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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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  3. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  4. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  5. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

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