Opinions

Opinions Sept. 8, 2011

September 8, 2011
Indiana Court of Appeals
Cathy Minix, et al. v. Sheriff Frank Canarecci, Jr., et al.
71A04-1009-CT-591
Civil tort. Reverses summary judgment in favor of Canarecci on Minix’s wrongful death claim and affirms denial of the medical providers’ motion for summary judgment in Minix’s wrongful death claim and medical malpractice claim. Minix’s Child Wrongful Death Statute claim against the sheriff isn’t barred by the doctrine of res judicata, and an award of damages on both the federal and state claims at issue won’t result in double recovery.
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Opinions Sept. 7, 2011

September 7, 2011
Indiana Court of Appeals
Christopher A. Andrews v. Sara L. Ivie
55A01-1103-PO-110
Protective order. Affirms issuance of a protective order in favor of Ivie. Andrews engaged in a knowing or an intentional course of conduct involving repeated or continuing harassment of Ivie that would cause a reasonable person to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, or threatened.
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Opinions Sept. 6, 2011

September 6, 2011
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Jeffrey William Paul v. Helen J. Marberry, et al.
10-3670
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Terre Haute Division, Judge William T. Lawrence.
Civil. Reverses District Court’s denial of Paul’s motion to be allowed to proceed in forma pauperis on the grounds that he had three strikes and remands for further proceedings. Since most prisoners litigate their civil claims pro se, they should not be required to speculate on the grounds the judge could or even should have based the dismissal on. Classifying a strike depends on the grounds given for it.
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Opinions Sept. 2, 2011

September 2, 2011
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Gary Williams and Nancy Meehan v. Rohm and Haas Pension Plan
10-1978, 10-2175, 10-3713
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, New Albany Division, Judge Sarah Evans Barker.
Civil. Affirms $180 million settlement and approval of $43.5 million in attorney fees. The District Court adequately addressed the expected value of the early retirees’ claims. The District Court did not abuse its discretion by not creating a separately represented subclass of early retirees. The 7th Circuit sees no reason to disturb the District Court’s assessment of attorney fees.
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Opinions Sept. 1, 2011

September 1, 2011
Indiana Court of Appeals
Mark E. Croy v. State of Indiana
48A02-1012-CR-1383
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class D felony domestic battery and sentence imposed for that conviction and for Class D felony criminal confinement. The evidence is sufficient to show that Croy and Betty Cox had a spousal relationship at the time Croy attacked his ex-girlfriend. The sentence is appropriate.
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Opinions Aug. 31, 2011

August 31, 2011

Indiana Court of Appeals
Indiana Area Foundation of the United Methodist Church, Inc., d/b/a United Methodist Church, Bishop Michael Coyner, Ann Glass, and Robert Ostermeier v. Lynn Snyder
49A05-1011-CT-715
Civil tort. Reverses denial of the church’s motion for summary judgment on Rev. Snyder’s defamation claim. The church has made a prima facie showing that the trial court erred on this matter because the statements at issue involve Snyder’s fitness for ministry. Affirms summary judgment in favor of the church on Snyder’s breach of contract claim. The trial court couldn’t determine whether he had an enforceable contract without becoming excessively entangled in church doctrine in violation of the First Amendment. Remands for further proceedings.

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Opinions Aug. 30, 2011

August 30, 2011

Indiana Court of Appeals
Martin A. Villalon, Jr. v. State of Indiana
45A03-1010-CR-544
Criminal. Affirms conviction of felony murder and 60-year sentence, holding the juvenile court did not abuse its discretion in waiving Villalon to adult court, and that the Sixth Amendment does not apply to juvenile proceedings.

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Opinions Aug. 29, 2011

August 29, 2011
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
William Padula, administrator of the estate of Jerome Clement v. Timothy Leimbach, et al.
10-3395
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division, Judge Joseph Van Bokkelen.
Civil. Affirms summary judgment for defendants, which include the City of East Chicago Police Department, on Padula’s suit for wrongful arrest, excessive force, failure to train officers, and condoning the use of excessive force, and the remand of state law claims to state court. The officers had probable cause to arrest Clement because they believed him to be intoxicated, the officers’ use of force was not excessive, and Padula’s claims of failure to adequately train and supervise officers and for condoning and ratifying excessive force fail.
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Opinions Aug. 26, 2011

August 26, 2011
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Victoria Serednyj v. Beverly Healthcare, LLC.
10-2201
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division, Judge Robert L. Miller, Jr.
Civil. Affirms District Court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of Serednyj’s former employer, Beverly Healthcare, holding the employer did not violate the law in firing her, because she was unable to perform all the functions of her job due to pregnancy complications.
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Opinions Aug. 25, 2011

August 25, 2011
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Michael H. Haury v. Bruce Lemmon, et al.
11-2148
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division, Judge Robert L Miller Jr.
Civil. Reverses denial by District Court to proceed as a pauper on the ground that Haury had accumulated three strikes for the dismissal of three prior lawsuits. Only two of the cases named by the District Court warrant strikes under 28 U.S.C. Section 1915(g). Grants Haury’s motion and remands for further proceedings.
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Opinions August 24, 2011

August 24, 2011
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Arboleda Ortiz v. Thomas Webster, Doctor
10-2012
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Terre Haute Division, Judge Larry McKinney.
Civil. Vacates summary judgment for Dr. Webster and remands with instructions that the case proceed to trial. This is the second time the case has come on appeal and the first time, the 7th Circuit reversed summary judgment for the doctor on the grounds that Ortiz had established fact disputes on the seriousness of his eye condition and the constitutionally of Webster’s delayed response. The record had changed very little on remand yet the District Court granted summary judgment for the doctor. Judge Kanne dissents.
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Opinions Aug. 23, 2011

August 23, 2011
Indiana Court of Appeals
Brian Roberts v. State of Indiana
24A04-1011-PC-726
Post conviction. Affirms denial of Roberts’ petition for post-conviction relief. Roberts’ plea was entered knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily and Roberts can’t establish prejudice due to his trial counsel’s deficient performance.
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Opinions Aug. 22, 2011

August 22, 2011
Indiana Court of Appeals
Smith Barney, et al. v. StoneMor Operating LLC, et al.
41A04-1103-MF-96
Mortgage foreclosure. Affirms denial of Barney’s motion to compel arbitration. As a matter of law, Independence Trust was not a “successor in interest” to either of the prior trustees and therefore isn’t bound by the arbitration clause in the account agreements. Consequently, there is no basis for compelling StoneMor to arbitrate its claims.
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Opinions Aug. 19, 2011

August 19, 2011
Indiana Court of Appeals
George A. Feuston v. State of Indiana
38A02-1011-CR-1175
Criminal. Affirms denial of Feuston’s motion for discharge of his Class D felony theft charge in Jay County. He caused the delay in the case by absconding and failing to appear at his pretrial conference. Chief Judge Robb concurs in a separate opinion.

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Opinions Aug. 18, 2011

August 18, 2011
Indiana Court of Appeals
The Kroger Company, et al. v. Plan Commission of the Town of Plainfield, Indiana
32A04-1012-MI-751
Miscellaneous. Reverses trial court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of the Plan Commission of the Town of Plainfield and remands for further proceedings, holding the plan commission must provide specific reasons for denying Kroger’s development petition.
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Opinions Aug. 17, 2011

August 17, 2011
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Lisa Hicks v. Avery Drei, LLC and Chance Felling
10-2744
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson.
Civil. Affirms grant of Avery Drei and Felling’s motion for judgment as a matter of law on Hicks’ vacation pay claim and a portion of their similar motion on her overtime pay claim. Evidence shows that Hicks and Felling had an agreement that Hicks would not earn vacation pay until after being employed for one year; her employment ended before she reached her one-year anniversary. The District Court did not abuse its discretion in denying Hicks’ motion in limine. Affirms in all other respects.
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Opinions Aug. 16, 2011

August 16, 2011
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Lady Di’s, Inc. v. Enhanced Services Billing, Inc., and ILD Telecomunications, doing business as ILD Teleservices, Inc.
10-3903
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Sarah Evans Barker.
Civil. Affirms District Court’s denial of plaintiff’s request for class certification and grant of the defendants’ motions for summary judgment on the unjust enrichment and statutory deception claims, holding Indiana “anti-cramming” regulation does not apply to the defendants because they are not telephone companies and did not act in this case as billing agents for telephone companies.
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Opinions Aug. 15, 2011

August 15, 2011
Indiana Court of Appeals
T.W. v. State of Indiana
54A01-1103-JV-125
Juvenile. Affirms order that T.W. must register as a sex offender for 10 years. In the absence of any constitutional constraints, it was entirely the General Assembly’s prerogative to grant Indiana courts the subject matter jurisdiction to enter orders requiring certain juveniles to register as sex offenders. The trial court did not abuse its discretion in overruling T.W.’s objections to the testimony of two court-appointed psychologists.
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Opinions Aug. 12, 2011

August 12, 2011
LaDon Moore v. Review Board and Whitington Homes and Services
93A02-1005-EX-529
Civil. Affirms finding that Moore was discharged by her employer for just cause. Finds that publishing the names of the parties involved in cases with the Review Board of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development is essential to eliminate confusion and to increase efficiency.
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Opinions Aug. 11, 2011

August 11, 2011

Indiana Court of Appeals
Westville Correctional Facility, et al. v. George Finney
49A05-1103-PL-92
Civil plenary. Affirms grant of Finney’s verified petition for judicial review. Westville has not shown that the reviewing court committed reversible error. It is clear from the record that the agency’s action was without evidentiary foundation, let alone substantial evidence as required by Ind. Code 4-21.5-5-14(d)(5).
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Opinions Aug. 10, 2011

August 10, 2011
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Gregory K. Weatherbee v. Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of the Social Security Administration
10-3736
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, New Albany Division, Judge Tanya Walton Pratt.
Civil. Affirms denial of application for Social Security disability insurance benefits and supplemental security income payments after plaintiff suffered serious injuries in a motorcycle crash. The decision to deny his application was supported by substantial evidence.
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Opinions Aug. 9, 2011

August 9, 2011

Indiana Court of Appeals
Steven Buse, Kathleen Payne, et al. v. Trustees of the Luce Township Regional Sewer District
74A05-1009-PL-590
Civil plenary. Reverses trial court’s conclusion that four counts of the property owners’ complaint constitute a public lawsuit against the Luce Township Regional Sewer District, pursuant to Indiana Code 34-6-2-124. Remands for further proceedings.

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Opinions Aug. 8, 2011

August 8, 2011
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Wanda Joshua, et al.
10-2140, 10-2181, 10-2182
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division, Judge Philip Simon.
Criminal. Affirms convictions of two counts of mail fraud. Although the evidence of the mailing element of mail fraud was thin, it was enough to send the case to the jury. Finds the defendants arguments that Skilling v. United States requires the court to set aside their convictions, and that the District Court improperly instructed the jury regarding their advice-of-counsel defense have no merit.
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Opinions Aug. 5, 2011

August 5, 2011
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Jayne A. Mathews-Sheets v. Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security
10-3746
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge William T. Lawrence.
Civil. Reverses denial of request for $25,200 in attorney fees after prevailing in a suit for Social Security disability benefits. On remand the plaintiff’s lawyer will have to show that without a cost-of-living increase that would bring the fee award up to $170 per hour, a lawyer capable of competently handling the challenge that his client mounted to the denial of Social Security disability benefits could not be found in the relevant geographical area to handle such a case.
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Opinions Aug. 4, 2011

August 4, 2011
Indiana Court of Appeals
Terrence Williams v. State of Indiana
49A02-1101-CR-9
Criminal. Reverses denial of Williams’ petition that a handgun seized by police be released to his counsel. Williams asked the gun be returned after his carrying a handgun without a license charge was dismissed. Williams’ inability to lawfully possess a handgun, without more, doesn’t prevent the return of the gun to his counsel.
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  1. Welcome to Hendricks County where local and state statutes (especially Indiana Class C misdemeanors) are given a higher consideration than Federal statues and active duty military call-ups.

  2. If real money was spent on this study, what a shame. And if some air-head professor tries to use this to advance a career, pity the poor student. I am approaching a time that i (and others around me) should be vigilant. I don't think I'm anywhere near there yet, but seeing the subject I was looking forward to something I might use to look for some benchmarks. When finally finding my way to the hidden questionnaire all I could say to myself was...what a joke. Those are open and obvious signs of any impaired lawyer (or non-lawyer, for that matter), And if one needs a checklist to discern those tell-tale signs of impairment at any age, one shouldn't be practicing law. Another reason I don't regret dropping my ABA membership some number of years ago.

  3. The case should have been spiked. Give the kid a break. He can serve and maybe die for Uncle Sam and can't have a drink? Wow. And they won't even let him defend himself. What a gross lack of prosecutorial oversight and judgment. WOW

  4. I work with some older lawyers in the 70s, 80s, and they are sharp as tacks compared to the foggy minded, undisciplined, inexperienced, listless & aimless "youths" being churned out by the diploma mill law schools by the tens of thousands. A client is generally lucky to land a lawyer who has decided to stay in practice a long time. Young people shouldn't kid themselves. Experience is golden especially in something like law. When you start out as a new lawyer you are about as powerful as a babe in the cradle. Whereas the silver halo of age usually crowns someone who can strike like thunder.

  5. YES I WENT THROUGH THIS BEFORE IN A DIFFERENT SITUATION WITH MY YOUNGEST SON PEOPLE NEED TO LEAVE US ALONE WITH DCS IF WE ARE NOT HURTING OR NEGLECT OUR CHILDREN WHY ARE THEY EVEN CALLED OUT AND THE PEOPLE MAKING FALSE REPORTS NEED TO GO TO JAIL AND HAVE A CLASS D FELONY ON THERE RECORD TO SEE HOW IT FEELS. I WENT THREW ALOT WHEN HE WAS TAKEN WHAT ELSE DOES THESE SCHOOL WANT ME TO SERVE 25 YEARS TO LIFE ON LIES THERE TELLING OR EVEN LE SAME THING LIED TO THE COUNTY PROSECUTOR JUST SO I WOULD GET ARRESTED AND GET TIME HE THOUGHT AND IT TURNED OUT I DID WHAT I HAD TO DO NOT PROUD OF WHAT HAPPEN AND SHOULD KNOW ABOUT SEEKING MEDICAL ATTENTION FOR MY CHILD I AM DISABLED AND SICK OF GETTING TREATED BADLY HOW WOULD THEY LIKE IT IF I CALLED APS ON THEM FOR A CHANGE THEN THEY CAN COME AND ARREST THEM RIGHT OUT OF THE SCHOOL. NOW WE ARE HOMELESS AND THE CHILDREN ARE STAYING WITH A RELATIVE AND GUARDIAN AND THE SCHOOL WON'T LET THEM GO TO SCHOOL THERE BUT WANT THEM TO GO TO SCHOOL WHERE BULLYING IS ALLOWED REAL SMART THINKING ON A SCHOOL STAFF.

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