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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. Whilst it may be true that Judges and Justices enjoy such freedom of time and effort, it certainly does not hold true for the average working person. To say that one must 1) take a day or a half day off work every 3 months, 2) gather a list of information including recent photographs, and 3) set up a time that is convenient for the local sheriff or other such office to complete the registry is more than a bit near-sighted. This may be procedural, and hence, in the near-sighted minds of the court, not 'punishment,' but it is in fact 'punishment.' The local sheriffs probably feel a little punished too by the overwork. Registries serve to punish the offender whilst simultaneously providing the public at large with a false sense of security. The false sense of security is dangerous to the public who may not exercise due diligence by thinking there are no offenders in their locale. In fact, the registry only informs them of those who have been convicted.

  2. Unfortunately, the court doesn't understand the difference between ebidta and adjusted ebidta as they clearly got the ruling wrong based on their misunderstanding

  3. A common refrain in the comments on this website comes from people who cannot locate attorneys willing put justice over retainers. At the same time the judiciary threatens to make pro bono work mandatory, seemingly noting the same concern. But what happens to attorneys who have the chumptzah to threatened the legal status quo in Indiana? Ask Gary Welch, ask Paul Ogden, ask me. Speak truth to power, suffer horrendously accordingly. No wonder Hoosier attorneys who want to keep in good graces merely chase the dollars ... the powers that be have no concerns as to those who are ever for sale to the highest bidder ... for those even willing to compromise for $$$ never allow either justice or constitutionality to cause them to stand up to injustice or unconstitutionality. And the bad apples in the Hoosier barrel, like this one, just keep rotting.

  4. I am one of Steele's victims and was taken for $6,000. I want my money back due to him doing nothing for me. I filed for divorce after a 16 year marriage and lost everything. My kids, my home, cars, money, pension. Every attorney I have talked to is not willing to help me. What can I do? I was told i can file a civil suit but you have to have all of Steelers info that I don't have. Of someone can please help me or tell me what info I need would be great.

  5. It would appear that news breaking on Drudge from the Hoosier state (link below) ties back to this Hoosier story from the beginning of the recent police disrespect period .... MCBA president Cassandra Bentley McNair issued the statement on behalf of the association Dec. 1. The association said it was “saddened and disappointed” by the decision not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson for shooting Michael Brown. “The MCBA does not believe this was a just outcome to this process, and is disheartened that the system we as lawyers are intended to uphold failed the African-American community in such a way,” the association stated. “This situation is not just about the death of Michael Brown, but the thousands of other African-Americans who are disproportionately targeted and killed by police officers.” http://www.thestarpress.com/story/news/local/2016/07/18/hate-cops-sign-prompts-controversy/87242664/

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