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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. What is this, the Ind Supreme Court thinking that there is a separation of powers and limited enumerated powers as delegated by a dusty old document? Such eighteen century thinking, so rare and unwanted by the elites in this modern age. Dictate to us, dictate over us, the massess are chanting! George Soros agrees. Time to change with times Ind Supreme Court, says all President Snows. Rule by executive decree is the new black.

  2. I made the same argument before a commission of the Indiana Supreme Court and then to the fedeal district and federal appellate courts. Fell flat. So very glad to read that some judges still beleive that evidentiary foundations matter.

  3. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  4. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

  5. I will agree with that as soon as law schools stop lying to prospective students about salaries and employment opportunities in the legal profession. There is no defense to the fraudulent numbers first year salaries they post to mislead people into going to law school.

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