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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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  3. I expressed my thought in the title, long as it was. I am shocked that there is ever immunity from accountability for ANY Government agency. That appears to violate every principle in the US Constitution, which exists to limit Government power and to ensure Government accountability. I don't know how many cases of legitimate child abuse exist, but in the few cases in which I knew the people involved, in every example an anonymous caller used DCS as their personal weapon to strike at innocent people over trivial disagreements that had no connection with any facts. Given that the system is vulnerable to abuse, and given the extreme harm any action by DCS causes to families, I would assume any degree of failure to comply with the smallest infraction of personal rights would result in mandatory review. Even one day of parent-child separation in the absence of reasonable cause for a felony arrest should result in severe penalties to those involved in the action. It appears to me, that like all bureaucracies, DCS is prone to interpret every case as legitimate. This is not an accusation against DCS. It is a statement about the nature of bureaucracies, and the need for ADDED scrutiny of all bureaucratic actions. Frankly, I question the constitutionality of bureaucracies in general, because their power is delegated, and therefore unaccountable. No Government action can be unaccountable if we want to avoid its eventual degeneration into irrelevance and lawlessness, and the law of the jungle. Our Constitution is the source of all Government power, and it is the contract that legitimizes all Government power. To the extent that its various protections against intrusion are set aside, so is the power afforded by that contract. Eventually overstepping the limits of power eliminates that power, as a law of nature. Even total tyranny eventually crumbles to nothing.

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