One sentence caselaw review

At the Law Office of Jacob Rigney, we pride ourselves on making complicated legal situations simple.  As evidence, we present another episode of our one-sentence caselaw review.  We read an entire legal opinion and boil it down to one sentence for you.  Today's musical accompaniment is here.

Citizens Action Coalition v. Koch (13 pages)

The Courts will not intervene when a state legislator refuses to provide his e-mails pursuant to a public access request because to do so would be an unconstitutional intrusion on the legislative process.

Hitch v. State (19 pages)

The statute prohibiting those convicted of crimes of domestic violence is not so punitive in nature as to invoke the Constitutional requirement of proof beyond a reasonable doubt; and Hitch, in fact, did commit a crime of domestic violence.

Horton v. State (12 pages)

A Defendant must personally waive his right to jury, his attorney cannot do it on his behalf; and a Court may take judicial notice of its own file without making it a part of the appellate record, although that is not the preferred method.

 

If you have a complicated criminal matter and need help, you can contact my office here.

One sentence caselaw review

Business has picked up, so it's been awhile, but I found some time today to blog again.  I will once again take a complicated legal appeals opinion and boil it down to one sentence.  Enjoy.  Today's musical accompaniment is here.

Mid America Sound v. Indiana State Fair Commission (11 pages)

Indiana Courts will not construe boilerplate indemnity language in a contract to apply retroactively to harm that has already occurred, unless the parties' unequivocally indicate as much.

Keller v. State (8 pages)

A trial Court erred when instructing a jury that the legal definition of dwelling included a structure in which a person intended to live in the near future.

Zionsville v. Whitestown (22 pages)

A town can annex and assume the powers of a township, including the right to subsequently combine with another township, and if a town or township has resolved to do so, a different town cannot subsequently annex that same territory.

If you have a complicated legal matter made simple, you can contact our office here.

One sentence case law review

It's time for another edition of the only blog post I ever find time to write...the one sentence case law review.  We read an entire opinion and boil it down to one easy-to-understand (hopefully) sentence.  Today's musical accompaniment is right here.

Masters v. Masters (10 pages)

If a Court is going to award attorney's fees, it has to be supported by a finding of fact, and the $95,000 award in this case was so supported.

In re Anonymous (4 pages)

An emergency petition and request for temporary restraining order must be served on adverse parties.

Tiplick v. State (18 pages)

The legislature can delegate its authority to the board of pharmacy to make new substances (like spice) illegal but the State must reference that board of pharmacy rule in the charging information when accusing someone of committing that crime.

If you need help with a complex legal issue, you can contact our office here.

One sentence caselaw review

At the Law Office of Jacob Rigney, we strive to make complicated legal situations simple.  In keeping with that tradition, we once again offer our blog, a one-sentence caselaw review.  The rules are simple, we read an entire legal opinion and boil it down to one sentence for you.  Today's musical accompaniment can be enjoyed here.

Boyer v. Cassidy (8 pages)

Suing a person who lives in Indiana does not create sufficient minimum contacts with Indiana to allow that person to sue the attorney in Indiana.

Anderson v. Gaudin (11 pages)

County commissioners may effectively abolish a fire district by way of an ordinance that cuts all of its funding.

Gibson v. State (2 pages)

Pulling a person to the ground is not sufficient evidence to convict a person for confinement by removal from one place to another.

If you have a complicated legal issue, you can contact our office about it here.

One sentence caselaw review

At the Law Office of Jacob Rigney, we make complicated things simple.  In keeping with that theme, we present another edition of "one sentence caselaw review," where we read an entire appellate decision and boil it down to one sentence for you.  Today's accompanying music is brought to you by the random tune on my iTunes genius shuffle.

Markey v. Estate of Markey (10 pages)

A claim of breach of contract regarding an agreement to not revoke wills is a "claim" for the purposes of the probate code.

Sistrunk v. State (5 pages)

Robbing one person with a gun and confining another person with the gun, during the same robbery, is not the same offense, and both crimes can be enhanced by the use of the same deadly weapon.

In Re the Visitation of L-A. D. W. (17 pages)

Grandparental visitation rights are subject to very fact specific dynamics and trial court decisions on those matters will be given deference.

 

If you need help with a complicated legal issue, you can contact the Law Office of Jacob Rigney here.

One sentence case law review

At the Law Office of Jacob Rigney, we pride ourselves on making complicated legal concepts simple.  As such, we once again present the one sentence case law review.  We read an entire legal opinion and boil it down to one sentence for you.  Today's musical companion for today's read is here.

In re Selner (3 pages)

An attorney who bought pseudo ephedrine to help her meth dealer make methamphetamine was suspended from the practice of law for 3 years.  

Hall v. State (28 pages)

The trial court erred by refusing to allow defense counsel to develop evidence of a potential prior false allegation of rape and refusing to allow defense counsel to impeach a witness with a recording of her previous inconsistent statements, but those Constitutional violations were harmless.

Russell v. State (16 pages)

If the State and Defendant enter into a plea agreement, it will be honored even if based on an incorrect application of the law, provided that both sides benefitted from the agreement.

 

If you need help with a complicated legal issue, find out how to reach our office here.

One sentence case law review

At the law office of Jacob Rigney, we pride ourselves on making complicated legal issues simple.  In keeping with that, we once again present our recurring feature, "one sentence case law review" where we read an entire appellate decision and boil it down to one sentence for you.  Today's accompanying musical selection is right here, where you wish you were.

Lewis v. State (12 very not suitable for children pages)

Indiana's death penalty and life without parole statutes do not require a trial court to enter an enhanced sentence upon a trial courts' finding that the aggravators outweigh the mitigators, but rather allow the Court to consider death, life without parole, or a term of years as a sentence; and admission of evidence that the Defendant was a "mean drunk" was harmless error.

Evansville v. Magenheimer (14 pages)

A citizen who sues a city for unlawful enforcement of a firearms ordinance does not have to file a notice of tort action if the cause of action is not a tort.

Whistle Stop v. Indianapolis (24 pages)

The portion of Indianapolis' no-smoking ordinance that allowed smoking at licensed off-track betting sites is unconstitutional.

A fun little aside:  The Whistle-Stop case is an appeals court decision, which means it may eventually end up in front of the Indiana Supreme Court.  But the Whistle Stop is not an off-track betting facility. They were attempting to claim that because the city unconstitutionally exempted off-track betting cites, the Court should strike down the ENTIRE non-smoking ordinance, presumably so people could legally smoke inside the Whistle Stop again.  The result, up to this point, is that you still can't smoke in the Whistle-Stop, and now you can't smoke in an off-track betting site either.  I'm sure the owners of the only licensed off-track betting site in Indianapolis (who also own the nearby casinos in Shelbyville and Anderson) are thrilled with the result of the Whistle-Stop's litigation.

If you need a complicated legal issue simplified, you can contact our office here.

Another one sentence case law review

Here's another one-sentence case law review.  The rules haven't changed:  I read an entire appellate opinion and boil it down to one sentence for you.  Enjoy.

In re W.B. and I.B (11 pages)

It is illegal for a person convicted of Neglect of a Dependent as a felony to adopt, even if that adoption would be in the child's best interests; and the statute making that the case is not unconstitutional.

K.S. v. Workforce Development (8 pages)

A person is not entitled to unemployment compensation for leaving job voluntarily due to a mere fear of potential domestic violence or due to a claimed physical disability that does not appear to have prevented the person from working.

State v. Stevens (10 pages)

Police may rely on out of state criminal history information from their computer to support probable cause for an arrest, and no further investigation is required.

If you have a complicated legal issue that you need simplified, you can contact our office here.

One sentence case law review

At The Law Office of Jacob Rigney, we make complicated legal issues simple.  In furtherance of that mission, we present another installment of "one sentence case law review," where we read an entire criminal opinion and boil it down to one sentence of law.  Here it goes again.

State v. Vanderkolk (8 pages)

A probationer or community corrections participant may consent to warrantless or even suspicionless searches of their residence as a condition of participation in the program.

State Farm v. Earl (10 pages)

Evidence of the existence and amount of a recovery cap is admissible at trial if it is relevant.

Griffith v. State (14 pages)

A witness may be impeached by extrinsic evidence of a prior inconsistent statement if they have been or will be given an opportunity to explain or deny the statement; and there is no legally required order in which these events must occur at trial.

 

If you have a complicated legal issue, you can contact the Law Office of Jacob Rigney for help here.

One sentence case law review

At the Law Office of Jacob Rigney, we make complicated issues simple to understand.  As a reflection of that, we present one-sentence case law reviews.  We read an entire opinion and recite it as one sentence of easier-to-understand law.  

State v. Zerbe (13 pages)

If you are required to register as a sex offender in one state, you will have to register in Indiana for the same amount of time, no matter when you committed the offense.

Zamani v. State (28 pages)

The Court can deny you the opportunity to claim insanity if you wait until the week before the trial to raise it; and a prosecutor can point out the lack of contradictory evidence in closing argument.

Huber v. Hamilton (17 pages)

A contract regarding real estate must be in writing and additional oral agreements won't be enforced unless a party reasonably relies on the agreement to their detriment.

If you have a complicated legal issue with which we can help, contact us here.

One sentence case law review

At the law office of Jacob Rigney, we pride ourselves on making complicated legal issues simple.  As such, we once again present our recurring segment called "one sentence case law review," where we read an entire appellate opinion and reduce it to one sentence of law.  Here we go (again on our own) for all you Whitesnake fans.

Bell v. State (8 pages)

A Defendant can't stipulate to the admission of evidence and then claim on appeal that it was unreliable; and a confession is almost always going to be admissible absent evidence of police misconduct.

Isom v. State (30 pages)

The Indiana Supreme Court wins this round.  I can't summarize this one accurately in one sentence.  Essentially, the death penalty is appropriate for a man who killed his wife and two step-children.  The Court's instruction that simply required the jury to find that the aggravating factors (multiple killings) outweighed the mitigating factors (difficult childhood, stress, mental illness, several others) was appropriate, and a finding that the aggravating factors outweigh the mitigating factors beyond a reasonable doubt is not required by the U.S. Constitution.  The prosecutor's calls to give him the death penalty because of the nature of his crimes was misconduct, but it was harmless.  The Defendant's relatives' pleas for him to stop shooting were admissible as non-testimonial hearsay because they were excited utterances made in the course of the emergency as it was happening.  The Trial Court's decision to deny the Defendant's motions to strike jurors for cause was not an abuse of discretion where the jurors initially indicated opinions contrary to the law, but subsequently agreed to follow the law after discussing it with the Court and attorneys during voir dire.  Finally, the Court's refusal to tender a voluntary manslaughter instruction to the jury was appropriate since there was no evidence presented that any sudden heat existed.  Whew, sorry.  

Myers v. State (67 pages)

The Defendant's numerous complaints about the performance of his trial counsel are unavailing and he did not receive ineffective assistance, despite the fact that his attorney was subsequently disciplined for improper conduct during the trial; and no alleged prosecutorial misconduct was proven, as is required when seeking post-conviction relief.

If you need help making a complicated legal issue simple, you can contact our office here.

Footnotes of note

Even Judges (or their clerks, at least) have sense of humor.  But, writing a opinion about another nasty divorce, deadly car accident, or thieving attorney is rarely the opportunity those Judges get to show it.  To most legal readers, an appeals decision is just an opportunity to learn about new law or sort how the Court of Appeals will deal with a specific fact pattern.  

But, because the doctrine of mootness requires an appeal to come from a trial level case with actual real-life stakes, an appeals decision is also a recitation of the terrible real life things that people do to each other, whether intentional or otherwise.  The last thing any litigant wants to do is read an appeals court Judge's ruling mocking them or their choices.  That's why you'll never see an appeals decision that says "Conviction affirmed.  May a plague of angry bees now descend upon your genitals, you jerk."  Totes not appropriate.

As an aside, I'm dissatisfied with our current lol-speak alternatives for appropriate.  I am all-in on totes, but appropes doesn't work at all.  Can someone find a hipster with a beard to sort this out for me?  I'm too old and tired to figure it out myself, particularly since I spent so much time this year helping to push "rando" into the lexicon.  Reinventing English is hard work.

Back to my point.  Every now and then, the Court gives us just a hint--just the slightest little wink, to remind us that they are in on the joke.  And to commemorate that fact, I give you my newest blog installment, footnotes of note, wherein I dissect one of these little gems so that we all may share in the nihilistic joy of a life in the law.

And yes, I know I buried the lead of this post in the last sentence of the fourth paragraph.  And yes, I know this is my second aside in five paragraphs.  It's meh blurg, I do wha I wernt.

So, without further ado, here's the gem of a footnote from the Court of Appeals that I conveniently skipped over when I did the one-sentence case law review from Harrison v. State.  

"In fact,“Bam Bam”is the name of a lovable, exceptionally strong infant character on the animated series “The Flintstones.” See http://flintstones.wikia.com/wiki/Bamm-Bamm_Rubble; http://www.imdb.com/character/ch0000639/.

I hope you are wondering how this ended up in a legal opinion.  The answer is long, but hopefully enjoyable.

Harrison had a meth lab in his car on the side of road.  The police stopped nearby and saw him and the car.  Harrison threw the car in reverse, crashed it into a ditch, and fled on foot.  The police didn't catch him, so the entire day wasn't a complete failure.

Another quick aside:  I used to wonder why people run from the police, because it always seems to end badly.  Then it occurred to me:  it doesn't always end badly.  Sometimes they get away.  I used to wonder why people shoplift so much too, before I reached the same conclusion:  sometimes it works.

At trial Harrison claimed to have an alibi.  As a result, many jail phone calls were reviewed and the alibi witness' inconsistent statements were played, including some calls where the Defendant or other people identified him as "Bam" or "Bam Bam."  He claimed on appeal that allowing his nickname into evidence was not probative and unfairly prejudicial.  But the Court rejected the argument, because, among other things, being nicknamed "Bam Bam" is not prejudicial.  Essentially, the law in Indiana now says there's nothing wrong with being nicknamed "Bam Bam."  

I presume the analysis would have been different if Harrison's nickname was "methhead."  

I'm also surprised, from a public policy standpoint, that the Court was willing to wade into the sticky morass of nicknaming.  Essentially, the Court's ruling that admitting tame nicknames is okay only encourages people to use more terrible nicknames.  If your nickname is pebbles, that fact is coming into evidence against you, but if your nickname is "mass murderer," it's probably a different story.  So, the moral of this story is find a really awful sounding nickname for yourself.

Also, I am somewhat surprised to see that wikipedia, which can usually be edited by anyone at anytime with little effort, is now authoritative enough to be cited by a court of law.  Sure, it's the type of precedent citation that no one will ever dispute, but still, wikipedia?  

In addition, what's up with wikipedia's spelling it "Bamm Bamm."  Four M's?  That seems excessive.  And who gets to decide how these things are spelled anyway?  I'm sorry, but now my digressions are digressing.

As a final aside, I take a small amount of umbrage at the Court's notion that Bam Bam was a lovable character on the Flintstones.  It's been awhile since I saw it, but my recollection is that he was basically the cartoon version of the 2 year old who goes around punching people in the nuts.  Entertaining in small doses?  Sure.  Lovable?  Not so much.  Dino was lovable.  Bam Bam was a jerk.  Fortunately, 3 year old me didn't need the Court of Appeals to adjudicate that.

One sentence case law review

At The Law Office of Jacob Rigney, we make complicated things simple.  Here's is an all Indiana Supreme Court edition of the once sentence case law review!

Young v. State, Lee v. State (12 pages)

If the State only charges you with shooting someone to death, the trier of fact can't convict you of beating them.

Hines v. State (14 pages)

If you charge a person and put them in a headlock, you can only be convicted of confinement or battery, but not both; and if the person is a corrections officer, you can get 8 years in prison for it.

In re Philpot (3 pages)

An attorney who committed mail fraud and theft was suspended from the practice of law for 4 years without automatic reinstatement.

One sentence case law review

At the law office of Jacob Rigney, we pride ourselves on making complicated legal issues simple.  Here's another example, a one-sentence case law review.  We read a whole case and boil it down to one sentence for you.  

B.M. v. J.R and M.R. (10 pages)

If you want to file an objection when someone petitions to adopt your child, you have to do it within 30 days of receiving notice of the petition.

James Beasley v. State (28 pages)

An admission that a person shot someone under circumstances that indicate self-defense is not a "statement against interest for the purposes of the hearsay rules; and the dismissal of a juror who recognized a Defendant's supporter in the gallery and knew him to be dangerous was the proper remedy, even though she relayed that knowledge to the rest of the jurors.

Wells v. State (13 pages)

Miranda warnings are unnecessary for a Defendant who was out of custody when he admitted to murder, and being on home detention does not qualify as being "in custody;" and attempts to have a witness killed are relevant and admissible.

If you have been accused of a crime and need help, contact our office here.

One sentence case law review

At the Law Office of Jacob Rigney, we pride ourselves on making complicated legal issues simple.  Accordinly, we present "one sentence case law reviews."  The rules are simple, we read an entire judicial opinion and boil it down to one sentence for you.  Enjoy.

Adetokunbo v. State (12 pages)

You can be convicted of Battery for punching someone, and resisting law enforcement for stiffening your arms when an officer attempted to handcuff you.

Stewart v. Warrick (15 pages)

A Trial Court can overrule a jury verdict and order a new trial when the jury's verdict is irreconcilable with any reasonable interpretation of the evidence.

Lewis v. State (9 pages)

If you commit a felony battery and a misdemeanor battery with different victims, those sentences can be stacked, and if your criminal history consists of multiple prior arrests and felony convictions, you can get the maximum sentence on both convictions.

One sentence case law review

At the Law Office of Jacob Rigney, we pride ourselves on making complicated legal issues simple.  As such, we present another installment of our one sentence case law review.  The rules are simple, we read an entire opinion and boil the law down to one occasionally long sentence.  Here we go.

Babchuk v. IU Health (7 pages)

If a Defendant files a motion to dismiss for failure to proceed on the claim and the Plaintiff files a motion consistent with going forward on the same day, the Defendant's motion to dismiss should be denied.

Street v. State (17 pages)

If you break into someone's house, shoot them, and steal their marijuana, hide the gun in your pants and then take a nap with your girlfriend's children, you can (only) be convicted of A-Felony Burglary, C-Felony Robbery, B-Misdemeanor Battery, and D-Felony Neglect of a Dependent.

Devereux v. Love (24 pages)

If an attorney (William Conour, in this case) steals money from his clients, those clients can only sue the other attorneys on their case if the clients can show the other attorneys knew or should have known the thefts were going on.

If you need help with a legal issue, you can contact the Law Office of Jacob Rigney here.

One sentence case law review

At the Law Office of Jacob Rigney, we pride ourselves on making complicated legal issues simple.  In keeping with our philosophy, we present "one sentence case law reviews," where we read an entire appellate decision and boil it down to one sentence.  Here we go!

Harrison v. State (29 pages)

If you build a mobile meth lab in your car, run from the police after you crash the car, and leave your ID and cell phone behind in the car, you can get convicted of manufacturing methamphetamine, but not both manufacturing and possession of pre-cursors, because of the double jeopardy clause in the Constitution.

M.M. v. State (10 pages)

When the Court orders a juvenile to pay restitution, that order stays in effect until satisfied, even if it was a term of probation and that probation was terminated.

Moore v. State (22 pages)

Any previously convicted Defendant may petition the Court for a modification of sentence without prosecutorial approval, regardless of when the crime was committed.

Special note:  Moore v. State opens up the potential for sentence modification to a bunch of new people that weren't previously eligible.  But, this was a 2-1 decision of the Court of Appeals, and the dissent makes some fairly compelling arguments.  This is also an issue of first impression (because of legislative changes in July of 2014).  As such, the case is a good candidate to get transferred to the Supreme Court.  Should the Supreme Court grant transfer, the case will not stand as authority until after the Supreme Court rules.  

If you need help with a legal issue, big or small, contact the Law Office of Jacob Rigney here.

One sentence case law review

At the law office of Jacob Rigney, we pride ourselves on making complicated legal issues simple.  As such, we hereby present a new feature of our new blog:  one sentence case law reviews.  The rules are simple:  we will read an entire appellate decision, and boil it down to one easy to understand sentence.  Here we go!

Lockett v. Planned Parenthood (20 pages)

If you want to sue someone for providing your child medical services without your consent, you have to submit your claim to a medical review panel before filing suit.

Smith v. Foegley (21 pages)

A small-claims Court's factual decisions will be treated with great deference on appeal, but the small-claims Court's decision regarding attorney's fees must include some evidence about their reasonableness.

Ellis v. State (18 pages)

If you try to steal the same items twice in the same day, you can be charged and convicted twice, even if the prosecutor "gives (you) a mulligan on the first one" and you can get two and a half years for it.

If you think you need help with a legal issue, contact the law office of Jacob Rigney here.