Opinions

Opinions March 10, 2016

March 10, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Tricia A. Davis Williams v. State of Indiana
29A02-1506-CR-528
Criminal. Affirms Tricia A. Davis Williams’ sentencing order after she pleaded guilty to one count of Class D felony theft. Her placement in the Department of Correction is not inappropriate.
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Opinions March 9, 2016

March 9, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
David Lee Marshall v. State of Indiana
20A03-1507-MI-973
Criminal. Affirms the denial of David Lee Marshall’s petition for expungement, holding the trial court could properly find, based upon Marshall’s own admission, that he had committed a crime in the relevant time period and was not entitled to the requested relief. 
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Opinions March 8, 2016

March 8, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Tyrone Grayson v. State of Indiana

49A05-1505-CR-350
Criminal. Affirms Tyrone Grayson’s conviction of Class B felony unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon. An anonymous tip was sufficient probable cause for police to stop Grayson’s vehicle, where a handgun was found in plain sight.
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Opinions March 7, 2016

March 7, 2016
Indiana Tax Court

Nick Popovich v Ind. Dept. of State Revenue
49T10-1010-TA-53
Awards Nick Popovich $24,963 for successfully prosecuting his first motion to compel.

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Opinions March 4, 2016

March 4, 2016
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Aduwali Abdukhadir Muse v. Charles A. Daniels, Warden, FCI Terre Haute
15-2646
Civil. Affirms denial of writ of habeas corpus because Muse waived the right to challenge his guilty plea based on his age when he pleaded guilty.
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Opinions March 3, 2016

March 3, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Caterpillar Inc. v. William Sudlow
79A02-1507-CT-801
Civil tort. Reverses and remands summary judgment for William Sudlow in favor of Caterpillar Inc. after it found Sudlow is not entitled to relief under statute or common law. Sudlow was a Caterpillar employee who was fired after another employee observed a partially visible gun in his vehicle in the Caterpillar parking lot.
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Opinions March 2, 2016

March 2, 2016
Indiana Supreme Court
Ashonta Kenya Jackson v. State of Indiana
48S02-1509-CR-554
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C felony corrupt business influence, holding that Indiana’s Racketeer Influenced and Criminal Organizations Act does not contain a continuity element, but rather a requirement that the pattern of crimes are “not isolated.” The evidence was sufficient to show the underlying robberies Jackson was convicted of were not isolated. Remands for revision of the sentencing order to indicate which offense was enhanced by the habitual offender adjudication.
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Opinions March 1, 2016

March 1, 2016
Indiana Supreme Court
Austin Blaize v State of Indiana
26S00-14-10-LW-771
Life without parole. Affirms convictions of murder, burglary and other charges and Austin Blaize’s sentence of life without parole and a term of years. Comments made by the judge to the jury do not require reversal and a new trial.
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Opinions Feb. 29, 2016

February 29, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Edward Skillman v. Ivy Tech Community College
49A04-1509-PL-1279
Civil plenary. Affirms summary judgment for Ivy Tech on Skillman’s claim under the Indiana Wage Payment Act. Ivy Tech is not an “employer” for purposes of the Indiana Minimum Wage Law because it is “subject to” federal Fair Labor Standards Ac requirements, even if Skillman cannot personally enforce FLSA requirements against Ivy Tech.
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Opinions Feb. 26, 2016

February 26, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Timothy L. Coats v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
02A03-1510-CR-1657
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Level 6 felony resisting law enforcement.
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Opinions Feb. 25, 2016

February 25, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
John H. Hill v. State of Indiana
20A03-1507-CR-907
Criminal. Affirms John Hill’s convictions of criminal confinement, a Class C felony, domestic battery, a Class D felony, domestic battery, a Class A misdemeanor and interference with the reporting of a crime, a Class A misdemeanor.  The state did not interfere with his defense by moving to exclude the testimony of a witness.
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Opinions Feb. 24, 2016

February 24, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Billy Luke v. State of Indiana
15A01-1409-CR-407
Criminal. Affirms Billy Luke’s convictions for invasion of privacy as Class D felonies and the revocation of his probation. Remands with instructions to vacate Luke’s conviction for stalking as a Class C felony because of a double jeopardy violation.
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Opinions Feb. 23, 2016

February 23, 2016
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Kathy Ann Stark v. Carolyn W. Colvin

15-2352
US District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Fort Wayne Division
Joseph S. Van Bokkelen, Judge.
Civil. Remands denial of disability insurance benefits to Social Security Administration, finding the administrative law judge applied flawed analyses to deny Stark’s claim.
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Opinions Feb. 22, 2016

February 22, 2016
The following 7th Circuit Court of Appeals opinion was issued after IL deadline Friday.

USA vs. Lon Campbell
15-1188
US District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division
Tonya Walton Pratt, Judge.
Criminal. Dismisses appeal of Campbell’s sentence of 21 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release because he waived his right to appeal in district court.

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Opinions Feb. 18, 2016

February 18, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
David W. Gerth v. State of Indiana
29A02-1506-CR-693
Criminal. Reverses David Gerth’s convictions for Class C felony dealing in marijuana and Class D felony maintaining a common nuisance.

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Opinions Feb. 17, 2016

February 17, 2016
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
In Re: Biglari Holdings Inc. Shareholder Derivative Litigation. Chad Taylor and Edward Donahue v. Sardar Biglari
15-1828
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division. Judge Sarah Evans Barker.
Civil. Affirms ruling there was no demand futility in three transactions which sold holdings to Biglari Holdings CEO Sardar Biglari.
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Opinions Feb. 16, 2016

February 16, 2016
Indiana Supreme Court
Tom Bonnell v. Ruby A. Cotner, Douglas Wayne Cotner, Arthur J. Johnson, Jimmy J. Johnson, and Jerry L. Johnson
66S03-1509-PL-530
Civil plenary. Affirms denial of the Cotners’ adverse possession claim and reverses the grant of a prescriptive easement, finding that the sale of the 35-foot-wide strip of land by tax deed extinguished any and all interest the Cotners previously possessed.
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Opinions Feb. 15, 2016

February 15, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Takesha Lashawn Sanders v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
45A04-1506-CR-648
Criminal. Affirms conviction of guilty but mentally ill of murder after a jury trial.

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Opinions Feb. 12, 2016

February 12, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
David J. and Susan L. MacFadyen v. City of Angola, City of Angola Plan Commission, and Trine University, Inc.

17A03-1506-CT-556
Civil tort. Affirms decision by the Angola Plan Commission to vacate a portion of an alley on Trine University property near the MacFadyens’ property. The MacFadyens did not show they were aggrieved by the vacation.
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Opinions Feb. 10, 2016

February 10, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Thomas A. Ambrose II v. Dalton Construction, Inc.

29A02-1407-CC-479
Civil collection. Clarifies on rehearing that there is a statutory requirement that modifications to a home improvement contract must be in writing, notwithstanding the language in Sees v. Bank One, Ind., N.A., 839, N.E.2d 154, 161 (Ind. 2005). But this does not change the result of the case and affirms denial of Ambrose’s motion for summary judgment and the entry of final judgment in favor of Dalton Construction on its complaint to foreclose a mechanic’s lien.
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Opinions Feb. 9, 2016

February 9, 2016
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Debbie A. Stage v. Carolyn W. Colvin, Acting Commissioner of Social Security
15-1837
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division. Judge Joseph Van Bokklelen.
Civil. Vacates the denial of Stage’s application for supplemental security income, disability insurance benefits and disabled widow’s benefits. Finds the medical evidence does not support the administrative law judge’s decision that Stage could stand or walk for six hours a day; stoop, crouch, occasionally climb ramps or stairs; and lift or carry up to 20 pounds. Remands for further consideration.
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Opinions Feb. 8, 2016

February 8, 2016
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Opinions Feb. 5, 2016

February 5, 2016
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Opinions Feb. 4, 2016

February 4, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
State of Indiana v. Chad T. Mooney, Brittany McCool
82A04-1505-CR-266
Criminal. Affirms denial of the state’s motions for relief from judgment regarding the trial court’s orders permitting Mooney and McCool’s driving privileges to be reinstated without proof of future financial responsibility. The state has not established prima facie error in the trial court’s denial of its motions for relief from judgment. 
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Opinions Feb. 3, 2016

February 3, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Brenda Hall v. Dallman Contractors, LLC, Shook LLC, and AT&T Services, Inc.
49A02-1502-CT-67
Civil tort. Affirms summary judgment in favor of AT&T Services Inc. on Hall’s negligence action against the company. It is barred by the exclusive remedies provision of the Worker’s Compensation Act because Hall has already received a workers’ compensation settlement from Ameritech, her employer, which, like AT&T Services Inc., is a subsidiary of AT&T Inc.
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  1. California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) End of Year Report 2014. (page 13) Under the current system many local registering agencies are challenged just keeping up with registration paperwork. It takes an hour or more to process each registrant, the majority of whom are low risk offenders. As a result law enforcement cannot monitor higher risk offenders more intensively in the community due to the sheer numbers on the registry. Some of the consequences of lengthy and unnecessary registration requirements actually destabilize the life’s of registrants and those -such as families- whose lives are often substantially impacted. Such consequences are thought to raise levels of known risk factors while providing no discernible benefit in terms of community safety. The full report is available online at. http://www.casomb.org/index.cfm?pid=231 National Institute of Justice (NIJ) US Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs United States of America. The overall conclusion is that Megan’s law has had no demonstrated effect on sexual offenses in New Jersey, calling into question the justification for start-up and operational costs. Megan’s Law has had no effect on time to first rearrest for known sex offenders and has not reduced sexual reoffending. Neither has it had an impact on the type of sexual reoffense or first-time sexual offense. The study also found that the law had not reduced the number of victims of sexual offenses. The full report is available online at. https://www.ncjrs.gov/app/publications/abstract.aspx? ID=247350 The University of Chicago Press for The Booth School of Business of the University of Chicago and The University of Chicago Law School Article DOI: 10.1086/658483 Conclusion. The data in these three data sets do not strongly support the effectiveness of sex offender registries. The national panel data do not show a significant decrease in the rate of rape or the arrest rate for sexual abuse after implementation of a registry via the Internet. The BJS data that tracked individual sex offenders after their release in 1994 did not show that registration had a significantly negative effect on recidivism. And the D.C. crime data do not show that knowing the location of sex offenders by census block can help protect the locations of sexual abuse. This pattern of noneffectiveness across the data sets does not support the conclusion that sex offender registries are successful in meeting their objectives of increasing public safety and lowering recidivism rates. The full report is available online at. http://www.jstor.org/stable/full/10.1086/658483 These are not isolated conclusions but are the same outcomes in the majority of conclusions and reports on this subject from multiple government agencies and throughout the academic community. People, including the media and other organizations should not rely on and reiterate the statements and opinions of the legislators or other people as to the need for these laws because of the high recidivism rates and the high risk offenders pose to the public which simply is not true and is pure hyperbole and fiction. They should rely on facts and data collected and submitted in reports from the leading authorities and credible experts in the fields such as the following. California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) Sex offender recidivism rate for a new sex offense is 0.8% (page 30) The full report is available online at http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Adult_Research_Branch/Research_Documents/2014_Outcome_Evaluation_Report_7-6-2015.pdf California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) (page 38) Sex offender recidivism rate for a new sex offense is 1.8% The full report is available online at. http://www.google.com/url?sa= t&source=web&cd=1&ved= 0CCEQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F% 2Fwww.cdcr.ca.gov%2FAdult_ Research_Branch%2FResearch_ documents%2FOutcome_ evaluation_Report_2013.pdf&ei= C9dSVePNF8HfoATX-IBo&usg=AFQjCNE9I6ueHz-o2mZUnuxLPTyiRdjDsQ Bureau of Justice Statistics 5 PERCENT OF SEX OFFENDERS REARRESTED FOR ANOTHER SEX CRIME WITHIN 3 YEARS OF PRISON RELEASE WASHINGTON, D.C. Within 3 years following their 1994 state prison release, 5.3 percent of sex offenders (men who had committed rape or sexual assault) were rearrested for another sex crime, the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced today. The full report is available online at. http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/press/rsorp94pr.cfm Document title; A Model of Static and Dynamic Sex Offender Risk Assessment Author: Robert J. McGrath, Michael P. Lasher, Georgia F. Cumming Document No.: 236217 Date Received: October 2011 Award Number: 2008-DD-BX-0013 Findings: Study of 759 adult male offenders under community supervision Re-arrest rate: 4.6% after 3-year follow-up The sexual re-offense rates for the 746 released in 2005 are much lower than what many in the public have been led to expect or believe. These low re-offense rates appear to contradict a conventional wisdom that sex offenders have very high sexual re-offense rates. The full report is available online at. https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/236217.pdf Document Title: SEX OFFENDER SENTENCING IN WASHINGTON STATE: RECIDIVISM RATES BY: Washington State Institute For Public Policy. A study of 4,091 sex offenders either released from prison or community supervision form 1994 to 1998 and examined for 5 years Findings: Sex Crime Recidivism Rate: 2.7% Link to Report: http://www.oncefallen.com/files/Washington_SO_Recid_2005.pdf Document Title: Indiana’s Recidivism Rates Decline for Third Consecutive Year BY: Indiana Department of Correction 2009. The recidivism rate for sex offenders returning on a new sex offense was 1.05%, one of the lowest in the nation. In a time when sex offenders continue to face additional post-release requirements that often result in their return to prison for violating technical rules such as registration and residency restrictions, the instances of sex offenders returning to prison due to the commitment of a new sex crime is extremely low. Findings: sex offenders returning on a new sex offense was 1.05% Link to Report: http://www.in.gov/idoc/files/RecidivismRelease.pdf Once again, These are not isolated conclusions but are the same outcomes in the majority of reports on this subject from multiple government agencies and throughout the academic community. No one can doubt that child sexual abuse is traumatic and devastating. The question is not whether the state has an interest in preventing such harm, but whether current laws are effective in doing so. Megan’s law is a failure and is destroying families and their children’s lives and is costing tax payers millions upon millions of dollars. The following is just one example of the estimated cost just to implement SORNA which many states refused to do. From Justice Policy Institute. Estimated cost to implement SORNA Here are some of the estimates made in 2009 expressed in 2014 current dollars: California, $66M; Florida, $34M; Illinois, $24M; New York, $35M; Pennsylvania, $22M; Texas, $44M. In 2014 dollars, Virginia’s estimate for implementation was $14M, and the annual operating cost after that would be $10M. For the US, the total is $547M. That’s over half a billion dollars – every year – for something that doesn’t work. http://www.justicepolicy.org/images/upload/08-08_FAC_SORNACosts_JJ.pdf. Attempting to use under-reporting to justify the existence of the registry is another myth, or a lie. This is another form of misinformation perpetrated by those who either have a fiduciary interest in continuing the unconstitutional treatment of a disfavored group or are seeking to justify their need for punishment for people who have already paid for their crime by loss of their freedom through incarceration and are now attempting to reenter society as honest citizens. When this information is placed into the public’s attention by naive media then you have to wonder if the media also falls into one of these two groups that are not truly interested in reporting the truth. Both of these groups of people that have that type of mentality can be classified as vigilantes, bullies, or sociopaths, and are responsible for the destruction of our constitutional values and the erosion of personal freedoms in this country. I think the media or other organizations need to do a in depth investigation into the false assumptions and false data that has been used to further these laws and to research all the collateral damages being caused by these laws and the unconstitutional injustices that are occurring across the country. They should include these injustices in their report so the public can be better informed on what is truly happening in this country on this subject. Thank you for your time.

  2. Freedom as granted in the Constitution cannot be summarily disallowed without Due Process. Unable to to to the gym, church, bowling alley? What is this 1984 level nonsense? Congrats to Brian for having the courage to say that this was enough! and Congrats to the ACLU on the win!

  3. America's hyper-phobia about convicted sex offenders must end! Politicians must stop pandering to knee-jerk public hysteria. And the public needs to learn the facts. Research by the California Sex Offender Management Board as shown a recidivism rate for convicted sex offenders of less than 1%. Less than 1%! Furthermore, research shows that by year 17 after their conviction, a convicted sex offender is no more likely to commit a new sex offense than any other member of the public. Put away your torches and pitchforks. Get the facts. Stop hysteria.

  4. He was convicted 23 years ago. How old was he then? He probably was a juvenile. People do stupid things, especially before their brain is fully developed. Why are we continuing to punish him in 2016? If he hasn't re-offended by now, it's very, very unlikely he ever will. He paid for his mistake sufficiently. Let him live his life in peace.

  5. This year, Notre Dame actually enrolled an equal amount of male and female students.

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