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Opinions Dec. 20, 2012

December 20, 2012
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Joshua Beller, a minor, by his next friend and mother, Melissa Welch, et al. v. Health and Hospital Corp. of Marion County Ind., d/b/a Wishard Memorial Hospital d/b/a Wishard Ambulance Service
11-3691
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Tanya Walton Pratt.
Civil. Affirms summary judgment for the defendants on the plaintiffs lawsuit alleging violation of the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act by failing to stabilize Welch and her son during an emergency medical situation. Because the Wishard ambulance was operating under the EMS protocol at the time the plaintiffs were in it, the plaintiffs had not come to the Wishard emergency department under the EMTALA, and the plaintiffs’ claim cannot succeed.

United States of America v. James Elliott
11-2766
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division, Chief Judge Philip P. Simon.
Criminal. Finds the District Court committed no error in finding that Elliott’s burglaries occurred on different occasions for purposes of the ACCA. The burglaries occurred on different days and involved different residences and victims. Under any plausible construction of the statute’s different-occasions language, the burglaries constituted distinct criminal episodes. Reconsideration of the approach that this court adopted in Hudspeth would not lead to a different result on the facts of this case. To the extent that the statute produces results that are perceived as unjust, the problem is one for Congress to fix rather than this court.

Christopher Parish v. City of Elkhart, Indiana, et al.
11-1669
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division, Judge Rudy Lozano.
Civil. Because the District Court’s rulings improperly limited the introduction of evidence relating to Parish’s innocence, and that evidence was critical to the damages issue, the award of damages cannot stand. The excluded evidence did not impact the jury’s consideration of the liability issue and that issue is not before us on appeal, and therefore a new trial is required only as to the damages issue. See Cobige v. City of Chicago, IL, 651 F.3d 780, 785 (7th Cir. 2011).  Accordingly, the jury’s determination of liability is affirmed, the award of damages is vacated, and the case remanded for a new trial as to the issue of damages only. Circuit Rule 36 shall apply on remand. Costs on appeal are to be taxed against appellees.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Jeffrey Higgenbottom v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1203-CR-108
Criminal. Affirms conviction of burglary, finding Higgenbottom is a habitual offender, and his 14-year sentence.

M.C.-G. v. M.G. (NFP)
29A02-1110-DR-978
Domestic relation. Dismisses wife’s appeal of the child custody and property division orders for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Wife’s appeal of the modification order is timely, but the issues raised aren’t supported by a cogent argument. Denies husband’s request for appellate attorney fees.

Otto McGee v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1205-CR-376
Criminal. Affirms revocation of placement on home detention.

Michael B. Buckner v. State of Indiana (NFP)
36A05-1203-CR-166
Criminal. Affirms sentence for two counts of Class C felony incest.

In Re The Matter of the Adoption of A.S.P.: R.S.P. v. J.C.S. (NFP)

82A04-1205-AD-227
Adoption. Affirms denial of grandfather’s motion to intervene in a proceeding involving the adoption of his grandson.

Ronald Edward Madison v. State of Indiana (NFP)
71A04-1206-CR-332
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class D felony resisting law enforcement and Class C misdemeanor operator never licensed.

John Chupp v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1206-CR-328
Criminal. Affirms denial of motion to correct erroneous sentence.

Anthony Anderson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1205-CR-429
Criminal. Remands with instructions to rectify clerical errors in Anderson’s abstract of judgment and chronological case summary.

Kevin W. Black v. State of Indiana (NFP)
02A03-1205-CR-209
Criminal. Affirms sentence for Class D felony battery and Class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement.

The Marion County Sheriff's Department v. Gwendolyn Y. Davis, individually and as Administratrix of the Estate of Anthony J. Robinson, Jr. (NFP)
49A04-1201-CT-14
Civil tort. Affirms denial of summary judgment for the sheriff’s department regarding the estate’s claims, but reverses denial of summary judgment regarding Davis’ individual claims.

Term. of the Parent-Child Rel. of J.M., M.M., A.M., and S.M.: R.M. & H.M. v. The Indiana Dept. of Child Services (NFP)
04A03-1204-JT-184
Juvenile. Affirms involuntary termination of parental rights.

Netiko Jones v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1205-CR-222
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class A felony dealing in cocaine within 1,000 feet of a public park, Class B felony possession of cocaine, Class A felony possession of three or more grams of cocaine with intent to deliver and Class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement.

Joseph B. O'Brien v. State of Indiana (NFP)
08A02-1204-CR-330
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony operating a vehicle as a habitual traffic violator.
 

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  1. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  2. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  3. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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