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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. "So we broke with England for the right to "off" our preborn progeny at will, and allow the processing plant doing the dirty deeds (dirt cheap) to profit on the marketing of those "products of conception." I was completely maleducated on our nation's founding, it would seem. (But I know the ACLU is hard at work to remedy that, too.)" Well, you know, we're just following in the footsteps of our founders who raped women, raped slaves, raped children, maimed immigrants, sold children, stole property, broke promises, broke apart families, killed natives... You know, good God fearing down home Christian folk! :/

  2. Who gives a rats behind about all the fluffy ranking nonsense. What students having to pay off debt need to know is that all schools aren't created equal and students from many schools don't have a snowball's chance of getting a decent paying job straight out of law school. Their lowly ranked lawschool won't tell them that though. When schools start honestly (accurately) reporting *those numbers, things will get interesting real quick, and the looks on student's faces will be priceless!

  3. Whilst it may be true that Judges and Justices enjoy such freedom of time and effort, it certainly does not hold true for the average working person. To say that one must 1) take a day or a half day off work every 3 months, 2) gather a list of information including recent photographs, and 3) set up a time that is convenient for the local sheriff or other such office to complete the registry is more than a bit near-sighted. This may be procedural, and hence, in the near-sighted minds of the court, not 'punishment,' but it is in fact 'punishment.' The local sheriffs probably feel a little punished too by the overwork. Registries serve to punish the offender whilst simultaneously providing the public at large with a false sense of security. The false sense of security is dangerous to the public who may not exercise due diligence by thinking there are no offenders in their locale. In fact, the registry only informs them of those who have been convicted.

  4. Unfortunately, the court doesn't understand the difference between ebidta and adjusted ebidta as they clearly got the ruling wrong based on their misunderstanding

  5. A common refrain in the comments on this website comes from people who cannot locate attorneys willing put justice over retainers. At the same time the judiciary threatens to make pro bono work mandatory, seemingly noting the same concern. But what happens to attorneys who have the chumptzah to threatened the legal status quo in Indiana? Ask Gary Welch, ask Paul Ogden, ask me. Speak truth to power, suffer horrendously accordingly. No wonder Hoosier attorneys who want to keep in good graces merely chase the dollars ... the powers that be have no concerns as to those who are ever for sale to the highest bidder ... for those even willing to compromise for $$$ never allow either justice or constitutionality to cause them to stand up to injustice or unconstitutionality. And the bad apples in the Hoosier barrel, like this one, just keep rotting.

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