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Rehearing sidesteps state’s claims in battery case

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On a petition for rehearing, the state claimed a recent decision by the Indiana Court of Appeals held that “a social worker would always be a declarant in child abuse cases, even when the social worker is merely a scribe.” But the judges disagreed and decided that this particular case is not the proper one to make such a blanket determination.

In Verdyer Clark v. State of Indiana, 49A04-1202-CR-66, in addition to a social worker always being a declarant, the state argued that the Court of Appeals’ previous decision held “the age of the perpetrator is never pertinent to the medical diagnosis or treatment.”

The COA reversed Verdyer Clark’s Class D felony conviction of battery last year because the state was unable to prove that Clark was over 18 years old when he battered a child younger than 14. The state presented two documents from a social worker which both listed Clark as 23 years old.

The state claimed that the hearsay statements by the social worker were admissible because they were related to medical diagnosis or treatment. The Court of Appeals, however, found them inadmissible because the social worker was the declarant, not the person seeking diagnosis or treatment, and Clark’s age wasn’t pertinent to the diagnosis or treatment of the infant victim.

“Here, the record and argument did not permit us to decide whether a social worker would ‘always’ be a declarant in child abuse cases, and we did not so hold. We leave for another day the determination whether or when a social worker is a declarant in a child abuse case,” Judge Melissa May wrote.

“In our original decision we said only that the information in the record before us about Clark’s age had no ‘apparent relevance to a diagnosis of the child’s injuries.’ The relevance was not apparent because on appeal, the State offered no ‘explanation why information about Clark’s age might be relevant to a diagnosis of the child’s injuries,’” she continued.  “Again, a determination whether the age of a perpetrator is relevant to a child victim’s medical diagnosis or treatment is best left to another case.”
 

 

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  1. Indiana's seatbelt law is not punishable as a crime. It is an infraction. Apparently some of our Circuit judges have deemed settled law inapplicable if it fails to fit their litmus test of political correctness. Extrapolating to redefine terms of behavior in a violation of immigration law to the entire body of criminal law leaves a smorgasbord of opportunity for judicial mischief.

  2. I wonder if $10 diversions for failure to wear seat belts are considered moral turpitude in federal immigration law like they are under Indiana law? Anyone know?

  3. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

  4. Justice has finally been served. So glad that Dr. Ley can finally sleep peacefully at night knowing the truth has finally come to the surface.

  5. While this right is guaranteed by our Constitution, it has in recent years been hampered by insurance companies, i.e.; the practice of the plaintiff's own insurance company intervening in an action and filing a lien against any proceeds paid to their insured. In essence, causing an additional financial hurdle for a plaintiff to overcome at trial in terms of overall award. In a very real sense an injured party in exercise of their right to trial by jury may be the only party in a cause that would end up with zero compensation.

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