Opinions June 27, 2013

June 27, 2013
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Indiana Court of Appeals
Timothy W. Parish v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Finds trial court properly denied Parish’s request for counsel at public expense because he had $130,000 in equity in his house, but the facts and circumstances of the case do not warrant a knowing and intelligent waiver of his right to counsel because the trial court did not advise him of the dangers and disadvantages of self-representation. Remands for a new trial.

Term. of the Parent-Child Rel. of: S.S., J.S., and C.S. (Minor Children) and, T.S. (Mother) v. The Indiana Dept. of Child Services
Juvenile. Affirms mother was not denied due process when the juvenile court denied her motion to continue a termination hearing. Mother was represented by counsel, voluntarily left Indiana and was aware of the hearing.

Terry L. Sturgis, Sr. v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms convictions of murder, two counts of Class B felony criminal confinement, four counts of Class B felony battery, three counts of Class C felony battery, one count of Class A misdemeanor battery and two counts of Class D felony neglect of a dependent. There are no double jeopardy violations and there is ample evidence from which a reasonable trier of fact could determine that Sturgis knowingly killed his 10-year-old son.

Stephen G. Smith v. Board of School Trustees of the Monroe County Community School Corporation
Miscellaneous. Affirms order affirming the decision of the board of school trustees to terminate Smith’s teaching contract. There is substantial evidence to support the decision and the board followed proper procedures in cancelling the contract.

Hickory Creek at Connersville v. Estate of Otto K. Combs
Estate, supervised. The trial court did not err in denying Hickory Creek’s claim against Otto Combs’ estate because it did not first pursue Marianne Combs. According to the doctrine of necessaries, a creditor must first seek satisfaction from the income and property of the spouse who incurred the debt, and only if those resources are insufficient may a creditor seek satisfaction from the non-contracting spouse.

D.D. v. D.P. (NFP)
Domestic relation. Remands for further proceedings because the trial court applied the incorrect standard for the burden of proof.

Angela Spurgeon v. Review Board of the Indiana Dept. of Workforce Development and French Lick Professional Management, Inc. (NFP)
Agency action. Affirms denial of unemployment benefits.

Timothy Alex Lear v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of murder and 60-year sentence.

Jeffrey Baker v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Noel Stack v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to Class D felony theft, but reverses restitution order and remands with instructions to vacate the order.

C.S. v. Review Board of the Indiana Dept. of Workforce Development (NFP)
Agency action. Affirms denial of unemployment benefits.

S.L. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Juvenile. Affirms adjudication for child molesting, which would be a Class B felony if committed by an adult.

Noah Mani v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms revocation of community corrections placement.

Nephrology Specialists, P.C., Shahabul Arfeen, M.D., Sanjeev Rastogi, M.D., Maher Ajam, M.D., and Raied Abdullah, M.D. v. Asim Chughtai, M.D., Rafael Fletes, M.D., et al. (NFP)
Civil tort. Reverses denial of Nephrology Specialists’ motion for injunctive relief as the trial court abused its discretion in determining that certain non-compete contractual provisions were rescinded following a board meeting.

Jacob K. Smith v. County of Hancock, Indiana (NFP)
Miscellaneous. Affirms dismissal from the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department following a hearing on charges of misconduct.

Gerry Lucas v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor battery.

Leonard Shaw v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms three-year sentence for Class D felony counterfeiting.

The Indiana Supreme Court and 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 think the cops are doing a great job locking up criminals. The Murder rates in the inner cities are skyrocketing and you think that too any people are being incarcerated. Maybe we need to lock up more of them. We have the ACLU, BLM, NAACP, Civil right Division of the DOJ, the innocent Project etc. We have court system with an appeal process that can go on for years, with attorneys supplied by the government. I'm confused as to how that translates into the idea that the defendants are not being represented properly. Maybe the attorneys need to do more Pro-Bono work

  2. We do not have 10% of our population (which would mean about 32 million) incarcerated. It's closer to 2%.

  3. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  4. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  5. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.