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Opinions June 29, 2011

June 29, 2011
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The following Indiana Supreme Court opinions were posted after IL deadline Tuesday:
Bruce Lemmon, et al. v. Michael L. Harris
52S02-1011-CV-642
Civil. Reverses trial court judgment granting injunctive relief for Harris by removing his sexually violent predator status. Harris’ status is sexually violent predator by operation of law, and that classification does not violate the Indiana Constitution’s Ex Post Facto Clause or separation of powers provision. Justice Dickson dissents.

Brenda Moore v. State of Indiana
49S04-1101-CR-24
Criminal. Affirms Moore’s conviction of public intoxication as a Class B misdemeanor. Declines request to reverse Moore’s conviction on public policy grounds and she suffered no impingement of any alleged constitutional right to select which beverages to consume. Her accountability under the public intoxication statute doesn’t violate her personal liberty rights under the Indiana Constitution. Justice Rucker dissents.

Today’s opinions
7th Circuit Court of Appeals

United States of America v. Brook Abebe
10-3966
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Sarah Evans Barker.
Criminal. Affirms sentence of 300 months in prison following guilty plea to armed bank robbery, discharge of a firearm during a crime of violence, and unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. There was no procedural error in the District Court’s calculation of Abebe’s sentence and his sentence is not substantively unreasonable.

Aaron Smeigh v. Johns Manville Inc.
10-3388
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Tanya Walton Pratt.
Civil. Affirms summary judgment for Johns Manville on Smeigh’s suit for retaliatory discharge and civil conversion. Smeigh didn’t present sufficient evidence to conclude that he was fired in retaliation for filing workers’ compensation or that JM knowingly exerted unauthorized control over his property. Admonishes Smeigh’s counsel for a portion of the appeal not meeting the standards for presenting and developing arguments on appeal.

Indiana Supreme Court
Indiana Department of Child Services v. A.B.
71S00-1002-JV-156
Juvenile. Reverses trial court order finding Indiana Code sections 31-37-17-1.4, 31-37-18-9(a)-(b), and 31-40-1-2(f) as unconstitutional as violating the separation of powers principle and the “one subject” rule under the Indiana Constitution. The three statues are constitutional. The DCS’ requirement that the child be placed in Indiana rather than out of state was arbitrary and capricious. Upholds Judge Nemeth’s placement of the child at Canyon State Academy and the DCS should pay for the child’s placement.

Citizens State Bank of New Castle v. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc.
76S03-1009-CV-515
Civil. Reverses summary judgment in favor of Countrywide and Federal National Mortgage Association. Countrywide has failed to demonstrate that it is entitled to the remedy of strict foreclosure. Remands with instructions to enter summary judgment in favor of Citizens Bank, and for all relief consistent with this opinion. Justice Sullivan dissents.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Zachery Blackwell v. State of Indiana (NFP)
67A01-1101-CR-98
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class C felony attempted robbery, and Class D felonies criminal confinement and aiding rioting.

James Deloney Jr v. State of Indiana (NFP)

29A02-1010-CR-1227
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony theft.

Christopher Collins v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1010-CR-1157
Criminal. Affirms conviction of and sentence for Class D felony theft.

Martin J. Russell v. State of Indiana (NFP)
83A04-1011-CR-671
Criminal. Dismisses appeal of sentence following a plea agreement to six counts of Class C felony theft and three counts of Class D felony theft.

John Chatman v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1005-PC-362
Post conviction. Vacates trial court denial of Chatman’s motion for additional credit time for completion of a substance abuse program while he was in jail awaiting trial and dismisses the appeal.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.
 

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  1. I expressed my thought in the title, long as it was. I am shocked that there is ever immunity from accountability for ANY Government agency. That appears to violate every principle in the US Constitution, which exists to limit Government power and to ensure Government accountability. I don't know how many cases of legitimate child abuse exist, but in the few cases in which I knew the people involved, in every example an anonymous caller used DCS as their personal weapon to strike at innocent people over trivial disagreements that had no connection with any facts. Given that the system is vulnerable to abuse, and given the extreme harm any action by DCS causes to families, I would assume any degree of failure to comply with the smallest infraction of personal rights would result in mandatory review. Even one day of parent-child separation in the absence of reasonable cause for a felony arrest should result in severe penalties to those involved in the action. It appears to me, that like all bureaucracies, DCS is prone to interpret every case as legitimate. This is not an accusation against DCS. It is a statement about the nature of bureaucracies, and the need for ADDED scrutiny of all bureaucratic actions. Frankly, I question the constitutionality of bureaucracies in general, because their power is delegated, and therefore unaccountable. No Government action can be unaccountable if we want to avoid its eventual degeneration into irrelevance and lawlessness, and the law of the jungle. Our Constitution is the source of all Government power, and it is the contract that legitimizes all Government power. To the extent that its various protections against intrusion are set aside, so is the power afforded by that contract. Eventually overstepping the limits of power eliminates that power, as a law of nature. Even total tyranny eventually crumbles to nothing.

  2. Being dedicated to a genre keeps it alive until the masses catch up to the "trend." Kent and Bill are keepin' it LIVE!! Thank you gentlemen..you know your JAZZ.

  3. Hemp has very little THC which is needed to kill cancer cells! Growing cannabis plants for THC inside a hemp field will not work...where is the fear? From not really knowing about Cannabis and Hemp or just not listening to the people teaching you through testimonies and packets of info over the last few years! Wake up Hoosier law makers!

  4. If our State Government would sue for their rights to grow HEMP like Kentucky did we would not have these issues. AND for your INFORMATION many medical items are also made from HEMP. FOOD, FUEL,FIBER,TEXTILES and MEDICINE are all uses for this plant. South Bend was built on Hemp. Our states antiquated fear of cannabis is embarrassing on the world stage. We really need to lead the way rather than follow. Some day.. we will have freedom in Indiana. And I for one will continue to educate the good folks of this state to the beauty and wonder of this magnificent plant.

  5. Put aside all the marijuana concerns, we are talking about food and fiber uses here. The federal impediments to hemp cultivation are totally ridiculous. Preposterous. Biggest hemp cultivators are China and Europe. We get most of ours from Canada. Hemp is as versatile as any crop ever including corn and soy. It's good the governor laid the way for this, regrettable the buffoons in DC stand in the way. A statutory relic of the failed "war on drugs"

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