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Opinions May 10, 2013

May 10, 2013
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Royce Brown v. John F. Caraway, Warden
12-1439
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Terre Haute Division, Judge William T. Lawrence.
Civil. Reverses denial of Brown’s petition for habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. Section 2241 in which he argued under Begay v. United States, 553 U.S. 137 (2008), his prior Delaware conviction for arson in the third degree did not qualify as a crime of violence. Brown is entitled to relief, and under Begay, his prior conviction doesn’t qualify as “generic” arson under the enumerated crimes clause of the career offender guideline, nor is it covered by the residual clause. Remands with instructions to reduce his drug and firearm sentence to reflect that he is not a career offender under Section U.S.S.G. Section 4B1.1. Chief Judge Easterbrook issued a statement concerning the circulation under Circuit Rule 40(e).

Indiana Court of Appeals
Dwight L. Cobbs v. State of Indiana
49A05-1207-CR-380
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B felony dealing in cocaine. The trial court properly admitted the confidential informant’s testimony. Even if the court erred by admitting it, any error was harmless.

Roberto Barajas v. State of Indiana
10A01-1208-PC-387
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief. Barajas failed to demonstrate prejudice by his trial counsel’s performance in light of the court’s advisements at his guilty plea hearing.

Bobby Alexander v. State of Indiana

49A04-1207-CR-351
Criminal. Dismisses appeal of conviction of Class B felony aggravated battery and remands with instructions for the trial court to enter a restitution order within 30 days of this opinion. The trial court never entered a restitution order, so the case is in procedural limbo.

Karina Wilson v. State of Indiana (NFP)

49A02-1207-CR-602
Criminal. Affirms sentence for Class A misdemeanor battery.

Term. of the Parent-Child Rel. of C.T. and D.T., minor children, and C.T., biological father, and K.P., biological mother: C.T. and K.P. v. Indiana Dept. of Child Services (NFP)
79A02-1210-JT-837
Juvenile. Affirms involuntary termination of parental rights.

Mr. Bults, Inc. D/B/A MBI v. Nathan Orlando (NFP)

56A04-1210-CT-515
Civil tort. Affirms negligence finding against Mr. Bults Inc. and $650,000 jury award.

In Re: The Paternity of V.A.; R.A. v. B.Y. (NFP)
39A01-1209-JP-413
Juvenile. Affirms order addressing custody, parenting time, child support and personal property issues. Remands for the court to rule on the issue of legal custody, father’s contempt petition, to clarify the factual basis for its child support order and to enter findings supporting the conclusion.

Daon L. Bellamy v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A04-1210-CR-500
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony theft.

The Indiana Supreme Court and Tax Court posted no decisions by IL deadline.
 

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  1. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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