Opinions July 31, 2014

July 31, 2014
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
The following opinion was issued after IL deadline Wednesday.

United States of America v. William J. Davidson
Criminal. Reverses denial of Davidson’s motion for a reduction of his 30-year sentence under the revised federal guidelines for crack cocaine sentences. Remands for reconsideration of the motion, finding the court erred in equating jointly undertaken criminal activity with conspiracy.

Indiana Court of Appeals
William T. Calvert v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Reversed conviction of illegal consumption of alcohol by a minor, a Class C misdemeanor. Rules the trial court should have granted a continuance rather than try Calvert in absentia. Calvert, a private in the U.S. Army, was denied his constitutional right to be present at his trial because he was on deployment in Afghanistan when his hearing was held. Remands for a new trial.

Linda M. Turner v. Sally A. Kent and Stanley J. Kazlauski
Trust. Affirms summary judgment in favor of apellees-petitioners, concluding that the Indiana Trust Code prohibits incorporation by reference of specific gifts and real property, and therefore, the separate writing bequeathing real property to Kent and Kazlauski is invalid. The real property must be distributed under the equal shares provision of the trust.

State of Indiana v. Chase R. Downey
Criminal. Reverses order setting aside an order to transfer funds seized from a defendant in a felony marijuana possession case. The majority concluded Clark Division One Circuit Court abused its discretion by setting aside the order issued in Clark Division Three Circuit Court, a venue of equal jurisdiction. The majority also ruled Downey’s request that the funds be returned to him is moot because the money was turned over to federal authorities. Dissenting Judge Margret Robb would affirm the order to set aside, noting the motion to transfer funds was filed in Division Three and signed by the Division One judge. She also noted Downey had no notice of the motion before it was ordered, and she disagreed that his request was moot because the money still exists even if not in the state’s immediate possession.

Brookview Properties, LLC and First Merchants Bank of Central Indiana v. Plainfield Plan Commission

Civil plenary. Affirms judgment in favor of the Plainfield Plan Commission. Finds the plan commission’s denial of Brookview’s petition for development of 300-unit apartment complex was not arbitrary or capricious. Rules the plan commission’s findings are supported by substantial evidence and reject’s Brookview’s argument that the commission’s decision constitutes an uncompensated taking in violation of the U.S. and Indiana constitutions.

Marlon D. McKnight v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Tobin Pettiet v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms three-year sentence for pleading guilty to domestic battery, a Class D felony.

Joshua W. Sanford v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of theft, as a Class D felony.

Ronald Williams v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of murder and executed sentence of 65 years.

Terry Lee Carr v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony theft.

Robert Hubbard v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms six-year aggregate sentence for pleading guilty to Class D felony residential entry and Class D felony invasion of privacy and status as a habitual offender.

Justin Stephens v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B misdemeanor public intoxication.  

Mark McCoy v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms convictions for three counts of child molesting, Class A felonies, and one count each for criminal confinement, intimidation, and child molesting, all Class C felonies.

The Indiana Supreme Court and Tax Court posted no opinions by IL deadline. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals issued no Indiana decisions by IL deadline.  


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  1. Great observation Smith. By my lights, speaking personally, they already have. They counted my religious perspective in a pro-life context as a symptom of mental illness and then violated all semblance of due process to banish me for life from the Indiana bar. The headline reveals the truth of the Hoosier elite's animus. Details here: Denied 2016 petition for cert (this time around): (“2016Pet”) Amicus brief 2016: (“2016Amici”) As many may recall, I was banned for five years for failing to "repent" of my religious views on life and the law when a bar examiner demanded it of me, resulting in a time out to reconsider my "clinging." The time out did not work, so now I am banned for life. Here is the five year time out order: Denied 2010 petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): (“2010Pet”) Read this quickly if you are going to read it, the elites will likely demand it be pulled down or pile comments on to bury it. (As they have buried me.)

  2. if the proabortion zealots and intolerant secularist anti-religious bigots keep on shutting down every hint of religious observance in american society, or attacking every ounce of respect that the state may have left for it, they may just break off their teeth.

  3. "drug dealers and traffickers need to be locked up". "we cannot afford just to continue to build prisons". "drug abuse is strangling many families and communities". "establishing more treatment and prevention programs will also be priorities". Seems to be what politicians have been saying for at least three decades now. If these are the most original thoughts these two have on the issues of drug trafficking and drug abuse, then we're no closer to solving the problem than we were back in the 90s when crack cocaine was the epidemic. We really need to begin demanding more original thought from those we elect to office. We also need to begin to accept that each of us is part of the solution to a problem that government cannot solve.

  4. What is with the bias exclusion of the only candidate that made sense, Rex Bell? The Democrat and Republican Party have created this problem, why on earth would anyone believe they are able to fix it without pushing government into matters it doesn't belong?

  5. This is what happens when daddy hands over a business to his moron son and thinks that everything will be ok. this bankruptcy is nothing more than Gary pulling the strings to never pay the creditors that he and his son have ripped off. they are scum and they know it.