Opinions Dec. 5, 2012

December 5, 2012
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Gregory Wolfe
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division, Judge Rudy Lozano.
Criminal. Affirms convictions of bank theft and interstate transportation of stolen goods for Wolfe’s role in a copper theft scheme and his 88-month sentence, followed by concurrent three-year terms of supervised release, and order of more than $3 million in restitution. Wolfe argued that he was deprived of a fair trial because of statements the prosecutor made during closing argument. He also challenged the sentence and restitution order. Wolfe’s contentions lack merit.

Indiana Court of Appeals
In Re the Name Change of John William Resnover and In Re the Name Change of John Arthur Herron
Miscellaneous. Reverses denial of Resnover’s and Herron’s petitions to change their names. The trial court erred when it required a valid driver’s license or valid state ID card as a prerequisite to grant the petition for name change pursuant to I.C. 34-28-2. Remands for further proceedings. Judge Crone dissents in part.

Trenton Teague v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms convictions and sentences for Class A felony burglary and Class C felony battery. The trial court did not abuse its discretion by admitting a 911 call and Teague’s aggregate, executed sentence of 40 years is appropriate. Judge Barnes concurs in result.

Bret Lee Sisson v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class B felony burglary, Class B felony unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon, receiving stolen property as a Class D felony and adjudication as a habitual offender. There was no fundamental error when the state refiled the previously dismissed SVF charge and habitual offender allegation after Sisson’s first trial ended in a mistrial due to jury deadlock, and the trial court did not err in denying his motion for change of judge for sentencing purposes only. Affirms in all other respects.

Adoption of K.S., A Minor Child: A.S. and D.S. v. C.Z.
Adoption. Reverses denial of verified petition for adoption of K.S. and remands for further proceedings. The trial court erred in concluding that the natural mother’s consent to the adoption of her minor child by stepmother was required.  

Mitchell Burton v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Reverses conviction of Class D felony resisting law enforcement and remands for the trial court to vacate. The trial court abused its discretion in refusing to give Burton’s tendered self-defense and resistance of unlawful force instructions.

Tarique Henderson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class A felony attempted murder and Class B felony unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon.
Agustin Martinez v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms convictions of two counts of Class C felony child molesting.

Kamari Hogue, A Minor, By and Through His Parent And Next Friend, Trent Hogue v. Robert Critz, Jr. (NFP)
Civil tort. Affirms jury verdict in Critz’s favor on Houge’s suit for negligence.

Robert D. Rogers, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of failure to register as offender, elevated to a Class C felony as a result of a previous conviction for failure to register.

Mahamat Outman v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms application of the credit restricted felon statute to Outman’s conviction for Class A felony child molesting as alleged in Count III was not an ex post facto violation.

Kelvin Whitby v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms sentence for Class D felony domestic battery.

First Chicago Insurance Company v. Philip Hempel, Farm Bureau Insurance Company of Michigan, and American Transportation on Time, Inc. (NFP)
Civil plenary. Affirms dismissal of First Chicago’s complaint for declaratory judgment. The trial court did not err in dismissing the declaratory judgment action on principles of comity.

Susan Edwards v. Deutsche Bank National, Trust Company (NFP)
Mortgage foreclosure. Affirms summary judgment in favor of the bank in the bank’s in rem action against real property owned by Edwards.

Term. of the Parent-Child Rel. of: A.T., Minor Child, M.T., Father v. Indiana Dept. of Child Services (NFP)
Juvenile. Affirms involuntary termination of father’s parental rights.

Herman Gehl, II v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to two counts of Class D felony invasion of privacy.


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