Opinions Feb. 17, 2014

February 17, 2014
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The following 7th Circuit Court of Appeals opinions were posted after IL deadline Friday:
United States of America v. Steven J. Perry
U.S. District court, Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division, Judge Robert L. Miller Jr.
Criminal. Vacates Perry’s five-year sentence and the additional conditions of supervision imposed by the court in its written judgment. Remands with instructions to sentence Perry to no more than two years imprisonment for his latest violation of supervised release and to determine Perry’s conditions of supervision. The District Court erred in imposing the mandatory five-year term because the version of 18 U.S.C. Section 3583(k) in effect at the time of his initial offense authorized a maximum sentence of only two years.

United States of America v. Tyler Sanders
U.S. District court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Larry J. McKinney.
Criminal. Affirms 120-month sentence following guilty plea to possessing more than 50 grams of cocaine base with intent to distribute. The exclusionary rule does not apply at sentencing. The District judge did not err in following 18 U.S.C. Section 3661 and considering the evidence found during the search of Sander’s home.

Monday’s opinions
Indiana Court of Appeals

Rakiea McCaskill v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Reverses conviction of Class A misdemeanor intimidation. The state did not provide sufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that McCaskill committed Class A misdemeanor intimidation as charged. The state did produce sufficient evidence that McCaskill committed Class B misdemeanor harassment. Remands to the trial court with instructions to vacate McCaskill’s judgment of conviction for intimidation and to enter a judgment of conviction for McCaskill for Class B misdemeanor harassment.

Northern Indiana Public Service Company v. Edward A. Sloan, Dashawn L. Cole
Small claim. Affirms orders reinstating the driving privileges of Edward Sloan and Dashwan Cole. NIPSCO has not established that the trial court erred as a matter of law when it permitted Sloan and Cole to make installment payments of $50 per month even if the plan would not result in the payment of the judgment in full during the 7-year suspension period. NIPSCO has not made a prima facie showing that equity requires the continued suspension of their driving privileges. NIPSCO waived its argument regarding the trial court’s contacting the BMV by failing to object to that procedure during the hearing.

David Buchanan v. Carol Buchanan (NFP) 
Domestic relation. Affirms property division and valuation of certain property in decree of dissolution.

Aaron M. Fellows v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class A felony burglary resulting in bodily injury and Class B felony attempted robbery resulting in bodily injury.

Jose G. Alejandro v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction and sentence for attempted murder.

Dominique Brisker v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms revocation of probation.

William Mosher v. Haesuk Yi Mosher (NFP)
Guardianship. Affirms dismissal of William Mosher’s petition for guardianship of his incapacitated adult daughter for lack of jurisdiction.

$2,500.00 In Lawful United States Currency, 2002 Chevrolet Avalanche, and 1970 Chevrolet El Camino (Demarco D. Hawkins) v. State of Indiana, et al. (NFP)
Miscellaneous. Reverses order granting forfeiture of the Avalanche and El Camino that were seized when Hawkins was arrested for suspicion of dealing in marijuana.

Sonia Long v. City of Logansport, Building Commissioner (NFP)
Civil plenary. Affirms summary judgment in favor of the city of Logansport requiring Long to comply with a previous order issued by the city to raze a building she owns.

Jason Tye Myers v. Charles R. Deets III, Deets & Kennedy, and Great American Insurance Group (NFP)
Civil tort. Affirms grant of Charles Deets III’s motion to dismiss and grant of Great American Insurance Group’s motion for summary judgment on Myers complaints against them.

Christopher Smith v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class B felony burglary, Class B misdemeanor criminal mischief and determination Smith is a habitual offender.

Lori Harrold v. L & D Mailmasters (NFP)
Agency action. Affirms order of the Worker’s Compensation Board denying Harrold’s application for adjustment of her workers’ compensation claim.

James Christian Warner v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C felony attempted inmate fraud.

Barnard Lockett v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms revocation of community corrections placement.

Michael R. Jent v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Travis Smith v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms Smith’s convictions of Class B felony failure to stop after an accident resulting in serious bodily injury while intoxicated and Class B misdemeanor failure to stop after an accident resulting in damage to property other than a vehicle, vacates his habitual offender enhancement and remands the case for further proceedings.

The Indiana Supreme Court and Tax Court posted no opinions by IL deadline. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals is closed Monday in observance of Presidents Day.



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  1. I think the cops are doing a great job locking up criminals. The Murder rates in the inner cities are skyrocketing and you think that too any people are being incarcerated. Maybe we need to lock up more of them. We have the ACLU, BLM, NAACP, Civil right Division of the DOJ, the innocent Project etc. We have court system with an appeal process that can go on for years, with attorneys supplied by the government. I'm confused as to how that translates into the idea that the defendants are not being represented properly. Maybe the attorneys need to do more Pro-Bono work

  2. We do not have 10% of our population (which would mean about 32 million) incarcerated. It's closer to 2%.

  3. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  4. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  5. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.