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Opinions Oct. 27, 2010

October 27, 2010
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
James L. Parkey v. Jason E. Sample
09-3966
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division, Judge William C. Lee
Civil. Affirms District Court’s grant of Indiana State Trooper Jason Sample’s motion for summary judgment, which found James Parkey, who sued under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, had not brought forth any evidence to demonstrate a lack of probable cause. Parkey claimed Sample had violated his rights under the Fourth Amendment by searching his home and seizing his property without probable cause. Suspecting Parkey had a marijuana grow operation, Sample did two trash pulls near Parkey’s residence where Sample found marijuana cigarettes and stems from marijuana plants, evidence he presented to a Lake County Superior magistrate, who issued a search warrant for Parkey’s home.

Indiana Supreme Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Maurice Porter v. State of Indiana
20A03-0912-CR-570
Criminal. Affirms one conviction of nonsupport of a dependent child as a Class C felony, and reduced the second conviction of nonsupport of a dependent child to a Class D felony for which the sentence shall be a term of 1.5 years, to be served consecutive to the sentence for the Class C felony. Remands with instructions to enter judgment of conviction and a sentencing order in conformance with this opinion.

Kent Hizer and Elizabeth Hizer v. James Holt and Rebecca Holt
71A03-1002-PL-127
Civil. Reverses and remands trial court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of the Holts on the Hizers’ claims for fraud and breach of contract arising from the Hizers’ purchase of the Holts’ home. Concludes that a genuine issue of material fact exists as to whether the Holts made fraudulent misrepresentations on the Sales Disclosure Form required by statute.

LaPorte Community School Corporation v. Maria Rosales
46A04-1001-CT-4
Civil. Concludes trial court did not abuse its discretion by admitting deposition testimony from an expert regarding school safety and school emergency plans. Also finds the trial court properly denied the school’s motion for judgment on the evidence as to negligence and properly granted Rosales’s motion for judgment on the evidence as to contributory negligence. However, also concludes the jury was not properly instructed regarding negligence, and the erroneous instruction was a reversible error, and therefore the Court of Appeals remands.

Joel Moses v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1003-CR-268
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B misdemeanor public intoxication.

Douglas L. Blair v. State of Indiana (NFP)
81A01-1003-CR-201
Criminal. Affirms convictions of and sentence for operating a vehicle after lifetime suspension and speeding.

Termination of Parent-Child Relationship of D.M.B.; R.M.W. v. Indiana Dept. of Child Services (NFP)
20A03-1004-JT-181
Juvenile. Affirms termination of R.M.W.’s parental rights to her son, D.B.

Floyd E. Whitlock v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1005-CR-657
Criminal. Finding Whitlock’s motion is not ripe for adjudication because he is still serving his sentence, affirms trial court’s order that Whitlock may have to register for the Indiana Sex Offender Registry as a condition of parole.

James J. Pierce, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
48A02-1002-CR-276
Criminal. Affirms revocation of probation.

Ronald Trent v. State of Indiana (NFP)
75A03-1003-CR-180
Criminal. Affirms conviction of and 35-year sentence for voluntary manslaughter, a Class A felony, following a guilty plea.

David M. Holmquist v. State of Indiana (NFP)
03A01-1001-IF-2
Criminal. Affirms bench judgment for speeding, a Class C infraction.

Angel Rivera v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1002-CR-118
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor patronizing a prostitute.

Gene Payton v. State of Indiana (NFP)
20A03-1003-CR-187
Criminal. Affirms conviction of operating a motor vehicle while privileges are forfeited for life, a Class C felony.

Kwiatkowski Land Management LLC v. Torrenga Engineering Inc., et al. (NFP)
45A04-1001-MF-18
Civil. Concludes trial court erred in granting partial summary judgment in favor of Torrenga Engineering and in granting judgment on the pleadings in favor of third-party plaintiffs Richard and Joan Handtke. Finds the agreed judgment is clearly erroneous to the extent that it relates to these erroneous orders. However, the Court of Appeals affirms the agreed judgment to the extent that it relates to the lien against the Chesterfield Estates Property held by third-party plaintiff K & S Engineering.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.
 

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  3. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  4. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  5. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

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