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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. The sad thing is that no fish were thrown overboard The "greenhorn" who had never fished before those 5 days was interrogated for over 4 hours by 5 officers until his statement was illicited, "I don't want to go to prison....." The truth is that these fish were measured frozen off shore and thawed on shore. The FWC (state) officer did not know fish shrink, so the only reason that these fish could be bigger was a swap. There is no difference between a 19 1/2 fish or 19 3/4 fish, short fish is short fish, the ticket was written. In addition the FWC officer testified at trial, he does not measure fish in accordance with federal law. There was a document prepared by the FWC expert that said yes, fish shrink and if these had been measured correctly they averaged over 20 inches (offshore frozen). This was a smoke and mirror prosecution.

  2. I love this, Dave! Many congrats to you! We've come a long way from studying for the bar together! :)

  3. This outbreak illustrates the absurdity of the extreme positions taken by today's liberalism, specifically individualism and the modern cult of endless personal "freedom." Ebola reminds us that at some point the person's own "freedom" to do this and that comes into contact with the needs of the common good and "freedom" must be curtailed. This is not rocket science, except, today there is nonstop propaganda elevating individual preferences over the common good, so some pundits have a hard time fathoming the obvious necessity of quarantine in some situations....or even NATIONAL BORDERS...propagandists have also amazingly used this as another chance to accuse Western nations of "racism" which is preposterous and offensive. So one the one hand the idolatry of individualism has to stop and on the other hand facts people don't like that intersect with race-- remain facts nonetheless. People who respond to facts over propaganda do better in the long run. We call it Truth. Sometimes it seems hard to find.

  4. It would be hard not to feel the Kramers' anguish. But Catholic Charities, by definition, performed due diligence and held to the statutory standard of care. No good can come from punishing them for doing their duty. Should Indiana wish to change its laws regarding adoption agreements and or putative fathers, the place for that is the legislature and can only apply to future cases. We do not apply new laws to past actions, as the Kramers seem intent on doing, to no helpful end.

  5. I am saddened to hear about the loss of Zeff Weiss. He was an outstanding member of the Indianapolis legal community. My thoughts are with his family.

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