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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.
13-1901
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
13-2466
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.
13-2930
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
49A04-1207-CR-351
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
29A05-1401-CR-7
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
49A02-1312-CR-1026
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.
38A02-1311-MI-960
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)
34A04-1402-CR-67
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)
49A02-1312-JT-1051
Juvenile. Affirms juvenile court’s order terminating father’s parental right to his three minor children.

Charles E. Decker v. State of Indiana (NFP)
84A01-1401-CR-19
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)
49A04-1307-PC-342
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. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  2. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  3. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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