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Opinions July 16, 2014

July 16, 2014
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Martin J. Jonassen
13-1410
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division, Judge James T. Mood.
Criminal. Affirms convictions and sentence for kidnapping and obstruction of justice. The District Court properly declined to conduct a competency hearing. Although Jonassen asserted bizarre legal theories based on his claim of “sovereign citizenship,” that alone does not provide a reason to doubt his competence to stand trial, and the record does not otherwise suggest that he lacked the ability to understand the proceedings. The court’s evidentiary ruling was also sound. The government laid an ample foundation for admission of the hearsay statements under Rule 804(b)(6); the evidence established that Jonassen used bribery, guilt and various forms of psychological intimidation to procure his daughter’s unavailability. Finally, because he did not request Jencks Act material before the close of trial, his claim for relief under the Act necessarily fails.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Serenity Springs, Inc. and Laura Ostergren v. The LaPorte County Convention and Visitors Bureau, by and through its Board of Managers
46A04-1309-MI-470
Miscellaneous. Reverses judgment in favor of LaPorte County Convention and Visitors Bureau that permanently enjoined Serenity Springs from using the Internet domain name visitmichigancitylaporte.com and transferred the domain name to the visitors bureau. “Visit Michigan City LaPorte” is not a protectable trade name and Serenity Springs’ use of it was not unfair competition.

John M. Abbott, LLC, Class Representative and All Others Similarly Situated v. Lake City Bank
02A05-1402-PL-53
Civil plenary. Affirms summary judgment in favor of the bank on John M. Abbott LLC’s class action, alleging the bank breached the terms of its promissory note executed in conjunction with certain commercial real estate loans. The note makes clear that the term being defined – the 365/360 method – is the method of computing regular interest payments, not the annual interest rate.

Larry D. Knox v. State of Indiana
02A03-1312-CR-491
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony torturing or mutilating a vertebrate animal. The evidence most favorable to the judgment demonstrates that Knox knowingly or intentionally mutilated the cat when he kicked it so hard it knocked out a tooth.

M.G. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A04-1311-JV-535
Juvenile. Affirms adjudication for committing what would be Class A misdemeanor possession of marijuana if committed by an adult.

Hubert Cook Mayhugh III v. State of Indiana (NFP)
82A01-1312-CR-531
Criminal.  Affirms conviction of felony murder and reverses Mayhugh’s Class D felony theft conviction. Affirms 60-year sentence.  

In the Matter of K.L., K.L., and K.G., C.L. v. Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)
49A02-1310-JC-894
Juvenile. Affirms order adjudicating the three children as children in need of services.

Randell Lee v. State of Indiana (NFP)
31A01-1401-CR-10
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class C felony neglect of a dependent and four counts of Class A misdemeanor cruelty to an animal.

Connie Hinsenkamp, Town of Seelyville Clerk-Treasurer v. Seelyville Town Council; Jerry Jones, Council President; Jerry Reynolds, Council Member; and John Wade, Council Member (NFP)
84A01-1309-CC-408
Civil collection. Affirms partial denial of Hinsenkamp’s motion for summary judgment on the issues of compensation, her authority to discharge a town employee and the forfeiture of town council positions.

Marvin Strong v. State of Indiana (NFP)
84A04-1401-CR-9
Criminal. Affirms revocation of placement in community corrections.

Ashley N. Lemon v. State of Indiana (NFP)
92A03-1310-CR-419
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class B felony burglary and Class D felony theft.

Maurice Amos, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
27A02-1309-CR-840
Criminal. Affirms convictions of felony murder, Class A felony attempted murder and Class D felony receiving stolen auto parts, and finding Amos is a habitual offender.

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

 

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  1. I'm not sure what's more depressing: the fact that people would pay $35,000 per year to attend an unaccredited law school, or the fact that the same people "are hanging in there and willing to follow the dean’s lead in going forward" after the same school fails to gain accreditation, rendering their $70,000 and counting education worthless. Maybe it's a good thing these people can't sit for the bar.

  2. Such is not uncommon on law school startups. Students and faculty should tap Bruce Green, city attorney of Lufkin, Texas. He led a group of studnets and faculty and sued the ABA as a law student. He knows the ropes, has advised other law school startups. Very astute and principled attorney of unpopular clients, at least in his past, before Lufkin tapped him to run their show.

  3. Not that having the appellate records on Odyssey won't be welcome or useful, but I would rather they first bring in the stray counties that aren't yet connected on the trial court level.

  4. Aristotle said 350 bc: "The most hated sort, and with the greatest reason, is usury, which makes a gain out of money itself, and not from the natural object of it. For money was intended to be used in exchange, but not to increase at interest. And this term interest, which means the birth of money from money, is applied to the breeding of money because the offspring resembles the parent. Wherefore of an modes of getting wealth this is the most unnatural.

  5. Oh yes, lifetime tenure. The Founders gave that to the federal judges .... at that time no federal district courts existed .... so we are talking the Supreme Court justices only in context ....so that they could rule against traditional marriage and for the other pet projects of the sixties generation. Right. Hmmmm, but I must admit, there is something from that time frame that seems to recommend itself in this context ..... on yes, from a document the Founders penned in 1776: " He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good."

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