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Opinions Aug. 20, 2014

August 20, 2014
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The following 7th Circuit Court of Appeals opinion was posted after IL deadline Tuesday:
Robin Allman, et al. v. Kevin Smith, et al.
14-1792
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Tanya Walton Pratt.
Civil. Stays the District Court proceedings against both the Anderson mayor and the city of Anderson. The court denied summary judgment in favor of Smith with respect to two plaintiffs’ claims that they were fired from their city jobs because of their political affiliations and refused to grant Smith’s request for stay pending appeal or the city’s motion for summary judgment and request for a stay. The doctrine of “pendent appellate jurisdiction” allows the city to appeal the denial of the stay.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Goodrich Quality Theaters, Inc. and Roncelli, Inc. v. Fostcorp Heating and Cooling, Inc., Wilson Iron Works, Inc., Johnson Carpet, Inc., d/b/a Johnson Commercial Interiors
64A03-1308-PL-318
Civil plenary. Affirms ruling in favor of Fostcorp Heating and Cooling and other appellees on various breach of contract claims and foreclosure of mechanic’s liens stemming from the construction of a movie theatre. Roncelli’s appeal was timely filed and the judgments are supported by the findings. It was an abuse of discretion for the trial court to award attorney fees, so reverses those fees in favor of the appellees.

Kindred Nursing Centers, d/b/a Royal Oaks Health Care and Rehabilitation Center v. The Estate of Carrie Etta McGoffney
84A04-1402-MI-56
Miscellaneous. Affirms denial of Royal Oak’s motion for summary judgment in a proposed medical malpractice complaint. The Journey’s Account Statute applies to revive the complaint.

Westport Homes, Inc. v. Greg Penley and Pam Penley (NFP)
30A01-1403-SC-120
Small claim. Reverses small claims judgment in favor of the Penleys over a breach of contract claim involving a refrigerator. Remands with instructions to enter judgment in favor of Westport.

David Johnson and Ieva S. Johnson and Eva G. Sanders and Joseph K. and Michelle Yeary v. Indiana Department of Environmental Management and Town of Whitestown (NFP)
06A05-1310-PL-506
Civil plenary. Affirms dismissal of the appellants’ petition for judicial review.

Larry Love v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A04-1311-CR-553
Criminal. Affirms denial of motion to suppress.

Simone Smith v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1401-CR-21
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement.

Jason G. Squier v. State of Indiana (NFP)
41A01-1311-CR-500
Criminal. Affirms conviction and sentence for Class C felony robbery.

Eric J. Smith v. State of Indiana (NFP)
02A03-1311-CR-449
Criminal. Affirms convictions of murder and Class B felony possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon.

Citi Capital Financial LLC v. Huntington National Bank (NFP)
29A02-1307-PL-643
Civil plenary. Affirms order granting partial summary judgment in favor of Huntington in a lien property dispute between it and Citi Capital.

In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of, A.C., Minor Child, and A.C., Father v. The Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)
34A05-1402-JT-89
Juvenile. Affirms termination of father’s parental rights.

Brandon Brummett v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1304-CR-378
Criminal. Grants rehearing and affirms reversal of Brummett’s convictions for child molesting due to prosecutorial misconduct.

Rayshawn Winbush v. State of Indiana (NFP)
48A02-1401-PC-32
Post conviction. Affirms denial of amended petition for post-conviction relief.
 

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  1. Where may I find an attorney working Pro Bono? Many issues with divorce, my Disability, distribution of IRA's, property, money's and pressured into agreement by my attorney. Leaving me far less than 5% of all after 15 years of marriage. No money to appeal, disabled living on disability income. Attorney's decision brought forward to judge, no evidence ever to finalize divorce. Just 2 weeks ago. Please help.

  2. For the record no one could answer the equal protection / substantive due process challenge I issued in the first post below. The lawless and accountable only to power bureaucrats never did either. All who interface with the Indiana law examiners or JLAP be warned.

  3. Hi there I really need help with getting my old divorce case back into court - I am still paying support on a 24 year old who has not been in school since age 16 - now living independent. My visitation with my 14 year old has never been modified; however, when convenient for her I can have him... I am paying past balance from over due support, yet earn several thousand dollars less. I would contact my original attorney but he basically molest me multiple times in Indy when I would visit.. Todd Woodmansee - I had just came out and had know idea what to do... I have heard he no longer practices. Please help1

  4. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  5. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

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