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Opinions June 27, 2013

June 27, 2013
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Indiana Court of Appeals
Timothy W. Parish v. State of Indiana
64A03-1210-CR-438
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
09A02-1211-JT-936
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
71A03-1207-CR-330
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
53A01-1211-MI-511
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
21A04-1211-ES-600
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)
49A02-1211-DR-896
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)
93A02-1210-EX-861
Agency action. Affirms denial of unemployment benefits.

Timothy Alex Lear v. State of Indiana (NFP)
65A01-1209-CR-426
Criminal. Affirms conviction of murder and 60-year sentence.

Jeffrey Baker v. State of Indiana (NFP)
67A01-1301-PC-1
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Noel Stack v. State of Indiana (NFP)
29A02-1211-CR-951
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)
93A02-1209-EX-774
Agency action. Affirms denial of unemployment benefits.

S.L. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1211-JV-937
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)
49A05-1211-CR-569
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)
45A03-1212-CT-535
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)
33A04-1212-MI-626
Miscellaneous. Affirms dismissal from the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department following a hearing on charges of misconduct.

Gerry Lucas v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1210-CR-532
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor battery.

Leonard Shaw v. State of Indiana (NFP)
71A03-1210-CR-433
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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  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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