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Opinions May 8, 2013

May 8, 2013
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Terri Basden v. Professional Transportation Inc.
11-2880
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Evansville Division, Judge William T. Lawrence.
Civil. Affirms summary judgment for Professional Transportation on Basden’s claim she was terminated in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act or the Family and Medical Leave Act. Basden failed to present evidence sufficient to establish a prima facie right to the protection of the ADA or FMLA.

United States of America v. Tyrone Reynolds
12-1206
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division, Judge Rudy Lozano.
Criminal. Affirms a four-level leadership adjustment in the sentencing guidelines calculations for Reynold’s role in a kidnapping because sufficient evidence supports the adjustment. Holds the “ransom demand” provision requires, at a minimum, that the ransom demand be “made” to a third party. Reverses six-level increase for the ransom demand. Because nothing in the record suggests such a demand was made, the judges vacate Reynold’s life sentence and remands for resentencing.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Stacy Smith and Robert Smith, Individually and as Co-Personal Representatives of the Estate of Johnny Dupree Smith, Deceased v. Delta Tau Delta, Beta Psi Chapter of Delta Tau Delta, Wabash Col., et al
54A01-1204-CT-169
Civil tort. Holds that the trial court abused its discretion by admitting certain paragraphs of Delta Tau Delta’s executive vice president James Russell’s affidavit and by admitting two unsworn, unverified and uncertified statements. Finds that the trial court erred in granting Delta Tau Delta’s motion for summary judgment as there is a genuine issue of material fact that an agency relationship existed between the national fraternity and its local chapter, and the national fraternity assumed a duty to protect its freshmen pledges. Remands for further proceedings. Judge Baker concurs in parts and dissents in part.

Michael E. Lyons, Denita L. Lyons, individually and as Co-Personal Representatives of the Estate of Megan Renee Lyons, Deceased v. Richmond Community School Corp. d/b/a Richmond High School; Joe Spicer; et al.
89A04-1204-PL-159
Civil plenary. Holds summary judgment for the school was inappropriate on the Lyonses’ claims under the Indiana Tort Claims Act because when their cause of action accrued remains a question of fact, as does the issue of contributory negligence. Affirms there are no genuine issues of material fact on the couple’s claims of fraudulent concealment and on their Section 1983 claims. Affirms grant of motion to quash the Lyonses’ third-party discovery requests against RCSC’s insurer. Chief Judge Robb concurs in part and dissents in part.

Robert Graber, Jr. and Barbara Graber v. Allen County, Indiana Building Department (NFP)

02A05-1209-MI-485
Miscellaneous. Reverses grant of the building department’s motion to dismiss a verified complaint and remands for further proceedings.

In the Matter of the Term. of the Parent-Child Rel. of: E.M. & El.M. and E.M. v. The Indiana Dept. of Child Services (NFP)
45A03-1208-JT-370
Juvenile. Reverses termination of parental rights.

John A. Schmidt v. Karen Elaine Schmidt Denton (NFP)
34A02-1207-DR-579
Domestic relation. Reverses the trial court to the extent that it failed to make father’s child support modification retroactive to the filing of the petition and concluded that father would be responsible for 17 weeks of child support. Remands with instructions to credit a total of $2,814 against father’s college expense obligation. In all other respects, we affirm the trial court.

Robert Bowen v. State of Indiana (NFP)
08A04-1206-CR-305
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class D felony possession of a controlled substance and Class A misdemeanor possession of paraphernalia.

Michael Edward Groves v. State of Indiana (NFP)

82A01-1208-CR-386
Criminal. Affirms convictions of two counts of Class A felony dealing in methamphetamine and aggregate sentence of 20 years.

Ashley N. Lawrence v. State of Indiana (NFP)
92A04-1211-CR-597
Criminal. Reverses revocation of probation and sentence imposed. Remands for further proceedings.

The Indiana Supreme Court and Tax Court posted no opinions by 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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