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Opinions Oct. 8, 2013

October 8, 2013
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Indiana Supreme Court
In the Matter of: Thomas M. Dixon
71S00-1104-DI-196
Discipline. The majority concludes in a per curiam ruling that statements made in support of a motion for change of judge did not violate Indiana Professional Conduct Rule 8.2(a) considering the entirety of the statements. Finds that the statements were relevant to, and required for, the relief sought. Justice Robert Rucker dissents, agreeing with the Disciplinary Commission hearing officer that the comments went beyond legal argument, became personal and therefore violated the rule.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Indiana State Ethics Commission, Office of Inspector General, an agency of the State of Indiana, and David Thomas, in his official capacity as Inspector General v. Patricia Sanchez
49A02-1301-PL-12
Civil plenary. Affirms the trial court’s reversal of the ethics commission’s final report against Sanchez. The state turned to the ethics commission after a trial court granted Sanchez’s motion to suppress the evidence that indicated she failed to return state property after she was dismissed from the Indiana Department of Workforce Development. The ethics commission then denied her motion to suppress and sanctioned her. The COA ruled the court order to suppress evidence was binding and could not be ignored by the commission.

In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of: N.Q., Je.Q., Ja.Q., L.Q., Minor Children, T.Q., Mother, and A.Q., Father v. Indiana Department of Child Services
82A04-1301-JT-42
Juvenile. Reverses the termination of the parent-child relationship between the parents and four minor children and remands for proceedings consistent with this opinion. Rules the trial court committed clear error by relying on evidence from the first termination hearing and failing to adequately consider the new evidence showing the parents had improved their living situation.  

David Holbert v. State of Indiana
49A05-1302-CR-54
Criminal. Affirms Holbert’s conviction for possession of marijuana as a Class A misdemeanor. Reverses and remands his Class B misdemeanor conviction for public intoxication. Rules although Holbert was drunk in a public place, he did not meet any of the four conditions added to the state public intoxication statute. He was not endangering his or anyone’s life, he was not breaching the peace and he was not annoying or harassing anyone.  

Bradley R. Benard v. Review Board of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development and Rolls-Royce Corporation (NFP)
93A02-1303-EX-237
Agency action. Affirms the Unemployment Insurance Review Board’s finding that Benard was ineligible for unemployment benefits because he had been discharged for just cause.

Stephen G. Bentle v. State of Indiana (NFP)
15A05-1303-CR-131
Criminal. Affirms trial court’s imposition of Bentle’s previously suspended seven-and-a-half year sentence.

David Lee O'Banion v. State of Indiana (NFP)
71A04-1303-CR-124
Criminal. Affirms sentence of 45 years with 10 years suspended after O’Banion pleaded guilty but mentally ill to burglary as a Class A felony.

Jason Frye v. State of Indiana (NFP)
12A04-1301-CR-16
Criminal. Affirms conviction of six counts of Class D felony possession of child pornography.

D.H. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
71A03-1304-JV-137
Juvenile. Affirms juvenile court’s dispositional order that D.H. serve a two-year determinate term with credit for the seven months he spent at the Indiana Department of Correction between his first and second dispositional hearings. Rules the dispositional order did not violate Article I, Section 23 of the Indiana Constitution.

Phillip A. Evans v. State of Indiana (NFP)
84A01-1303-CR-105
Criminal. Affirms conviction and two-year sentence for intimidation, as a Class D felony, pursuant to a guilty plea.

Larry Warren v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A04-1301-CR-25
Criminal. Remands for resentencing Warren’s appeal of an aggregate 80-year sentence following his convictions for three counts of child molesting as Class A felonies and two counts of child solicitation as Class D felonies. Finds there is insufficient evidence to support two of the three aggravators the trial court used as the basis to enhance the sentence.  

Andrew Bridgford v. Julie K. Bridgford (NFP)
73A01-1303-DR-111
Domestic relation. Dismisses Andrew Bridgford’s appeal of the trial court’s “Entry on Pending Motions” because he failed to substantially comply with the Indiana Rules of Appellate Procedure.  


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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