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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 have been on this program while on parole from 2011-2013. No person should be forced mentally to share private details of their personal life with total strangers. Also giving permission for a mental therapist to report to your parole agent that your not participating in group therapy because you don't have the financial mean to be in the group therapy. I was personally singled out and sent back three times for not having money and also sent back within the six month when you aren't to be sent according to state law. I will work to het this INSOMM's removed from this state. I also had twelve or thirteen parole agents with a fifteen month period. Thanks for your time.

  2. Our nation produces very few jurists of the caliber of Justice DOUGLAS and his peers these days. Here is that great civil libertarian, who recognized government as both a blessing and, when corrupted by ideological interests, a curse: "Once the investigator has only the conscience of government as a guide, the conscience can become ‘ravenous,’ as Cromwell, bent on destroying Thomas More, said in Bolt, A Man For All Seasons (1960), p. 120. The First Amendment mirrors many episodes where men, harried and harassed by government, sought refuge in their conscience, as these lines of Thomas More show: ‘MORE: And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Paradise for doing according to your conscience, *575 and I am damned for not doing according to mine, will you come with me, for fellowship? ‘CRANMER: So those of us whose names are there are damned, Sir Thomas? ‘MORE: I don't know, Your Grace. I have no window to look into another man's conscience. I condemn no one. ‘CRANMER: Then the matter is capable of question? ‘MORE: Certainly. ‘CRANMER: But that you owe obedience to your King is not capable of question. So weigh a doubt against a certainty—and sign. ‘MORE: Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But if it is flat, will the King's command make it round? And if it is round, will the King's command flatten it? No, I will not sign.’ Id., pp. 132—133. DOUGLAS THEN WROTE: Where government is the Big Brother,11 privacy gives way to surveillance. **909 But our commitment is otherwise. *576 By the First Amendment we have staked our security on freedom to promote a multiplicity of ideas, to associate at will with kindred spirits, and to defy governmental intrusion into these precincts" Gibson v. Florida Legislative Investigation Comm., 372 U.S. 539, 574-76, 83 S. Ct. 889, 908-09, 9 L. Ed. 2d 929 (1963) Mr. Justice DOUGLAS, concurring. I write: Happy Memorial Day to all -- God please bless our fallen who lived and died to preserve constitutional governance in our wonderful series of Republics. And God open the eyes of those government officials who denounce the constitutions of these Republics by arbitrary actions arising out capricious motives.

  3. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

  4. "Meanwhile small- and mid-size firms are getting squeezed and likely will not survive unless they become a boutique firm." I've been a business attorney in small, and now mid-size firm for over 30 years, and for over 30 years legal consultants have been preaching this exact same mantra of impending doom for small and mid-sized firms -- verbatim. This claim apparently helps them gin up merger opportunities from smaller firms who become convinced that they need to become larger overnight. The claim that large corporations are interested in cost-saving and efficiency has likewise been preached for decades, and is likewise bunk. If large corporations had any real interest in saving money they wouldn't use large law firms whose rates are substantially higher than those of high-quality mid-sized firms.

  5. The family is the foundation of all human government. That is the Grand Design. Modern governments throw off this Design and make bureaucratic war against the family, as does Hollywood and cultural elitists such as third wave feminists. Since WWII we have been on a ship of fools that way, with both the elite and government and their social engineering hacks relentlessly attacking the very foundation of social order. And their success? See it in the streets of Fergusson, on the food stamp doles (mostly broken families)and in the above article. Reject the Grand Design for true social function, enter the Glorious State to manage social dysfunction. Our Brave New World will be a prison camp, and we will welcome it as the only way to manage given the anarchy without it.

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