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Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Ind. Decisions - Supreme Court issues three today

In The Money Store Investment Corp. v. Neal A. Summers, et al, a 7-page opinion, Chief Justice Shepard begins:

Junior creditors usually wish they were higher up the priority ladder. Here, the junior creditor took an assignment of the first mortgage holder’s “dragnet” mortgages, seeking to “tack on” her judgment lien and “leapfrog” the second mortgage holder. Understandably, this constitutes a matter of first impression. Our conclusion: this was a nice try, but the original parties to the dragnet mortgages did not intend to secure a subsequent debt owed by the mortgagor to a third party.
In Kyle Neff v. State of Indiana, a 9-page opinion, Chief Justice Shepard writes:
This appeal raises familiar questions regarding the permissibility of aggravators used in sentencing a criminal defendant. It also raises the novel question of whether the appropriate remedy when aggravators are found improper is always remand with opportunity for the State to prove to a jury those aggravators found improper under Blakely. We conclude the Court of Appeals was correct simply to revise Neff’s sentence.
In Nathan Haas v. State of Indiana, an 8-page opinion, hief Justice Shepard writes:
Appellant Nathan Haas challenges his twenty-year sentence for conspiracy to commit burglary, imposed following a guilty plea. He says it violates his Sixth Amendment rights as outlined in Blakely v. Washington. * * *

At the end of the day, certain aggravators that support this sentence may be found only by a jury and those that a judge may find are such that we are unable to say with confidence that a maximum sentence is appropriate. We therefore remand to the trial court to allow the State, at its election, to prove the Blakely aggravators to a jury consistent with our decision today in Neff v. State, No. 12S02-0606-CR-232 (Ind. June 27, 2006); __ N.E.2d __ (Ind 2006). [ILB: The case immediately above.] Should the State decide to waive the opportunity, we direct the trial court to revise Haas’ sentence to twelve years.

Note: The ILB is starting to catch up with its case summaries - for instance, snippets for these Supreme Court cases from last week are now up.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on June 27, 2006 03:59 PM
Posted to Ind. Sup.Ct. Decisions