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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. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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