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Opinions May 31, 2013

May 31, 2013
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Indiana Supreme Court
Brian Scott Hartman v. State of Indiana 
68S01-1305-CR-395
Criminal. Reversed and remanded a trial court’s denial of a motion to suppress Hartman’s confession. Found Hartman’s previous invocation of his Miranda rights was still in place when detectives questioned him days later because his earlier request for counsel was unproductive which likely increased the coercive pressure.  

Court of Appeals
Linda Huffman, Individually and as Personal Rep. of the Estate of Jerry Huffman, Deceased v. Dexter Axle Company & Evans Equipment Co.
85A02-1207-CT-586
Civil tort/wrongful death/estate. Reverses and remands trial court grant of summary judgment in favor of Dexter Axle, holding that Jerry Huffman, a contracted truck driver who died after unsecured axles he was to deliver fell off a flatbed truck, was owed a duty of care by Dexter, which was closed for business at the time the accident happened.  

Christie Wilson v. State of Indiana
88A01-1301-CR-2
Criminal. Affirms court order finding Wilson in contempt, holding that the court did not abuse its discretion by so ruling after she pleaded the Fifth when asked about a defendant under a grant of immunity.

Kevin Speer v. State of Indiana
79A02-1209-CR-748
Criminal. Affirms in part, reverses in part and remands. The court found no Fourth Amendment violations in a vehicle search and a search warrant that produced evidence leading to multiple drug convictions, but remanded to the court to vacate one of six convictions – Class D felony possession of two or more precursors used to manufacture methamphetamine – because evidence presented to obtain those convictions subjected Speer to double jeopardy.

Gary W. Moody v. Beverly Martin, Director of the Johnson Co. Public Library Dist.; The Board of Trustees of the Johnson Co. Public Library Dist.; Brian J. Deppe, et al. (NFP)

41A01-1208-PL-388
Civil plenary. Affirms trial court denial of Moody’s motion to correct errors and partial dismissal of lawsuit and remands to the trial court for a determination of the library’s reasonable expenses.

David Mark Frentz v. State of Indiana (NFP)  
59A01-1207-PC-334
Criminal. Affirms denial of post-conviction relief.

LaWanda White v. State of Indiana (NFP) 
49A02-1209-CR-713
Criminal. Reverses and remands to the trial court a restitution order that White pay $875.82 for expenses incurred in treating an arresting officer after her arrest for Class A misdemeanor operating a vehicle while intoxicated. The court failed to adequately inquire into her ability to pay restitution, the court held.

Penni Williams v. John Mark Williams (NFP)
87A01-1210-DR-493
Domestic relation. Affirms the post-dissolution court’s order denying Penni Williams’ cross-petition requesting the court to order the payment of college expenses.

Daniel Rodgers-Conwell, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
02A04-1210-CR-546
Criminal. Affirms revocation of probation for Rodgers-Conwell’s failure to maintain good behavior.

Rhonda Johnson v. State of Indiana (NFP)

49A02-1210-CR-816
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement.

McLynnerd Bond, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
45A03-1205-CR-212
Criminal. Affirms on interlocutory appeal the trial court’s denial of his motion to suppress a murder confession.

Charles R. Chulchian v. Rivoli Center for the Performing Arts, Inc., and Indianapolis Eastside Revitalization Corp. (NFP)
49A04-1209-PL-452
Civil plenary. Affirms trial court denial of motions to set aside judgment and rescind an agreed entry.

Jimmy Dale Edwards v. State of Indiana (NFP)
53A05-1209-PC-445
Criminal. Affirms denial of post-conviction relief.

Joshua Shay Morris v. State of Indiana (NFP)
73A01-1211-CR-528
Criminal. Affirms revocation of probation.

In the Matter of the Term. of the Parent-Child Rel. of: C.T. & N.T.; and J.T. and B.T. v. The Indiana Dept. of Child Services (NFP)
67A04-1210-JT-543
Juvenile termination. Affirms termination of parental rights to C.T., B.T. and N.T.

Donte Carter v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1209-CR-766
Criminal. Affirms aggregate 72-year sentence for murder and Class C felony attempted robbery.

Brandon M. Ebeyer v. State of Indiana (NFP)
53A01-1209-CR-400
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class C felony attempted burglary and Class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement.
 
Thomas M. Slaats v. Sally E. Slaats (NFP)
87A01-1210-DR-474
Domestic relation. Affirms orders regarding father Thomas Slaats’ obligation to reimburse mother Sally Slaats for agreed extracurricular fees.

Dominick Irby v. State of Indiana (NFP)

49A02-1208-CR-660
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony criminal recklessness.

Jason Davison v. State of Indiana (NFP)
05A02-1211-CR-968
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C felony child molesting.

Alvino Pizano v. Gregory F. Zoeller, et al. (NFP)
33A01-1302-MI-65
Miscellaneous. Reverse and remands the state’s motion for summary disposition of Pizano’s petition for habeus corpus relief, holding a genuine issue of material fact exists as to whether Pizano met his burden to show he earned a bachelor’s degree during his incarceration.

The Indiana Tax Court issued no opinions prior to IL deadline. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals issued no Indiana decisions prior to IL deadline.
 

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  1. I have been on this program while on parole from 2011-2013. No person should be forced mentally to share private details of their personal life with total strangers. Also giving permission for a mental therapist to report to your parole agent that your not participating in group therapy because you don't have the financial mean to be in the group therapy. I was personally singled out and sent back three times for not having money and also sent back within the six month when you aren't to be sent according to state law. I will work to het this INSOMM's removed from this state. I also had twelve or thirteen parole agents with a fifteen month period. Thanks for your time.

  2. Our nation produces very few jurists of the caliber of Justice DOUGLAS and his peers these days. Here is that great civil libertarian, who recognized government as both a blessing and, when corrupted by ideological interests, a curse: "Once the investigator has only the conscience of government as a guide, the conscience can become ‘ravenous,’ as Cromwell, bent on destroying Thomas More, said in Bolt, A Man For All Seasons (1960), p. 120. The First Amendment mirrors many episodes where men, harried and harassed by government, sought refuge in their conscience, as these lines of Thomas More show: ‘MORE: And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Paradise for doing according to your conscience, *575 and I am damned for not doing according to mine, will you come with me, for fellowship? ‘CRANMER: So those of us whose names are there are damned, Sir Thomas? ‘MORE: I don't know, Your Grace. I have no window to look into another man's conscience. I condemn no one. ‘CRANMER: Then the matter is capable of question? ‘MORE: Certainly. ‘CRANMER: But that you owe obedience to your King is not capable of question. So weigh a doubt against a certainty—and sign. ‘MORE: Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But if it is flat, will the King's command make it round? And if it is round, will the King's command flatten it? No, I will not sign.’ Id., pp. 132—133. DOUGLAS THEN WROTE: Where government is the Big Brother,11 privacy gives way to surveillance. **909 But our commitment is otherwise. *576 By the First Amendment we have staked our security on freedom to promote a multiplicity of ideas, to associate at will with kindred spirits, and to defy governmental intrusion into these precincts" Gibson v. Florida Legislative Investigation Comm., 372 U.S. 539, 574-76, 83 S. Ct. 889, 908-09, 9 L. Ed. 2d 929 (1963) Mr. Justice DOUGLAS, concurring. I write: Happy Memorial Day to all -- God please bless our fallen who lived and died to preserve constitutional governance in our wonderful series of Republics. And God open the eyes of those government officials who denounce the constitutions of these Republics by arbitrary actions arising out capricious motives.

  3. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

  4. "Meanwhile small- and mid-size firms are getting squeezed and likely will not survive unless they become a boutique firm." I've been a business attorney in small, and now mid-size firm for over 30 years, and for over 30 years legal consultants have been preaching this exact same mantra of impending doom for small and mid-sized firms -- verbatim. This claim apparently helps them gin up merger opportunities from smaller firms who become convinced that they need to become larger overnight. The claim that large corporations are interested in cost-saving and efficiency has likewise been preached for decades, and is likewise bunk. If large corporations had any real interest in saving money they wouldn't use large law firms whose rates are substantially higher than those of high-quality mid-sized firms.

  5. The family is the foundation of all human government. That is the Grand Design. Modern governments throw off this Design and make bureaucratic war against the family, as does Hollywood and cultural elitists such as third wave feminists. Since WWII we have been on a ship of fools that way, with both the elite and government and their social engineering hacks relentlessly attacking the very foundation of social order. And their success? See it in the streets of Fergusson, on the food stamp doles (mostly broken families)and in the above article. Reject the Grand Design for true social function, enter the Glorious State to manage social dysfunction. Our Brave New World will be a prison camp, and we will welcome it as the only way to manage given the anarchy without it.

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