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Opinions Dec. 31, 2013

December 31, 2013
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The following 7th Circuit Court of Appeals opinion was posted after IL deadline Monday:
Zachary Medlock v. Trustees of Indiana University, et al.
13-1900
Civil. Affirms summary judgment in favor of IU and other defendants, holding that a student inspection of a dorm room that found marijuana followed by a police search warrant in which the pot was seized was not a violation of the Fourth Amendment. Likewise, the process through which Medlock was suspended was not a denial of due process.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Dayron Bell v. State of Indiana
82A01-1306-CR-271
Criminal. Dismisses appeal of a conviction of contempt of court as moot, declining Dayron Bell’s appeal on the basis of a public interest exception for matters of great public importance. Bell’s appeal was moot because his sentence had been served and no relief was available, and nothing in his appeal fell within the limited public-interest exception.

Paul Gillock and Kathy Gillock v. City of New Castle, Indiana
33A01-1308-CT-338
Civil tort. Affirms award of attorney fees to the city after the Gillocks’ lawsuit was dismissed with prejudice. The Gillocks’ complete failure to take any action for almost a year in furtherance of their lawsuit, including their failures to respond to discovery requests and obey the trial court’s order without any reasonable explanation, supports the trial court’s implicit legal conclusion that their claim was unreasonable and groundless. Denies the city’s request for appellate attorney fees and costs.  

Freddie L. McKnight, III v. State of Indiana
20A03-1109-CR-454
Criminal. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief. McKnight claimed the post-conviction court erred when it concluded he wasn’t denied effective trial or appellate counsel assistance and that he was denied a procedurally fair post-conviction hearing.

Brad Haskin v. City of Madison, Indiana
39A05-1308-CT-422
Civil tort. Affirms summary judgment for the city of Madison on Haskin’s complaint for damages, alleging the city was negligent in designing, constructing and maintaining a sewer drain on which Haskin stepped and injured himself, among other claims. With respect to Haskin’s claim that the city was negligent in the design, construction or maintenance of the curb or sewer drain, the designated evidence demonstrates that Madison is immune from liability. With respect to Haskin’s other negligence claims, the designated evidence demonstrates that the city did not owe a duty to Haskin as it did not possess or control the condition of Jefferson Street at the time of his injury nor did it manage the pedestrian traffic or other aspects of the regatta.

Winston K. Wood v. State of Indiana
53A05-1208-CR-423
Criminal. Denial of Wood’s motion for discharge pursuant to Indiana Criminal Rule 4(C) was not error. There was sufficient evidence Wood violated Indiana Code 14-15-4-1, but Wood’s three convictions, arising as they did from one incident of leaving the scene, subjected him to double jeopardy. Accordingly vacates two of his convictions, one of the Class C felonies and the Class D felony, and remands to the trial court with instructions to refund the fines imposed for the vacated convictions. Judge Kirsch dissents.

Shawn L. Keesling v. State of Indiana (NFP)
34A02-1305-CR-540
Criminal. Affirms convictions of three counts of Class B felony robbery after pleading guilty but mentally ill. Remands for correction of sentencing order.

Marigold Overshiner and Earl Overshiner, Individually and as Parents and Guardians of their Minor Daughter, Kaitlyn Overshiner et al v. Anonymous Health Care Corp. et. al. (NFP)
67A01-1303-CT-110
Civil tort. Reverses dismissal with prejudice of the Overshiners’ medical malpractice action as they complied with the trial court order that they obtain new counsel within 90 days.

James Galloway v. State of Indiana (NFP)
82A05-1305-CR-260
Criminal. Affirms sentence for home improvement fraud: five counts as Class C felonies and three counts as Class D felonies, and being a habitual offender. Remands for the trial court to amend the abstract of judgment to show the habitual offender finding as an enhancement to Count I in Cause No. 1017.

Sophia Tompkins v. Kindred Nursing Centers, LLP, d/b/a Southwood Health and Rehabilitation Center (NFP)
84A05-1307-CT-348
Civil tort. Affirms summary judgment for Southwood on Tompkins’ complaint for damages after falling and injuring herself while getting out of bed.

James Kucholick v. State of Indiana (NFP)
34A05-1305-CR-255
Criminal. Affirms revocation of probation and order Kucholick serve his suspended sentences.

David R. McClure v. State of Indiana (NFP)
34A02-1306-CR-491
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B misdemeanor criminal mischief.

Jerry Johnson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
33A01-1306-CR-266
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C felony battery resulting in serious bodily injury.

James R. Belcher, Sr. v. Sandra G. Belcher (NFP)
32A01-1305-DR-225
Domestic relation. Affirms trial court order removing a motorcycle from the marital estate and adjusting the disposition of other assets to bring the division of the marital assets back to a 50/50 division.

Willie Norman v. State of Indiana (NFP)
20A04-1305-PC-270
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Tyler Burton v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1306-CR-269
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony battery resulting in bodily injury on a child.

Micha Seymour v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1305-CR-218
Criminal. Affirms adjudication as a habitual offender.

Herman & Kittle Properties, Inc. v. G & G Construction Company of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1304-PL-169
Civil plenary. Affirms denial of Herman & Kittle’s motion to dismiss a breach-of-contract claim against it.

Walter Rowley v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1305-CR-402
Criminal. Affirms imposition of $200 drug interdiction fee following Rowley’s guilty plea to Class D felony possession of a controlled substance and Class A misdemeanor driving while suspended.

Richard Wilson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1304-CR-373
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor battery with bodily injury.

Edward L. Humes v. State of Indiana (NFP)

39A01-1305-CR-211
Criminal. Affirms sentence, which included an enhancement for being a habitual substance offender, imposed for Class D felony possession of cocaine and Class A misdemeanors possession of a synthetic cannabinoid and resisting law enforcement.

James Pigg v. State of Indiana (NFP)
34A02-1210-CR-838
Criminal. Affirms denial of motion to correct error, wherein Pigg moved for a change of judge following convictions of one count each of Class C and Class D felony battery.

Lightning Rod Mutual Insurance Company v. Todd A. Messner, an Incapacitated Adult, by his Permanent Co-Guardians and Next Friends, James A. Messner and Judith M. Messner (NFP)

20A03-1305-CT-188
Civil tort. Affirms trial court finding that the Messners’ policy with Lighting Rod Mutual Insurance Co. is ambiguous.

Jacob Stidham v. State of Indiana (NFP)
79A02-1211-CR-939
Criminal. Affirms trial court decision allowing the state to charge Stidham with Class B felony rape two days before his trial was to begin on other charges. Affirms convictions of rape and Class C felony confinement.

Richard Kozecar v. State of Indiana (NFP)
75A04-1306-CR-263
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony receiving stolen property.

In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of: K.W., Minor Child, C.C., Mother v. Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)
49A02-1305-JT-468
Juvenile. Affirms involuntary termination of parental rights.

In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of: J.A. (Minor Child), and M.R. (Mother) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)
53A01-1307-JT-306
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.

Anthony Eugene Fields v. State of Indiana (NFP)
50A05-1304-CR-186
Criminal. Affirms convictions and sentence for Class B felony dealing in methamphetamine, Class D felony possession of meth, Class D felony possession of precursors with intent to manufacture, Class D felony maintaining a common nuisance and Class A misdemeanor possession of paraphernalia.

Carolyn Bostick v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1305-CR-226
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony theft.

Megan Pierce v. State of Indiana (NFP)
64A03-1304-CR-151
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to Class B felony burglary.

Tonya Williams v. State of Indiana (NFP)
79A04-1303-CR-151
Criminal. Affirms sentence for Class C felony operating a vehicle while driving privileges were forfeited for life.

Tyson A. Hudson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
02A03-1305-CR-178
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class C felony battery on a pregnant woman and Class A misdemeanor domestic battery.

Billye D. Gaulden v. State of Indiana (NFP)
02A04-1212-CR-651
Criminal. Re-affirms conviction and sentence for Class B felony robbery.

Marteques L. Black v. State of Indiana (NFP)
02A04-1306-CR-276
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B felony burglary.

Harold Evans, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
17A04-1307-CR-338
Criminal. Affirms sentence imposed following guilty plea to Class C felony possession of methamphetamine.

Paul L. Mishler, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
20A03-1209-PC-405
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Indiana Tax Court
Vern R. Grabbe v. Carroll County Assessor, Neda K. Duff
49T10-1206-TA-35
Tax. Finds the Indiana Board of Tax Review did not err in applying Grabbe’s 2009 agricultural property assessment to the 2010 tax year. The board’s determination that Grabbe’s 2010 assessment must be reduced to its 2009 assessed value is not contrary to law.

Vern R. Grabbe v. Carroll County Assessor, Neda K. Duff

49T10-1108-TA-51
Tax. Affirms 2009 assessment of Grabbe’s agricultural property. The board’s determination upholding the 2009 assessment is supported by substantial and reliable evidence and is not contrary to law.  

The Indiana Supreme Court posted no opinions by IL deadline. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals posted no Indiana decisions by IL deadline.
 

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  1. Am I the only one who sees that the City is essentially giving away the MSA site AND giving millions to build new buildings on the site when this site would be the perfect place for the Justice Complex? Across from City-County, check; keeping it centrally located, check, etc. It's my understanding that the GM site must be purchased by the City from Motors Liquidation Company. STOP WASTING WHAT WE ALREADY HAVE AND OUR TAX DOLLARS! The Ballard Administration has not been known for it's common sense...never voted for him and never will!

  2. This guy sounds like the classic molester/manipulator.

  3. Louis D. Brandeis was born in 1856. At 9 years of age it would have been 1865. The Brandeis family did not own slaves. My source Louis D. Brandeis: A Life, by Melvin L. Urofsky.

  4. My name is Matthew Lucas Major, I recently went through a jury trial in Bloomington , In. It was the week of Feb 19-21. Although I have been incarcerated since August 5, 2014. The reason I 'am writing to you sir is on the 21 of February the jury came in with a very excessive and wrongful verdict of guilty on 6 child molesting charges against my daughter who was 9 at the time I was accused. I also had 2 other Felonies one of Intimidation and 1 of Sexual Vicarious Gratification. Judge Marc Kellam on the second day of trial gave me a not guilty on those 2 felonies. The jury was sent out during that time and when brought back Judge Kellam told them to not concern themselves with the 2 Felonies that he ruled on them. They were told to not let evidence they had already heard influence there verdicts. I never in my life touched any child sexually and definitely not with my own daughter. When I was arrested Detective Shawn Karr told me I would be convicted guilty just on my daughters word even without evidence. That's just what happened. my public defender did me so wrong he never once proved to the court and jury all the lies the child told, and Jeremy Noel my public defender could of proven the lies easily. The stories in Serenity's depositions and Forensic interview changed and were not consistent as Prosecutor Darcie Fawcett claimed they were. Yet my attorney never mentioned that. The facts that the child accused me of full penetration in her vagina and rectum was proven lies. Doctor Roberta Hibbard of Riley hospital in Indianapolis confirmed Serenity's hymen intact, no scars, no tearing, no signs of rape to her. Yet my attorney didn't use that knowledge . the DNA was all in my favor. I tell you I will spend my entire life in prison going through rape and beatings etc. even Judge Kellam abused his authority by telling the jurors to listen and believe what the prosecutors side in evidence like my daughters testimony. In one interview with the detectives my daughter got flustered with her mom and said on camera " I'm saying what you told me to mom"!! Yet Mr. Noel said nor did anything to even resemble a defense attorney. Judge Kellam allowed edited version of a taped conversation between the child and her mother. Also Judge Kellam allowed the Prosecutor too bring in to my case a knife found under my seat, the knife wasn't part of my case. She was allowed by my attorney and the judge to put a huge picture of it on the screen and huge picture of my naked privates in a full courtroom and open court. Ms. Fawcett says to jury see how easy Mr. Major could reach the knife and cut his Childs throat. Even though I had no weapons charge against these cases. This gave the jurors prejudice thought against me thinking I threatened her with that knife and how scared she would of been knowing i could get it and kill her. On my sentencing court March 19, 2014 my public defender told Judge Kellam he wish to resign from being my attorney and wished for the court to give me outside council to file a error to trial or appeal. We were denied. Now after openly knowing my public defender don't want to represent me he has to. Well when as parents we make our kids clean a room when they really don't wish to, well the child will but don't mean she will do a good job, that's where I'm at with Mr. Noel. please dont ignore mine and my families pleas for your help . we have all the legal proof you could need to prove Im innocent. Please dont make my spend years in prison innocent when you can fix this wrong. Im not saying Im a perfect man or that I was a perfect dad to my 2 children none of us are. Ive made some bad choices in life and I paid for them. But I didnt ever touch or rape my daughter . I love my children with all my heart. And now through needing attention and a ex-wife who told my granny several times she wish she could put me in prison to get me out of their lives. Well my ex finally accomplished her goal. Sad part is she is destroying our daughter with all this horrific lies and things she taught my daughter to say. My daughter will need therapist to ever hope for a chance of a normal life after what she had done to her by her mom and their side of the family. My daughter told everyone even on stand she had a dream months before i supposedly molested her in this dream I was molesting her and when I finally did it matched her dream perfectly. She admitted to watching movies about little girls being molested and watching U-Tube videos about child molesting all before it happened supposedly to her. Doesn't that sound very unusual that a non molested 9 yr old would need to know so much about being molested? The only reason I could think a 9 year old would need so much information is to be prepared to know what to say and be able to say how it felt what took place etc.. So when questioned by authorities she would be prepared. And there again sir if a parent is pre grooming a 9 year old child she would need intimate details . Like telling her daughter about a couple moles on my private area. The child admitted to sneaking my cell and looking many many times at nudes of me and my girlfriend even one where my penis was entering my girlfriends vagina. In that picture my moles are obvious. Yet when prosecutor showed everyone in court my privates and pictures of the moles she said the only way the child would know about them is if she saw them for herself. My attorney once again said nothing about the pictures my child saw. Or could a ex-wife be able to describe my moles to help her case against getting rid of me? I beg you help me. This is my very existence. Ive lost everything , a good job, a wonderful girlfriend, my freedom, but worse thing Ive lost is my children. They were my reason to get up every morning and strive to be better. The wonderful bond I had with my Serenity is gone. After this I would be afraid to even hug her for fear of what next can they do to me. I'm not afraid to tell you I sit here in this cell and try to hold back my tears. Everyone knows you cant show weakness in prison. My life has already been threatened here at Wabash Valley Prison. After only 3 days of arrival. I was tricked into signing a waiver now Im in G Block General Population with 6 child molesting felony charges. Mrs. Hart as a 18 year old I almost died hooked to machines in hospital almost 1 month and now I know that fear was childish compared to this . I cant help but put emotions in this, after all Mrs. Hart Im human and God help Me I never been more afraid in my life. I didnt hurt my little girl I didnt touch her sexually. As much as it shreds me and fills my mind what Im facing I worry more about my mom and granny because of their great love for me mam they are suffering so deeply. I aint done this things but my loved ones suffering right along beside me and If you take my case you will be in essence freeing them also. I sent momma this letter and asked her to email it to you. I'm scared I have been done so unjustly by our legal system and I need you to fix this and give me freedom. I ask you please don't just ignore my pleas. Here in America its nice to be able to trust our legal justice system, well they destroyed my and my loved ones trust in our justice system . And I'm trusting in You !!! My entire family is suffering this nightmare with me. My 77 year old granny had a stroke and isn't doing so well. My single mother that raised 3 kids alone is dying from Lupus and since my arrest has stayed so sick and weary. Our lives torn to peices by a government I was taught I could trust in. my momma has tried so many innocent project and wrongfully accused and cant get anywhere. please please help me. A quote from the late Nelson Mandela: To be free is not merely to cast off ones chains, But to live in a way that respects and enhances The Freedom Of Others. I have Faith in you and your clinic to cast my chains off and give me freedom I do deserve as a wrongfully accused Man, son, brother, father, friend. Matthew Major DOC# 246179 Cause # : 53c02-1308-FA-000779 God Bless you. Please contact me with your decision so I know you made a life changing decision for me , just please at least write me so I know you care enough about your citizens to respond to cries for your help. You can speak openly with my mother Charlotte Spain (828) 476-0406: 71 Lakeview Dr. Canton, NC 28716 Thank You Matthew Major I know yall get thousands of request and inmates claiming innocence, and each person who are innocent deserve to have organizations like yours willing to fight for them and I give yall so much Thanks and I thank God everyday yall are out there caring enough to help free the innocents. Since discovering firsthand how easily lives and families can be destroyed by Poor Defense attorneys not doing their job . And Prosecutors allowed to do as they please in court

  5. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

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