Opinions Oct. 31, 2012

October 31, 2012
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The following Indiana Tax Court opinion was posted after IL deadline Tuesday:
Wendt, LLP v. Indiana Department of State Revenue
Tax. Affirms the department’s determination that the items predominately used by Wendt for estimate preparations, machinery reassembly and lawn care are not entitled to the public transportation exemption. Reverses all of the department’s remaining determinations because those items are necessary and integral to Wendt’s public transportation process. Remands and orders the department to make the necessary determinations in accordance with the opinion.

Wednesday’s opinions
Indiana Court of Appeals
Robertson Fowler v. State of Indiana
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief. Fowler received a benefit at the time he entered into his plea bargain, so he may not now challenge the sentence as illegal.

Larry Michael Caraway v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms sentence for murder following open guilty plea. His sentence is not inappropriate in light of the nature of the offense and his character.

Kevin M. Clark v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms admission of evidence found in his bag and trunk of his car, and the admission of police testimony regarding the conversion of pseudoephedrine to methamphetamine. The police officers had reasonable suspicion to stop the men and because Clark admitted his bag contained marijuana, the trial court did not abuse its discretion in admitting items found in his bag. The police trooper’s testimony regarding conversion was rationally based on her perceptions and was helpful to the determination of facts at issue in the case.

Gaude L. Hughes v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A felony voluntary manslaughter.

Billy Fox, Jr. v. Rogers Building Ventures, et al. (NFP)
Civil plenary. Affirms denial of objection to personal jurisdiction and the motion to set aside judgment.

Joshua D. Hughes v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Post conviction. Affirms denial of Ind. Trial Rule 72(E) request for an extension of time within which to appeal the denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

C.L. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Juvenile. Affirms adjudication as delinquent for what would be Class C felony battery if committed by an adult.

Term. of the Parent-Child Rel. of D.C.: L.B. (father) v. The Indiana Dept. of Child Services (NFP)
Juvenile. Affirms involuntary termination of parental rights.  

Troy and Mary Hill v. Beta Steel Corporation (NFP)
Agency appeal. Affirms denial of death benefits.

In the Matter of the Term. of the Parent-Child Rel. of A.A.M., and B.J. v. Indiana Dept. of Child Services (NFP)
Juvenile. Affirms involuntary termination of parental rights.

Lukuman Aderbigbe v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Kenneth W. Gilland v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Reverses order that Gilland pay more than $20,000 in restitution. Because Gilland agreed to pay nearly $10,000 in restitution in a plea agreement, he may not challenge the portion that relates to the loss in value of a motorcycle on appeal. Remands with instructions to reduce the restitution order to $9,949.62.

James R. Ferguson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C felony sexual misconduct with a minor.

Gregory J. Schnelker v. Indiana Department of Insurance Patient's Compensation Authority (NFP)
Civil tort. Affirms order which declined to award Schnelker damages for loss of wages and capacity and for increased risk of future harm.

Timothy A. Stevens v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Steven Hook, Sr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C felony battery with a deadly weapon.

Mark Williams v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Grants rehearing and affirms original opinion in all respects, which affirmed the order Williams serve his entire sentence that was suspended at the time of initial sentencing.

Frederic Williams v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Term. of the Parent-Child Rel. of J.D.: W.H. v. Indiana Dept. of Child Services (NFP)
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.


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  1. I think the cops are doing a great job locking up criminals. The Murder rates in the inner cities are skyrocketing and you think that too any people are being incarcerated. Maybe we need to lock up more of them. We have the ACLU, BLM, NAACP, Civil right Division of the DOJ, the innocent Project etc. We have court system with an appeal process that can go on for years, with attorneys supplied by the government. I'm confused as to how that translates into the idea that the defendants are not being represented properly. Maybe the attorneys need to do more Pro-Bono work

  2. We do not have 10% of our population (which would mean about 32 million) incarcerated. It's closer to 2%.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.