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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. The fee increase would be livable except for the 11% increase in spending at the Disciplinary Commission. The Commission should be focused on true public harm rather than going on witch hunts against lawyers who dare to criticize judges.

  2. Marijuana is safer than alcohol. AT the time the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act was enacted all major pharmaceutical companies in the US sold marijuana products. 11 Presidents of the US have smoked marijuana. Smoking it does not increase the likelihood that you will get lung cancer. There are numerous reports of canabis oil killing many kinds of incurable cancer. (See Rick Simpson's Oil on the internet or facebook).

  3. The US has 5% of the world's population and 25% of the world's prisoners. Far too many people are sentenced for far too many years in prison. Many of the federal prisoners are sentenced for marijuana violations. Marijuana is safer than alcohol.

  4. My daughter was married less than a week and her new hubbys picture was on tv for drugs and now I havent't seen my granddaughters since st patricks day. when my daughter left her marriage from her childrens Father she lived with me with my grand daughters and that was ok but I called her on the new hubby who is in jail and said didn't want this around my grandkids not unreasonable request and I get shut out for her mistake

  5. From the perspective of a practicing attorney, it sounds like this masters degree in law for non-attorneys will be useless to anyone who gets it. "However, Ted Waggoner, chair of the ISBA’s Legal Education Conclave, sees the potential for the degree program to actually help attorneys do their jobs better. He pointed to his practice at Peterson Waggoner & Perkins LLP in Rochester and how some clients ask their attorneys to do work, such as filling out insurance forms, that they could do themselves. Waggoner believes the individuals with the legal master’s degrees could do the routine, mundane business thus freeing the lawyers to do the substantive legal work." That is simply insulting to suggest that someone with a masters degree would work in a role that is subpar to even an administrative assistant. Even someone with just a certificate or associate's degree in paralegal studies would be overqualified to sit around helping clients fill out forms. Anyone who has a business background that they think would be enhanced by having a legal background will just go to law school, or get an MBA (which typically includes a business law class that gives a generic, broad overview of legal concepts). No business-savvy person would ever seriously consider this ridiculous master of law for non-lawyers degree. It reeks of desperation. The only people I see getting it are the ones who did not get into law school, who see the degree as something to add to their transcript in hopes of getting into a JD program down the road.

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