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Supreme Court grants transfer to OWI case

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The Indiana Supreme Court granted transfer Oct. 22 to a case involving a conviction of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated.

In Clint R. Beldon v. State of Indiana, No. 43S05-0910-CR-496, the Indiana Court of Appeals had to decide whether the trial court abused its discretion by admitting a doctor's video-taped deposition at trial in lieu of her in-person testimony and if the state properly requested blood and urine test results pursuant to Indiana Code Section 9-30-6-6. The appellate court also ruled on whether the court erred in sentencing Clint Beldon by using the same prior conviction to elevate his Class A misdemeanor charge to a Class D felony, to support a habitual substance offender finding, and as an aggravating factor to support the imposition of a maximum sentence.

The Court of Appeals unanimously found the trial court erred by admitting the videotape, but the testimony was merely cumulative of other properly admitted evidence, so the error was harmless. The judges ruled Beldon waived his argument on the blood and urine test results because he failed to raise any argument at trial concerning the state's failure to provide evidence of requests for those tests.

The appellate court also found the trial court erred by elevating Beldon's charge of operating a vehicle while intoxicated to a Class D felony based on a prior conviction and enhancing his sentence in part upon a habitual sentence offender finding that relied upon the same prior conviction. The case was remanded so the trial court could remedy the sentencing defect.

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  3. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  4. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  5. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

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