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Opinions Feb. 22, 2013

February 22, 2013
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Northeastern Rural Electric Membership Corp. v. Wabash Valley Power Association

12-2037
Vacates preliminary injunction granted by the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of Indiana, and remands the case to the district court so it may remand it to state court. Found the federal court does not have jurisdiction because the key questions of whether the contract was valid and whether the contract was breached are not questions of federal law.

Indiana Supreme Court
K.W. v. State of Indiana
49S02-1301-JV-20
Juvenile. Affirms Court of Appeals reversal of trial court ruling designating K.W. a delinquent for resisting law enforcement, and orders the delinquency adjudication vacated. Justices held that evidence was insufficient that K.W. acted “forcibly” to resist a school resource officer when he pulled away as the officer was attempting to handcuff him.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Clematine Hollingsworth v. State of Indiana
49A02-1207-CR-617
Criminal. Affirms conviction for Class B misdemeanor public intoxication, holding that an amendment to the statute could not be retroactively applied.

Nathan Carl Gilbert v. State of Indiana
10A05-1204-CR-220
Criminal. Affirmed in part, reversed in part and remands for resentencing of a Kentucky inmate on four counts of burglary, holding he was denied due process at his sentencing hearing when he wasn’t allowed sufficient time to prepare or properly examine his pre-sentence investigation report. The court held that the “anti-shuffling” provision of the Interstate Agreement on Detainers was not violated when Gilbert was returned to Kentucky before his sentencing hearing could be held in Indiana because the proceeding did not constitute a trial as defined under that provision.

Joshua King v. State of Indiana

49A02-1204-CR-351
Criminal. Affirms King’s convictions for Class C felony battery, Class A misdemeanor battery, and Class D felony strangulation and remands for correction of the Abstract of Judgment which incorrectly lists King’s second battery conviction as a Class C felony. Ruled the court did not violate King’s rights under the Confrontation Clause when it admitted testimony given by a police officer based on statements from the victim. Also found the trial court did not abuse its discretion when it admitted recordings of calls of King discussing the crime from jail.

John Kennendy v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1206-CR-450
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony theft.

Shawn W. Nicosin v. William J. Mesaeh and Loretta D. Mesaeh (NFP)

11A01-1207-MI-308
Miscellaneous/grandparent visitation. Reverses and remands the trial court’s grant of visitation of G.N. with her maternal grandparents, holding that the court erred by deviating from the requirements established in In re Guardianship of A.L.C., 902 N.E.2d 343, 356 (Ind. Ct. App. 2009).

Kelvin Hampton v. State of Indiana (NFP)
84A04-1209-CR-483
Criminal. Reverses and remands a denial of request for return of $146 in $1 bills and a photograph seized during a search of his residence, holding there was no indication the state instigated civil forfeiture proceedings.

Kevin Smith v. State of Indiana (NFP)
45A04-1205-PC-264
Post conviction. Affirms denial of post-conviction relief on convictions of Class A felony rape and criminal deviate conduct, Class B felony criminal confinement and Class C felony sexual battery.

Pablo C. Gallo v. Sandra Moira Hyland (NFP)
79A02-1207-DR-624
Domestic relations. Reverses and remands the trial court’s distribution of marital property order with instructions that the court follow the statutory presumption of equal distribution of property or set forth its rationale for deviating from it.

The Indiana Tax Court issued no opinions prior to IL deadline.
 

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  1. Whether you support "gay marriage" or not is not the issue. The issue is whether the SCOTUS can extract from an unmentionable somewhere the notion that the Constitution forbids government "interference" in the "right" to marry. Just imagine time-traveling to Philadelphia in 1787. Ask James Madison if the document he and his fellows just wrote allowed him- or forbade government to "interfere" with- his "right" to marry George Washington? He would have immediately- and justly- summoned the Sergeant-at-Arms to throw your sorry self out into the street. Far from being a day of liberation, this is a day of capitulation by the Rule of Law to the Rule of What's Happening Now.

  2. With today's ruling, AG Zoeller's arguments in the cases of Obamacare and Same-sex Marriage can be relegated to the ash heap of history. 0-fer

  3. She must be a great lawyer

  4. Ind. Courts - "Illinois ranks 49th for how court system serves disadvantaged" What about Indiana? A story today from Dave Collins of the AP, here published in the Benton Illinois Evening News, begins: Illinois' court system had the third-worst score in the nation among state judiciaries in serving poor, disabled and other disadvantaged members of the public, according to new rankings. Illinois' "Justice Index" score of 34.5 out of 100, determined by the nonprofit National Center for Access to Justice, is based on how states serve people with disabilities and limited English proficiency, how much free legal help is available and how states help increasing numbers of people representing themselves in court, among other issues. Connecticut led all states with a score of 73.4 and was followed by Hawaii, Minnesota, New York and Delaware, respectively. Local courts in Washington, D.C., had the highest overall score at 80.9. At the bottom was Oklahoma at 23.7, followed by Kentucky, Illinois, South Dakota and Indiana. ILB: That puts Indiana at 46th worse. More from the story: Connecticut, Hawaii, Minnesota, Colorado, Tennessee and Maine had perfect 100 scores in serving people with disabilities, while Indiana, Georgia, Wyoming, Missouri and Idaho had the lowest scores. Those rankings were based on issues such as whether interpretation services are offered free to the deaf and hearing-impaired and whether there are laws or rules allowing service animals in courthouses. The index also reviewed how many civil legal aid lawyers were available to provide free legal help. Washington, D.C., had nearly nine civil legal aid lawyers per 10,000 people in poverty, the highest rate in the country. Texas had the lowest rate, 0.43 legal aid lawyers per 10,000 people in poverty. http://indianalawblog.com/archives/2014/11/ind_courts_illi_1.html

  5. A very thorough opinion by the federal court. The Rooker-Feldman analysis, in particular, helps clear up muddy water as to the entanglement issue. Looks like the Seventh Circuit is willing to let its district courts cruise much closer to the Indiana Supreme Court's shorelines than most thought likely, at least when the ADA on the docket. Some could argue that this case and Praekel, taken together, paint a rather unflattering picture of how the lower courts are being advised as to their duties under the ADA. A read of the DOJ amicus in Praekel seems to demonstrate a less-than-congenial view toward the higher echelons in the bureaucracy.

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