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Opinions March 23, 2011

March 23, 2011
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Indiana Supreme Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Troy R. Smith v. State of Indiana
35A02-1008-CR-996
Criminal. Reverses trial court’s order to revoke Smith’s probation due to non-payment of weekly child support – a condition of Smith’s probation. The state failed to prove Smith knowingly, recklessly, or intentionally failed to pay weekly child support and failed to prove Smith’s ability to pay.

Andrew McWhorter v. State of Indiana
33A05-1010-PC-685
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief. The trial court did not err by accepting McWhorter’s guilty plea.

Shawn Green v. State of Indiana
49A05-1006-CR-382
Criminal. Affirms convictions of two counts of Class C felony forgery. Allowing Green to avoid a forgery conviction because he electronically signed a credit card sales receipt would run contrary to the expressed intent of the General Assembly. He “made” a “written instrument” when he signed another person’s name in the electronic box on the electronic point of sale terminal.

Donna Smith, et al. v. Emmanuel Temple Pentecostal Churches of the Apostolic Faith Inc., et al.
49A02-1007-PL-793
Civil plenary. Affirms grant of the national church’s motion to dismiss Smith’s and others verified motion for rule to show cause, alleging the local church had violated the court’s August 2009 order by refusing to allow Donna Smith to enter the church premises and refusing to restore her to the pastoral position. Smith is not a member of the church staff and does not have the right to enter the building at times other than those designated for public worship. The trial court did not abuse its discretion in, in essence, affirming the decision to elect another pastor after the August 2009 order.

Ruby Hamilton v. Eddie Woods, Helen Billingsley, and Kathleen Henderson (NFP)

45A03-1009-SC-503
Small claim. Reverses small claims court judgments, ruling the court’s judgments in an estate case are not sustainable on a theory of contract or contribution.

Deangelo Banks v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1006-CR-689
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class A felonies rape and criminal deviate conduct, and Class D felony strangulation.

Linda (Fritts) Christopher v. Ronald Fritts (NFP)
34A04-1008-DR-508
Domestic relation. Affirms trial court’s order on division of marital property and determining child support issues, ruling the trial court did not abuse its discretion in refusing to give appellant credit toward child support obligation for overnight visits with the couple’s child.

Cortez Lee v. State of Indiana (NFP)
02A03-1008-CR-413
Criminal. Affirms conviction of and sentence for Class B felony neglect of a dependent.

James A. Nelson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
26A01-1011-PC-568
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Anthony Vanscyoc v. State of Indiana (NFP)
18A02-1008-CR-915
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B felony aggravated battery.

Aaron Israel and Gary Robertson v. J. David Donahue, et al. (NFP)
46A03-1008-PL-445
Civil plenary. Affirms denial of Israel’s petition for judicial review of administrative decision and/or petition for writ of mandate to either enjoin noncompliance or order compliance with the law.

Jeffrey A. Graham v. State of Indiana (NFP)
03A01-1009-CR-459
Criminal. Affirms revocation of probation and remands with instructions to correct the order revoking probation and recalculate Graham’s sentence consistent with the appellate decision.

Lalena D. Ricketts Boller v. Scott W. Ricketts (NFP)
18A02-1006-DR-629
Domestic relation. Dismisses Boller’s appeal of the order of child support modification and restriction of parenting time, medical fees owed, and the payment of attorney fees and guardian ad litem fees following the dissolution of her marriage.

In the Matter of the Paternity of S.A.; G.L. v. T.A. (NFP)
49A02-1009-JP-967
Juvenile. Reverses denial of G.L.’s motion to correct error and remands with instructions the trial court enter a new order establishing the father’s child support obligation consistent with the appellate decision.

James Phillips v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1008-CR-907
Criminal. Affirms conviction of felony murder and Class B felony possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon.

Term. of Parent-Child Rel. of H.P.; M.G. and R.P. v. I.D.C.S. (NFP)
20A03-1007-JT-397
Juvenile. Affirms involuntary termination of parental rights.

Jermarcus J. Starnes v. State of Indiana (NFP)
20A04-1007-CR-486
Criminal. Affirms convictions of and sentence for two counts of Class B felony dealing in cocaine.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at 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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