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Opinions March 14, 2012

March 14, 2012
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Supreme Court
Phyllis Hardy, Alax Keith Furnish and Megan Jessica Furnish, by next friend Phyllis Hardy v. Mary Jo Hardy
51S01-1106-PL-366
Civil plenary. Holds that the Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance Act does not preempt the equitable claims over the life insurance proceeds of Carlos Hardy and that the first wife and grandchildren are entitled to a constructive trust over at least a portion of the proceeds.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Dominique D. Woods v. State of Indiana
45A03-1107-CR-292
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B felony robbery. The evidence was sufficient to support the conviction.

In Re the Adoption of M.P.S., Jr.; A.S. v. M.P.S., Sr., M.S., and An.S.

88A01-1108-AD-387
Adoption. Reverses denial of mother A.S.’s motion for relief from judgment, where she alleges fraud, duress and lack of procedural due process in the adoption of M.P.S. Jr. by the child’s grandparents. In light of the extremely irregular and – to some extent – fraudulent circumstances surrounding the adoption of M.P.S., Jr., mother has met her burden to set aside the adoption. Her consent was invalid as a matter of law. Remands to the trial court with instructions to vacate the adoption decree and to comply with Indiana Code 31-14-13-1, which vests sole legal custody of a child born out of wedlock in the biological mother.

Karl A. Kaler v. State of Indiana (NFP)
57A04-1108-CR-432
Criminal. Affirms sentence for Class D felony theft and adjudication as a habitual offender.

David Marzini v. State of Indiana (NFP)
20A03-1102-PC-64
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Shavaughn Wilson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1109-PC-795
Post conviction. Affirms sentence for Class A felony dealing in cocaine, Class C felony possession of cocaine, Class A misdemeanor possession of marijuana, and adjudication as a habitual offender.

Chris Davis v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1107-CR-619
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class D felony escape and Class C misdemeanors refusal to identify and operating a vehicle having never received a license.

Jessica E. Mantooth v. State of Indiana (NFP)
24A01-1108-CR-382
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class A felony possession of methamphetamine with intent to deal, Class D felony neglect of a dependent, and Class A misdemeanors possession of paraphernalia and driving while suspended.

Timothy Colby & Holly Colby v. T.H. Construction, Inc. (NFP)
45A03-1110-PL-472
Civil plenary. Affirms order and entries of judgment entered against the Colbys on their complaint for breach of contract and deception filed against T. H. Construction Inc.

Patty Garcia v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1108-CR-831
Criminal. Affirms conviction of failure to ensure school attendance as a Class B misdemeanor.

Jacob Lockridge v. State of Indiana (NFP)
48A02-1104-CR-383
Criminal. Affirms conviction of two counts of Class B felony child molesting and sentence imposed.

Christopher L. Overla v. State of Indiana (NFP)
02A05-1108-CR-474
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to Class D felony invasion of privacy.

Scott C. Haisley v. State of Indiana (NFP)
18A02-1106-CR-568
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to Class A felony child molesting.

William James Hall v. State of Indiana (NFP)
82A04-1107-CR-330
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class B felony attempted rape and Class D felonies residential entry and criminal confinement.

Tamara Sue Forrester v. State of Indiana (NFP)
48A04-1108-CR-453
Criminal. Affirms revocation of probation.

John McMahan v. State of Indiana (NFP)
20A03-1109-CR-409
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor invasion of privacy.

Paul Michael Kage v. State of Indiana (NFP)
76A03-1108-CR-379
Criminal. Dismisses appeal that plea agreement should be set aside.

Term. of Parent-Child Rel. of M.J.; C.J. v. Indiana Dept. of Child Services (NFP)

79A05-1109-JT-502
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.

Raymond Warren v. State of Indiana (NFP)
02A03-1106-CR-325
Criminal. Affirms three convictions of child molesting as Class A felonies and one conviction of Class C felony child molesting.

Noah Thom v. State of Indiana (NFP)
48A05-1107-CR-348
Criminal. Affirms placement at the Department of Correction.

Imani Scott v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1108-CR-429
Criminal. Affirms sentence for Class B felony robbery.

In the Matter of the Involuntary Term. of the Parent-Child Rel. of L.L., and R.L. v. The Indiana Dept. of Child Services (NFP)
20A03-1107-JT-337
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.
 

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  1. Applause, applause, applause ..... but, is this duty to serve the constitutional order not much more incumbent upon the State, whose only aim is to be pure and unadulterated justice, than defense counsel, who is also charged with gaining a result for a client? I agree both are responsible, but it seems to me that the government attorneys bear a burden much heavier than defense counsel .... "“I note, much as we did in Mechling v. State, 16 N.E.3d 1015 (Ind. Ct. App. 2014), trans. denied, that the attorneys representing the State and the defendant are both officers of the court and have a responsibility to correct any obvious errors at the time they are committed."

  2. Do I have to hire an attorney to get co-guardianship of my brother? My father has guardianship and my older sister was his co-guardian until this Dec 2014 when she passed and my father was me to go on as the co-guardian, but funds are limit and we need to get this process taken care of quickly as our fathers health isn't the greatest. So please advise me if there is anyway to do this our self or if it requires a lawyer? Thank you

  3. I have been on this program while on parole from 2011-2013. No person should be forced mentally to share private details of their personal life with total strangers. Also giving permission for a mental therapist to report to your parole agent that your not participating in group therapy because you don't have the financial mean to be in the group therapy. I was personally singled out and sent back three times for not having money and also sent back within the six month when you aren't to be sent according to state law. I will work to het this INSOMM's removed from this state. I also had twelve or thirteen parole agents with a fifteen month period. Thanks for your time.

  4. Our nation produces very few jurists of the caliber of Justice DOUGLAS and his peers these days. Here is that great civil libertarian, who recognized government as both a blessing and, when corrupted by ideological interests, a curse: "Once the investigator has only the conscience of government as a guide, the conscience can become ‘ravenous,’ as Cromwell, bent on destroying Thomas More, said in Bolt, A Man For All Seasons (1960), p. 120. The First Amendment mirrors many episodes where men, harried and harassed by government, sought refuge in their conscience, as these lines of Thomas More show: ‘MORE: And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Paradise for doing according to your conscience, *575 and I am damned for not doing according to mine, will you come with me, for fellowship? ‘CRANMER: So those of us whose names are there are damned, Sir Thomas? ‘MORE: I don't know, Your Grace. I have no window to look into another man's conscience. I condemn no one. ‘CRANMER: Then the matter is capable of question? ‘MORE: Certainly. ‘CRANMER: But that you owe obedience to your King is not capable of question. So weigh a doubt against a certainty—and sign. ‘MORE: Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But if it is flat, will the King's command make it round? And if it is round, will the King's command flatten it? No, I will not sign.’ Id., pp. 132—133. DOUGLAS THEN WROTE: Where government is the Big Brother,11 privacy gives way to surveillance. **909 But our commitment is otherwise. *576 By the First Amendment we have staked our security on freedom to promote a multiplicity of ideas, to associate at will with kindred spirits, and to defy governmental intrusion into these precincts" Gibson v. Florida Legislative Investigation Comm., 372 U.S. 539, 574-76, 83 S. Ct. 889, 908-09, 9 L. Ed. 2d 929 (1963) Mr. Justice DOUGLAS, concurring. I write: Happy Memorial Day to all -- God please bless our fallen who lived and died to preserve constitutional governance in our wonderful series of Republics. And God open the eyes of those government officials who denounce the constitutions of these Republics by arbitrary actions arising out capricious motives.

  5. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

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