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Opinions May 14, 2013

May 14, 2013
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Indiana Supreme Court
State of Indiana v. John Doe
49S00-1201-CT-14
Civil tort. Reverses judgment declaring I.C. 34-51-3-4, -5, and -6 impermissibly inconsistent with Article 1, Section 20 and Article 3, Section 1 of the Indiana Constitution. The cap and allocation scheme of punitive damages does not infringe upon the right to a jury trial, and the cap does not offend the separation of powers. Remands with instructions to grant Stewart’s motion to reduce the punitive damages to the statutory maximum and order that 75 percent of the award be deposited in the Violent Crime Victim Compensation Fund.  

Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois v. Vincennes Indiana Girls, Inc.
42S00-1210-PL-597
Civil plenary. Affirms trial court grant of summary judgment quieting title in Vincennes Indiana Girls Inc. Concludes that the Contracts Clause of the Indiana Constitution protects the enforceability of a 49-year land use limitation imposed by VIG despite a subsequently enacted statute, Indiana Code 32-17-10-2, that purports to limit reversionary clauses in land transactions to a maximum of 30 years. The dissolution of VIG did not terminate its existence or surrender its charter, and so its reversionary rights did not terminate by operation of the deed. Though the parties only intended the restriction to run for 49 years instead of indefinitely, their contract would nevertheless be substantially impaired if it were cut off after just 30 years by applying I.C. 32-17-10-2.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Terrence T. Walker v. State of Indiana
45A04-1208-CR-441
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C felony child molesting involving fondling or touching. Fundamental error did not occur as a result of any inadmissible testimony by the victim’s father. The trial court did not err in failing to instruct the jury on Class D felony sexual battery because it is not an inherently or factually included offense of Class C felony child molesting as charged. The trial court did not abuse its discretion in replacing the only African-American juror.

David A. Warner v. State of Indiana (NFP)
07A05-1207-CR-386
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class B felony dealing in methamphetamine and Class B misdemeanor possession of a switchblade.

The Indiana 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. My daughter was taken from my home at the end of June/2014. I said I would sign the safety plan but my husband would not. My husband said he would leave the house so my daughter could stay with me but the case worker said no her mind is made up she is taking my daughter. My daughter went to a friends and then the friend filed a restraining order which she was told by dcs if she did not then they would take my daughter away from her. The restraining order was not in effect until we were to go to court. Eventually it was dropped but for 2 months DCS refused to allow me to have any contact and was using the restraining order as the reason but it was not in effect. This was Dcs violating my rights. Please help me I don't have the money for an attorney. Can anyone take this case Pro Bono?

  2. If justice is not found in a court room, it's time to clean house!!! Even judges are accountable to a higher Judge!!!

  3. The small claims system, based on my recent and current usage of it, is not exactly a shining example of justice prevailing. The system appears slow and clunky and people involved seem uninterested in actually serving justice within a reasonable time frame. Any improvement in accountability and performance would gain a vote from me. Speaking of voting, what do the people know about judges and justice from the bench perspective. I think they have a tendency to "vote" for judges based on party affiliation or name coolness factor (like Stoner, for example!). I don't know what to do in my current situation other than grin and bear it, but my case is an example of things working neither smoothly, effectively nor expeditiously. After this experience I'd pay more to have the higher courts hear the case -- if I had the money. Oh the conundrum.

  4. My dear Smith, I was beginning to fear, from your absense, that some Obrien of the Nanny State had you in Room 101. So glad to see you back and speaking truth to power, old chum.

  5. here is one from Reason magazine. these are not my words, but they are legitimate concerns. http://reason.com/blog/2010/03/03/fearmongering-at-the-splc quote: "The Southern Poverty Law Center, which would paint a box of Wheaties as an extremist threat if it thought that would help it raise funds, has issued a new "intelligence report" announcing that "an astonishing 363 new Patriot groups appeared in 2009, with the totals going from 149 groups (including 42 militias) to 512 (127 of them militias) -- a 244% jump." To illustrate how dangerous these groups are, the Center cites some recent arrests of right-wing figures for planning or carrying out violent attacks. But it doesn't demonstrate that any of the arrestees were a part of the Patriot milieu, and indeed it includes some cases involving racist skinheads, who are another movement entirely. As far as the SPLC is concerned, though, skinheads and Birchers and Glenn Beck fans are all tied together in one big ball of scary. The group delights in finding tenuous ties between the tendencies it tracks, then describing its discoveries in as ominous a tone as possible." --- I wonder if all the republicans that belong to the ISBA would like to know who and why this outfit was called upon to receive such accolades. I remember when they were off calling Trent Lott a bigot too. Preposterous that this man was brought to an overwhelmingly republican state to speak. This is a nakedly partisan institution and it was a seriously bad choice.

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