Monday, June 23, 2014
Ind. Decisions - Upcoming oral arguments this week and next
This week's oral arguments before the Supreme Court (week of 6/23/14):
Thursday, June 26
- 9:00 AM - Charles R. Stephenson v. State of Indiana (15S00-1401-LW-40) Following a jury trial in the Dearborn Circuit Court, Charles Stephenson was convicted of murdering and robbing Leigh Jennings in her home on March 29, 2012. Committing the murder during the robbery made Stephenson eligible for an LWOP sentence. IC 35-50-2-9(a)(1)(G). The jury recommended a sentence of life without the possibility of parole, and Stephenson was sentenced accordingly. On appeal, Stephenson raises several issues relating to the proof at trial, the LWOP sentence, and the admission of certain evidence. This appeal comes directly to the Supreme Court because it is an appeal of the conviction and an LWOP sentence was imposed. See Ind. Appellate Rule 4(A)(1)(a).
- 9:45 AM - Jonathan D. Carpenter v. State of Indiana (02S05-1404-CR-246) Police responded to telephone calls that four dogs were fighting in Carpenter’s yard. The dogs, covered with mud and blood, were running in and out of the house through an open sliding glass door. Three of the dogs were captured. Two officers entered Carpenter’s house to capture the fourth dog, and they saw marijuana. They obtained a search warrant based on what they had seen, and confiscated marijuana and other controlled substances. The Allen Superior Court denied a motion to suppress this evidence and found Carpenter guilty of two class D felonies and other offenses. The Court of Appeals affirmed in Carpenter v. State, 3 N.E.3d 1068 (Ind. Ct. App. 2014), vacated. The Supreme Court has granted a petition to transfer the case and has assumed jurisdiction over the appeal.
ILB: This was a Feb. 20, 2014 COA opinion (4th case) where the COA wrote, in part: "Trimble and Davis dealt with whether the conditions of animals could constitute exigent circumstances justifying warrantless searches of areas outside of the homes. In the case before us, the investigation extended into the house only when one of the dogs, which was covered in blood, entered the home through an open door and would not come out."
- 10:30 AM - Scott F. Logan v. State of Indiana (20S05-1405-CR-339) After several continuances due to “court congestion” Logan filed a motion for discharge pursuant to Criminal Rule 4(C). The Elkhart Superior Court denied the motion and Logan was convicted of child molestation as a class C felony. The Court of Appeals affirmed in Logan v. State, No. 20A05-1304-CR-192 (Ind. Ct. App. Feb. 28, 2014) (Mem. Dec.), vacated. The Supreme Court has granted a petition to transfer the case and has assumed jurisdiction over the appeal.
ILB: This is a Feb. 28, 2014 NFP opinion concluding: "[T]he trial court did not err in denying Logan’s motion for discharge under Crim. R. 4(C), and Logan has failed to demonstrate that the delays in his trial violated his constitutional right to a speedy trial." This May 22nd ILB entry quotes a SBT story asking "Does Court backlog violate right to speedy trial?"
Next week's oral arguments before the Supreme Court (week of 6/30/14):
- No oral arguments currently scheduled.
Webcasts of Supreme Court oral arguments are available here.
This week's oral arguments before the Court of Appeals (week of 6/23/14):
Tuesday, June 24
- 1:00 PM - Melton v. Stephens (14A01-1308-CT-356) This interlocutory appeal arose from a motor vehicle collision between Appellee-Plaintiff Stacy S. Stephens (Stephens) and Appellants-Defendants James K. Melton (Melton) and Perdue Foods LLC (Perdue) (collectively, Appellants), in Lawrence County, Illinois. In a motion for partial summary judgment, Perdue advocated for the application of Indiana's substantive law on the collision, while Stephens asserted the application of Illinois law in her response to Perdue's motion. Relying on Indiana's choice of law rules, the trial court concluded that because the contacts between this cause of action and the State of Illinois were substantial, the lex loci delicti (i.e., Illinois' substantive law) governed the facts of this cause. Appellants requested oral argument to explain Indiana's choice of law rules enunciated by our Supreme Court's ruling in Hubbard Manufacturing Co., Inc. v. Greeson, 515 N.E.2d 1071 (Ind. 1987) and later clarified by Simon v. U.S., 805 N.E.2d 798 (Ind. 2004). The Scheduled Panel Members are: Judges Najam, Riley and Robb. [Where: Court of Appeals Courtroom (WEBCAST)]
- 1:00 PM - Citizens Action Coalition v. Duke Energy Indiana (93A02-1305-EX-394) In November 2007, Duke Energy Indiana, Inc. ("Duke") received approval from the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission ("IURC") to build an "integrated gasification combined cycle" power plant ("Plant") at Duke's Edwardsport facility in Knox County, Indiana. As allowed under IC 8-1-8.5-6, the IURC ordered semi-annual reviews of the Plant's construction progress. During each six-month review, and as permitted under IC 8-1-8.8, Duke asked the IURC for permission to timely recover "reasonable and necessary" constructions costs and financing costs through customer utility rates. In the instant action, Citizens Action Coalition of Indiana, Inc., Save the Valley, Inc., Sierra Club, and Valley Watch, Inc. ("Joint Intervenors") appeal from the IURC's order in its ninth semi-annual review. On appeals, the Joint Intervenors present the following issues: Whether the IURC committed reversible error by authorizing inclusion of 100 percent of Duke's requested financing costs (under IC 8-1-8.8-12) in retail customer rates without making any findings of fact or conclusions thereon regarding Joint Intervenors' argument that Duke cannot recover financing costs for a three-month delay in construction; and Whether the IURC committed reversible error by unconditionally allowing Duke to declare 50 percent of the Plant to be "in service" without making any findings of fact or conclusions thereon, and despite Duke's admission that the Plant had not reached its "In-Service Operational Date" as that term was defined in the Settlement Agreement to which Duke was a party. The Scheduled Panel Members are: Judges Kirsch, Bailey and May. [Where: Krannert Center for Executive Education, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN]
Next week's oral arguments before the Court of Appeals (week of 6/16/14):
Tuesday, July 1
- 10:00 AM - City of Indianapolis v. Cox (49A02-1309-PL-792) In 2005, Appellant City of Indianapolis changed the program through which it required homes that had previously used septic systems to connect to the City's sanitary sewers. Specifically, the city ended its previous "Barrett Law" for funding that work, forgave all outstanding debt under the program, and enacted a different financing program. Appellees Owen Cox, Jr. and Evelyn Cox had paid to have their home connected to the sewers under the Barrett Law system, and they claimed they were being treated unfairly in comparison to those homeowners who had opted to pay for the sewer connection via an installment plan and then had their debt forgiven. They sued the City on behalf of a proposed class. After the Coxes' federal constitutional claims were resolved by a companion case, the case was remanded back to the trial court. That court determined that the manner in which the City changed the program violated Indiana law and ordered the City to pay damages and prejudgment interest to the Coxes and the class. On appeal, the City argues that the Coxes' state-law claims are barred, that the City did not violate Indiana law, and that the Coxes are not entitled to prejudgment interest. The Scheduled Panel Members are: Judges Mathias, Pyle and Sr. Judge Shepard [Where: Court of Appeals Courtroom (WEBCAST)]
ONLY those Court of Appeals oral arguments presented in the Supreme or Court of Appeals Courtrooms will be accessible via videocast.
The past COA webcasts which have been webcast are accessible here.
NOTE: For a printable version of this list of upcoming oral arguments, click on the date in the next line. Then select "Print" from your browser.
Posted by Marcia Oddi on June 23, 2014 07:10 AM
Posted to Upcoming Oral Arguments