Opinions March 27, 2013

March 27, 2013
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Indiana Court of Appeals
Terrence J. Fuqua v. State of Indiana
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
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
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.

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
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)

Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony failure to register as a sex or violent offender.

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

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)
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)

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. I think the cops are doing a great job locking up criminals. The Murder rates in the inner cities are skyrocketing and you think that too any people are being incarcerated. Maybe we need to lock up more of them. We have the ACLU, BLM, NAACP, Civil right Division of the DOJ, the innocent Project etc. We have court system with an appeal process that can go on for years, with attorneys supplied by the government. I'm confused as to how that translates into the idea that the defendants are not being represented properly. Maybe the attorneys need to do more Pro-Bono work

  2. We do not have 10% of our population (which would mean about 32 million) incarcerated. It's closer to 2%.

  3. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  4. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  5. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.