7th Circuit Court of Appeals

7th Circuit: No plain error in not applying 'safety valve' in sentencing

April 15, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Whether firearms belonging to co-conspirators in a drug ring attributed to a defendant for purposes of the firearm sentence enhancement can be considered for a two-level reduction in her offense level under the so-called “safety valve” for nonviolent, first-time drug offenders is a matter of first impression for the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. But the judges declined to address the issue because the woman failed to raise it at sentencing.
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Murderer’s writ for relief denied by 7th Circuit

April 15, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
For the fourth time, a northern Indiana man’s appeal of his death sentence for four murders has come before the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. This time, the judges affirmed the denial of his writ for habeas corpus.
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Court affirms amount of heroin attributable to defendant

April 8, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A man convicted of conspiracy to distribute heroin could not convince the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals that the trial court incorrectly found him to be responsible for buying and selling at least 1,040 grams of heroin over a six-year period.
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Judging how Indy elects judges

April 8, 2015
Dave Stafford
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals posed tough questions for the state’s defense of the pay-to-play, power-sharing system of judicial slating in Marion County.
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7th Circuit decision provides 'well-reasoned test' for standard exclusion provision

April 8, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
When construction on a mixed-use development project in Missouri ran short of money and eventually stopped, the “standard exclusion” included in many title insurance policies came before to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals for another review.
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7th Circuit grills state over Indy judge election system

April 2, 2015
Dave Stafford
As Indiana endured the harsh national glare from the Religious Freedom Restoration Act controversy this week, Indianapolis’ pay-to-play, power-sharing system for electing Marion Superior Court judges was on trial in Chicago.
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7th Circuit affirms Outlaws members’ convictions, remands over suspicionless search condition

April 1, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Three members of the Indianapolis Chapter of the Outlaws Motorcycle Club lost their appeals before the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Tuesday, however, the judges did decide that one man’s probation condition needs further consideration.
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Judges affirm drug dealer’s convictions but vacate portion of sentence

March 13, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a man’s claims that his convictions stemming from his involvement in a drug dealing operation should be overturned, but the judges did vacate the conditions of his supervised release Friday.
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Man’s right to speedy trial not violated, 7th Circuit says

March 13, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The speedy-trial clock did not begin to run upon the federal government’s filing of a complaint and detainer against an Indiana man, so the 16-month delay in filing the federal indictment did not violate his right to a speedy trial, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed Thursday.
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SCOTUS to 7th Circuit: Review Notre Dame birth control case

March 9, 2015
 Associated Press, IL Staff
The Supreme Court is ordering the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to take another look at the University of Notre Dame’s lawsuit concerning the overhaul of federal health care rules on paying for contraceptives.
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7th Circuit reinstates alleged racketeering lawsuit

March 2, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the decision of a federal judge to dismiss a man’s lawsuit because it is barred by the Rooker-Feldman doctrine. A man who had his gas station foreclosed upon claimed the defendants acted in cahoots to defraud him out of his business.
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COA ruling revives non-union subcontractor’s Antitrust Act claim

February 26, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A non-union subcontractor presented evidence establishing a genuine issue of material fact that the company awarded a contract to build a new school violated Indiana’s Antitrust Act by unlawfully restraining open and free competition for the public project, the Court of Appeals held Thursday.
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Lack of post-verdict motion dooms fired employee’s appeal

February 26, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit court of Appeals quickly affirmed a jury verdict against a former employee in the Lake County Auditor’s Office who claimed she was unlawfully terminated for political reasons. The ex-employee failed to file any post-verdict motions, a necessary first step for the appeals court to review the case.
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7th Circuit reverses denial of disability benefits

February 20, 2015
Dave Stafford
An administrative law judge’s denial of Social Security disability benefits for a man who the Veterans Administration determined was totally disabled cannot be sustained, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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Absence of evidence douses tobacco charge

February 20, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
An Indiana inmate’s punishment for allegedly trafficking in tobacco was snuffed out when the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals found he was convicted without evidence of guilt.
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7th Circuit grants habeas relief for man on death row

February 18, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
An Evansville man sentenced to death for the 2001 murders of his wife and two daughters is not entitled to habeas relief on his claim of intellectual disability, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday. But his petition should be granted because the state courts unreasonably applied federal due process standards in adjudicating his competency to stand trial.
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Enhancement affirmed after man exaggerated mental deficits to delay trial

February 16, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Although a defendant has a mental disorder, he tried to exaggerate his mental deficits in order to delay or prevent a criminal trial on a bank robbery charge. The federal court saw through his act and enhanced his sentence for obstruction of justice, which the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed Friday in a case of first impression.
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Couple needed expert testimony to show proximate cause in defective air bag suit

February 11, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A couple suing Ford Motor Company, alleging their 2003 Mercury Mountaineer was defective because the air bags did not deploy in an accident, lost their case because they failed to designate expert testimony to support their claim.
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Man fails to prove Supreme Court would rule against established caselaw

February 11, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the grant of an insurance adjuster’s motion to dismiss it from an injured man’s lawsuit alleging negligence in how it handled his case. The judges pointed out that the Indiana Court of Appeals has held that an insurance adjuster owes no legal duty to the insured and the plaintiff didn’t show that the Indiana Supreme Court would disagree with that decision.
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7th Circuit affirms carjacking enhancement stemming from bank robbery

February 5, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals quickly dismissed a defendant’s argument that his sentence for bank robbery should not include a two-level sentence enhancement for carjacking because the keys to the car were obtained by rummaging through the victim’s purse and not through force or intimidation.
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7th Circuit stresses holding Pavey hearing separate from summary judgment hearing

February 5, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment for the Indiana Department of Correction and its commissioner on a disabled inmate’s claims of violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act. The judges also suggested that courts do not hold a Pavey hearing at the same time as a hearing on a motion for summary judgment.
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7th Circuit rules man entitled to new hearing on crack-cocaine sentence

January 30, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the denial of a prisoner’s motion for a reduced sentence for distributing crack cocaine, finding that he is allowed to bring his petition for relief under 28 U.S.C. Section 2255.
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7th Circuit upholds new conviction, cannot address registration requirement

January 28, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Although a judge communicated that a man must register as a sex offender based on the Sex Offender and Registration Notification Act, because that decision was not incorporated into the judge’s final ruling, there is nothing for the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to review regarding his challenge to that part of his sentence.
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7th Circuit affirms dismissal of workplace discrimination suit

January 28, 2015
Dave Stafford
A Sudanese woman’s discrimination suit against a Jeffersonville shipyard where she had worked as a welder was properly dismissed, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
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Partial-termination dispute gets full treatment from court

January 28, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
After nearly 19 years and five appearances before the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, a dispute over retirement benefits has ended where it began and elicited an admission of mistaken interpretation from the court.
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