ILNews

Plea agreement, child support issues granted transfer

Jennifer Nelson
January 1, 2008
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The Indiana Supreme Court granted transfer to one case dealing with child support, and two cases dealing post-conviction relief. The court also granted transfer to three cases involving sex offenders.

In the case Marla K. Young v. Timothy S. Young, No. 09A05-0701-CV-52, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed in part and reversed in part the trial court's calculation of Timothy's child support obligation. The appellate court found the trial court erroneously calculated Timothy's weekly gross income, and remanded the trial court to add $100 to his weekly gross income and recalculate the amount of income to be imputed to Marla; the COA also ordered Timothy's child support obligation to be recalculated.

Two of the transferred cases - Anthony A. Hopkins v. State, No. 49A05-0705-PC-279, and State v. Michael A. Cozart, No. 22A01-0704-PC-183 - deal with plea agreements. Hopkins appealed the post-conviction court's denial of one of his claims for post-conviction relief, contending the court erred in failing to advise him of his Boykin rights, which caused his guilty plea to be involuntary and unintelligent. The Court of Appeals ordered his guilty plea vacated because the trial court only advised him of his right to trial by jury; because Hopkins admitted to the habitual offender enhancement, the COA ruled he did plead guilty to being a habitual offender.

In Cozart, the Court of Appeals affirmed the post-conviction court's order granting Cozart's petition for post-conviction relief, ruling Cozart didn't plead guilty knowingly and voluntarily. The state argued the trial court was not required to advise Cozart regarding the effect his prior felony convictions would have on the court's authority to suspend a portion of the minimum sentence he faced after pleading guilty. Cozart claimed he didn't understand the trial court was without discretion to suspend any of the minimum sentence he faced because of his prior convictions.

The three other cases granted transfer involve sex offenders - In the Matter of J.C.C., No. 49A02-0403-JV-266; Richard P. Wallace v. State of Indiana, No. 49A02-0706-CR-498; and Todd L. Jensen v. State of Indiana. All three ask the high court to decide on matters regarding registering as a sex offender. (A story in today's Indiana Lawyer Daily includes more information about these cases.)
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  1. It was mentioned in the article that there have been numerous CLE events to train attorneys on e-filing. I would like someone to provide a list of those events, because I have not seen any such events in east central Indiana, and since Hamilton County is one of the counties where e-filing is mandatory, one would expect some instruction in this area. Come on, people, give some instruction, not just applause!

  2. This law is troubling in two respects: First, why wasn't the law reviewed "with the intention of getting all the facts surrounding the legislation and its actual impact on the marketplace" BEFORE it was passed and signed? Seems a bit backwards to me (even acknowledging that this is the Indiana state legislature we're talking about. Second, what is it with the laws in this state that seem to create artificial monopolies in various industries? Besides this one, the other law that comes to mind is the legislation that governed the granting of licenses to firms that wanted to set up craft distilleries. The licensing was limited to only those entities that were already in the craft beer brewing business. Republicans in this state talk a big game when it comes to being "business friendly". They're friendly alright . . . to certain businesses.

  3. Gretchen, Asia, Roberto, Tonia, Shannon, Cheri, Nicholas, Sondra, Carey, Laura ... my heart breaks for you, reaching out in a forum in which you are ignored by a professional suffering through both compassion fatigue and the love of filthy lucre. Most if not all of you seek a warm blooded Hoosier attorney unafraid to take on the government and plead that government officials have acted unconstitutionally to try to save a family and/or rescue children in need and/or press individual rights against the Leviathan state. I know an attorney from Kansas who has taken such cases across the country, arguing before half of the federal courts of appeal and presenting cases to the US S.Ct. numerous times seeking cert. Unfortunately, due to his zeal for the constitutional rights of peasants and willingness to confront powerful government bureaucrats seemingly violating the same ... he was denied character and fitness certification to join the Indiana bar, even after he was cleared to sit for, and passed, both the bar exam and ethics exam. And was even admitted to the Indiana federal bar! NOW KNOW THIS .... you will face headwinds and difficulties in locating a zealously motivated Hoosier attorney to face off against powerful government agents who violate the constitution, for those who do so tend to end up as marginalized as Paul Odgen, who was driven from the profession. So beware, many are mere expensive lapdogs, the kind of breed who will gladly take a large retainer, but then fail to press against the status quo and powers that be when told to heel to. It is a common belief among some in Indiana that those attorneys who truly fight the power and rigorously confront corruption often end up, actually or metaphorically, in real life or at least as to their careers, as dead as the late, great Gary Welch. All of that said, I wish you the very best in finding a Hoosier attorney with a fighting spirit to press your rights as far as you can, for you do have rights against government actors, no matter what said actors may tell you otherwise. Attorneys outside the elitist camp are often better fighters that those owing the powers that be for their salaries, corner offices and end of year bonuses. So do not be afraid to retain a green horn or unconnected lawyer, many of them are fine men and woman who are yet untainted by the "unique" Hoosier system.

  4. I am not the John below. He is a journalist and talk show host who knows me through my years working in Kansas government. I did no ask John to post the note below ...

  5. "...not those committed in the heat of an argument." If I ever see a man physically abusing a woman or a child and I'm close enough to intercede I will not ask him why he is abusing her/him. I will give him a split second to cease his attack and put his hands in the air while I call the police. If he continues, I will still call the police but to report, "Man down with a gunshot wound,"instead.

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