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Opinions March 27, 2013

March 27, 2013
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Indiana Court of Appeals
Terrence J. Fuqua v. State of Indiana
02A03-1207-CR-342
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class A felony dealing in cocaine, Class B felony unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon, Class D felonies possession of a controlled substance and dealing in marijuana, and Class A misdemeanor possession of paraphernalia. The investigating detectives had reasonable suspicion to search Fuqua’s trash, and the subsequent search warrant was supported by probable cause. The trial court acted within its discretion when it admitted evidence seized during the execution of the search warrant.

State of Indiana v. Antonio Gonzalez-Vazquez
09A02-1210-PC-792
Post conviction. Reverses denial of state’s motion to correct error challenging the grant of summary judgment to Gonzalez-Vazquez on his petition for post-conviction relief. The post-conviction court erred in striking the state’s response as untimely. Remands for further proceedings.

Michael L. Harris v. State of Indiana
20A04-1204-CR-225
Criminal. Finds Harris’ conviction of Class A misdemeanor sex offender internet offense under I.C. 35-42-4-12 violates the First Amendment and reverses his conviction. His constitutional challenges to I.C. 11-8-8-8(a)(7) under the First Amendment and under Article 1, sections 9 and 24 of the Indiana Constitution fail. The state produced sufficient evidence to support Harris’ conviction of failure to register as a sex offender under that statute. Judge Crone concurs in part and concurs in result in part with separate opinion.

In Re The Guardianship of A.J.A. and L.M.A., J.C. v. J.B. and S.B.

48A02-1204-GU-326
Guardianship. Reverses order vacating paternal grandmother J.C.’s grandparent visitation rights on the basis the trial court that initially granted these rights lacked the statutory authority to do so. Concludes that although the grandmother lacked standing to pursue the original grandparent visitation order, the guardians’ objections to her want of standing were waived when they failed to appeal the original order. Also concludes the grandmother’s visitation rights were not terminated by the adoption of the girls because they were adopted by J.B., who is their uncle, and his partner.

Joseph J. Scott v. State of Indiana
45A04-1208-PC-420
Post conviction. Reverses denial of petition for post-conviction relief and remands with instructions to impose a sentence of 23 years, all executed, for the guilty plea of Class B felony operating a vehicle with a BAC of at least 0.18 grams per deciliter and Class B felony resisting law enforcement causing death. Scott is entitled to relief due to ineffective assistance of trial counsel.

Marc Stults v. State of Indiana (NFP)

11A05-1210-CR-534
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony failure to register as a sex or violent offender.

Pamela A. Thompson v. Carroll E. Thompson (NFP)

33A01-1210-DR-454
Domestic relation. Affirms in part and reverses in part the dissolution of the Thompsons’ marriage. The record supports the court’s finding on and determination in finding that Pamela Thompson incurred only $3,000 in home repair costs during the pendency of the dissolution. Remands for further proceedings regarding a pension’s value.

In Re Paternity of G.K., A Minor Child; K.D.K. v. N.K. (NFP)
20A03-1209-JP-400
Juvenile. Affirms determination that husband K.D.K. failed to overcome the presumption that G.K. was a child of his marriage to wife N.K.

William D. Everage, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)

48A04-1207-CR-391
Criminal. Affirms 253-year aggregate sentence imposed for various convictions committed against five child victims, including 12 counts of Class A felony child molesting.

The Indiana Supreme Court and Tax Court posted no opinions by IL deadline. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals posted no Indiana decisions by IL deadline.
 

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  1. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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