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Opinions Nov. 5, 2013

November 5, 2013
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Indiana Supreme Court
Jason Wilson v. Kelly (Wilson) Myers
71S03-1305-DR-399
Domestic relation. Reverses modification of custody. Finds an abuse of discretion in the way this modification was carried out and ordered as it never mentioned whether the modification was in the best interest of the children or noted any substantial change in any of the factors enumerated in I.C. 31-17-2-8. Orders an evidentiary hearing and inquiry into in-camera interviews. Since the two children have already been pulled from their Indiana school system and are attending school in Michigan, this status quo should continue until further order of the court as to minimize further disruption to the kids.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Heather Herren v. Jerry Dishman
18A04-1304-SC-162
Small claims. Affirms an order of replevin returning custody of a dog to Jerry Dishman, after Heather Herren obtained an out-of-state protective order granting her custody and control of any animal owned, possessed, kept or held as a pet by either party. The small claims court erred in refusing to accord full faith and credit to the North Carolina protective order, but because Herren neither owned nor possessed the dog at the time the protective order was issued, she was not entitled to custody.

Andrew Wann v. State of Indiana
32A01-1303-CR-123
Criminal. Affirms order requiring Andrew Wann to serve 90 days of a suspended 365-day sentence for conviction of Class A misdemeanor possession of marijuana after a probationary urinalysis tested positive. The panel rejected Wann’s arguments that the urinalysis report was admitted in violation of his due process rights and that the court imposed a sentence that contravened statutory authority because time served or credited in jail or on probation exceeded 365 days.

Ritchie Hodges v. State of Indiana
06A01-1210-CR-466
Criminal. Reverses trial court order dismissing a claim for post-conviction relief from the revocation of a conditional release to placement in community corrections. The court held that a claim of ineffective assistance of counsel at a hearing to revoke placement is a claim that conditional release was unlawfully revoked, and therefore subject to a claim under Post-Conviction Rule 1(1)(a)(5).

State of Indiana v. William Gilbert
49A05-1303-CR-140
Criminal. Reverses suppression of evidence in a drunken-driving case in which a motorist was taken to a roll-call station where a breath test was administered. Police had probable cause to seize Gilbert after he allegedly ran a stop sign and police smelled alcohol and observed him stumble as he exited his vehicle. His rights under the Fourth Amendment therefore were not violated, the panel ruled.

In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of: S.L. & D.L. (Minor Children) and K.M., (Mother) & D.L.,(Father) v, The Indiana Department of Child Services
85A02-1304-JT-308
Termination of parental rights. Affirms trial court termination order for mother and father, concluding there is clear and convincing evidence to support the trial court’s findings and the court’s ultimate determination that there is a reasonable probability that the conditions that resulted in the children’s removal or the reasons for placement outside the home will not be remedied.

D.B., et al., v. Review Board of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, Department of Workforce Development, and Anderson Transit System, Inc.
93A02-1301-EX-71
Civil. Affirms review board’s denial of school bus drivers’ application for unemployment compensation. Rules the board did not interpret the vacation provisions of Indiana Code Section 22-4-3-5, enacted in 2011 and 2012, too broadly. Presumes since the Legislature has held that mandatory vacation or shutdown period does not entitle employees to unemployment compensation, General Assembly did not  intend to change the common law beyond what its enactments and fair implications allow.  

Anthony E. Boyd v. WHTIV, Inc. and Walter Tarr, IV
49A05-1303-PL-107
Civil plenary. Reverses both the trial court’s denial of Boyd’s motion to correct error and its grant of summary judgment in favor of WHTIV and Tarr. Holds even though Boyd took 33 days to respond to WHTIV’s and Tarr’s motion for summary judgment, Trial Rule 6(E) allows for the extra time because the motion was delivered by mail. Also, since Boyd was denied additional time to complete discovery, the grant of summary judgment was premature.  

Dawn Willsey v. State of Indiana (NFP)
24A01-1302-CR-117
Criminal. Affirms 16-year aggregate sentence following guilty plea to two counts of burglary, Class B felonies.

James W. Avery v. Cynthia L. (Avery) Howe (NFP)
18A05-1301-DR-28
Domestic relation. Affirms trial court’s dissolution decree awarding 60 percent of the marital estate to James Avery and 40 percent  to Cynthia (Avery) Howe.

A.C. James, Jr., v. State of Indiana (NFP)
02A03-1304-CR-108
Criminal. Affirms conviction of murder and criminal recklessness, a Class D felony.

Brandon Titus v. State of Indiana (NFP)
79A02-1305-CR-460
Criminal. Reverses denial of Titus’s petition for modification of convictions and remands to the trial court for further action consistent with this opinion. Holds the trial court’s discretion was limited to determining if Titus had complied with the terms of the plea agreement. Therefore, the court abused its discretion when it considered whether Titus would or could pursue a career in law enforcement.  

Eric Powell v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1303-CR-226
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor possession of marijuana. Finds police officer’s request for Powell’s identification and search for outstanding arrest warrants were reasonable under Article 1, Section 11 of the Indiana Constitution.

The Indiana Tax Court did not submit any opinions by IL deadline. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals did not submit any Indiana opinions by IL deadline.
 

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  1. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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