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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. CCHP's real accomplishment is the 2015 law signed by Gov Pence that basically outlaws any annexation that is forced where a 65% majority of landowners in the affected area disagree. Regardless of whether HP wins or loses, the citizens of Indiana will not have another fiasco like this. The law Gov Pence signed is a direct result of this malgovernance.

  2. I gave tempparry guardship to a friend of my granddaughter in 2012. I went to prison. I had custody. My daughter went to prison to. We are out. My daughter gave me custody but can get her back. She was not order to give me custody . but now we want granddaughter back from friend. She's 14 now. What rights do we have

  3. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  4. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

  5. Here's an idea...how about we MORE heavily regulate the law schools to reduce the surplus of graduates, driving starting salaries up for those new grads, so that we can all pay our insane amount of student loans off in a reasonable amount of time and then be able to afford to do pro bono & low-fee work? I've got friends in other industries, radiology for example, and their schools accept a very limited number of students so there will never be a glut of new grads and everyone's pay stays high. For example, my radiologist friend's school accepted just six new students per year.

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