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Opinions May 2, 2013

May 2, 2013
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Indiana Supreme Court
Gerald P. VanPatten v. State of Indiana
02S03-1205-CR-251
Criminal. Vacates two convictions of child molesting, one as a Class A felony and one as a Class C felony, because a nurse’s testimony about statements made by the alleged six-year-old victim, who later recanted, should not have been admitted as substantive evidence. Affirms trial court was within its discretion to deny VanPatten’s attorneys’ motions to withdraw. Justice Massa concurs in result with a separate opinion in which Justice Rush joins. Remands for a new trial on the two counts.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Dekuita Steen v. State of Indiana
49A02-1211-CR-877
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony theft. The trial court properly admitted a loss-prevention officer’s testimony concerning security tags and store labels into evidence, and the evidence is sufficient to support the conviction.

Johann Schmidt v. State of Indiana
34A02-1207-CR-570
Criminal. Affirms denial of Schmidt’s motion to dismiss two counts of Class C felony theft filed in Howard County. The record shows the Howard County prosecutor properly filed charges against Schmidt as to the offenses committed in that county and charges out of Miami County that Schmidt was previously prosecuted on did not relate to the Howard County offenses. Remands for further proceedings.

Jason Tye Myers v. State of Indiana (NFP)
79A04-1209-PC-481
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Dywan Masterson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
02A03-1208-PC-368
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Frank T. Grannan v. State of Indiana (NFP)
79A02-1209-CR-696
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class C misdemeanors operating while intoxicated, operating with an alcohol concentration equivalent of 0.08 but less than 0.15, and operating with a controlled substance or its metabolite in the body.

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. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  2. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  3. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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