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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. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

  2. "Meanwhile small- and mid-size firms are getting squeezed and likely will not survive unless they become a boutique firm." I've been a business attorney in small, and now mid-size firm for over 30 years, and for over 30 years legal consultants have been preaching this exact same mantra of impending doom for small and mid-sized firms -- verbatim. This claim apparently helps them gin up merger opportunities from smaller firms who become convinced that they need to become larger overnight. The claim that large corporations are interested in cost-saving and efficiency has likewise been preached for decades, and is likewise bunk. If large corporations had any real interest in saving money they wouldn't use large law firms whose rates are substantially higher than those of high-quality mid-sized firms.

  3. The family is the foundation of all human government. That is the Grand Design. Modern governments throw off this Design and make bureaucratic war against the family, as does Hollywood and cultural elitists such as third wave feminists. Since WWII we have been on a ship of fools that way, with both the elite and government and their social engineering hacks relentlessly attacking the very foundation of social order. And their success? See it in the streets of Fergusson, on the food stamp doles (mostly broken families)and in the above article. Reject the Grand Design for true social function, enter the Glorious State to manage social dysfunction. Our Brave New World will be a prison camp, and we will welcome it as the only way to manage given the anarchy without it.

  4. When I hear 'Juvenile Lawyer' I think of an attorney helping a high school aged kid through the court system for a poor decision; like smashing mailboxes. Thank you for opening up my eyes to the bigger picture of the need for juvenile attorneys. It made me sad, but also fascinated, when it was explained, in the sixth paragraph, that parents making poor decisions (such as drug abuse) can cause situations where children need legal representation and aid from a lawyer.

  5. Some in the Hoosier legal elite consider this prayer recommended by the AG seditious, not to mention the Saint who pledged loyalty to God over King and went to the axe for so doing: "Thomas More, counselor of law and statesman of integrity, merry martyr and most human of saints: Pray that, for the glory of God and in the pursuit of His justice, I may be trustworthy with confidences, keen in study, accurate in analysis, correct in conclusion, able in argument, loyal to clients, honest with all, courteous to adversaries, ever attentive to conscience. Sit with me at my desk and listen with me to my clients' tales. Read with me in my library and stand always beside me so that today I shall not, to win a point, lose my soul. Pray that my family may find in me what yours found in you: friendship and courage, cheerfulness and charity, diligence in duties, counsel in adversity, patience in pain—their good servant, and God's first. Amen."

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