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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. CCHP's real accomplishment is the 2015 law signed by Gov Pence that basically outlaws any annexation that is forced where a 65% majority of landowners in the affected area disagree. Regardless of whether HP wins or loses, the citizens of Indiana will not have another fiasco like this. The law Gov Pence signed is a direct result of this malgovernance.

  2. I gave tempparry guardship to a friend of my granddaughter in 2012. I went to prison. I had custody. My daughter went to prison to. We are out. My daughter gave me custody but can get her back. She was not order to give me custody . but now we want granddaughter back from friend. She's 14 now. What rights do we have

  3. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  4. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

  5. Here's an idea...how about we MORE heavily regulate the law schools to reduce the surplus of graduates, driving starting salaries up for those new grads, so that we can all pay our insane amount of student loans off in a reasonable amount of time and then be able to afford to do pro bono & low-fee work? I've got friends in other industries, radiology for example, and their schools accept a very limited number of students so there will never be a glut of new grads and everyone's pay stays high. For example, my radiologist friend's school accepted just six new students per year.

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