Opinions March 8, 2012

March 8, 2012
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
U.S.A v. Marlon K. Spears
No. 10-3338
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division, Chief Judge Philip P. Simon.
Criminal. Affirms denial of motion to suppress evidence, finding that enough probable cause existed to justify a search warrant that led to a man’s convictions on drug charges.

Indiana Supreme Court
Keith Hoglund v. State of Indiana
No. 90S02-1105-CR-294
Criminal. Affirms trial court judgment that found sufficient evidence to support two Class A felony child molesting convictions and a 50-year sentence. Holds that the Indiana Rules of Evidence do not allow for “vouching testimony” in child sex abuse cases and that past caselaw does not create an exception.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Term. of the Parent-Child Rel. of K.E., and T.E. and J.E., T.E. and J.E. v. Indiana Dept. of Child Services
No. 20A05-1104-JT-206
Parental termination. Reverses and remands parental termination case, finding that trial court didn’t comply with Indiana Code 31-35-2-4(b)(2)(A) before involuntary terminating the parental rights.

United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, Local Union No. 2371, Official Bargaining Agent, et al. v. Merchandising Equipment Group, Div. of MEG Manufacturing Corp., et al.
Civil plenary. Affirms trial court’s decision to grant defendant’s Trial Rule 41(E) motion to dismiss for failure to prosecute after 18 years, finding the court didn’t abuse its discretion.

Pamela J. Hensley v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Reverses trial court’s judgment denying motion to suppress evidence seized during a home search, finding that the probation search was not justified under the Fourth Amendment because it wasn’t a valid probation search but more resembled an investigatory search.

Gladys E. Curry and Thomas Curry v. D.A.L.L. Anointed, Inc.
Civil tort. Affirms trial court’s judgment dismissing complaint for injuries and loss of consortium against D.A.L.L. Anointed, finding the lower court did not err in holding it lacked subject matter jurisdiction based on the Indiana Worker’s Compensation Act.

Guardianship of M.A.M.: D.L.M. v. J.G. (NFP)
Guardianship. Reverses trial court’s order denying father’s petition to terminate maternal grandfather’s guardianship, finding prima facie error because of an existing power of attorney the father had in place while he was deployed.

Donnell Caldwell v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms six-year sentence imposed by trial court following a Class C felony criminal recklessness conviction, finding the trial court didn’t abuse its discretion in sentencing him and the sentence is not inappropriate.
Lynnette A. Wire v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms in part and reverses in part a drunken driving case, finding the evidence is sufficient to sustain a Class C infraction for driving left of center and a Class C misdemeanor conviction of operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol content between 0.08 and 0.15. Remands to vacate conviction of Class C misdemeanor operating while intoxicated.

Term. of the Parent-Child Rel. of R.H. and D.H., D.H. v. Indiana Dept. of Child Svcs. and Lake County CASA (NFP)
Parental termination. Affirms trial court’s involuntary termination of mother’s parental rights, finding evidence supported the juvenile court’s judgment.

Jeffery Haugh v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms denial of a motion to withdraw Haugh’s guilty plea in a case involving his conviction of Class D felony failure to notify authorities and moving a body from the scene. Finds the trial court didn’t err and that the sentence is appropriate.

William Estell v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms man’s three-year sentence following a conviction of Class D felony escape, finding trial court properly denied motion for a continuance before the sentencing.

Russell A. Prosser, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Reverses trial court on permitting state to elicit testimony from child-molesting victim’s case manager substantiating the molestation claim. Remands for a new trial.

Richard J. Charlton v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms Class B felony rape conviction, finding evidence was sufficient and trial court didn’t abuse its discretion by limiting evidence of sexual history between Richard Charlton and victim.
David S. Stover v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms Class A misdemeanor conviction of criminal conversation and one-year sentence suspended to probation, finding evidence was sufficient.

James R. Lockhart, Jr. v. Lisa (Lockhart) Guyer (NFP)
Domestic relation. On petition for rehearing, appellate court revises its Dec. 11, 2011, opinion in same case and removes the citation to Indiana Code 34-52-1-1(b) and instead inserts citation to Indiana Code 31-15-10-1. Affirms previous decision in all other regards.

The Indiana Tax Court had no opinions at IL deadline.


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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. rensselaer imdiana is doing same thing to children from the judge to attorney and dfs staff they need to be investigated as well

  5. Sex offenders are victims twice, once when they are molested as kids, and again when they repeat the behavior, you never see money spent on helping them do you. That's why this circle continues