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Opinions March 25, 2014

March 25, 2014
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Indiana Supreme Court
Joanna S. Robinson v. State of Indiana
20S04-1307-CR-471
Criminal. Affirms trial court’s denial of Robinson’s motion to suppress. Agrees with trial court in giving deference to deputy’s testimony that he initiated the traffic stop after observing Robinson drive off the roadway twice even though the video from the deputy’s in-car camera only shows Robinson weaving onto the fog line. Rucker dissents, asserting giving credit to the deputy’s testimony over the video amounts to reweighing evidence.

State of Indiana v. Darrell L. Keck
67S01-1403-CR-179
Criminal. Affirms the trial court’s grant of Keck’s motion to suppress on the grounds the officer lacked reasonable suspicion to initiate the traffic stop. Upholds trial court’s finding that the poor conditions of county roads necessitated Keck driving left-of-center to avoid the potholes.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Marjorie O. Lesley v. Robert T. Lesley
79A02-1305-DR-472
Domestic. Reverses an order granting rehabilitation maintenance for Marjorie O. Lesley, holding that the court lacked authority to re-evaluate a final dissolution order after she later was found to qualify for disability benefits from the Social Security Administration. Remands for support. In a separate concurring opinion, Judge John Baker wrote the court could have reserved judgment on the disability issue by continuing the hearing at which the final order was issued to await SSA’s determination on disability.

Victor Hugo Mesa v. State of Indiana
36A01-1308-MI-362
Miscellaneous/forfeiture. Affirms forfeiture of a vehicle on the state’s summary judgment motion, holding that Mesa did not properly request a summary judgment hearing and that no issue of material fact existed regarding whether the vehicle was seizable under Indiana Code § 34-24-1-1(a)(3).

Jerid T. Bennett v. State of Indiana
59A05-1306-CR-277
Criminal. Vacates a conviction of Class D felony possession of cocaine as double jeopardy for a conviction in the same case of Class B felony dealing in cocaine, but otherwise lets stand the dealing conviction as well as convictions of Class D felony maintaining a common nuisance and Class A misdemeanor possession of marijuana.

Robert Morris Endris v. Jennifer Lynn Endris (NFP)
41A01-1303-DR-130
Domestic relation. Reverses visitation order that stopped visits between Robert Endris and his daughter and modified parenting time with the other children without explanation. Also reverses order that paternal grandmother, who was not a party to the dissolution, host the children during bi-annual visits. Remands to the trial court to enter an order either complying with Parenting Time Guidelines or explaining the deviation when modifying the visitation for the other children. Affirms denial of Endris’ motion to modify child support.

Vernon Robinson v. Estates At Eagle's Pointe (NFP)
52A02-1306-PL-528
Civil plenary. Reverses the trial court’s order to the extent that it awarded the Estates $57,375 but affirms the remainder of the order. Remands for entry of judgment in favor of Estate in the amount of $46,375 plus attorneys fee of $25,000 and costs.

Dennis Knight v. State of Indiana (NFP)
71A04-1309-CR-475
Criminal. Affirms conviction of one count of Class B felony robbery.

Richard Antonio Clark v. State of Indiana (NFP)
45A03-1308-CR-337
Criminal. Affirms three-year sentence for Class D felony strangulation and Class A misdemeanor domestic battery.

The Indiana Tax Court did not post any opinions by IL deadline. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals did not submit any Indiana opinions by IL deadline.


 

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  1. I can understand a 10 yr suspension for drinking and driving and not following the rules,but don't you think the people who compleate their sentences and are trying to be good people of their community,and are on the right path should be able to obtain a drivers license to do as they please.We as a state should encourage good behavior instead of saying well you did all your time but we can't give you a license come on.When is a persons time served than cause from where I'm standing,its still a punishment,when u can't have the freedom to go where ever you want to in car,truck ,motorcycle,maybe their should be better programs for people instead of just throwing them away like daily trash,then expecting them to change because they we in jail or prison for x amount of yrs.Everyone should look around because we all pay each others bills,and keep each other in business..better knowledge equals better community equals better people...just my 2 cents

  2. I was wondering about the 6 million put aside for common attorney fees?does that mean that if you are a plaintiff your attorney fees will be partially covered?

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  4. I expressed my thought in the title, long as it was. I am shocked that there is ever immunity from accountability for ANY Government agency. That appears to violate every principle in the US Constitution, which exists to limit Government power and to ensure Government accountability. I don't know how many cases of legitimate child abuse exist, but in the few cases in which I knew the people involved, in every example an anonymous caller used DCS as their personal weapon to strike at innocent people over trivial disagreements that had no connection with any facts. Given that the system is vulnerable to abuse, and given the extreme harm any action by DCS causes to families, I would assume any degree of failure to comply with the smallest infraction of personal rights would result in mandatory review. Even one day of parent-child separation in the absence of reasonable cause for a felony arrest should result in severe penalties to those involved in the action. It appears to me, that like all bureaucracies, DCS is prone to interpret every case as legitimate. This is not an accusation against DCS. It is a statement about the nature of bureaucracies, and the need for ADDED scrutiny of all bureaucratic actions. Frankly, I question the constitutionality of bureaucracies in general, because their power is delegated, and therefore unaccountable. No Government action can be unaccountable if we want to avoid its eventual degeneration into irrelevance and lawlessness, and the law of the jungle. Our Constitution is the source of all Government power, and it is the contract that legitimizes all Government power. To the extent that its various protections against intrusion are set aside, so is the power afforded by that contract. Eventually overstepping the limits of power eliminates that power, as a law of nature. Even total tyranny eventually crumbles to nothing.

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