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Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Ind. Law - "Marriage licenses reflect changing attitudes toward matrimony"

Reporting today in the Louisville Courier Journal, Harold J. Adams writes:

Just as wedding photographs tell a lot about the time period in which the couple were wed, so also do marriage licenses tell a story about views on race, religion, mental health and more.

Take the four Indiana marriage licenses from the family of New Albany Mayor Jeff Gahan. The license completed by his parents William Gahan and the former Joyce Stromire in 1946 asked for “the full christian and surname” of each party.

The question left no room for the possibility that the bride or groom’s faith might be other than Christian. * * *

[B]y the time Gahan’s sister, the former Linda Gahan, married Steven Bonifer in 1973 the reference to “christian and surname” was gone, replaced with a request for the first, middle and last name of each party.

Race and ethnicity are two other marriage license questions that have changed in the past 66 years. The second question on the 1946 Indiana marriage license asked the “color” of each person. * * *

Miscegenation laws across most of the country at the time generally made it illegal for whites to marry non-whites. Kentucky marriage licenses of 1946 did not document the race of brides and grooms, but a glance at the marriage index volumes at the Jefferson County Clerk’s Office shows marriages of racial minorities segregated into separate volumes each year into the 1960s. * * *

With mixed races legal, the Indiana form that recorded the 1973 Gahan-Bonifer nuptials asked for “color or race” and offered check boxes for white, negro and other. And by the time the mayor himself married the former Susanne Keeler in 1987 there was nothing at all about race or ethnicity on their marriage license.

But Gahan’s daughter Abigail Gahan, set to marry Christopher Gardner in February 2013, will face a marriage license that offers six different race choices along with the option to choose “unknown.” On ethnicity they will be asked whether they are or are not Hispanic or Latino along with the choice of unknown.

A similar progression of societal attitudes on mental health can also be traced through marriage licenses.

The mayor’s parents were each asked whether they were “an imbecile, feeble-minded, idiotic or insane” or under guardianship “as a person of unsound mind.” His daughter and future son-in-law will get a pass on mental health questions, which are absent from the present form.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on Tuesday, January 01, 2013
Posted to Indiana Law

Ind. Decisions - Court of Appeals issues 4 on Dec. 31 (and 27 NFP)

For publication opinions today (4):

In Indiana Public Employee Retirement Fund v. Paul Bryson, a 3-page opinion on a petition for a rehearing, Chief Judge Robb writes:

We grant rehearing for the purpose of addressing an issue raised by PERF in its petition, but we affirm our original opinion.
In Lisa Svenstrup v. Thomas Svenstrup, a 14-page opinion, Judge Brown concludes:
For the foregoing reasons, we affirm the trial court’s order denying Mother’s petition for allocation of college expenses, which order may be modified upon the requisite showing of changed circumstances so substantial and continuing as to make the terms of the existing order unreasonable.
In Damon Ray Bowers v. State of Indiana , a 6-page opinion, Judge May writes:
Damon Ray Bowers brings an interlocutory appeal of the denial of his motion to suppress the evidence gathered from a traffic stop. He asserts the stop occurred without reasonable suspicion, in violation of his rights under the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article 1, Section 11 of the Indiana Constitution. We affirm and remand.
In Israel Cruz v. State of Indiana , a 9-page opinion, Judge Crone writes:
Israel Cruz has never held an Indiana driver’s license, and he has multiple convictions of operating a vehicle having never received a license. In 2011, the BMV determined that Cruz was a habitual traffic violator (“HTV”) and sent notice of an HTV suspension to 3518 Steer Street in Indianapolis. Cruz was subsequently pulled over for speeding while the HTV suspension was in effect. Cruz was charged with operating a vehicle while suspended as an HTV. At Cruz’s bench trial, a Bureau of Motor Vehicles (“BMV”) employee testified that when a person who has never been licensed commits a traffic offense, the BMV obtains the person’s address from court records. However, the 3518 Steer Street address does not appear in any of the court records that were submitted into evidence; on the contrary, the court records contained three different addresses for Cruz. The BMV employee was not able to testify as to how the BMV determined that Cruz’s address was 3518 Steer Street. Cruz testified that he does not live at 3518 Steer Street and did not know that he was suspended. At the conclusion of the trial, the court found Cruz guilty and entered judgment as a class A misdemeanor.

On appeal, Cruz raises several issues, but we find one of them dispositive: whether there was sufficient evidence that Cruz knew that he was suspended. Given the complete lack of evidence regarding how the BMV determined that notice should be mailed to 3518 Steer Street, we must conclude that the State failed to establish the statutory presumption that a person has knowledge of a suspension if notice is sent to the person’s “last address shown.” See Ind. Code § 9-30-10-16. Nor has the State argued that the record contains direct evidence that Cruz knew he was suspended. Therefore, we reverse Cruz’s conviction.

NFP civil opinions today (9):

In Re the Paternity of Z.H.; S.E. v. C.H. (NFP)

In the Matter of the Term. of the Parent-Child Rel. of A.D.; and M.D. v. Indiana Dept. of Child Services (NFP)

In Re the Paternity of K.H., S.E. v. C.H. (NFP)

Francis McDonnell, M.D. v. Stacy Wissel, as Trustee of the Bankruptcy Estate of Roy L. Harris and Anita K. Harris (NFP)

Kimberly A. Harrison and Christine G. Portell v. Yale Rice, III, as Trustee of the Yale Rice, Jr. Living Trust, et al. (NFP)

Paulette Petkovich, et al. v. Prime Contractors Co., Inc. (NFP)

Job Steel Corp, and Lisco, Inc. v. Board of Zoning Appeals of the Town of Burns Harbor and the Plan Commission of the Town of Burns Harbor (NFP)

Demaris Snyder Wehr, Timothy John Snyder, Terence Glen Snyder and Daniel Owen Snyder v. Thomas Price, II, individually and as the named executor of the estate of Nilah Snyder, et al. (NFP)

Townsend H. Porter, Jr., Townsend Porter Revocable Trust, and Brian H. Merritt v. 1st Source Bank (NFP)

NFP criminal opinions today (18):

Albert Jackson Counce v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Dandre Matlock v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Roy G. Lewis v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Damon Gee v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Micha Seymour v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Arthur J. Bryant v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Roy Bessler v. State of Indiana (NFP)

George R. Clark v. State of Indiana (NFP)

James L. Morgan v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Joseph Ward v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Joseph Rushing v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Marvin Dewayne Davey v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Joseph Laich, III v. State of Indiana (NFP)

T.S. v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Ronald Rostochak v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Jason Castillo v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Bradley C. Taylor v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Shawn D. Jaco v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Posted by Marcia Oddi on Tuesday, January 01, 2013
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions