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Opinions Nov. 13, 2013

November 13, 2013
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Indiana Supreme Court
The following opinions were posted after IL deadline Tuesday
.
Jamar Washington v. State of Indiana
49S02-1212-CR-669
Criminal. Affirms trial court jury instruction regarding defense of another as the correct statement of law, holding that Washington’s tendered instruction that the court declined to use was not required. Remands for correction of the sentencing abstract to reflect that Washington was convicted of resisting law enforcement as a Class A misdemeanor rather than as a Class D felony.  

Billy Russell v. State of Indiana
49S04-1311-CR-741
Criminal. Affirms convictions for murder and Class B felony possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon. Finds the trial court did not err in refusing to give Russell’s tendered jury instruction assessing his claim of self-defense. Concludes that partially bifurcating the trial did not prejudice Russell.

Today's opinions
Indiana Supreme Court

Julie Kitchell v. Ted Franklin, as the Mayor of the City of Logansport, and the Common Council of the City of Logansport
09S00-1307-PL-476
Civil plenary. Affirms trial court dismissal of a suit challenging the city’s planned public-private partnership to convert a coal-fired power plant to generate electricity by burning refuse. Justices held that the Indiana Public-Private Agreements statute does not require a local legislative body to adopt an enabling statute before it may issue requests for proposals or begin contract negotiations.


Indiana Court of Appeals
Robert Kuntz, Kunodu, Inc., and B-K Interests, LLC v. EVI, LLC
02A03-1301-PL-14
Civil plenary. Affirms order granting preliminary injunction based on trial court’s finding that Kuntz had violated the terms of his noncompete agreement. Reverses and remands the trial court extending the duration of the noncompete and awarding attorney fees to EVI. The COA points out a preliminary injunction is not a final judgment and is meant only to preserve the status quo as it existed prior to the dispute.

David Williams v. State of Indiana
67A01-1302-CR-87
Criminal. Affirms conviction and aggregate 99-year sentence for eight counts of Class A felony child molestation and once count of Class B felony incest. Finds Williams’ confession to police was voluntary and not coerced. Ruled the convictions for incest and child molesting do not constitute double jeopardy. Holds even though the trial court may have abused its discretion in considering Williams’ IRAS score as an aggravating factor, the 99-year sentence is not inappropriate.

Charles Cole v. State of Indiana
49A02-1308-CR-680
Criminal. Reverses an increase of bond from $2,500 surety to $10,000 surety on a Class D felony charge of possession of methamphetamine, holding that the increase was an abuse of discretion. No new evidence supported the increase that was twice as high as the maximum under local court rules, and the requirements for increasing bail under Ind. Code 35-33-8-5 were not satisfied.

State of Indiana v. Molly Gray
62A01-1303-CR-108
Criminal. Affirms on interlocutory appeal the trial court’s suppression of drug evidence collected after a drug-sniffing police dog indicated the presence of narcotics in a van pulled over in a traffic stop. The free-air sniff conducted by the canine was not incidental to the traffic stop and the officer lacked reasonable suspicion to justify increasing the duration of the stop.

Timothy W. Mackall, and Stephanie K. Mackall v. Cathedral Trustees, Inc., d/b/a Cathedral High School (NFP)
49A02-1304-CC-290
Civil collections. Affirms trial court award of $47,510 in attorney fees in favor of Cathedral.

In the Matter of E.B. (Minor Child), Child in Need of Services and R.K. (Mother) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)
84A01-1303-JC-95
Juvenile. Affirms adjudication of E.B. as a child in need of services.

Billy Bulu Gercilus v. State of Indiana (NFP)
18A02-1303-CR-246
Criminal. Affirms conviction of two counts of Class D felony battery resulting in bodily injury and one count of Class A misdemeanor interfering with the reporting of a crime.

Tammy Price v. Review Board of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development and WC Fern Exposition Services(NFP)
93A02-1304-EX-369
Agency action. Affirms denial of unemployment benefits.
 
Zigfried Davis v. State of Indiana (NFP)
71A05-1303-CR-124
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony possession of cocaine.

Shaun A. Fry v. State of Indiana (NFP)
50A03-1305-CR-170
Criminal. Affirms in part and reverses in part convictions after a bench trial of Class D felony operating a vehicle while intoxicated endangering a person, Class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement and Class C misdemeanor operating a vehicle without receiving a license. Vacates the felony conviction and remands for new trial because there is no evidence in the record that Fry knowingly, voluntarily and intelligently waived his right to a jury trial.  
 
Brenda Painter v. State of Indiana (NFP)
48A02-1304-CR-346
Criminal. Affirms 22-year aggregate sentence for conviction of two counts of Class B felony dealing in methamphetamine.


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

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  1. Applause, applause, applause ..... but, is this duty to serve the constitutional order not much more incumbent upon the State, whose only aim is to be pure and unadulterated justice, than defense counsel, who is also charged with gaining a result for a client? I agree both are responsible, but it seems to me that the government attorneys bear a burden much heavier than defense counsel .... "“I note, much as we did in Mechling v. State, 16 N.E.3d 1015 (Ind. Ct. App. 2014), trans. denied, that the attorneys representing the State and the defendant are both officers of the court and have a responsibility to correct any obvious errors at the time they are committed."

  2. Do I have to hire an attorney to get co-guardianship of my brother? My father has guardianship and my older sister was his co-guardian until this Dec 2014 when she passed and my father was me to go on as the co-guardian, but funds are limit and we need to get this process taken care of quickly as our fathers health isn't the greatest. So please advise me if there is anyway to do this our self or if it requires a lawyer? Thank you

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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)

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