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Opinions March 11, 2013

March 11, 2013
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Indiana Court of Appeals
Bay Colony Civic Corporation v. Pearl Gasper Trust and Bruce F. Waller
49A05-1207-PL-365
Civil plenary. Reverses trial court ruling in favor of Gasper and Waller, holding that a public easement to a reservoir also grants access to the water and not just to the land adjacent to the water, and that a neighborhood association did not violate its bylaws by spending money to improve access to the lake for residents. Remands to the trial court to grant the association’s motion for partial summary judgment.

In the Matter of the Support of B.J.R.: B.J.R., by next friend, R.J.C. v. C.J.R., Sr.
49A02-1206-RS-454
Reciprocal support. Affirms court order reducing a father’s child support payment that had been ordered by a Pennsylvania court. The panel held that sufficient evidence was presented to establish that either the father’s circumstances had changed so substantially as to make continuing terms unreasonable, or that the order differs by more than 20 percent from what would be ordered under Indiana’s child support guidelines.

John Brewer v. Cathy Jo Bowman (NFP)
49A02-1208-CT-681
Civil tort. Affirms trial court’s ruling that an automobile was a valid inter vivos gift to Bowman.

Town of Clarksville, Indiana v. Chris Conte and Mary Ann Conte (NFP)
10A05-1202-CT-105
Civil tort. Vacated the judgment of the trial court and remanded with instructions. Ruled the trial court’s findings were not sufficient to support the judgment that the town had a duty, it breached that duty, the Contes’ injury was caused by the town’s breach, and the damages of $28,644.47 with post-judgment interest of 8 percent were appropriate.

In Re The Guardianship of J.M.: Christina M. Martin (Kibalko) v. William P. Hitch and Georgia L. Hitch (NFP)
82A04-1205-GU-272
Guardianship. Affirms the trial court’s denial of the mother’s petition to terminate the guardianship. Reverses and remands with instructions the trial court’s order that the mother reimburse the guardians for $1,000 paid to the guardian ad litem.  

 Mark A. Salisbury v. State of Indiana (NFP)

17A03-1209-PC-373
Post conviction. Affirms the post-conviction court’s finding that Salisbury’s plea was knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily entered into because he had effective assistance of trial counsel.
 
Gregory Leech v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1207-CR-559
Criminal. Affirms convictions of trespass, a Class A misdemeanor; and battery, a Class B misdemeanor.
 
Martin Reyes v. State of Indiana (NFP)
46A03-1206-PC-261
Post conviction. Affirms post-conviction court’s denial of Reyes’ request for post-conviction relief on the grounds his trial counsel was effective.  

Dustin James Mahler v. State of Indiana (NFP)

45A03-1208-CR-369
Criminal. Affirms conviction of battery, Class A misdemeanor. Ruled the incomplete jury instruction defining Class A misdemeanor battery did not result in fundamental error.

Darvin McCallister v. State of Indiana (NFP)

87A05-1208-CR-443
Criminal. Affirms trial court’s denial of McCallister’s motion to set aside his guilty pleas for possession of methamphetamine and possession of a controlled substance, both Class D felonies.

Carlos Ulloa v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1206-CR-463
Criminal. Affirms convictions of two counts of dealing in cocaine, each as a Class A felony, and one count of dealing in cocaine, as a Class B felony. Finds the trial court did not err in denying Ulloa’s motion for discharge pursuant to Criminal Rule 4(B) when he was not brought to trial within 70 days of his pro se request for a speedy trial.

Term. of the Parent-Child Rel. of D.L., minor child, and D.S., mother: D.S. v. Indiana Dept. of Child Services, and Child Advocates, Inc. (NFP)
49A05-1206-JT-305
Termination of parental rights. Affirms juvenile court’s judgment terminating mother’s parental rights. Finds no error in the lower court’s conclusions that the conditions leading to D.L.’s removal are unlikely to be remedied and the termination of mother’s parental rights is in the minor’s best interests.

Michael Porter v. State of Indiana (NFP)
34A02-1210-CR-840
Criminal. Affirms conviction of operating a vehicle with an alcohol concentration equivalence of 0.08 or more, a Class C misdemeanor.  

Indiana Supreme Court and Tax Court released no opinions prior to IL deadline. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals issued no Indiana decisions prior to IL deadline.
 

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  1. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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