Opinions Nov. 28, 2011

November 28, 2011
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals had posted no Indiana opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Supreme Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Jennings Daugherty v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class B felony possession of cocaine and Class D felony maintaining a common nuisance. Daugherty’s arguments on appeal are insufficient to demonstrate reversible error. Affirms the admission of the state’s evidence.

Manuel Trujillo v. State of Indiana
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petitions for post-conviction relief, in which Trujillo challenged two separate convictions under separate cause numbers for conspiracy to deal marijuana. Trujillo can’t establish that he was prejudiced by his counsel’s failure to advise him that the 1999 and 2008 prosecutions may impact his immigration status. The trial courts in the two cases also did not violate Indiana Code 35-35-1-2 in accepting Trujillo’s guilty pleas.

Eric Stickdorn and Lisa Stickdorn v. Elam B. Zook, Sarah F. Zook, Samuel L. Lantz and Mattie Z. Lantz
Civil tort. Affirms determination that the Stickdorns’ personal injury claims against the Lantzes and the negligence claims are barred by the two-year statute of limitations. By 2005, the Stickdorns’ complaint for personal injury had accrued and were ascertainable, but the complaint was not filed until November 2009. Reverses grant of summary judgment for the Lantzes with regards to the nuisance and trespass claims and remands for further proceedings. The designated evidence establishes that the Lantzes refused to stop or change their waste storage, disposal and management practices that harmed the Stickdorns through April 2005. The statute of limitations did not preclude the Stickdorns from complaining about the continued instances of nuisance and trespass.

Marsean Shines v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms sentence for Class D felony domestic battery, Class D felony criminal confinement, Class B misdemeanor false informing, and Shines’ habitual offender enhancement.

James C. Lewis v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms revocation of probation and imposition of the previously suspended portion of Lewis’ sentence.

Richard Edward Hughes v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Reverses in part Hughes' convictions of Class C felony battery with a deadly weapon and Class D felony criminal recklessness and orders the trial court to vacate the conviction of and sentence for criminal recklessness.

Aaron Spears v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A felony neglect of a dependent resulting in death.

David Rippe v. Edward C. Levy Company (NFP)
Civil tort.  Affirms jury verdict in favor of Edward C. Levy Co. that found Levy not liable for the injuries Rippe sustained while an employee of an independent contractor at a Levy site.

Angela Townsell v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class A misdemeanors intimidation and battery.

In the Matter of the Term. of the Parent-Child Rel. of Z.S.; C.S. and L.S. v. Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)
Juvenile. Affirms termination of father’s parental rights.

Term. of the Parent-Child Rel. of G.B. and J.N.; E.B. (mother) and A.N. (father) v. The Indiana Dept. of Child Services (NFP)
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.

Donald L. Pruitt v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C felony operating a motor vehicle after forfeiture of license for life.

Daniel Walton v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms two convictions of Class A felony dealing in methamphetamine.

Brian K. Brantley v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms convictions of two counts of Class B felony criminal deviate conduct, Class C felony battery, two counts of Class D felony intimidation, and battery as a Class A misdemeanor and Class B misdemeanor.

Jasper Frazier v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to Class A felony attempted robbery, Class B felony conspiracy to commit robbery, and Class A misdemeanor carrying a handgun without a license.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.


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  1. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  2. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  3. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.

  4. rensselaer imdiana is doing same thing to children from the judge to attorney and dfs staff they need to be investigated as well

  5. Sex offenders are victims twice, once when they are molested as kids, and again when they repeat the behavior, you never see money spent on helping them do you. That's why this circle continues