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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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  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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