Opinions

Opinions July 28, 2010

July 28, 2010

7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Jamarkus Gorman
09-3010
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Sarah Evans Barker.
Criminal. Affirms conviction of perjury after testifying falsely before a grand jury. There is ample evidence to support the finding Gorman perjured himself with regard to the possession of a Bentley. The evidence was properly admitted, albeit as direct evidence rather than inextricable intertwinement evidence, and its probative value was not substantially outweighed by any risk of unfair prejudice. 

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Opinions July 27, 2010

July 27, 2010
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Marion County Coroner’s Office v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and John Linehan
09-3595
Petition for review of an order of the EEOC. Upholds the EEOC determination that Coroner Ackles’ stated reason for taking action against Linehan was pretextual and that the EEOC had jurisdiction over Linehan’s retaliation claim.
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Opinions July 26, 2010

July 26, 2010

7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Mark Ciesiolka
09-2787
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division, Judge Rudy Lozano.
Criminal. Reverses conviction of knowingly attempting to persuade, induce, entice, and coerce a minor to engage in sexual activity. Because the District Court failed to explain its ruling that the four-factor test for introducing evidence of prior acts under Rule 404(b) was satisfied, and since the evidence introduced in unconstrained fashion is perhaps excessively prejudicial in light of its probative value, reverses and remands for a new trial. Judge Ripple dissents.

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Opinions July 23, 2010

July 23, 2010

Indiana Court of Appeals
David K. Murphy v. State of Indiana
18A02-1002-CR-213
Criminal. Reverses and remands trial court’s decision denying Murphy educational credit time. Murphy contended the trial court is the proper authority to determine whether to grant educational credit time for receiving his general educational development diploma prior to sentencing. The Court of Appeals agreed.

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Opinions July 22, 2010

July 22, 2010

Indiana Court of Appeals
Daniel A. Donald v. State of Indiana
23A04-0912-CR-685
Criminal. Reverses and remands trial court’s denial of Donald’s request for a competency evaluation prior to his probation revocation hearing. Donald contended he was entitled to a competency evaluation pursuant to Indiana statute and the Due Process Clause of the United States Constitution. The Court of Appeals disagreed with Donald’s statutory argument, but agreed the Due Process Clause may warrant a competency evaluation prior to a probation revocation hearing.

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Opinions July 21, 2010

July 21, 2010
Indiana Court of Appeals
Adoption of A.M.; M.M. v. M.M. & A.C.
53A05-1002-AD-71
Adoption. Reverses denial of grandfather M.M.’s uncontested petition to adopt his biological granddaughter A.M. Based upon the reasoning in K.S.P., the idea that the best interests of the child is the primary concern in an adoption proceeding, the purposes of the adoption statutes as stated by the legislature, and the trial court’s initial determination that adoption was in the best interests of A.M., preventing the adoption in this specific case on the basis of Ind. Code Section 31-19-15-1 and Ind. Code Section 31-19-15-2 would cause an absurd result not intended by the legislature. Remands for further proceedings. Judge Najam dissents.
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Opinions July 20, 2010

July 20, 2010
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Brenda Chaney v. Plainfield Healthcare Center
09-3661
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division. Judge Sarah Evans Barker.
Civil. Reverses the District Court’s order of summary judgment in favor of Plainfield Healthcare Center. Finds that Plainfield’s racial preference policy for patients violates Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. That policy, along with other incidents that occurred before Plainfield fired Chaney, contributed to a hostile work environment, and should be considered in determining whether Chaney was fired because of her race.
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Opinions July 19, 2010

July 19, 2010
Indiana Court of Appeals
Isaac Florian and Jeffrey Florian, as limited guardian of Isaac, an adult. v. GATX Rail Corporation
91A04-1002-PL-77
Civil plenary. Affirms summary judgment in favor of GATX Rail Corp. in Issac Florian’s negligence claim after he drove into a GATX tank car that didn’t have retro-reflective sheeting. GATX was in compliance with either retro-reflective implementation schedule even though the train car in question didn’t have sheeting yet. Florian’s common-law negligence claim is preempted by federal regulations set forth in 49.C.F.R. part 224.
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Opinions July 16, 2010

July 16, 2010
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Tom George, et al. v. National Collegiate Athletic Association
09-3667
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge William T. Lawrence.
Civil. Reverses dismissal of the plaintiffs’ entire second amendment complaint alleging the NCAA’s ticket-allocation process is an illegal lottery.
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Opinions July 15, 2010

July 15, 2010
Indiana Court of Appeals
Crisis Connection, Inc. v. Ronald Keith Fromme
19A05-0910-CR-602
Criminal. Affirms order Crisis Connections produce records to the court for an in camera review. An in camera review properly balances Fromme’s constitutional rights and the victims’ interest in privacy.
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Opinions July 14, 2010

July 14, 2010
Indiana Court of Appeals
Eastern Alliance Insurance Group, Chubb Insurance Group, and Total Interior Systems America, LLC v. Elizabeth Howell

93A02-0912-EX-1287
Civil. Reverses penalties assessed against Eastern Alliance by the Full Worker’s Compensation Board due to a lack of diligence. The board’s factual findings demonstrate that Eastern Alliance reasonably investigated the claim and communicated with the parties, and afterwards it reasonably determined that it was not liable for the claim. Vacates penalties assessed against the company and remands that the board determine and enter an order regarding whether Chubb Insurance should be held responsible for the entirety of the penalty and attorneys’ fees awarded for its lack of diligence.
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Opinions July 13, 2010

July 13, 2010
Indiana Court of Appeals
Michael Akens v. State of Indiana
49A05-0912-CR-687
Criminal. Affirms sentence imposed following guilty plea to child molesting. The trial court’s statement that Akens could appeal his sentence wasn’t made until after the court had accepted the plea agreement and entered Akens’ sentence. The agreement included his express waiver of his right to appeal his sentence.
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Opinions July 12, 2010

July 12, 2010
The Indiana Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, and Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.
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Opinions July 9, 2010

July 9, 2010
7th Circuit Court of Appeals Freddie L. Byers Jr. v. James Basinger, Superintendent of the Wabash Valley Correctional Facility
09-1833
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division. Judge Allen Sharp
Civil. Affirms District Court's denial of Byers' habeas petition. After a jury found Byers guilty of murder, attempted murder and robbery, the Indiana Supreme Court affirmed on direct appeal. The Indiana Court of Appeals denied his petition for post-conviction relief, and the Indiana Supreme Court denied transfer. The District Court later denied Byers’ habeas petition, in which Byers argued that his trial counsel performed deficiently. The 7th Circuit granted Byers a certificate of appealability on the question whether he had been denied effective assistance of counsel. The 7th Circuit affirmed the district court’s denial because, even if Byers successfully exhausted his claim, it lacks merit.
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Opinions July 8, 2010

July 8, 2010
Indiana Court of Appeals

Marcus Lewis v. State of Indiana
49A02-0909-CR-920
Criminal. Reverses conviction of Class A misdemeanor domestic battery. Lewis received ineffective assistance of trial counsel because counsel failed to timely file a written request for a jury trial. Remands for a new trial.

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Opinions July 7, 2010

July 7, 2010
Indiana Court of Appeals
In the Matter of: A.C. v. State of Indiana

49A04-0912-JV-682
Juvenile. Reverses adjudication for committing what would be Class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement if committed by an adult. A.C.’s simple failure to stand, without more, amounts to passive inaction and seems analogous to the failure to present one’s arms for handcuffing, which the Indiana Supreme Court has said does not constitute forcible resistance.
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Opinions July 6, 2010

July 6, 2010
Indiana Court of Appeals
Derrick Bush v. State of Indiana
49A02-0907-CR-682
Criminal. After considering state’s claims of waiver as presented in its petition for rehearing, reaffirms original opinion reversing Bush’s conviction of carrying a handgun without a license. Court of Appeals originally reversed conviction after it held a canine sniff and resulting warrantless search of Bush’s automobile violated the Fourth Amendment because the state did not meet its burden of showing the traffic stop was not unreasonably prolonged or there was independent reasonable suspicion to justify the canine sniff.

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Opinions July 2, 2010

July 2, 2010
Indiana Court of Appeals
Clifton Mauricio v. State of Indiana (NFP)
02A03-1002-PC-130
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.
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Opinions July 1, 2010

July 1, 2010
Indiana Court of Appeals
Luiz Alves v. Old National Bank f/k/a St. Joseph Capital Bank
71A03-0909-CV-416
Civil. Affirms denial of Alves’ Ind. Trial Rule 60(B) motion. Because he filed his motion more than one year after the trial court granted summary judgment for Old National Bank and his earlier appeal of that judgment doesn’t toll the 1-year limit applicable to motions brought pursuant to subsections (1)-(4), his motion is untimely. In addition, the evidence on appeal doesn’t show the bank owed a duty to Alves or that the bank breached a duty by conspiring with his former business partner to remove him from their company.
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Opinions June 30, 2010

June 30, 2010
Indiana Supreme Court
League of Women Voters, et al. v. Todd Rokita

49S02-1001-CV-50
Civil. Affirms trial court dismissal of challenge to state’s voter identification law. The case presents only facial constitutional challenges. It is within the power of the legislature to require voters to present photo ID at the polls. Justice Boehm dissents.
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Opinions June 29, 2010

June 29, 2010
Indiana Supreme Court
Andre Peoples v. State of Indiana
79S02-0912-CR-549
Criminal. Affirms finding Peoples is a habitual offender. People’s instant dealing offense is to be counted in calculating the total number of unrelated felony convictions an individual has for drug dealing. While a single felony drug conviction is not enough to qualify a person for habitual offender status, a second such conviction is, be it a prior conviction or the instant offense.
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Opinions June 28, 2010

June 28, 2010
Indiana Supreme Court
Richard Patrick Wilson and Billy Don Wilson v. Gene Isaacs, Sheriff of Cass County, and Brad Craven
09S05-1003-CV-149
Civil. Reverses grant of summary judgment as to the plaintiffs’ liability claims against the sheriff for the conduct of Deputy Brad Craven. Affirms summary judgment for claims against Craven personally. Holds that a law enforcement officer's use of force in excess of the reasonable force authorized by statute is not shielded from liability under the "enforcement of a law" immunity provided in Indiana Code § 34-13-3-3(8) and that genuine issues of fact exist, precluding summary judgment. Chief Justice Shepard dissents without opinion.
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Opinions June 25, 2010

June 25, 2010

7th Circuit Court of Appeals

Lincoln National Life Insurance Co. v. Peter S. Bezich, individually and on behalf of a class of others similarly situated
10-8013
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division, Judge Joseph Van Bokkelen
Civil. Remands to state court. Concludes Bezich’s claim “relates to the rights, duties, ... and obligations relating to or created by or pursuant to ... [a] security,” as defined in the 1933 Act, therefore the District Court has no jurisdiction.

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Opinions June 25 2010 ILD

June 25, 2010

7th Circuit Court of Appeals

Lincoln National Life Insurance Co. v. Peter S. Bezich, individually and on behalf of a class of others similarly situated
10-8013
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division, Judge Joseph Van Bokkelen
Civil. Remands to state court. Concludes Bezich’s claim “relates to the rights, duties, ... and obligations relating to or created by or pursuant to ... [a] security,” as defined in the 1933 Act, therefore the District Court has no jurisdiction.

Indiana Supreme Court posted no opinions before IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals

Weigand Construction Co. Inc. and Ohio Farmers Insurance Co. v. Stephens Fabrication Inc. and Ball State University Board of Trustees
18A02-0910-CV-953
Civil. Concludes Stephens’ claims against Weigand, Weigand’s Surety, and Ball State University survived bankruptcy proceedings. Therefore, Stephens is entitled to the unpaid sums under the base contract: $39,408.09 plus attorney fees, prejudgment interest including the periods of time before and during the bankruptcy proceeding, postjudgment interest, and costs of collection to Stephens. Also concludes Stephens’ claim for additional compensation was untimely under the terms of the relevant contracts and that Weigand is entitled to enforce the contractual provisions in this regard.

M.B. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
89A01-1001-JV-59
Juvenile. Affirms M.B.’s commitment to the Indiana Department of Correction.

Involuntary Termination of Parent-Child Relationship of Z.H.; A.H. v. Indiana Dept. of Child Services (NFP)
20A03-1002-JT-49
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.

In the Matter of R.J.K., a child alleged to be a delinquent child v. State of Indiana (NFP)
02A05-0909-JV-539
Juvenile. Affirms court’s finding that R.J.K. was a delinquent child who committed the offense of sexual battery, a Class D felony if committed by an adult.

Indiana Tax Court posted no opinions before IL deadline.

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Opinions June 24, 2010

June 24, 2010
Indiana Court of Appeals
Douglas Covey v. State of Indiana
30A01-0906-CR-311
Criminal. Affirms convictions of dealing in methamphetamine as a Class A felony, possession of methamphetamine as a Class B felony, possession of methamphetamine as a Class B felony, possession of marijuana as a Class A misdemeanor, and possession of paraphernalia a Class A misdemeanor. The state presented sufficient evidence to prove that Crosby lived in an “apartment complex” and thus Covey delivered the methamphetamine and possessed the methamphetamine in or within 1,000 feet of a “family housing complex.” Because Covey never placed the mitigating factors of Indiana Code Section 35-48-4-16(b) at issue, the trial court did not commit fundamental error by not instructing the jury on those mitigating factors.
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  1. I like the concept. Seems like a good idea and really inexpensive to manage.

  2. I don't agree that this is an extreme case. There are more of these people than you realize - people that are vindictive and/or with psychological issues have clogged the system with baseless suits that are costly to the defendant and to taxpayers. Restricting repeat offenders from further abusing the system is not akin to restricting their freedon, but to protecting their victims, and the court system, from allowing them unfettered access. From the Supreme Court opinion "he has burdened the opposing party and the courts of this state at every level with massive, confusing, disorganized, defective, repetitive, and often meritless filings."

  3. So, if you cry wolf one too many times courts may "restrict" your ability to pursue legal action? Also, why is document production equated with wealth? Anyone can "produce probably tens of thousands of pages of filings" if they have a public library card. I understand this is an extreme case, but our Supreme Court really got this one wrong.

  4. He called our nation a nation of cowards because we didn't want to talk about race. That was a cheap shot coming from the top cop. The man who decides who gets the federal government indicts. Wow. Not a gentleman if that is the measure. More importantly, this insult delivered as we all understand, to white people-- without him or anybody needing to explain that is precisely what he meant-- but this is an insult to timid white persons who fear the government and don't want to say anything about race for fear of being accused a racist. With all the legal heat that can come down on somebody if they say something which can be construed by a prosecutor like Mr Holder as racist, is it any wonder white people-- that's who he meant obviously-- is there any surprise that white people don't want to talk about race? And as lawyers we have even less freedom lest our remarks be considered violations of the rules. Mr Holder also demonstrated his bias by publically visiting with the family of the young man who was killed by a police offering in the line of duty, which was a very strong indicator of bias agains the offer who is under investigation, and was a failure to lead properly by letting his investigators do their job without him predetermining the proper outcome. He also has potentially biased the jury pool. All in all this worsens race relations by feeding into the perception shared by whites as well as blacks that justice will not be impartial. I will say this much, I do not blame Obama for all of HOlder's missteps. Obama has done a lot of things to stay above the fray and try and be a leader for all Americans. Maybe he should have reigned Holder in some but Obama's got his hands full with other problelms. Oh did I mention HOlder is a bank crony who will probably get a job in a silkstocking law firm working for millions of bucks a year defending bankers whom he didn't have the integrity or courage to hold to account for their acts of fraud on the United States, other financial institutions, and the people. His tenure will be regarded by history as a failure of leadership at one of the most important jobs in our nation. Finally and most importantly besides him insulting the public and letting off the big financial cheats, he has been at the forefront of over-prosecuting the secrecy laws to punish whistleblowers and chill free speech. What has Holder done to vindicate the rights of privacy of the American public against the illegal snooping of the NSA? He could have charged NSA personnel with violations of law for their warrantless wiretapping which has been done millions of times and instead he did not persecute a single soul. That is a defalcation of historical proportions and it signals to the public that the government DOJ under him was not willing to do a damn thing to protect the public against the rapid growth of the illegal surveillance state. Who else could have done this? Nobody. And for that omission Obama deserves the blame too. Here were are sliding into a police state and Eric Holder made it go all the faster.

  5. JOE CLAYPOOL candidate for Superior Court in Harrison County - Indiana This candidate is misleading voters to think he is a Judge by putting Elect Judge Joe Claypool on his campaign literature. paragraphs 2 and 9 below clearly indicate this injustice to voting public to gain employment. What can we do? Indiana Code - Section 35-43-5-3: Deception (a) A person who: (1) being an officer, manager, or other person participating in the direction of a credit institution, knowingly or intentionally receives or permits the receipt of a deposit or other investment, knowing that the institution is insolvent; (2) knowingly or intentionally makes a false or misleading written statement with intent to obtain property, employment, or an educational opportunity; (3) misapplies entrusted property, property of a governmental entity, or property of a credit institution in a manner that the person knows is unlawful or that the person knows involves substantial risk of loss or detriment to either the owner of the property or to a person for whose benefit the property was entrusted; (4) knowingly or intentionally, in the regular course of business, either: (A) uses or possesses for use a false weight or measure or other device for falsely determining or recording the quality or quantity of any commodity; or (B) sells, offers, or displays for sale or delivers less than the represented quality or quantity of any commodity; (5) with intent to defraud another person furnishing electricity, gas, water, telecommunication, or any other utility service, avoids a lawful charge for that service by scheme or device or by tampering with facilities or equipment of the person furnishing the service; (6) with intent to defraud, misrepresents the identity of the person or another person or the identity or quality of property; (7) with intent to defraud an owner of a coin machine, deposits a slug in that machine; (8) with intent to enable the person or another person to deposit a slug in a coin machine, makes, possesses, or disposes of a slug; (9) disseminates to the public an advertisement that the person knows is false, misleading, or deceptive, with intent to promote the purchase or sale of property or the acceptance of employment;

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