Opinions March 24, 2011

March 24, 2011
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Rollie Mitchell
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Sarah Evans Barker.
Criminal. Affirms sentence of life imprisonment for distributing cocaine base, stating the District Court properly calculated the guidelines range and did not improperly consider Mitchell’s exercise of his Sixth Amendment right to counsel. Affirms the District Court did not clearly err in finding by a preponderance of the evidence – the proper evidentiary standard – that Mitchell participated in the murder of a confidential informant.

Indiana Supreme Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Jeffrey Wooten v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Dismisses Wooten’s appeal of trial court’s revocation of his probation. The state asserts that the appeals court has no jurisdiction over Wooten’s appeal because Indiana Post-Conviction Rule 2 does not permit belated appeals from the revocation of probation. Declines Wooten’s request for appeals court to exercise jurisdiction under its inherent authority to hear appeals that present a great matter of public interest, stating substantial evidence supports the trial court’s conclusion that Wooten was properly before it for a probation revocation proceeding.

In the Matter of the Paternity of G.B.H.; L.R. v. N.H. and State of Indiana
Juvenile paternity. Reverses trial court’s contempt finding and resulting sanction, stating evidence does not support that father L.R. willfully failed to pay child support. States that during a period of involuntary unemployment, the father paid what he was able to pay, and had less than $100 per week on which to live after paying two cases of court-ordered support, and was therefore not in contempt.

Michael E. Cohee v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms trial court’s decision to deny Cohee’s motion to suppress evidence against him. States that Cohee was not subject to a custodial interrogation when officers asked for his consent to a blood draw, and therefore, officers were not required to read his rights as outlined in Miranda v. Arizona.

Anthony Guzman v. C.K. Gray, et al. (NFP)
Civil tort. Affirms Hancock Superior Court’s denial of motion for leave to amend complaint.

Steven Green v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B felony sexual misconduct with a minor.

Flavio Gonzalez v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B felony criminal confinement while armed with a deadly weapon, and sentences for two counts of Class B felony criminal confinement while armed with a deadly weapon, and Class D felony domestic battery.

Charles E. Justise, Sr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Small claim. Grants appellant’s petition for rehearing. Reverses the trial court’s dismissal of his complaint and remands with instructions to the trial court to reinstate complaint against the state for further proceedings. Reaffirms decision regarding any claim against the appellees personally.

Ricardo Rico v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms convictions of and sentences for two counts of Class A felony delivery of methamphetamine, three grams or more.  

Matthew L. Skinner v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms trial court’s sentence following revocation of probation.

S.R. v. Review Board (NFP)
Civil. Affirms decision of Review Board of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development requiring S.R. to repay unemployment benefits.

Francheska McGraw v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B misdemeanor of disorderly conduct.

Matthew Riddle v. Lee Rimer (NFP)
Order of protection. Affirms trial court’s order granting Lee Rimer a protective order.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.


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  1. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  2. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  3. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.

  4. rensselaer imdiana is doing same thing to children from the judge to attorney and dfs staff they need to be investigated as well

  5. Sex offenders are victims twice, once when they are molested as kids, and again when they repeat the behavior, you never see money spent on helping them do you. That's why this circle continues