Opinions

Opinions Sept. 26, 2012

September 26, 2012
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Sandra M. Bontrager, on her own behalf and on behalf of a class of those similarly situated v. Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, Michael A. Gargano and Patricia Casanova
11-3710
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division, Chief Judge Philip P. Simon.
Civil. Affirms grant of Bontrager’s request for a preliminary injunction in her putative class-action complaint challenging Indiana’s $1,000 annual limit for dental services covered by Medicaid. The state is required to cover all medically necessary dental services, irrespective of the monetary cap.
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Opinions Sept. 25, 2012

September 25, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Charles Hall v. State of Indiana
13A04-1111-CR-622
Criminal. Affirms conviction and aggregate 24-year sentence for convictions of dealing in methamphetamine, possession of precursors, operating a vehicle after a lifetime suspension, and resisting law enforcement. The court held that a search of the vehicle that Hall fled after leading police on a chase did not implicate the Fourth Amendment and that the sentence was not inappropriate given Hall’s dangerous conduct and long record of driving and drug convictions.

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Opinions Sept. 24, 2012

September 24, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
State of Indiana v. Russell Oney
49A05-1204-CR-196
Criminal. Reverses and remands a trial court ruling that vacated a determination that a defendant was a habitual traffic violator, holding that even though one of the predicate offenses later was vacated in post-conviction relief, the BMV’s determination that Oney was a habitual traffic offender did not constitute manifest injustice.
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Opinions Sept. 21, 2012

September 21, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Justin Taylor v. State of Indiana
49A05-1201-CR-4
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C felony failing to register as a sex offender. Rejects argument that ankle bracelet alerted authorities Taylor was living at a different address.
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Opinions Sept. 19, 2012

September 19, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Michael Carpenter v. State of Indiana
85A05-1202-CR-57
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B felony conspiracy to commit dealing in methamphetamine. The police officers did not violate Carpenter’s Fourth Amendment rights when they entered the house’s curtilage pursuant to an arrest warrant and looked into the bathroom window. The officers also did not violate his rights under the Indiana Constitution.
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Opinions Sept. 18, 2012

September 18, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Marlon Sims v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1203-CR-183
Criminal. Affirms sentence for Class C felony robbery, Class D felony criminal confinement and finding Sims is a habitual offender.
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Opinions Sept. 17, 2012

September 17, 2012
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Fred E. Dowell v. United States of America
10-2912
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Evansville Division, Chief Judge Richard L. Young.
Civil. Remands with instructions for the District Court to make a determination as to whether Dowell told his attorney to file an appeal to contest whether he was a career offender. Dowell claimed his plea agreement specifically reserved his right to appeal the career offender designation, but his attorney did not file the appeal.
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Opinions Sept. 14, 2012

September 14, 2012
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Alan Kress and Randy Carr v. CCA of Tennessee LLC, doing business as Corrections Corporation of America, et al.
11-2950
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Larry J. McKinney.
Civil. Affirms order denying class certification regarding the reduction of daily pill calls for inmates and granting summary judgment in favor of Corrections Corporation of America, et al., owner and operator of the Marion County Correctional Center. There was lack of evidence of any ongoing constitutional violations.
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Opinions Sept. 13, 2012

September 13, 2012
Indiana Supreme Court
An-Hung Yao and Yu-Ting Lin v. State of Indiana
35S02-1112-CR-704
Criminal. Cannot conclude that as a matter of law the defendants engaged in no conduct nor effected any result in Indiana that was an element of either the theft or the counterfeiting charge. The trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying sub silentio Lin’s motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction. The defendants’ airsoft gun is a written instrument within the meaning of the statute and therefore reverses the trial court’s dismissal of the counterfeiting charges. The trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying the defendants’ motions to dismiss the theft and corrupt business influence charges.
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Opinions Sept. 12, 2012

September 12, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Dezmon Gaines v. State of Indiana
34A05-1201-CR-21
Criminal. Affirms denial of motion to suppress evidence. Indiana Code 9-19-19-4 is not void for vagueness and the officer’s search of Gaines was reasonable. Judge Crone concurs in result.
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Opinions Sept. 11, 2012

September 11, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Phillip A. Collins v. HSBC Bank USA, National Association, as Trustee for Home Equity Loan Trust Series Act 2004-HE3
45A03-1111-MF-600
Mortgage foreclosure. Affirms summary judgment in favor of HSBC, holding that Collins is estopped from asserting claims previously lost and litigated.
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Opinions Sept. 7, 2012

September 7, 2012
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Robert S. Filus v. Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security
No. 12-1164
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Fort Wayne Division. Magistrate Judge Roger B. Cosbey.
Civil/Social Security. Affirms denial of disability benefits, holding that substantial evidence supports the decision of the administrative law judge. 
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Opinions Sept. 5, 2012

September 5, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Cody B. Honeycutt v. State of Indiana
92A04-1203-CR-149
Criminal. Reverses denial of motion to dismiss charges on grounds that they were barred by the Successive Prosecution Statute. Because the four charges were supported by probable cause and based on a series of acts so connected that they constituted parts of a single scheme or plan, they should have been charged in a single prosecution.
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Opinions Sept. 4, 2012

September 4, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Nathan S. Berkman v. State of Indiana
45A04-1111-CR-583
Criminal. Affirms conviction of and sentence for murder. The trial court did not abuse its discretion in declaring a witness unavailable or in admitting the deposition testimony of another unavailable witness. Berkman’s sentence is not inappropriate as he had argued.
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Opinions Aug. 31, 2012

August 31, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Seabrook, Dieckmann & Naville, Inc. v. Review Board of the Indiana Dept. of Workforce Development and Monica Hilbert
93A02-1202-EX-100
Agency action. Reverses board’s conclusion that Hilbert’s employment was not terminated for just cause. Based on the evidence and testimony, Seabrook Dieckmann & Naville showed that Hilbert breached a duty in connection with work which was reasonably owed to her employer and her conduct was of such a nature that a reasonable employee would understand that the conduct was a violation of a duty owed to the funeral home. Remands for further proceedings.
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Opinions Aug. 30, 2012

August 30, 2012
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Sung Park v. Indiana University School of Dentistry, et al.
11-1933, 11-2109
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge William T. Lawrence.
Civil. Affirms dismissal for failure to state a claim in Park’s suit alleging equal protection and due process violations and claims for state law breach of contract. She has no state law claim for breach of contract, and Park has not identified a protectable property interest.
 
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Opinions Aug. 29, 2012

August 29, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Willis Pryor v. State of Indiana
49A02-1202-CR-101
Criminal. Reverses conviction of Class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement. Pryor’s trial counsel’s failure to preserve his right to a jury trial denied Pryor effective assistance of counsel. Remands with instructions to vacate the conviction and hold a new trial by jury.
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Opinions Aug. 28, 2012

August 28, 2012
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Angela M. Farrell v. Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security
11-3589
Civil. Reverses District Court’s affirmation of the decision to deny disability insurance benefits. The Social Security Administration Appeals Council did not follow its own regulations which require it to consider “new and material evidence.” Also finds the administrative law judge’s residual functional capacity determination is based on an incomplete assessment of the record. Remands for further proceedings.
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Opinions Aug. 27, 2012

August 27, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Ian McCullough v. State of Indiana
49A02-1106-PC-571
Post-conviction relief. Affirms post-conviction court’s judgment that trial counsel was not ineffective, holding that McCullough failed to carry his burden to show that the evidence as a whole leads unerringly and unmistakably to a conclusion opposite that reached by the post-conviction court.
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Opinions Aug. 24, 2012

August 24, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
MSKTD & Associates, Inc. v. CCJ Enterprises, LLC, Jeffrey Sassmannshausen, Loretta Sassmannshausen, Salin Bank & Trust Company (NFP)
02A04-1202-PL-101
Civil plenary. Affirms summary judgment in favor of defendants.
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Opinions Aug. 23, 2012

August 23, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Konrad Motor and Welder Service, Inc., Konrad Lambrecht, and Sharon Lambrecht v. Magnetech Industrial Services, Inc.
45A04-1203-CC-109
Civil collection. Reverses summary judgment for Magnetech and piercing Konrad Electric’s corporate veil because there are genuine issues of material fact. Affirms summary judgment for Magnetch on whether Konrad Motor and Welder Service is the alter ego of Konrad Electric. Remands for determination whether Konrad Electric’s corporate veil should be pierced and liability imposed upon the Lambrechts. If pierced, Konrad and Sharon Lambrecht may be held individually liable. Judge Crone concurs in part and dissents in part.
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Opinions Aug. 22, 2012

August 22, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Ashley T. Tucker v. Michelle R. Harrison, M.D.
79A05-1108-CT-404
Civil tort. Affirms judgment in favor of Dr. Harrison on Tucker’s medical malpractice complaint. The trial court did not abuse its discretion in excluding Tucker’s expert testimony, limiting her questioning of a witness about possible bias, or in instructing the jury.
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Opinions Aug. 21, 2012

August 21, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Jason Fields v. State of Indiana
47A04-1110-CR-577
Criminal. Affirms two convictions of Class B felony dealing in methamphetamine. The trial court’s response to the jury’s mid-deliberation question did not constitute a modification of the jury instructions.
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Opinions Aug. 20, 2012

August 20, 2012
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Joshua Resendez v. Brian Smith
11-1121
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Sarah Evans Barker.
Civil. Affirms dismissal of petition for writ of habeas corpus, in which Resendez claimed the state denied him his constitutional right to counsel in a sentence correction proceeding under I.C. 35-38-1-15.  His claims may not be presented via that statute as his motion is a collateral challenge to his sentence.
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Opinions Aug. 17, 2012

August 17, 2012
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Amerisure Insurance Co. v. National Surety Corp. v. Scottsdale Insurance Co.
11-2762, 11-2771
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge William T. Lawrence.
Civil. Affirms breakdown that Amerisure, Scottsdale, and National are liable for $1 million, $1 million and $900,000, respectively, of the $2.9 million settlement a steel worker won after injuring himself on the job. Declines to apply the ‘mend-the-hold’ doctrine in this case, and Amerisure and National were not prejudiced by Scottsdale’s litigation conduct.
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  1. Poor Judge Brown probably thought that by slavishly serving the godz of the age her violations of 18th century concepts like due process and the rule of law would be overlooked. Mayhaps she was merely a Judge ahead of her time?

  2. in a lawyer discipline case Judge Brown, now removed, was presiding over a hearing about a lawyer accused of the supposedly heinous ethical violation of saying the words "Illegal immigrant." (IN re Barker) http://www.in.gov/judiciary/files/order-discipline-2013-55S00-1008-DI-429.pdf .... I wonder if when we compare the egregious violations of due process by Judge Brown, to her chiding of another lawyer for politically incorrectness, if there are any conclusions to be drawn about what kind of person, what kind of judge, what kind of apparatchik, is busy implementing the agenda of political correctness and making off-limits legit advocacy about an adverse party in a suit whose illegal alien status is relevant? I am just asking the question, the reader can make own conclsuion. Oh wait-- did I use the wrong adjective-- let me rephrase that, um undocumented alien?

  3. of course the bigger questions of whether or not the people want to pay for ANY bussing is off limits, due to the Supreme Court protecting the people from DEMOCRACY. Several decades hence from desegregation and bussing plans and we STILL need to be taking all this taxpayer money to combat mostly-imagined "discrimination" in the most obviously failed social program of the postwar period.

  4. You can put your photos anywhere you like... When someone steals it they know it doesn't belong to them. And, a man getting a divorce is automatically not a nice guy...? That's ridiculous. Since when is need of money a conflict of interest? That would mean that no one should have a job unless they are already financially solvent without a job... A photographer is also under no obligation to use a watermark (again, people know when a photo doesn't belong to them) or provide contact information. Hey, he didn't make it easy for me to pay him so I'll just take it! Well heck, might as well walk out of the grocery store with a cart full of food because the lines are too long and you don't find that convenient. "Only in Indiana." Oh, now you're passing judgement on an entire state... What state do you live in? I need to characterize everyone in your state as ignorant and opinionated. And the final bit of ignorance; assuming a photo anyone would want is lucky and then how much does your camera have to cost to make it a good photo, in your obviously relevant opinion?

  5. Seventh Circuit Court Judge Diane Wood has stated in “The Rule of Law in Times of Stress” (2003), “that neither laws nor the procedures used to create or implement them should be secret; and . . . the laws must not be arbitrary.” According to the American Bar Association, Wood’s quote drives home this point: The rule of law also requires that people can expect predictable results from the legal system; this is what Judge Wood implies when she says that “the laws must not be arbitrary.” Predictable results mean that people who act in the same way can expect the law to treat them in the same way. If similar actions do not produce similar legal outcomes, people cannot use the law to guide their actions, and a “rule of law” does not exist.

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