7th Circuit Court of Appeals

7th Circuit declines to second guess co-defendant credibility in firearm sentence

September 3, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Contradictory testimony given in two plea agreements presented the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Evansville Division, with the “classic choice” of whom to believe.
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Truck owner-operator fee dispute stays in federal court

August 23, 2013
Dave Stafford
A lawsuit claiming that hundreds of tractor-trailer owner-operators may be owed damages of more than $5 million will remain in federal court, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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7th Circuit reinstates smelly washer class actions

August 23, 2013
Dave Stafford
Two class actions claiming Kenmore washing machines sold at Sears stores were defective were reinstated by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday after certification of the suits was vacated in June by the U.S. Supreme Court.
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7th Circuit affirms tax convictions of Fort Wayne entrepreneur

August 15, 2013
Dave Stafford
A man whose family spent millions while he pleaded poverty to gain need-based scholarships for his children and failed to report foreign bank accounts lost the federal appeal of his conviction on multiple tax charges Thursday.
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Nigerian immigrant's religious discrimination suit carries cautions for employers

August 14, 2013
Dave Stafford
Sikiru Adeyeye had a mission when his father died in Nigeria three years ago. Letters to his employer asking to take one week of paid vacation and several weeks off without pay expressed the urgency of his obligation.
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Ineffective counsel claim sufficient to overcome waiver in plea agreement

August 12, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Despite a man’s plea agreement in which he waived his right to challenge his conviction under 28 U.S.C. 2255, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled he can seek to have his conviction overturned because the 2255 waiver does not bar his claim that his trial counsel was ineffective.
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In tossing discrimination case, 7th Circuit confronts state immunity claims

August 9, 2013
Dave Stafford
An Indiana Department of Health lab worker’s claim that he was fired because of his age, race or gender was rightly rejected by the District Court, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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Burglary, criminal mischief sentences double jeopardy, split COA rules

August 9, 2013
Dave Stafford
A man ordered to serve 18 years in prison will be resentenced after an Indiana Court of Appeals panel ruled Friday that his convictions of Class C felony burglary and Class A misdemeanor criminal mischief constituted double jeopardy.
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Recusal question occupies 7th Circuit in District Court’s dismissal of habeas petition

August 2, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Although a prisoner filed his habeas petition late, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the District Court should not have dismissed it on procedural grounds.
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Contract termination ends health care provider’s eligibility for federal funds

August 2, 2013
Finding that the status of the grant holder had changed, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Citizens Health Corp. is no longer eligible for Section 330 federal monies.
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7th Circuit revives workplace religious discrimination suit

July 31, 2013
Dave Stafford
A Nigerian employee who asked his employer for time off work to attend his father’s burial rights and was fired when he returned is entitled to a day in court, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals held Wednesday.
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7th Circuit affirms residential search based on ‘nonverbal cues’

July 31, 2013
Dave Stafford
A warrantless search was not a violation of the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution because the defendant consented through nonverbal cues, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.
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Indiana ‘miscarriage of justice’ splits 7th Circuit judges 5-4

July 31, 2013
Dave Stafford
A majority of nine 7th Circuit Court of Appeals judges narrowly denied rehearing en banc for an Indiana man whose sentence was erroneously calculated. A dissenting judge called the case a “miscarriage of justice.”
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7th Circuit: Machine gun possession not violent crime

July 31, 2013
Dave Stafford
A man’s conviction on federal firearm charges was vacated Tuesday when the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that possession of machine guns was not violent crime, citing a case earlier this year that applied the same rationale to possession of sawed-off shotguns.
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7th Circuit: New indemnity provision does not release employer from liability

July 30, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
An employer will have to pay $4.23 million after the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals was unconvinced by the employer’s argument that language in a later contract superseded that of an earlier contract.
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7th Circuit seeks comment on pattern jury instructions

July 29, 2013
IL Staff
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Committee on Federal Jury Instructions is seeking comments on an ongoing basis on existing pattern jury instructions as well as suggestions for new pattern instructions.
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7th Circuit addresses 'khat' convictions for first time

July 25, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled on many types of drug cases, but was presented with a new drug to consider for the first time: “khat,” a popular drug among the Somali community.
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7th Circuit: Attorney’s deficient performance prejudiced defendant

July 24, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Finding that an appellate attorney opted for a “hopeless sufficiency challenge” instead of the obvious claim challenging the validity of an amended information that elevated a charge to murder, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the denial by the federal court of the man’s petition for writ of habeas corpus.
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7th Circuit won’t make Indiana rip up section of I-69

July 16, 2013
Dave Stafford
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday rejected environmental activists’ arguments that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers failed to adequately address impact on wetlands when it issued permits for a recently completed section of Interstate 69 in southern Indiana.
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7th Circuit won’t excuse IMPD officer from wrongful arrest, excessive force suit

July 12, 2013
Dave Stafford
A man’s federal lawsuit against two Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officers and the city will go forward after a federal judge rejected one officer’s interlocutory appeal.
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7th Circuit affirms drug convictions, sentence

July 11, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld an Indiana man’s convictions and 360-month sentence for drug-related offenses, rejecting his claims that his right to a speedy trial was violated and the starting time of his offenses was incorrectly determined by the District Court.
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7th Circuit reverses sanctions against Plews Shadley, other firms in False Claims Act case

July 9, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
After finding that a federal court in Indianapolis erred in dismissing a former ITT Educational Services Inc. employee’s False Claims Act lawsuit, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the nearly $350,000 in sanctions imposed against three law firms representing the woman.
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Police officer’s suit alleging retaliation for political comment survives

July 9, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed summary judgment in favor of two Portage police officers and the city on a detective’s claim that he was transferred in retaliation for comments he made to a local newspaper following the mayoral primary election in 2007.
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7th Circuit rejects ‘kitchen sink approach’ in widow’s insurance appeal

July 8, 2013
Dave Stafford
A woman whose husband died of cancer as their purchase of several Terre Haute-based car dealerships was failing is not entitled to proceeds of his life insurance policy – a policy that had been assigned as an asset in the sale of the lots – the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Monday.
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7th Circuit dismisses campground owner’s appeal after raising new arguments

July 3, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A Cedar Grove campground owner’s appeal regarding the judgment that the campground is subject to the Safe Drinking Water Act raised an “interesting question,” the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals noted, but the judges dismissed the appeal because the owner raised arguments for the first time on appeal.
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  2. Mr. Levin says that the BMV engaged in misconduct--that the BMV (or, rather, someone in the BMV) knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged fees but did nothing to correct the situation. Such misconduct, whether engaged in by one individual or by a group, is called theft (defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the other person of the property's value or use). Theft is a crime in Indiana (as it still is in most of the civilized world). One wonders, then, why there have been no criminal prosecutions of BMV officials for this theft? Government misconduct doesn't occur in a vacuum. An individual who works for or oversees a government agency is responsible for the misconduct. In this instance, somebody (or somebodies) with the BMV, at some time, knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged. What's more, this person (or these people), even after having the error of their ways pointed out to them, did nothing to fix the problem. Instead, the overcharges continued. Thus, the taxpayers of Indiana are also on the hook for the millions of dollars in attorneys fees (for both sides; the BMV didn't see fit to avail itself of the services of a lawyer employed by the state government) that had to be spent in order to finally convince the BMV that stealing money from Indiana motorists was a bad thing. Given that the BMV official(s) responsible for this crime continued their misconduct, covered it up, and never did anything until the agency reached an agreeable settlement, it seems the statute of limitations for prosecuting these folks has not yet run. I hope our Attorney General is paying attention to this fiasco and is seriously considering prosecution. Indiana, the state that works . . . for thieves.

  3. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.

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