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Opinions Nov. 20, 2012

November 20, 2012
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Lincoln Plowman
11-3781
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Larry J. McKinney.
Criminal. Affirms Plowman’s convictions of federal funds bribery and attempted extortion under color of official right. The District Court did not err when it precluded him from arguing entrapment to the jury.

Shane A. Holloway v. Delaware County Sheriff, in his official capacity, et al.
http://media.ibj.com/Lawyer/websites/opinions/index.php?pdf=2012/november/ND0NZ09G.pdf
12-2592
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Jane E. Magnus-Stinson.
Civil. Affirms summary judgment for the defendants on Holloway’s lawsuit alleging the sheriff violated his rights by detaining him without charges for nine days and that the jail physician and two of his attending nurses violated his constitutional rights by acting with deliberate indifference as to his serious medical condition. Based on the evidence, no reasonable jury could have concluded the doctor acted with deliberate indifference, the nurses could not prescribe medicine on their own, and Holloway can’t demonstrate that the sheriff’s actions violated due process or that the sheriff acted pursuant to an unconstitutional policy or custom.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Dennis Vermillion v. State of Indiana
13A01-1201-CR-17
Criminal. Affirmed in part, reversed in part and remanded for resentencing. The COA ruled Vermillion’s convictions do not violate double jeopardy and while the admission of prior-misconduct evidence was an error, it did not constitute a fundamental error. Also, the court concluded the trial court acted within its discretion in ordering Vermillion to serve consecutive sentences. However, it did find Vermillion’s total sentence exceeds the cap permitted by the Indiana Code section 35-50-1-2(c).

Cynthia L. Seleme v. JP Morgan Chase Bank, National Association, as successor by merger to Chase Home Finance
02A03-1205-MF-234
Mortgage foreclosure. Affirms trial court denial of relief from judgment on a residential mortgage, finding that the plaintiff did not demonstrate a meritorious defense as required under Trial Rule 60(B)(1), (3), or (7).

Richard Troy Dunno v. Ronalee Rasmussen
02A03-1207-PO-310
Protective order. Reverses trial court’s judgment ordering Dunno to pay Rasmussen’s attorney fees when she contested a protective order that Dunno had been granted against her on the allegation that she hit him with a vodka bottle, resulting in 18 stitches. The COA held that the trial court abused its discretion in awarding attorney fees to Rasmussen when she presented evidence at a hearing Dunno didn’t attend saying that she wasn’t the aggressor. The court held that awarding of fees was an abuse of discretion because the trial court cited no statutory authority under which the award could be made.

In the Matter of the Commitment of L.W. v. Wishard Health Services, Midtown Community Mental Health Center (NFP)
49A05-1202-MH-70
Mental Health. Affirms trial court’s order to involuntarily commit L.W. to Midtown Community Mental Health Center.

A.M. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
67A01-1205-JV-211
Juvenile Delinquency. Reverses trial court’s order adjudicating A.M. as a delinquent child.

Daniel R. Fuquay, Sr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
82A01-1110-PC-519
Post-Conviction Relief Petition. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Paulette Petkovich, et al. v. Prime Contractors Co., Inc. (NFP)
64A03-1203-MF-102
Mortgage Foreclosure. Affirms in part, reserves in part, and remands. The COA affirms the award of attorney’s fees to Prime Contractors; but reverses and remands the trial court’s judgment in setting the priority of the various liens on the home.

Jose Gonzalez v. State of Indiana (NFP)
48A02-1203-CR-182
Criminal. Affirms the trial court’s decision to sentence Gonzalez to 40 years.

Damian Ray Ramirez v. State of Indiana (NFP)
71A04-1205-CR-274
Criminal. Affirms conviction for battery with a deadly weapon, a Class C felony.

In the Matter of the Term. of the Parent-Child Rel. of B.T., C.K. and D.K.; D.K. v. Indiana Dept. of Child Services (NFP)
49A05-1202-JT-89
Juvenile Termination of Parental Rights. Affirms mother’s involuntary termination of her parental rights to her minor children, B.T., C.K. and D.K.

Gerald E. Smith v. Ronda K. (Smith) Busch (NFP)
67A01-1205-DR-241
Domestic Relation. Reverses the granting of the motion to correct error and remands this matter to the trial court with instructions to reinstate its order granting the Trial Rule 41(E) dismissal.

Carmel Lofts LLC and Keystone Construction Corp. v. Elbrecht Investments, LLC (NFP)
29A05-1205-PL-266
Civil Plenary. Affirms trial court’s granting of summary judgment for Elbrecht on its mechanic’s lien claim against Carmel Lofts for the full amount of its retainage.

Edward Graveline v. Melina (Graveline) Peyovich (NFP)
45A04-1201-DR-28
Domestic Relation. Affirms trial court’s denial of Graveline’s motion for relief from judgment and declines to award appellate attorney fees in this matter.

In the Matter of the Term. of the Parent-Child Rel. of J.R. and L.R.; and J.E. v. Indiana Dept. of Child Services (NFP)
09A05-1203-JT-152
Juvenile Termination of Parental Rights. Affirms the involuntary termination of father’s rights to his children, J.R. and L.R.

Dequincy Lopez v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A04-1204-PC-184
Post-Conviction Relief Petition. Affirms denial of Lopez’s request for post-conviction relief.

Ivan Calderon v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A04-1202-CR-88
Criminal. Affirms conviction of disarming a law enforcement officer as a Class C felony, pointing a firearm as a Class D felony, resisting law enforcement as a Class D felony, possession of marijuana as a Class A misdemeanor, and carrying a handgun without a license as a Class A misdemeanor. Finds trial court did not commit a fundamental error when it admitted the evidence seized from Calderon.  

John R. Northern v. State of Indiana (NFP)
56A03-1202-CR-62
Criminal. Affirms conviction of dealing in methamphetamine as a Class A felony and conspiracy to deal in methamphetamine as a Class A felony.

Dannie Engram v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1204-PC-309
Post-Conviction Relief Petition. Affirms denial of Engram’s petition for post-conviction relief.

Washaun Jones v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1204-CR-342
Criminal. Reverse and remands with instructions to vacate trial court’s order regarding the denial of Jones’s credit time for bad behavior and to correct the abstract of judgment so it reflects that Jones was convicted of dealing in cocaine as a Class B felony.

Todd Baker and Susan Baker v. Marathon Pipe Line, LLC (NFP)
87A01-1204-PL-156
Civil Plenary. Affirms denial of Bakers’ motion to correct error on the issue of whether their amended counterclaim for malicious prosecution was properly dismissed and of their motion to file a second amended counterclaim on the malicious prosecution and attorney fees issues.  
 

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  1. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  2. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

  3. Diversity is important, but with some limitations. For instance, diversity of experience is a great thing that can be very helpful in certain jobs or roles. Diversity of skin color is never important, ever, under any circumstance. To think that skin color changes one single thing about a person is patently racist and offensive. Likewise, diversity of values is useless. Some values are better than others. In the case of a supreme court justice, I actually think diversity is unimportant. The justices are not to impose their own beliefs on rulings, but need to apply the law to the facts in an objective manner.

  4. Have been seeing this wonderful physician for a few years and was one of his patients who told him about what we were being told at CVS. Multiple ones. This was a witch hunt and they shold be ashamed of how patients were treated. Most of all, CVS should be ashamed for what they put this physician through. So thankful he fought back. His office is no "pill mill'. He does drug testing multiple times a year and sees patients a minimum of four times a year.

  5. Brian W, I fear I have not been sufficiently entertaining to bring you back. Here is a real laugh track that just might do it. When one is grabbed by the scruff of his worldview and made to choose between his Confession and his profession ... it is a not a hard choice, given the Confession affects eternity. But then comes the hardship in this world. Imagine how often I hear taunts like yours ... "what, you could not even pass character and fitness after they let you sit and pass their bar exam ... dude, there must really be something wrong with you!" Even one of the Bishop's foremost courtiers said that, when explaining why the RCC refused to stand with me. You want entertaining? How about watching your personal economy crash while you have a wife and five kids to clothe and feed. And you can't because you cannot work, because those demanding you cast off your Confession to be allowed into "their" profession have all the control. And you know that they are wrong, dead wrong, and that even the professional code itself allows your Faithful stand, to wit: "A lawyer may refuse to comply with an obligation imposed by law upon a good faith belief that no valid obligation exists. The provisions of Rule 1.2(d) concerning a good faith challenge to the validity, scope, meaning or application of the law apply to challenges of legal regulation of the practice of law." YET YOU ARE A NONPERSON before the BLE, and will not be heard on your rights or their duties to the law -- you are under tyranny, not law. And so they win in this world, you lose, and you lose even your belief in the rule of law, and demoralization joins poverty, and very troubling thoughts impeaching self worth rush in to fill the void where your career once lived. Thoughts you did not think possible. You find yourself a failure ... in your profession, in your support of your family, in the mirror. And there is little to keep hope alive, because tyranny rules so firmly and none, not the church, not the NGO's, none truly give a damn. Not even a new court, who pay such lip service to justice and ancient role models. You want entertainment? Well if you are on the side of the courtiers running the system that has crushed me, as I suspect you are, then Orwell must be a real riot: "There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always — do not forget this, Winston — always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever." I never thought they would win, I always thought that at the end of the day the rule of law would prevail. Yes, the rule of man's law. Instead power prevailed, so many rules broken by the system to break me. It took years, but, finally, the end that Dr Bowman predicted is upon me, the end that she advised the BLE to take to break me. Ironically, that is the one thing in her far left of center report that the BLE (after stamping, in red ink, on Jan 22) is uninterested in, as that the BLE and ADA office that used the federal statute as a sword now refuses to even dialogue on her dire prediction as to my fate. "C'est la vie" Entertaining enough for you, status quo defender?

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