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Opinions Sept. 12, 2013

September 12, 2013
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Indiana Supreme Court
Clark County Board of Aviation Commissioners, Board of Commissioners of Clark County, Indiana v. Dennis Dreyer and Margo Dreyer, as Co-Personal Reps. of the Estate of Margaret A. Dreyer
10S01-1308-PL-529
Civil plenary. Grants transfer to dispel confusion arising from “inartful language” in previous opinion.

Andrew McWhorter v. State of Indiana
33S01-1301-PC-7
Post conviction. Reverses the denial of McWhorter’s post-conviction relief petition, vacates conviction for voluntary manslaughter and remands for retrial. Rules the state can retry on same voluntary manslaughter without violating double-jeopardy restrictions. Although the phrase “knowingly killed” is in the definitions of murder and voluntary manslaughter, McWhorter can be acquitted of murder while still being found guilty of voluntary manslaughter because “knowingly” is not the only single issue a rational jury would have considered.

Indiana Court of Appeals
John Luttrell v. Melinda Luttrell
49A02-1301-DR-85
Domestic relation. Affirms division of marital estate and award of spousal maintenance to Melinda Luttrell. Remands to the trial court for consideration of the parents’ liability for their children’s student loans in which one or both parents were co-signers.

Brian Russell v. State of Indiana
46A03-1212-CR-544
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C misdemeanor operating a vehicle while intoxicated, rejecting Brian’s Russell’s argument that his Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable search and seizure was violated. In a concurring opinion, Judge Mark Bailey held that because Rusell had waived the Fourth Amendment argument as the majority believed, he therefore would not have undertaken an analysis of the Fourth Amendment claim as the majority did.

Gina Albright v. Review Board of the Indiana Dept. of Workforce Development and the Starke County Sheriff's Dept.
93A02-1301-EX-81
Agency action. Affirms denial of unemployment benefits, holding that the Department of Workforce Development’s determination that Albright was ineligible for benefits because she was fired for just cause was not contrary to law. The court also found dispatchers are an appropriately distinct class upon which to assess the uniform enforcement of an unexcused, unreported absence policy.

Flora Birdsong v. Illinois Central School Bus (NFP)
93A02-1304-EX-319
Civil. Affirms denial of worker’s compensation benefits to Birdsong.

Jeffrey Griebel v. Lehsa Griebel (NFP)
53A04-1304-DR-191
Domestic relation. Dismisses Jeffrey Griebel’s appeal of child support order.

Willie Ambros Norman v. State of Indiana (NFP)
71A03-1301-CR-13
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D attempt to acquire possession of a legend drug by fraud, deceit, misrepresentation, or subterfuge.
 
Adolfo Lopez v. State of Indiana (NFP)
15A05-1302-CR-51
Criminal. Affirms denial of Lopez’s motion for recusal/change of judge.

Thelma Lindsey v. State of Indiana (NFP)
02A03-1211-CR-486
Criminal. Affirms two-year sentence for operating while intoxicated, as a Class D felony.

In the Matter of the Involuntary Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of K.M.(Minor Child) and C.M.(Mother) and R.M.(Father) v. Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)
81A01-1302-JT-58
Juvenile. Affirms involuntary termination of C.M’s and R.M.’s parental rights to their 4-year-old child, K.M.

In Re the Termination of the Parent-Child Rel. of H.W. (Minor Child) and D.F. (Father) v. The Indiana Dept. of Child Services (NFP)
82A05-1301-JT-45
Juvenile. Affirms involuntary termination of D.F.’s parental rights to his child, H.W.

Phillip J. Troyer v. Tracy L. Troyer (NFP)
02A03-1302-DR-55
Domestic relation. Affirms order finding Phillip Troyer in contempt for failing to pay his share of K.T.’s uninsured medical expenses under the divorce decree. In her dissent, Judge Elaine Brown argues that Phillip’s action shows he was not being willfully disobedient. He told his ex-wife he would be delaying payment while he filed a claim against the insurer, to which she consented, and his assertion that he owed less than his ex-wife calculated was confirmed by the court.

In Re the Termination of the Parent-Child Rel. of El.S. and Et.S. (Minor Children) and M.S. (Mother) v. The Indiana Dept. of Child Services (NFP)
90A05-1211-JT-614
Juvenile. Affirms termination of M.S.’s parental rights to her children, El.S and Et.S.

Darren L. Bunch v. State of Indiana (NFP)
73A01-1301-CR-15
Criminal. Affirms conviction of rape as a Class B felony.

Jeff Pierrard v. Wright Implement 1, LLC (NFP)
62A01-1305-CT-238
Civil tort. Affirms summary judgment in favor of Wright Implement 1, LLC, regarding its claim against Pierrard for conversion of a tractor and other equipment.

Oscar Diaz-Flores v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1302-CR-184
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A felony burglary. Also affirms one count of Class C felony criminal confinement and vacates the other count. Finds Flores’ criminal confinement of his ex-girlfriend constitutes a single transaction and can only support one criminal confinement conviction.  

Stephen R. Harvey, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
02A03-1302-CR-44
Criminal. Affirms denial of Harvey’s motion for concurrent sentencing.

Gregory Voltaire v. State of Indiana (NFP)
02A03-1303-CR-104
Criminal. Affirms conviction for Class D felony sexual battery. Reverses and remands with instruction one-year sentence for Class B misdemeanor battery. Finds Voltaire’s one-year sentence suspended to probation for the misdemeanor violates Indiana Code which limits the term of imprisonment for Class B misdemeanor to no more than 180 days.

Thomas I. Goode v. Hendricks County Planning and Building Commission (NFP)
32A01-1302-PL-67
Civil plenary. Dismisses Goode’s appeal of the trial court’s July 2011 order and October 2012 order that he comply with the general business district zoning requirements. Finds Goode forfeited his right to appeal because he did not file notice within 30 days of the orders.

Christopher D. Davies v. State of Indiana (NFP)
34A02-1301-CR-18
Criminal. Affirms three-year sentence executed for theft, a Class D felony.

Indiana Tax Court issued no opinions by IL deadline. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals issued no Indiana opinions by IL deadline.
 

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  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. I totally agree with John Smith.

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