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Opinions Oct. 5. 2010

October 5, 2010
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Indiana Supreme Court
Wayne D. Kubsch v. State of Indiana
71S00-0708-PD-335
Post-conviction. Affirms judgment of the post-conviction court. Kubsch appeals, raising several issues for review, nine of which are waived because they were known and available at the time of Kubsch’s direct appeal and another three issues are barred because of the doctrine of res judicata. Regarding claims the prosecutor failed to disclose exculpatory evidence, rules information was not material and he failed to establish the nine requirements for obtaining a new trial due to newly discovered evidence so his Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963), claim fails. Also rules Kubsch failed to demonstrate that counsel rendered ineffective assistance.

Term. of Parent-Child Rel. of I.A.; J.H. v. IDCS
62S01-1003-JV-148
Juvenile. Reverses involuntary termination of parental rights of father, J.H., because the evidence did not prove there is a “reasonable probability” that the reasons for I.A.’s placement outside father’s home will not be remedied or that continuation of the parent-child relationship poses a threat to the child’s well-being. Justice Boehm dissents.

In the Matter of Paternity of P.S.; B.S. v. L.S. & G.D.
02S03-1010-JV-518
Juvenile. Rules the trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying father’s motion for relief from judgment.

Indiana Department of State Revenue v. Belterra Resort Indiana, LLC
49S10-1010-TA-519
Tax. Rules a contribution by a parent corporation to the capital of its subsidiary is not automatically excluded from Indiana use tax. At issue was whether the transfer of the riverboat from the parent company to its subsidiary corporation was a retail transaction under Indiana Code section 6-2.5-3-2(a).

Indiana Court of Appeals
Nevin Brooks v. State of Indiana
49A04-0911-CR-651
Criminal. Affirms conviction of and 55-year sentence for felony murder. Notes the trial court considered Brooks’ age in fashioning the sentence imposed and also considered Brooks’ criminal history. Rules that given the nature of the offense and the character of the offender, the sentence imposed by the trial court is not inappropriate.

State of Indiana v. Amanda Renzulli

32A04-1003-CR-194
Criminal. Affirms trial court’s suppression of evidence obtained after a traffic stop of Renzulli. Judge Bradford dissents, believing police officers had reasonable suspicion.

Tyra L. Brooks v. Larry D. Brooks (NFP)
10A05-0909-CV-546
Civil. Affirms trial court’s dissolution decree.

David Ramos v. Robert W. James and David Hoover (NFP)
34A05-1005-CT-301
Civil tort. Affirms trial court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of David Hoover.

Term. of Parent-Child Rel. of B.D.; G.D. v. IDCS (NFP)
02A03-1004-JT-224
Juvenile Termination. Affirms involuntary termination of parental rights.

Mardi Clemens v. Daniel Clemens (NFP)
02A03-1003-DR-118
Domestic Relation. Concludes the trial court committed error by ordering the wife to pay damages to the husband equal to the amount of the death benefits of the first life insurance policy surrendered by her. Remands for the trial court to adjust its order so that the wife pays to husband the amount that wife received when she liquidated the policy plus any interest that has accrued.

Debra L. Walker v. David M. Pullen (NFP)
64A05-1002-CT-127
Civil tort. Affirms trial court’s grant of Pullen’s motion to correct error after a jury verdict.

William Moore v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A04-1002-CR-58
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class B felony burglary and Class D felony theft.

David Likens v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1003-CR-360
Criminal. Affirms conviction of and 10-year sentence for Class B felony battery.

Kristopher G. Runkle v. State of Indiana (NFP)
05A02-1004-CR-479
Criminal. Affirms conviction of and 4-year sentence for Class D felony residential entry and Class A misdemeanor battery resulting in bodily injury.

Angel L. Highbaugh v. State of Indiana (NFP)
20A03-0911-CR-547
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony domestic battery.

Robert Lavaugh Ackles v. State of Indiana (NFP)
48A02-1002-CR-118
Criminal. Affirms 36-month sentence – 24 months executed, 12 months suspended – after guilty plea to Class D felony operating a vehicle with an alcohol concentration equivalent of at least 0.15, and failure to yield right-of-way to emergency vehicle and operating a vehicle without financial responsibility, both as a Class A infraction.

Thomas L. White v. State of Indiana (NFP)
20A05-1001-CR-38
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony operating a vehicle while intoxicated but remands for the trial court to issue a new sentencing order and abstract of judgment regarding his second conviction of OWI to reflect that this conviction is merged with Count I.

Roderick L. Ensley v. State of Indiana (NFP)
02A03-0907-CR-348
Criminal. Affirms in part, reverses in part, and vacates. Rules the trial court did not abuse its discretion in admitting the evidence discovered during the search. Also concludes the evidence was insufficient to support Ensley’s conviction of Class D felony possession of cocaine so reverses that conviction and directs the trial court to vacate the conviction and the attendant sentence.

The Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.
 

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  1. Where may I find an attorney working Pro Bono? Many issues with divorce, my Disability, distribution of IRA's, property, money's and pressured into agreement by my attorney. Leaving me far less than 5% of all after 15 years of marriage. No money to appeal, disabled living on disability income. Attorney's decision brought forward to judge, no evidence ever to finalize divorce. Just 2 weeks ago. Please help.

  2. For the record no one could answer the equal protection / substantive due process challenge I issued in the first post below. The lawless and accountable only to power bureaucrats never did either. All who interface with the Indiana law examiners or JLAP be warned.

  3. Hi there I really need help with getting my old divorce case back into court - I am still paying support on a 24 year old who has not been in school since age 16 - now living independent. My visitation with my 14 year old has never been modified; however, when convenient for her I can have him... I am paying past balance from over due support, yet earn several thousand dollars less. I would contact my original attorney but he basically molest me multiple times in Indy when I would visit.. Todd Woodmansee - I had just came out and had know idea what to do... I have heard he no longer practices. Please help1

  4. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  5. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

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