Oral arg. – COA – April 6, 2016

(Apparently Thinnes has been postponed.  Sorry for the confusion but it is still showing up on the oral argument calendar).

At 10:00 the Court will hear Gregory A Thinnes v. State

On January 17, 2012 Gregory Thinnes pleaded guilty in the Circuit Court of Webster County to Manufacture of Marijuana. He was sentenced to 15 years with 3 suspended and 12 to serve.  “For the next thirty (30) months Mr. Thinnes served his sentence believing that he was eligible for parole consideration after serving one-fourth (1/4) of his twelve (12) year sentence. The MDOC believed likewise because the MDOC sent Mr. Thinnes several Inmate Time Sheets that projected his parole eligibility date to be January, 2015.”

In 2014  Thinnes filed a MPCR motion arguing that his attorneys failed to present the sentencing court with evidence of material facts concerning Mr. Thinnes’ s medical condition.  Shortly after the hearing  Thinnes was informed by the MDOC for the first time that he was ineligible for parole because a conviction of  Manufacture of Marijuana, Over One (1) Kilogram is ineligible for parole. The trial court refused to consider Thinnes amended PCR and denied relief.  He appeals arguing that he should have been given a hearing on whether his plea was voluntary given that he thought he would be eligible for parole even though the court pointed out that during the plea hearing that no one could guarantee Thinnes early release or release on probation or parole .

Thinnes’ brief

State’s brief

Thinnes reply brief

Watch the argument here

At 1:30 the Court will hear Ryne Rankin v. Kenneth Matthews and Heather Matthews

In June of  2012, the Matthews had a party.  They invited some teenage bands to perform.  Rankin was in one of the bands.  After playing with his band, Ryne was struck by another youth at the party,  lost consciousness and sustained serious injuries. Ryne’s assailant was ordered to compensate Ryne’s mother through the Warren County Youth Court.  Rankin sued the Matthews and the trial court granted summary judgment for the Matthews. Rankin argues that there were material factual disputes regarding the following:  (1) alcohol was allowed on the premises; (2) money was collected from the show attendees to pay for the gas of out of town band members; (3) no security was provided; (4) that a benefit was conferred upon the party hosts, and (5) that the actions of Ryne’s assailant were reasonable foreseeable.

The trial court Rankin was a licensee and not an invitee. There was no evidence of any active ongoing business concern or active negligence that would implicate the Hoffman exception rarely bestowed on certain licensees. And even if Rankin could somehow be classified as an invitee, there was no competent evidence that the altercation between Rankin and Jeremy Carroll was forseeable and no evidence that the Matthews knew or should have known of any atmosphere of violence.  Lastly, as to Rankin’s suggestion that alcohol may have been consumed by unidentified minors, the court found that there was no proper evidence that alcohol was consumed prior to the incident or that it played in role in the altercation.

Rankin’s brief

Matthews’ brief

Watch the argument here

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