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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.
33A05-1107-CP-345
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
63A01-1105-CR-195
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.
45A04-1106-CT-290
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)
71A03-1108-GU-365
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)
45A05-1108-CR-405
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)
87A05-1106-CR-410
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)
45A03-1107-JT-339
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)
45A03-1106-CR-276
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)
20A03-1109-CR-423
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)
59A01-1107-CR-346
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)
02A03-1108-CR-397
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)
03A01-1109-CR-398
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)
29A02-1103-DR-208
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. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

  2. Pass Legislation to require guilty defendants to pay for the costs of lab work, etc as part of court costs...

  3. 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.

  4. 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).

  5. 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.

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