Opinions June 10, 2014

June 10, 2014
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Eric Grandberry v. Brian Smith, superintendent, Plainfield Correctional Facility
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Terre Haute Division, Judge William T. Lawrence.
Civil. Reverses discipline and revocation of 30 days of Grandberry’s good-time credits for unauthorized use of an electronic device. Remands with instructions to issue a writ of habeas corpus restoring Grandberry’s good-time credits. Library staff asked him to use the computer to fill out forms that he was not supposed to complete as head inmate law clerk.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Lora Hoagland v. Franklin Township Community School Corporation
Civil plenary. Affirms in part and reverses in part. Affirm the trial court’s conclusion that Hoagland is not entitled to legal relief, as there is no right of action for monetary damages under the Indiana Constitution. Concludes that the Indiana Tort Claims Act does not apply to Hoagland’s state constitutional claim, and reverses the trial court on that ground. Also concludes that Franklin Township acted unconstitutionally by discontinuing student transportation to and from school and by later contracting with
CIESC to provide that transportation for a yearly fee, and Hoagland is entitled to declaratory judgment. Remands with instructions.

West Bend Mutual Insurance Company and K.B. Electric, LLC v. MacDougal Pierce Construction, Inc., Amerisure Insurance Company, et al.
Civil tort. Affirms trial court judgment in all respects. Concludes that the trial court correctly granted summary judgment in favor of Amerisure and MacDougall. The parties’ rights and liabilities to each other were outlined contractually by the terms of indemnification. Once that determination was made, then the insurance coverage issues could be resolved. Thus, the trial court’s decision on indemnification was not premature, but in fact, necessary to prevent the hazards of circular litigation. The subcontract explicitly referred to the prime contract and other documents, incorporating their terms into the subcontract. That K.B. Electric obtained umbrella coverage from West Bend further evinces the understanding that K.B. Electric was required to do just that.

Kevin M. Barber v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms denial of motion to correct erroneous sentence.

Latoya C. Lee v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction and sentence for Class B felony attempted aggravated battery but remands with instructions to correct error in the abstract of judgment.

Robert F. Petty v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B felony unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon.

Michael A. Riley v. Oscar and Linda Sandlin (NFP)
Civil plenary. Affirms judgment in favor of the Sandlins on Riley’s action alleging conversion.

Ted Mueller, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms convictions of murder and Class C felony conspiracy to commit robbery.

Dwayne Anderson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of possession of marijuana as a Class A misdemeanor.

Brandon Kincheloe v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Dismisses appeal filed after Kincheloe’s probation was revoked.

The Indiana Supreme Court and Tax Court posted no opinions by IL deadline.


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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.