82A01-1005-CR-214
Criminal. Reverses Cartwright’s convictions of two counts of Class C felony attempted battery with a deadly weapon, two counts of Class B felony attempted aggravated battery, and one count of Class B felony possession of a handgun by a serious violent felon because the state’s proffered explanations for striking the only African-American juror from the jury panel were pretextual and the result of purposeful discrimination. Remands for a new trial. There is sufficient evidence to retry him on the attempted battery with a deadly weapon convictions. Judge Vaidik dissents.

Perry O. Jones v. State of Indiana (NFP)

34A02-1010-CR-1104
Criminal. Affirms calculation of pretrial and credit time.

Carl Andre Coleman v. State of Indiana (NFP)
20A05-1008-CR-553
Criminal. Grants petition for rehearing and remands with instructions that the trial court reinstate Coleman’s conviction of attempted rape and for sentencing on that offense. Affirms in all other respects.

Latoyia Tuggles v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1012-CR-1366
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class C felony forgery and Class D felony theft.

D.H. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1010-JV-1257
Juvenile. Dismisses appeal of order requiring D.H. to pay restitution.

Zachard D.A. Edwards v. State of Indiana (NFP)
48A02-1010-CR-1222
Criminal. Affirms order revoking home detention and probation.

Commitment of A.R. (NFP)
49A05-1011-MH-665
Mental health. Affirms order for temporary involuntary commitment.

Arden Balmer, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
71A05-1007-CR-570
Criminal. Affirms convictions of and sentence for felony murder and Class B felony criminal confinement.

Pete Burgmeier v. Robert Akin (NFP)
36A01-1009-SC-480
Small claim. Affirms award of $2,348.09 to Akin and denial of Burgmeier’s counterclaim seeking $5,020 in damages.

David B. Tyra v. State of Indiana (NFP)
05A04-1012-CR-762
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C felony operating a motor vehicle while privileges are forfeited for life.

Todd A. Harmon v. State of Indiana (NFP)
03A01-1011-CR-630
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony operating a vehicle while intoxicated.

Michael O. Branch v. State of Indiana (NFP)
84A01-1008-CR-458
Criminal. Affirms conviction of and sentence for Class D felony operating a vehicle as a habitual traffic violator.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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