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Oral Argument Preview: Week of May 11, 2009
Posted in Litigation

The Indiana Court of Appeals will hear one argument this week, while the Indiana Supreme Court has scheduled three arguments for Thursday.

Indiana Court of Appeals

At 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, May 12, the Indiana Court of Appeals will hear argument in Davis v. State.  In Davis, an officer responded to a neighbor’s call concerning a stench from Davis’s property as well as the health of dogs on the property.  The responding officer as well as an investigator both walked the property and interviewed neighbors.  Based on their findings, the officers received a warrant to seize dogs and search the house and a shed on the property.  Evidence obtained from that search led to a jury’s convicting Davis of crimes relating to dog fighting.  Davis challenges his conviction on the basis that the trial court should not have admitted evidence obtained as a result of the warrant.  The argument will take place in the Indiana Court of Appeals Courtroom at the State House and will be webcast.

Indiana Supreme Court

Beginning at 9 a.m. on Thursday, May 14, the Indiana Supreme Court will hear three arguments, starting with Cooper v. State.  In Cooper, the Court will address whether the defendant is entitled to a new probation revocation hearing.  At the first hearing, the trial court did not receive evidence.  Cooper did not appeal after that hearing, but brought later asked the trial court to reconsider its decision.  On appeal, the State argued that Cooper was barred from challenging the revocation because the appeal was untimely.  The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed, holding that it had the inherent power to hear Cooper’s appellate claims.  (See the Court of Appeals’ opinion in Cooper, which was vacated by the Supreme Court’s order granting transfer, here).

At 9:45 a.m., the Court will hear Clay City Consolidated School Corporation v. Timberman.  In this case, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a jury verdict for the parents of a 13-year-old who collapsed during basketball practice and died.  The Court of Appeals found that the trial court abused its discretion when it instructed the jury that a 13-year-old is presumed to be incapable of contributory negligence.  (See the Court of Appeals’ opinion in Timberman, which was vacated by the Supreme Court’s order granting transfer, here).

Finally, at 10:30 a.m., the Supreme Court will hear argument in Matter of the Parent-Child Relationship of J.M.  In J.M., the Allen County Department of Child Services filed a petition to involuntarily terminate the parental rights of J.M.’s parents, who at the time were both incarcerated.  The trial court denied the petition, but the Court of Appeals reversed.  The father petitioned for rehearing on grounds that he was recently released from prison.  (See the Court of Appeals’ opinion in J.M., which was vacated by the Supreme Court’s order granting transfer, here).  The Indiana Supreme Court recently addressed an issue concerning prison time and parental rights in Matter of G.Y.  (See our summary of that opinion here).

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