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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. 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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