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Opinions March 27, 2012

March 27, 2012
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals had issued no Indiana opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Lorraine (Carpenter) Miller v. Karl Carpenter
29A02-1107-DR-663
Domestic relation. Reverses the trial court’s grant of joint legal custody to father, holding the evidence does not support modification of custody. Rejects the mother’s argument that the court made a de facto modification of physical custody, holding the court merely modified parenting time, and holds the trial court did not abuse its discretion in reducing the father’s child support obligations.  

Earl Arnold, Sr. v. Rose Acre Farms, Inc.
93A02-1109-EX-874
Civil. Affirms finding by Worker’s Compensation Board that Arnold did not suffer an injury arising out of and in the course of his employment with Rose Acre Farms. Arnold was on a public road on his way to work when the crash that injured him occurred, and although his car came to rest in the driveway entrance to Rose Acre Farms, the crash did not occur on its property.

Hane C. Harris v. State of Indiana
18A04-1108-CR-391
Criminal. Affirms convictions of and sentence for one count each of Class A and Class C felony child molesting, and Class D felony child solicitation, holding that the victim’s testimony via closed-circuit television did not affect Harris’ right to cross-examination. Affirms consecutive sentences, holding the court needs to identify only one aggravator to impose consecutive sentences, and Harris had several, including 10 prior felony convictions. Remands to correct sentence to reflect that the habitual offender finding was an enhancement, not a separate offense.

Kevin K. Cotton v. State of Indiana (NFP)
64A03-1107-CR-334
Criminal. Affirms conviction of and sentence for two counts Class C felony child molesting.

Stacy I. Cottrill v. State of Indiana (NFP)
03A01-1110-CR-471
Criminal. Affirms trial court’s revocation of probation and order that Cottrill serve her previously-suspended four-year sentence.

Cynthia J. Biddle, as Personal Rep. of the Estate of Edgar E. Biddle, Deceased v. Joseph W. Laskowski and Barbara J. Laskowski (NFP)
54A01-1105-MI-196
Miscellaneous. Affirms trial court’s order that decreased the attorney fees to be paid to the Biddle estate. On cross-appeal, holds that the trial court did not abuse its discretion when it interpreted the agreement between parties, but due to the death of Edgar Biddle, “specific performance” is no longer possible and therefore the case is remanded to the trial court for determination of a money judgment.  

Term. of Parent-Child Rel. of A.F.-M (Minor Child); A.M. (Mother) and B.S.M. (Father) v. The Indiana Dept. of Child Services (NFP)
28A05-1109-JT-497
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights of mother and father.

Karyl Pogue v. Kim Rawlings and Deborah S. Rawlings (NFP)
12A02-1107-PL-654
Civil plenary. Affirms trial court’s judgment in favor of the Rawlingses on a fraud complaint.

Steffin T. McFall v. State of Indiana (NFP)
20A03-1109-CR-410
Criminal. Affirms sentence for five counts of Class A felony child molesting.  

Indiana Tax Court and Indiana Supreme Court had issued no opinions at IL deadline.
 

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  1. 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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  3. 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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