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Opinions Nov. 15, 2010

November 15, 2010
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Lorenzo Tavarez
09-3879
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge William T. Lawrence.
Criminal. Affirms convictions of two counts of distributing 50 grams or more methamphetamine. Tavarez failed to show that the confidential informant was available only to the government. The District Court therefore did not err by refusing the missing witness instruction. Concludes that the jury could reasonably reach its guilty verdict on the circumstantial evidence presented here.

Indiana Supreme Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Paternity of C.H.; K.L. v. M.H.
41A01-1003-JP-145
Juvenile. Affirms parenting time schedule regarding father M.H.’s time and the appointment of a parenting coordinator. The evidence showed that C.H. had bonded well with both parents and needs time with both of them, and the trial court’s assessment of M.H.’s time is not an error. The trial court didn’t error in appointing the parent coordinator given the ongoing communication difficulties the parents have had regarding the parenting time schedule.

Mary Booher, et al. v. Sheeram, LLC

20A03-1005-CT-338
Civil tort. Affirms summary judgment in favor of Sheeram LLC on the Boohers’ negligence complaint. Having failed to file a formal request with the trial court for an extension of time, the trial court was without discretion to accept the technically late-filed documents.

Tony A. Holmes v. Celadon Trucking of Indiana, et al.
49A02-1007-PL-714
Civil plenary. Reverses grant of Celadon Trucking’s motion for judgment on the pleadings. Holmes began the instant suit against Celadon within the statutorily allotted time. Remands for further proceedings.

City of Jeffersonville v. Hallmark at Jeffersonville

10A01-1001-PL-22
Civil plenary. Affirms judgment in favor of Hallmark of Jeffersonville on its complaint for refund of sewer tap fees. Affirms the court’s findings and conclusion as to the proper total amount of $15,000 that Hallmark should have been assessed as a sewer tap or connection fee for the three buildings. Concludes the voluntary payment doctrine is inapplicable in this case.

In the Matter of the Unsupervised Estate of Dwight M. Wilson v. Phyllis Steward
70A01-1003-EU-104
Estate unsupervised. Affirms Steward’s claim against the estate for unpaid child support is not barred by Indiana Code Section 34-11-2-12. The evidence was sufficient to overcome the presumption of satisfaction of the judgment.

Robert L. Comer v. State of Indiana
46A05-0912-CR-718
Criminal. Affirms revocation of probation and order Comer serve the balance of his sentences. The appellate court doesn’t have jurisdiction to entertain Comer’s challenge, if any, to the sentence originally imposed.

Donald G. Kistler v. State of Indiana

35A04-1004-PC-245
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief. Kistler did not demonstrate that he wouldn’t have pled guilty even if properly advised and his claim of ineffective assistance fails.

Wayne & Susan Vanderwier v. Joshua & Stephannie Baker

45A03-1003-CC-129
Civil collection. Affirms judgment in favor of the Bakers on their claims for fraud arising from their purchase of the Vanderwiers’ home. This evidence supports the trial court’s judgment that the Bakers established, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the Vanderwiers made fraudulent misrepresentations on the Sales Disclosure Form and that the Bakers justifiably relied on the Vanderwiers’ fraudulent disclosure of only “minor garage seepage.”

Robert Guy v. Commissioner, Indiana BMV
30A01-1001-PL-186
Civil plenary. Vacates trial court’s denial of Guy’s verified petition for order to renew his Indiana operator’s license. Because Guy only served the commissioner of the BMV and not the attorney general, as required by both the Indiana Administrative Orders and Procedures Act and Indiana Trial Rule 4.6(A)(3), the trial court did not have personal jurisdiction.

Charlotte Manns v. Amos J. Richie, et al.

37A03-1006-CT-294
Civil tort. Affirms summary judgment for Richie on Manns’ complaint for unjust enrichment. As a matter of law, Manns did not confer any benefit upon Richie.

Clarence Seeley, Jr. v. State of Indiana
21A05-1003-CR-167
Criminal. Affirms refusal to tender Seeley’s jury instruction. The evidence unequivocally demonstrated that Seeley was not “briefly” within 1,000 feet of school property when he illegally sold a controlled substance from his residence. As such, there was no evidence in the record to support the giving of the proffered jury instruction on the statutory defense. The state presented sufficient evidence that St. Gabriel’s School was “school property” for purposes of the statutory enhancement. Reverses habitual offender finding and remands for re-sentencing.

Dewayne E. Rhye v. State of Indiana (NFP)

82A05-1004-CR-215
Criminal. Affirms sentence for Class D felony conspiracy to commit theft, Class D felony criminal recklessness resulting in serious bodily injury, and Class B misdemeanor criminal recklessness.

Raymond Lee v. State of Indiana (NFP)

49A04-1001-CR-47
Criminal. Affirms habitual offender adjudication and sentence for Class C felony burglary and Class D felony theft.

Stephen Quick, II v. State of Indiana (NFP)
23A05-1005-CR-292
Criminal. Affirms denial of motion for change of judge and 125-year sentence for three counts of Class A felony child molesting.

Jose L. Macias v. State of Indiana (NFP)

20A03-1004-CR-237
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A felony dealing in cocaine.

Term. of Parent-Child Rel. of J.A.; S.J.M. and J.A. v. I.D.C.S. (NFP)

20A03-1004-JT-228
Juvenile. Affirms involuntary termination of parental rights.

In Re: The Guardianship of Patrick Hill; Kristin S. Hill v. Michael W. Hill (NFP)
49A04-0906-CV-339
Civil. Affirms probate court’s order appointing Michael Hill as guardian over son Patrick.

In the Matter of I.D.; T.D. v. IDCS (NFP)

49A05-1003-JC-198
Juvenile. Affirms finding that I.D. is a child in need of services.

Sharla Hackney and Raymond Hackney, Sr. v. Stacy G. Toole (NFP)

41A01-1003-CC-121
Civil collection. Affirms summary judgment for Toole in Sharla Hackney’s suit for negligence.

Ronald Fisher v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1004-CR-411
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony theft.

Gerardo Delao v. State of Indiana (NFP)
15A01-1004-CR-228
Criminal. Affirms sentence imposed following admission to violating probation.

James R. Stephens v. Brenda K. Stephens (NFP)

33A05-1006-DR-434
Domestic relation. Dismisses James Stephens’ appeal of the order regarding his child support arrearage because his appeal is untimely.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.
 

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  1. California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) End of Year Report 2014. (page 13) Under the current system many local registering agencies are challenged just keeping up with registration paperwork. It takes an hour or more to process each registrant, the majority of whom are low risk offenders. As a result law enforcement cannot monitor higher risk offenders more intensively in the community due to the sheer numbers on the registry. Some of the consequences of lengthy and unnecessary registration requirements actually destabilize the life’s of registrants and those -such as families- whose lives are often substantially impacted. Such consequences are thought to raise levels of known risk factors while providing no discernible benefit in terms of community safety. The full report is available online at. http://www.casomb.org/index.cfm?pid=231 National Institute of Justice (NIJ) US Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs United States of America. The overall conclusion is that Megan’s law has had no demonstrated effect on sexual offenses in New Jersey, calling into question the justification for start-up and operational costs. Megan’s Law has had no effect on time to first rearrest for known sex offenders and has not reduced sexual reoffending. Neither has it had an impact on the type of sexual reoffense or first-time sexual offense. The study also found that the law had not reduced the number of victims of sexual offenses. The full report is available online at. https://www.ncjrs.gov/app/publications/abstract.aspx? ID=247350 The University of Chicago Press for The Booth School of Business of the University of Chicago and The University of Chicago Law School Article DOI: 10.1086/658483 Conclusion. The data in these three data sets do not strongly support the effectiveness of sex offender registries. The national panel data do not show a significant decrease in the rate of rape or the arrest rate for sexual abuse after implementation of a registry via the Internet. The BJS data that tracked individual sex offenders after their release in 1994 did not show that registration had a significantly negative effect on recidivism. And the D.C. crime data do not show that knowing the location of sex offenders by census block can help protect the locations of sexual abuse. This pattern of noneffectiveness across the data sets does not support the conclusion that sex offender registries are successful in meeting their objectives of increasing public safety and lowering recidivism rates. The full report is available online at. http://www.jstor.org/stable/full/10.1086/658483 These are not isolated conclusions but are the same outcomes in the majority of conclusions and reports on this subject from multiple government agencies and throughout the academic community. People, including the media and other organizations should not rely on and reiterate the statements and opinions of the legislators or other people as to the need for these laws because of the high recidivism rates and the high risk offenders pose to the public which simply is not true and is pure hyperbole and fiction. They should rely on facts and data collected and submitted in reports from the leading authorities and credible experts in the fields such as the following. California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) Sex offender recidivism rate for a new sex offense is 0.8% (page 30) The full report is available online at http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Adult_Research_Branch/Research_Documents/2014_Outcome_Evaluation_Report_7-6-2015.pdf California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) (page 38) Sex offender recidivism rate for a new sex offense is 1.8% The full report is available online at. http://www.google.com/url?sa= t&source=web&cd=1&ved= 0CCEQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F% 2Fwww.cdcr.ca.gov%2FAdult_ Research_Branch%2FResearch_ documents%2FOutcome_ evaluation_Report_2013.pdf&ei= C9dSVePNF8HfoATX-IBo&usg=AFQjCNE9I6ueHz-o2mZUnuxLPTyiRdjDsQ Bureau of Justice Statistics 5 PERCENT OF SEX OFFENDERS REARRESTED FOR ANOTHER SEX CRIME WITHIN 3 YEARS OF PRISON RELEASE WASHINGTON, D.C. Within 3 years following their 1994 state prison release, 5.3 percent of sex offenders (men who had committed rape or sexual assault) were rearrested for another sex crime, the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced today. The full report is available online at. http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/press/rsorp94pr.cfm Document title; A Model of Static and Dynamic Sex Offender Risk Assessment Author: Robert J. McGrath, Michael P. Lasher, Georgia F. Cumming Document No.: 236217 Date Received: October 2011 Award Number: 2008-DD-BX-0013 Findings: Study of 759 adult male offenders under community supervision Re-arrest rate: 4.6% after 3-year follow-up The sexual re-offense rates for the 746 released in 2005 are much lower than what many in the public have been led to expect or believe. These low re-offense rates appear to contradict a conventional wisdom that sex offenders have very high sexual re-offense rates. The full report is available online at. https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/236217.pdf Document Title: SEX OFFENDER SENTENCING IN WASHINGTON STATE: RECIDIVISM RATES BY: Washington State Institute For Public Policy. A study of 4,091 sex offenders either released from prison or community supervision form 1994 to 1998 and examined for 5 years Findings: Sex Crime Recidivism Rate: 2.7% Link to Report: http://www.oncefallen.com/files/Washington_SO_Recid_2005.pdf Document Title: Indiana’s Recidivism Rates Decline for Third Consecutive Year BY: Indiana Department of Correction 2009. The recidivism rate for sex offenders returning on a new sex offense was 1.05%, one of the lowest in the nation. In a time when sex offenders continue to face additional post-release requirements that often result in their return to prison for violating technical rules such as registration and residency restrictions, the instances of sex offenders returning to prison due to the commitment of a new sex crime is extremely low. Findings: sex offenders returning on a new sex offense was 1.05% Link to Report: http://www.in.gov/idoc/files/RecidivismRelease.pdf Once again, These are not isolated conclusions but are the same outcomes in the majority of reports on this subject from multiple government agencies and throughout the academic community. No one can doubt that child sexual abuse is traumatic and devastating. The question is not whether the state has an interest in preventing such harm, but whether current laws are effective in doing so. Megan’s law is a failure and is destroying families and their children’s lives and is costing tax payers millions upon millions of dollars. The following is just one example of the estimated cost just to implement SORNA which many states refused to do. From Justice Policy Institute. Estimated cost to implement SORNA Here are some of the estimates made in 2009 expressed in 2014 current dollars: California, $66M; Florida, $34M; Illinois, $24M; New York, $35M; Pennsylvania, $22M; Texas, $44M. In 2014 dollars, Virginia’s estimate for implementation was $14M, and the annual operating cost after that would be $10M. For the US, the total is $547M. That’s over half a billion dollars – every year – for something that doesn’t work. http://www.justicepolicy.org/images/upload/08-08_FAC_SORNACosts_JJ.pdf. Attempting to use under-reporting to justify the existence of the registry is another myth, or a lie. This is another form of misinformation perpetrated by those who either have a fiduciary interest in continuing the unconstitutional treatment of a disfavored group or are seeking to justify their need for punishment for people who have already paid for their crime by loss of their freedom through incarceration and are now attempting to reenter society as honest citizens. When this information is placed into the public’s attention by naive media then you have to wonder if the media also falls into one of these two groups that are not truly interested in reporting the truth. Both of these groups of people that have that type of mentality can be classified as vigilantes, bullies, or sociopaths, and are responsible for the destruction of our constitutional values and the erosion of personal freedoms in this country. I think the media or other organizations need to do a in depth investigation into the false assumptions and false data that has been used to further these laws and to research all the collateral damages being caused by these laws and the unconstitutional injustices that are occurring across the country. They should include these injustices in their report so the public can be better informed on what is truly happening in this country on this subject. Thank you for your time.

  2. Freedom as granted in the Constitution cannot be summarily disallowed without Due Process. Unable to to to the gym, church, bowling alley? What is this 1984 level nonsense? Congrats to Brian for having the courage to say that this was enough! and Congrats to the ACLU on the win!

  3. America's hyper-phobia about convicted sex offenders must end! Politicians must stop pandering to knee-jerk public hysteria. And the public needs to learn the facts. Research by the California Sex Offender Management Board as shown a recidivism rate for convicted sex offenders of less than 1%. Less than 1%! Furthermore, research shows that by year 17 after their conviction, a convicted sex offender is no more likely to commit a new sex offense than any other member of the public. Put away your torches and pitchforks. Get the facts. Stop hysteria.

  4. He was convicted 23 years ago. How old was he then? He probably was a juvenile. People do stupid things, especially before their brain is fully developed. Why are we continuing to punish him in 2016? If he hasn't re-offended by now, it's very, very unlikely he ever will. He paid for his mistake sufficiently. Let him live his life in peace.

  5. This year, Notre Dame actually enrolled an equal amount of male and female students.

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