Opinions May 31, 2013

May 31, 2013
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Indiana Supreme Court
Brian Scott Hartman v. State of Indiana 
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.
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
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
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)

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)  
Criminal. Affirms denial of post-conviction relief.

LaWanda White v. State of Indiana (NFP) 
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)
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)
Criminal. Affirms revocation of probation for Rodgers-Conwell’s failure to maintain good behavior.

Rhonda Johnson v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement.

McLynnerd Bond, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
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)
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)
Criminal. Affirms denial of post-conviction relief.

Joshua Shay Morris v. State of Indiana (NFP)
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)
Juvenile termination. Affirms termination of parental rights to C.T., B.T. and N.T.

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

Brandon M. Ebeyer v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class C felony attempted burglary and Class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement.
Thomas M. Slaats v. Sally E. Slaats (NFP)
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)

Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony criminal recklessness.

Jason Davison v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C felony child molesting.

Alvino Pizano v. Gregory F. Zoeller, et al. (NFP)
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. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  2. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  3. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.

  4. rensselaer imdiana is doing same thing to children from the judge to attorney and dfs staff they need to be investigated as well

  5. Sex offenders are victims twice, once when they are molested as kids, and again when they repeat the behavior, you never see money spent on helping them do you. That's why this circle continues