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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Ind. Decisions - Court of Appeals issues 2 opinion(s) today (and 7 NFP memorandum decision(s))

For publication opinions today (2):

In Michael Lindsey v. State of Indiana , a 15-page opinion, Judge Baker writes:

Michael Lindsey appeals the judgement of the post-conviction court, which denied his petition for post-conviction relief (PCR). He argues that he received the ineffective assistance of trial counsel, who advised him to reject a plea agreement with a thirty-two-year sentence on the grounds that the most he could receive with an open guilty plea was thirty years; instead, he received forty. We find that trial counsel’s performance was ineffective and that Lindsey was prejudiced thereby. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the PCR court and remand with instructions to adjust Lindsey’s sentence to thirty-two years. * * *

We find that Lindsey’s case falls precisely into this description [ILB: SCOTUS in Lafler]. And because of the unique circumstances of his case—where he was moments away from submitting a fully-written and signed plea agreement with a thirty-two-year sentence but was dissuaded at the last moment by the erroneous advice of his lawyer—we can measure precisely the amount of prejudice Lindsey suffered as a result of the ineffectiveness of his counsel. But for the poor advice of his attorney, Lindsey would have received a thirty-two-year sentence. Accordingly, we reverse and remand the decision of the PCR court with instructions to modify Lindsey’s sentence from forty years to thirty-two years.

In David Earl Ison v. State of Indiana, an 8-page opinion, Judge Altice writes:
David Earl Ison, pro se, appeals the denial of his post-conviction relief (PCR) petition. We find the following issue dispositive: Did the post-conviction court err in declining to address Ison’s claim of ineffective assistance of trial counsel, which incorporated a challenge to the voluntariness of his plea? We remand. * * *

In its brief order issued two days after the post-conviction hearing, the court indicated for the first time that it would not consider any of Ison’s claims raised in filings made after the original PCR petition filed in 2014. Without any explanation, the court concluded that the only petition properly before it was the original petition. This was erroneous.

On remand, we direct the post-conviction court to make specific findings of fact and conclusions of law with respect to Ison’s claims of ineffective assistance of trial counsel and involuntariness of his guilty plea. See State v. Cozart, 897 N.E.2d 478, 484 (Ind. 2008) (remanding for findings and conclusions on claims not addressed by the post-conviction court).

NFP civil decisions today (5):

Ronald Protho and Gwen Protho v. Tawanna Brown (mem. dec.)

Indiana Farmers Mutual Insurance Company v. Amber N. Yost, Gretchen L. Poehler, Mandy Shearer, and Anne K. Nania (mem. dec.)

In Re: B.W. (Minor Child), Child in Need of Services, J.W. (Father) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)

In the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of I.K. and L.K. (Minor Children), and K.F. (Mother) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)

In the Matter of Tiffany R. Laux: John R. Laux v. Deborah S. Mock (Wilson) (mem. dec.)

NFP juvenile and criminal decisions today (2):

Severo A. Reza v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Randy Tapp v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Posted by Marcia Oddi on March 14, 2017 10:54 AM
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions