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Opinions May 7, 2014

May 7, 2014
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Indiana Supreme Court
Mayor Gregory Ballard v. Maggie Lewis, John Barth, and Vernon Brown
49S00-1311-PL-716
Civil plenary. Reverses partial summary judgment to Maggie Lewis, holding Mayor Greg Ballard is entitled to summary judgment on redistricting ordinance issue. Justices exercise judicial restraint and leave redistricting in the hands of the two branches of local government responsible for the task. Also reverses any order requiring Ballard to pay part of the cost of a master brought in on the issue.

In the Matter of: Christopher E. Haigh 
98S00-0608-DI-317
Discipline. Haigh engaged in conduct in contempt of the Supreme Court by violating the suspension order. He is disbarred effective immediately and must pay $1,000. Any further contempt will likely result in imprisonment.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Shane Beal and The Bar Plan Mutual Insurance Company v. Edwin Blinn, Jr.
27A03-1306-PL-235
Civil plenary. Affirms denial of Beal’s motion for summary judgment, which concluded that a genuine issue of material fact exists as to whether Beal’s representation of Blinn Jr. in a federal criminal case constituted legal malpractice.

John Jacob Venters v. State of Indiana
79A02-1305-CR-481
Criminal. Reverses sentence for operating a vehicle while intoxicated, as a Class D felony, enhanced by the habitual substance offender statute. Remands with instructions to order Venters’ enhanced sentence to run concurrently with his previously enhanced sentences. The trial court erred in ordering the sentence at issue to be served consecutively to his previously entered sentences.

Rahsaan A. Johnson v. State of Indiana
18A02-1304-CR-343
Criminal. Affirms conviction of 14 counts of possession of animals for fighting contests, all as Class D felonies. There is sufficient evidence to support the convictions and they do not violate the double jeopardy clause of the Indiana Constitution.

Johnathon R. Aslinger v. State of Indiana (NFP)
35A02-1303-CR-296
Criminal. Grants rehearing for the limited purpose of ordering a retrial on Aslinger’s conviction for possession of paraphernalia. Affirms original opinion in all respects.

Ricky Allen Cox v. State of Indiana (NFP)
48A02-1308-CR-717
Criminal. Affirms sentence for Class D felony theft and remands for a determination of the credit time to which Cox is entitled.  

J&W Construction, Inc. v. Duffy Tool & Stamping, LTD, LLC, et al. (NFP)
18A02-1309-CT-809
Civil tort. Affirms orders dismissing J&W’s motion for proceeding supplement and its motion to correct error.

Robert F. Petty v. State of Indiana (NFP)
72A05-1305-CR-237
Criminal. Affirms convictions of voluntary manslaughter, Class D felony removal of body from scene and Class D felony obstruction of justice.

Claude F. Hudson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
84A01-1305-CR-197
Criminal. Reverses denial of credit time and remands with instructions to award Hudson credit time from Oct. 15, 2012, to Dec. 27, 2012, when he was confined at a hospital.

Larry Fulbright v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1309-CR-789
Criminal. Reverses denial of petition to file a belated notice of appeal.

Indiana Tax Court
MedCo Health Solutions, Inc. v. Indiana Department of State Revenue
49T10-1105-TA-35
Tax. Grants the department’s Trial Rule 12(B)(6) motion to dismiss. Medco is not entitled to relief on two claims: that the court should order the department to pay a refund and that advisory letters should be binding in this matter.

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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