Opinions

Opinions Aug. 17, 2010

August 17, 2010
Indiana Court of Appeals
Cullen Davis Walker v. State of Indiana
71A03-1003-CR-115
Criminal. Affirms Walker’s convictions of burglary, robbery, criminal confinement – all as Class B felonies, and possession of cocaine as a Class C felony. Also affirms his sentence of 56 years. Walker argued his burglary and criminal confinement convictions should be vacated pursuant to the continuing crime doctrine because his offenses of were all part of the same continuing crime since they occurred in a short period of time and facilitated his sole purpose of taking things from people at one house. The court ruled each offense was a distinct chargeable crime. Remands with instructions to correct clerical errors in the amended judgment and chronological case summary.
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Opinions Aug. 16, 2010

August 16, 2010

Indiana Court of Appeals
Gail M. Flatow and Flatow Comer, LLP v. Dwane Ingalls
49A02-0910-CV-994
Civil. Reverses denial of Flatow and Flatow Comer’s motion for summary judgment in Ingalls’ suit for legal malpractice. There is no designated evidence in the malpractice litigation to show the result of Ingalls’ partial motion for summary judgment would have been any different had a reply been filed. As a matter of law, the Flatow defendants had no duty to provide the services Ingalls claims they were negligent in failing to provide.

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Opinions Aug. 13, 2010

August 13, 2010

7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Barbara J. Castile v. Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of the Social Security Administration
09-3917
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge David Hamilton.
Civil. Affirms denial of Castile’s numerous claims for obtaining disability insurance and disability widow’s benefits. There was substantial evidence to support the administrative law judge’s conclusion that Castile’s chronic fatigue syndrome didn’t render her disabled. The ALJ thoroughly examined the evidence and articulated his findings and the District Court didn’t err in upholding the ALJ’s credibility determinations.

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Opinions Aug. 12, 2010

August 12, 2010

7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Frank McAllister v. Jerry L. Price, in his individual capacity
10-1213
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division, Judge Joseph S. Van Bokkelen.
Civil. Affirms denial of summary judgment for police officer Price, who claimed qualified immunity. There are genuine issues of material fact about whether Price violated McAllister’s clearly established constitutional rights. McAllister alleges that Price violated his Fourth Amendment rights by using excessive force to remove McAllister from his car after suffering a diabetic episode that resulted in the crash.

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Opinions Aug. 11, 2010

August 11, 2010
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Eddie Lamar Carlisle
10-1173

U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Fort Wayne Division, Judge William C. Lee.
Criminal. Affirms denial of motion to suppress. Carlisle didn’t have a privacy interest in the bag he was carrying, which contained drugs and paraphernalia, when police came to the house during a drug sweep. The officers had reasonable suspicion to believe that criminal activity was occurring and that Carlisle was armed and dangerous, thereby making the initial stop proper.
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Opinions Aug. 10, 2010

August 10, 2010

7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Jermarcus Robinson
09-3955
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Fort Wayne Division, Judge Theresa L. Springmann.
Criminal. Affirms conviction of possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine. The District Court correctly refused to suppress the cocaine police officers pulled from Robinson’s buttocks after a traffic stop. The officer wasn’t satisfied with his initial effort to pat down Robinson and was justified to return to finish the job within the bounds outlined in Terry.

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Opinions Aug. 9, 2010

August 9, 2010

7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association Inc., et al. v. Mayflower Transit, LLC
08-1673
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Sarah Evans Barker.
Civil. Affirms judgment with respect to a chargeback for the cost of insurance not being a sale of insurance. Rules the period of limitations for suits under Section 14704(a)(2) is four years, not two. Remands for further proceedings that may be required by the ruling on the limitations issue.

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Opinions Aug. 6, 2010

August 6, 2010

Indiana Court of Appeals
State of Indiana v. Jeffrey Brunner
57A04-1003-CR-121
Criminal. Reverses and remands with instructions trial court’s October 2009 order modifying Brunner’s August 2000 conviction from a Class D felony to a Class A misdemeanor. The parties raised two issues for review.

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Opinions Aug. 5, 2010

August 5, 2010
7th Circuit Court of Appeals

United States of America v. Adam Williams
09-3174
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division, Judge James T. Moody.
Criminal. Affirms convictions of and sentence for illegal possession of a firearm as a felon and various drug distribution offenses. Williams couldn’t satisfy his burden under either prong of the Strickland standard, so the District Court’s refusal to investigate further his perceived problems with his attorney is a harmless abuse of discretion. Because Williams was convicted of a violent felony, his claim that Section 922(g)(1) unconstitutionally infringes on his right to possess a firearm is without merit.

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Opinions Aug. 4, 2010

August 4, 2010
Indiana Court of Appeals
Wells Fargo Insurance v. Bruce A. Land

48A02-0911-CV-1099
Civil. Affirms Land is entitled to commission on all of his 2005 crop-year policies. By Feb. 2, 2006, the date of Land’s resignation, the sales had been consummated, and his right to the 2005 crop-year commissions had fully accrued, subject only to receipt of the premium payments.
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Opinions Aug. 3, 2010

August 3, 2010
Indiana Court of Appeals
F.B. Boushehry v. City of Indianapolis, et al.
49A05-1002-PL-55
Civil. Affirms trial court’s grant of summary judgment in the city’s favor because Boushehry’s claim did not meet the Indiana Tort Claims Act notice requirement.
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Opinions Aug. 2, 2010

August 2, 2010

Indiana Court of Appeals
David Hopper v. State of Indiana (NFP)
31A01-1003-PC-89
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

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Opinions July 30, 2010

July 30, 2010

7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Anthony L. Vaughn
09-3789
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Terre Haute Division, Judge Larry J. McKinney.
Criminal. Affirms 180-month sentence after pleading guilty to committing aggravated assault on a federal officer. The District Court reasonably explained why the sentence that was outside the guidelines range was appropriate.

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Opinions July 29, 2010

July 29, 2010
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Louis and Karen Metro Family LLC, et al. v. Lawrenceburg Conservancy District, et al.
09-2418, -2482
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, New Albany Division, Magistrate Judge William G. Hussman.
Civil. Affirms the City of Lawrenceburg and the Lawrenceburg Conservancy District breached their contract with the Metros to convey land to the Metros based on the option contract their company held. Vacates decision to reform the contract to change the date by which the option could be exercised from 18 months after completion of the project to 18 months after the date of the District Court opinion. Remands for further proceedings to calculate damages and to assess costs against the district and city.
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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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  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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