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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Ind. Courts - More on: Disciplinary charges filed against senior judge

Updating this ILB entry from Feb. 25th, re the filing of disciplinary charges against Lisa Traylor-Wolff, a senior judge serving in Pulaski and Fulton Counties, the Christian Science Monitor has published a long AP story today.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on Thursday, February 28, 2013
Posted to Indiana Courts

Ind. Decisions - More on: 7th Circuit declares unconstitutional Ind. law prohibiting registered sex offenders from using social networking websites

Updating this ILB entry from Jan. 23rd, the AP is reporting that:

American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana legal director Ken Falk said Thursday that the attorney general's office would not ask the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago to rehear the case.

The court said in January that the 2008 law was too broad and violated freedom of speech.

See also this Feb. 6th ILB entry about efforts to repair the 2008 law in this year's General Assembly.

SB 347, which passed the Senate 49-0, is now in the House Committee on Courts and Criminal Code.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on Thursday, February 28, 2013
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions

Ind. Decisions - 7th Circuit decides one Indiana case today

In U.S. v. Sanders (ND Ind., Vn Bokkelen), a 33-page opinion, Judge Kanne writes:

In January 2008, Lamar E. Sanders and an accomplice abducted Timicka Nobles’s daughter, R.E. The reason: to induce Nobles to rob her own mother. Nobles attempted to comply—she left a bag of cash for Sanders’s accomplice to pick up—but law enforcement authorities were already apprised of the plot. They quickly arrested Sanders’s accomplice, and Sanders turned himself in shortly thereafter. Fortunately, no one was injured, and police recovered the money. After a five-day trial, a jury found Sanders guilty of kidnapping and extortion. He now appeals his conviction and sentence. First, Sanders argues that the district court denied him due process by admitting Nobles’s three identifications of him. Second, Sanders claims that the district court ran afoul of the Confrontation Clause, or, alternatively, abused its discretion, by limiting his cross-examination of Nobles. Finally, Sanders contends that the district court applied the incorrect mandatory minimum sentence. Finding no error, we affirm both the conviction and sentence.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on Thursday, February 28, 2013
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions

Ind. Courts - "Longtime Allen Superior Court Magistrate Marcia L. Linsky resigned Tuesday."

That is from the FWJG report.

Jeff Neumeyer and Eric Dutkiewicz have much more, including much video, at INCNowTV, reporting:

At least two local attorneys tell 21Alive they have first-hand knowledge that Linsky was escorted from the Charles "Bud" Meeks Justice Center Tuesday afternoon.

Linsky served in the Allen County Superior Court's criminal division since August of 1999, handling misdemeanor and traffic cases.

There were ongoing concerns about Linsky's demeanor in the courtroom, three local attorneys say. Specifically, they add, there were concerns about how Linsky interacted with and treated defendants and others she was in contact with on a regular basis.

The tipping point for Linsky's ouster may have come as a result of complaints being taken directly to Linsky's superiors.

Three superior court judges and two other magistrates will help cover Linsky's caseload until a replacement is chosen. That process could take a few weeks.

The position pays roughly $108,000 annually.

Kevin Leininger of the News-Sentinel reports:
An Allen Superior Court Magistrate has resigned after 14 years on the bench. * * *

Although magistrates have authority similar to judges, they are appointed and are not subject to retention by the public.

A defense attorney, however, suggested Linsky’s “highly inappropriate” conduct on the bench may have contributed to her exit.

“I talked to (Judge) Fran Gull about her conduct several times, and others did, too,” said the attorney, who asked not to be named. The attorney said Linsky would often spend court time berating attorneys – a practice the attorney said shocked and puzzled relatives from another country who were visiting her courtroom.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on Thursday, February 28, 2013
Posted to Indiana Courts

Ind. Decisions - Court of Appeals issues 5 today (and 14 NFP)

ILB: Again today the opinions posted by the COA have all been locked so as to deny readers the ability to copy and paste quotations from the PDF documents. As a result, there can be no ILB summaries without completely retyping any quotations from the opinions. I'm continuing to assume this is some technical glitch the court personnel have not yet resolved, rather than an intentional change in the way this public information is released.

[Update at 10:50 AM] Good news. I've just been told:

We made a technical upgrade and incorrectly loaded a security setting. Thanks for alerting us to the issue! We are changing the setting to allow for cut and paste functionality. The opinions that are “locked” will be replaced. I do not yet have a timeframe on when that may happen.
[Update at 1:16 PM] The opinions I've just checked seemed to be unlocked now.

For publication opinions today (5):

David A. Turner v. Debbie L. Turner

Alexander Nikolayev v. Natalia Nikolayev

Eagle Aircraft, Inc. v. Anthony Trojnar

James E. Mefford v. State of Indiana

Verdyer Clark v. State of Indiana

NFP civil opinions today (6):

Bret Shaw v. Bryan C. Jerman (NFP)

Jennifer Simpson v. Donald Simpson (NFP)

Loren H. Fry v. Terry L. Schroder and Robert C. Schroder, Individually and as beneficiaries and personal representatives of the Estate of David H. Schroder (NFP)

Term. of the Parent-Child Rel. of K.M. and J.H., Jr.: K.M., Mother of K.M. and J.H., Jr.; M.M., Father of K.M.; and J.H., Sr., Father of J.H., Jr. (NFP)

F.E. v. J.E. (NFP)

In Re the Paternity of: B.V.L., S.B. v. B.L. (NFP)

NFP criminal opinions today (8):

Joseph E. Sanders v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Donald W. Campbell v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Anthony Szuch v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Larry Collins, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Frederick James Burton v. State of Indiana (NFP)

F.G. v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Danny Clark v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Jeramie Rangel v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Posted by Marcia Oddi on Thursday, February 28, 2013
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions

Ind. Courts - Justice Rush: "I'd love to have a filthy house case now"

A story today by Leigh DeNoon of the Public News Service begins:

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Indiana's newest Supreme Court Justice, Loretta Rush, has a long history on the bench in Tippecanoe County of taking action to make the lives of Hoosier kids better. In the 1980s and 1990s when she would get a "Child In Need of Services" case, it was because of a filthy house, Rush said.

"I'd love to have a filthy house case now," she said. "Now you have methamphetamine going on in the home, some untreated mental health issues, violence. With turns in the economy, I see the effect it has on kids with regard to being exposed to domestic violence."

Pointing to horrific cases involving Hoosier children in the last few years, Rush said that is why the legislature is working to create the Commission on the Status of Children.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on Thursday, February 28, 2013
Posted to Indiana Courts

Court - A glimpse at today's SCOTUS in oral argument

Fascinating glimpse of the current Supreme Court personalities in action in this column by Dana Milbank of the Washington Post. A few quotes:

For a quarter-century, Antonin Scalia has been the reigning bully of the Supreme Court, but finally a couple of justices are willing to face him down.

As it happens, the two manning up to take on Nino the Terrible are women: the court’s newest members, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan. * * *

The styles of the two Obama appointees are different. Sotomayor is blunt and caustic, repeatedly interrupting. In an opinion this week, she harshly criticized a Texas prosecutor for a racist line of questioning. She has been on the interview circuit publicizing her memoir.

Kagan is choosier about when to interject herself, but she’s sardonic and sharp-witted. (“Well, that’s a big, new power that you are giving us,” she said, mockingly, when a lawyer tried to argue that the justices should overrule Congress’s discrimination findings.)

Both are more forceful than the Clinton appointees, the amiable Breyer and the frail Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The two new justices are sending a message to the court’s conservative majority: You may have the votes, but you’re going to have a fight. * * *

Sotomayor continued questioning as if she were the only jurist in the room. “Discrimination is discrimination,” she informed him, “and what Congress said is it continues.”

At one point, Justice Anthony Kennedy tried to quiet her. “I would like to hear the answer to the question,” he said. The lawyer got out a few more sentences — and then Kagan broke in.

Sotomayor continued to pipe up, even when Solicitor General Donald Verrilli was defending the Voting Rights Act — at one point breaking in as Alito was attempting to speak. Chief Justice John Roberts overruled her. “Justice Alito,” he directed.

Scalia was not about to surrender his title of worst-behaved justice. He mocked the civil rights law as he questioned the government lawyer. “Even the name of it is wonderful,” he said. “The Voting Rights Act: Who is going to vote against that?” (Verrilli cautioned him not to ignore actual votes of Congress in favor of “motive analysis.”)

But Scalia’s mouth was no longer the loudest in the room. When the Alabama county’s lawyer returned for his rebuttal, he managed to utter only five words — “Thank you, Mr. Chief Justice” — before Sotomayor broke in.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on Thursday, February 28, 2013
Posted to Courts in general