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Opinions May 30, 2014

May 30, 2014
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Indiana Court of Appeals
In re the Paternity of V.A., (Minor Child), R.A. v. B.Y.
39A04-1310-JP-512
Juvenile. Affirms a special judge’s ruling that the judge who heard evidence remanded to the trial court from an earlier appeal should rule on the remanded issues, as required by Trial Rule 63(A). The panel rejected father R.A.’s objection claiming that his change-of-judge request trumps that rule, finding that the change-of-judge rule only applies prospectively, while Rule 63(A) operates retroactively to ensure that the remanded issues are considered by the judge who heard the evidence.

In Re: The Paternity of V.A., a Minor Child, R.A. Father v. B.Y., Mother
39A01-1307-JP-304
Juvenile. Affirms denial of a petition to modify custody and support, and a motion to correct error. A special judge appointed to hear the case ruled that he lacked jurisdiction, and the panel found that ruling was not an abuse of discretion.

Jose M. Santana v. State of Indiana
20A04-1302-CR-54
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C felony operating a motor vehicle while privileges are forfeited for life. Rules although the police officer began following the vehicle because he erroneously ran the wrong license plate number, he did not initiate the stop until he observed Santana fail to signal a turn at least 200 feet before turning.
 
Depuy Orthopaedics Inc. and, Johnson & Johnson v. Travis Brown, et al.
49A02-1304-CT-332
Civil tort. Reverses denial of Depuy’s and Johnson & Johnson’s motion to dismiss and remands to the trial court for dismissal on the grounds of forum non conveniens governed by Indiana Trial Rule 4.4(C). The litigation over defective hip replacement devices may be re-filed in Virginia or Mississippi, where plaintiffs underwent surgical implantation of the devices.

Joseph Fuentes v. State of Indiana
71A04-1310-CR-522
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class A felony attempted murder, Class C felony possession of a handgun by a felon, Class D felony criminal recklessness and Class D felony resisting law enforcement. Finds the trial court did not abuse its discretion in admitting evidence that Fuentes had an assault rifle in his car when he fled police nor did the lower court commit fundamental error by encouraging the jury to continue deliberating after the jurors asked what they should do since they were split on one of the counts. Finally concludes the evidence was sufficient to establish Fuentes intended to kill a police officer.

In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of: O.V., Minor Child, J.V., Mother v. Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)
71A03-1312-JT-499
Juvenile. Affirms involuntary termination of mother J.V.’s parental rights.

Brooke Tubbs v. State of Indiana (NFP)
48A02-1309-CR-771
Criminal. Affirms 18-month executed sentence and convictions of Class D felony operating a vehicle while intoxicated and Class A misdemeanor driving while suspended.

Charlie S. Hines III v. State of Indiana (NFP)
89A05-1307-CR-362
Criminal. Affirms convictions of two counts of Class B felony dealing cocaine.

Thomas H. Kramer, Member and Manager of Domus Property Investments, LLC v. Mark Kramer, and Domus Property Investments, LLC (NFP)
71A04-1305-PL-261
Civil plenary. Reverses trial court ruling that Mark Kramer violated a non-compete clause with regard to one rental property and finds that he violated those terms with regard to three properties. Remands for total judgment of $333,156 in Thomas Kramer’s favor. Affirms denial of legal fees and prejudgment interest for Thomas Kramer.
 
In Re the Marriage of: Michelle Schlotterback and Terry Schlotterback, Terry Schlotterback v. Michelle Schlotterback (NFP)
57A05-1306-DR-321
Domestic relation. Affirms denial of Terry Schlotterback’s motion to correct error relating to the division of the estate amassed during marriage and his motion to correct error with regard to the uninsured medical expenses of the parties’ children.
 
Dietrich D. Smith, Jr v. State of Indiana (NFP)
45A05-1401-CR-31
Criminal. Dismisses appeal over whether Smith’s pretrial and earned credit time was properly awarded by the Department of Correction because the record is inadequate to make a determination.

Ronald Buttermore v. State of Indiana (NFP)
48A05-1309-CR-472
Criminal. Affirms revocation of probation.

Raven McGinty v. State of Indiana (NFP)
46A05-1310- CR-500
Criminal. Affirms 45-year sentence for multiple felony convictions of child molestation and other sex crimes.
 
Alma Stanbary v. Madison-Jefferson County Library (NFP)
39A01-1312-CT-537
Civil tort. Affirms summary judgment in favor of the library.

Jeremiah Workman v. State of Indiana (NFP)
27A02-1312-CR-1020
Criminal. Affirms revocation of probation.

Indiana Supreme Court and Indiana Tax Court issued no opinions by IL deadline Friday.7th Circuit Court of Appeals issued no Indiana opinions by IL deadline Friday.
 

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  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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