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Opinions June 25, 2013

June 25, 2013
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Indiana Supreme Court
Loren Hamilton Fry v. State of Indiana
09S00-1205-CR-361
Criminal. Affirms denial of bail for Fry, who is charged with murder. Holds that when a defendant charged with murder or treason seeks bail, the burden is on the state, if it seeks to deny bail, to show by a preponderance of the evidence that the proof is evident or the presumption strong. Chief Justice Dickson concurs to which Justice Rush joins; Rush concurs; Justice Massa concurs in result and dissents with separate opinion; and Justice Rucker dissents with separate opinion in which Massa concurs.

Erving Sanders v. State of Indiana
49S02-1304-CR-242
Criminal. Affirms denial of motion to suppress evidence obtained following a traffic stop. Proof of compliance with the Window Tint Statute relieves the defendant of any liability for a window tint violation, but it does not serve to vitiate the legality of the traffic stop. The evidence was obtained as a result of a fully justified and legal search.

Barbara A. Johnson and William T. Johnson, Both Individually and as Trustees of the Barbara A. Johnson Living Trust Dated 12-17-1996 v. Joseph Wysocki and M. Carmen Wysocki
45S04-1211-CT-634
Civil tort. Reverses summary judgment in favor of the Wysockis and remands to the trial court for proceedings, holding the trial court erred in determining that defects in a home “should have been obvious to sellers,” a legal standard lower than “actual knowledge.” The court also held that Indiana Disclosure Statutes abrogate the common law principle of caveat emptor for the real estate transactions to which they apply. Justice Robert Rucker concurred with the holdings but would affirm the summary judgment and damages of $13,805.95 for the Wysockis because the record was sufficient to support the outcome.  

Indiana Court of Appeals
Elnesto Ray Valle v. State of Indiana
27A02-1209-CR-772
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C felony inmate fraud. The evidence shows that Valle obtained a future interest in the bail money as well as his release from prison, both of which constitute property under Indiana Code 35-31.5-2-253(a). Affirms 16-year aggregate sentence.

George Cole v. State of Indiana
29A02-1301-CR-4
Criminal. Affirms denial of petition for permission to file a belated notice of appeal following Cole’s 1963 murder conviction and life sentence. The trial court did not abuse its discretion by concluding he was not diligent in pursuing permission to file a belated notice of appeal.

Daniel J. Hollen v. State of Indiana
62A04-1211-MI-636
Miscellaneous. Affirms denial of “petition to remove registration act, sexual violent predator status, and global positioning satellite” filed by Hollen. Concludes the Sex Offender Registration Act is non-punitive and is not ex post facto when applied to Hollen.

Timmy T. Zieman v. State of Indiana
45A03-1301-PC-1
Post conviction. Reverses denial of petition for post-conviction relief as the court clearly erred in finding trial counsel did not provide ineffective assistance. Remands with instructions for the court to reduce Zieman’s Class C felony conviction of resisting law enforcement resulting in serious bodily injury to a Class D felony conviction and sentence him to 18 months on that count, for an aggregate sentence of 33 ½ years.

Gerry Scheub, and the Lake County Drainage Board v. Van Kalker Family Limited Partnership, Lake County Trust Company as Trustee of Trust No. 5240 and Singleton Stone, LLC
37A03-1210-PL-453
Civil plenary. Affirms declaratory judgment in favor of the appellees-plaintiffs Van Kalker Family Limited Partnership, Lake County Trust Co as Trustee of Trust No. 5240 and Singleton Stone. The trial court properly denied Scheub’s and the drainage board’s motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction because the trial court acquired subject matter jurisdiction because the exhaustion of administrative remedies was excused.

Cornelious Elliott v. State of Indiana (NFP)
48A02-1212-CR-1006
Criminal. Affirms finding Elliott violated the terms of his probation.

Ryan Byfield v. State of Indiana (NFP)
29A02-1210-CR-780
Criminal. Affirms convictions of three counts of Class B felony criminal deviate conduct, finding Byfield is a habitual offender and 50-year aggregate sentence. Remands for limited purpose of correcting an error in the abstract of judgment.

Shawn Anthony Craft v. State of Indiana (NFP)
45A03-1211-CR-458
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B felony burglary.

Daniel M. Sulkoske v. Statewide Credit Association (NFP)
32A01-1212-SC-573
Small claim. Affirms judgment in favor of Statewide Credit Association.

The Indiana Tax Court posted no opinions by IL deadline. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals posted no Indiana decisions by IL deadline.

 

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  1. I grew up on a farm and live in the county and it's interesting that the big industrial farmers like Jeff Shoaf don't live next to their industrial operations...

  2. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  3. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  4. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  5. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

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