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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. As one of the many consumers affected by this breach, I found my bank data had been lifted and used to buy over $200 of various merchandise in New York. I did a pretty good job of tracing the purchases to stores around a college campus just from the info on my bank statement. Hm. Mr. Hill, I would like my $200 back! It doesn't belong to the state, in my opinion. Give it back to the consumers affected. I had to freeze my credit and take out data protection, order a new debit card and wait until it arrived. I deserve something for my trouble!

  2. Don't we have bigger issues to concern ourselves with?

  3. Anyone who takes the time to study disciplinary and bar admission cases in Indiana ... much of which is, as a matter of course and by intent, off the record, would have a very difficult time drawing lines that did not take into account things which are not supposed to matter, such as affiliations, associations, associates and the like. Justice Hoosier style is a far departure than what issues in most other parts of North America. (More like Central America, in fact.) See, e.g., http://www.theindianalawyer.com/indiana-attorney-illegally-practicing-in-florida-suspended-for-18-months/PARAMS/article/42200 When while the Indiana court system end the cruel practice of killing prophets of due process and those advocating for blind justice?

  4. Wouldn't this call for an investigation of Government corruption? Chief Justice Loretta Rush, wrote that the case warranted the high court’s review because the method the Indiana Court of Appeals used to reach its decision was “a significant departure from the law.” Specifically, David wrote that the appellate panel ruled after reweighing of the evidence, which is NOT permissible at the appellate level. **But yet, they look the other way while an innocent child was taken by a loving mother who did nothing wrong"

  5. Different rules for different folks....

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