Opinions July 28, 2014

July 28, 2014
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The following 7th Circuit Court of Appeals opinions were posted after IL deadline Friday:
Toni Ball v. City of Indianapolis, et al.
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Sarah Evans Barker.
Civil. Affirms District Court’s dismissal of Ball’s wrongful arrest complaints against police and municipal defendants, preserving only a Fourth Amendment claim against a detective that since has been removed to state court. Because the allegations of the complaint did not support Ball’s claims for relief except for her Fourth Amendment claims, the district court properly dismissed and granted judgment on the pleadings of those claims.

Che B. Carter v. Keith Butts
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Sarah Evans Barker.
Criminal. Affirms denial of petition for habeas corpus. Holds that Carter, serving a 90-year sentence on convictions of burglary, robbery, rape and attempted murder, was not sufficiently prejudiced. Finds that the Indiana Supreme Court did not unreasonably conclude that Carter had not met the two-prong ineffective assistance of counsel test established in Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668 (1984).

Leonard Dewitt v. Corizon, Inc., et al.
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Terre Haute Division, Judge William T. Lawrence.
Civil. Reverses denial of motions for recruitment of counsel and grant of summary judgment in favor of the defendant and remands so the court may recruit counsel so that  Dewitt can conduct further discovery in order to litigate his deliberate indifference case.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Bobby Alexander v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Reverse one of two convictions for Class B felony aggravated battery. Rules the state incorrectly asserted in the charging information and during closing arguments that Alexander’s actions of shooting at a car created a substantial risk of death. The statute clearly provides that the substantial risk of death must be created by the injury inflicted upon the victim and not by the defendant’s actions. Remands with instructions to enter judgment of conviction for battery as a Class C felony and to resentence accordingly.  

Chad Matthew McClellan v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C felony battery, holding that the evidence was sufficient for the jury to conclude that a stun gun was a deadly weapon for purposes of the battery with a deadly weapon statute.

Ashley Bell v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms conviction for Class A misdemeanor possession of marijuana. Finds Bell’s Fourth Amendment rights were not violated by the warrantless patdown search which led to the discovery of 10 baggies of marijuana. Rules that based on precedent, the smell of marijuana gave the police officer probable cause to conduct a patdown search.

J.P. v. G.M. and R.M.
Miscellaneous/grandparent visitation. Reverses order awarding maternal grandparents G.M. and R.M. visitation with their 3-year-old grandchild, finding that father J.P. was prejudiced by the denial of a motion for continuance after learning that grandparents were represented by counsel and he was not. Remands for a new hearing.

Uriah M. Levy v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms revocation of Levy’s probation.

In the Matter of the Involuntary Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of K.S., D.S., and N.S., Minor Children, and Their Father S.S., S.S. v. Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)
Juvenile. Affirms juvenile court’s order terminating father’s parental right to his three minor children.

Charles E. Decker v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms revocation of Decker’s probation and the trial court’s order that he serve the remaining four years of his sentence in the Indiana Department of Correction.  

Henry Lewis v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Post conviction. Affirms denial of Lewis’s petition for post-conviction relief.

The Indiana Supreme Court and Indiana Tax Court did not post any opinions by IL deadline. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals did not submit any Indiana opinions by IL deadline.


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  1. This new language about a warning has not been discussed at previous meetings. It's not available online. Since it must be made public knowledge before the vote, does anyone know exactly what it says? Further, this proposal was held up for 5 weeks because members Carol and Lucy insisted that all terms used be defined. So now, definitions are unnecessary and have not been inserted? Beyond these requirements, what is the logic behind giving one free pass to discriminators? Is that how laws work - break it once and that's ok? Just don't do it again? Three members of Carmel's council have done just about everything they can think of to prohibit an anti-discrimination ordinance in Carmel, much to Brainard's consternation, I'm told. These three 'want to be so careful' that they have failed to do what at least 13 other communities, including Martinsville, have already done. It's not being careful. It's standing in the way of what 60% of Carmel residents want. It's hurting CArmel in thT businesses have refused to locate because the council has not gotten with the program. And now they want to give discriminatory one free shot to do so. Unacceptable. Once three members leave the council because they lost their races, the Carmel council will have unanimous approval of the ordinance as originally drafted, not with a one free shot to discriminate freebie. That happens in January 2016. Why give a freebie when all we have to do is wait 3 months and get an ordinance with teeth from Day 1? If nothing else, can you please get s copy from Carmel and post it so we can see what else has changed in the proposal?

  2. Here is an interesting 2012 law review article for any who wish to dive deeper into this subject matter: Excerpt: "Judicial interpretation of the ADA has extended public entity liability to licensing agencies in the licensure and certification of attorneys.49 State bar examiners have the authority to conduct fitness investigations for the purpose of determining whether an applicant is a direct threat to the public.50 A “direct threat” is defined as “a significant risk to the health or safety of others that cannot be eliminated by a modification of policies, practices or procedures, or by the provision of auxiliary aids or services as provided by § 35.139.”51 However, bar examiners may not utilize generalizations or stereotypes about the applicant’s disability in concluding that an applicant is a direct threat.52"

  3. We have been on the waiting list since 2009, i was notified almost 4 months ago that we were going to start receiving payments and we still have received nothing. Every time I call I'm told I just have to wait it's in the lawyers hands. Is everyone else still waiting?

  4. I hope you dont mind but to answer my question. What amendment does this case pretain to?

  5. Research by William J Federer Chief Justice John Marshall commented May 9, 1833, on the pamphlet The Relation of Christianity to Civil Government in the United States written by Rev. Jasper Adams, President of the College of Charleston, South Carolina (The Papers of John Marshall, ed. Charles Hobson, Chapel Hill: Univ. of North Carolina Press, 2006, p, 278): "Reverend Sir, I am much indebted to you for the copy of your valuable sermon on the relation of Christianity to civil government preached before the convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church in Charleston, on the 13th of February last. I have read it with great attention and advantage. The documents annexed to the sermon certainly go far in sustaining the proposition which it is your purpose to establish. One great object of the colonial charters was avowedly the propagation of the Christian faith. Means have been employed to accomplish this object, and those means have been used by government..." John Marshall continued: "No person, I believe, questions the importance of religion to the happiness of man even during his existence in this world. It has at all times employed his most serious meditation, and had a decided influence on his conduct. The American population is entirely Christian, and with us, Christianity and Religion are identified. It would be strange, indeed, if with such a people, our institutions did not presuppose Christianity, and did not often refer to it, and exhibit relations with it. Legislation on the subject is admitted to require great delicacy, because freedom of conscience and respect for our religion both claim our most serious regard. You have allowed their full influence to both. With very great respect, I am Sir, your Obedt., J. Marshall."