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.
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
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
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
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
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
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
Criminal. Affirms revocation of probation and order Kucholick serve his suspended sentences.

David R. McClure v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B misdemeanor criminal mischief.

Jerry Johnson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C felony battery resulting in serious bodily injury.

James R. Belcher, Sr. v. Sandra G. Belcher (NFP)
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)
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

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

Micha Seymour v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms adjudication as a habitual offender.

Herman & Kittle Properties, Inc. v. G & G Construction Company of Indiana (NFP)
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)
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)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor battery with bodily injury.

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

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)
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)

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)
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)
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)
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)
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.

Anthony Eugene Fields v. State of Indiana (NFP)
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)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony theft.

Megan Pierce v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to Class B felony burglary.

Tonya Williams v. State of Indiana (NFP)
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)
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)
Criminal. Re-affirms conviction and sentence for Class B felony robbery.

Marteques L. Black v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B felony burglary.

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

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

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

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. This is ridiculous. Most JDs not practicing law don't know squat to justify calling themselves a lawyer. Maybe they should try visiting the inside of a courtroom before they go around calling themselves lawyers. This kind of promotional BS just increases the volume of people with JDs that are underqualified thereby dragging all the rest of us down likewise.

  2. I think it is safe to say that those Hoosier's with the most confidence in the Indiana judicial system are those Hoosier's who have never had the displeasure of dealing with the Hoosier court system.

  3. I have an open CHINS case I failed a urine screen I have since got clean completed IOP classes now in after care passed home inspection my x sister in law has my children I still don't even have unsupervised when I have been clean for over 4 months my x sister wants to keep the lids for good n has my case working with her I just discovered n have proof that at one of my hearing dcs case worker stated in court to the judge that a screen was dirty which caused me not to have unsupervised this was at the beginning two weeks after my initial screen I thought the weed could have still been in my system was upset because they were suppose to check levels n see if it was going down since this was only a few weeks after initial instead they said dirty I recently requested all of my screens from redwood because I take prescriptions that will show up n I was having my doctor look at levels to verify that matched what I was prescripted because dcs case worker accused me of abuseing when I got my screens I found out that screen I took that dcs case worker stated in court to judge that caused me to not get granted unsupervised was actually negative what can I do about this this is a serious issue saying a parent failed a screen in court to judge when they didn't please advise

  4. I have a degree at law, recent MS in regulatory studies. Licensed in KS, admitted b4 S& 7th circuit, but not to Indiana bar due to political correctness. Blacklisted, nearly unemployable due to hostile state action. Big Idea: Headwinds can overcome, esp for those not within the contours of the bell curve, the Lego Movie happiness set forth above. That said, even without the blacklisting for holding ideas unacceptable to the Glorious State, I think the idea presented above that a law degree open many vistas other than being a galley slave to elitist lawyers is pretty much laughable. (Did the law professors of Indiana pay for this to be published?)

  5. Joe, you might want to do some reading on the fate of Hoosier whistleblowers before you get your expectations raised up.