Opinions

Opinions July 26, 2017

July 26, 2017
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Aaron Carson, et al., and Ronald Paulsin v. Lake County, Indiana
16-3665
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division. Magistrate Judge Paul R. Cherry.
Civil. Affirms the district court’s grant of summary judgment to Lake County, Indiana, on the plaintiffs’ federal age discrimination claim. Finds there is no evidence the county engaged in unlawful age discrimination. Also finds the plaintiffs’ equal protection claim fails because the undisputed facts show the county’s action was rationally related to a legitimate state interest: preserving supplement insurance coverage for its retirees while avoiding further financial hardship.
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Opinions July 25, 2017

July 25, 2017
Indiana Court of Appeals
Lamasco Redevelopment, LLC v. Henry County, Indiana, Auditor and Henry County, Indiana, Treasurer
33A01-1702-MI-398
Miscellaneous. Reverses the Henry Circuit Court’s order granting the Henry County Auditor and Henry County Treasurer’s request to invalidate Lamasco Redevelopment, LLC’s purchase of two properties at a 2015 tax sale and vacating the court’s order directing that tax deeds be issued to Lamasco for those properties. Finds the auditor’s failure to comply with Indiana Code section 32-21-8-7 did not provide a basis for the trial court to invalidate the tax sale and vacate its orders directing the issuance of tax deeds. Remands with instructions to vacate the order and reinstate the orders to the Auditor to issue tax deeds for both parcels of land to Lamasco.
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Opinions July 24, 2017

July 24, 2017
The following Indiana Supreme Court opinions were posted after IL deadline Friday:
Rodney J. McGuire v. State of Indiana
09S02-1707-CR-491
Criminal. Remands Rodney McGuire’s case for resentencing. Finds Indiana Code Section 35-50-2-2(i) does not change the minimum sentence for McGuire’s Class A felony child molesting conviction from 20 to 30 years. Judge Mark Massa dissents with separate opinion.
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Opinions July 21, 2017

July 21, 2017
Indiana Court of Appeals
Paul Gresk, Trustee for the Bankruptcy Estate of Derek VanWinkle and Stacey VanWinkle on behalf of M.V. and A.V. their minor children v. Cortney Demetris, M.D., et al.
49A02-1610-MI-2287
Miscellaneous. Reverses the Marion Superior Court’s grant of summary judgment on an anti-SLAPP issue in favor of Dr. Cortney Demetris. Finds the anti-SLAPP statute does not apply to reports of child abuse or neglect made to the Department of Child Services. Also finds Demetris’ report to DCS was not made “in furtherance of” her constitutional rights, as required by the anti-SLAPP statute, but rather because of her statutory duty to report child abuse or neglect. Remands the case to the trial court for consideration of the issues that were stayed.
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Opinions July 20, 2017

July 20, 2017
Indiana Court of Appeals
Dustin A. Evans v. State of Indiana
03A04-1612-CR-2911
Criminal. Affirms Dustin Evans’ convictions for escape as a Level 5 felony and unlawful possession of a syringe as a Level 6 felony. Finds there was no fundamental error in the Bartholomew Superior Court’s jury instructions for Evans’ escape charge. Also finds the trial court did not abuse its discretion in ordering consecutive sentences for Evans’ offenses.
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Opinions July 19, 2017

July 19, 2017
Indiana Court of Appeals
Stacy Lamont Griffin v. State of Indiana
11A05-1609-CR-2084
Criminal. Affirms Stacy Lamont Griffin’s conviction for attempted robbery as a Level 5 felony and his six-year sentence. Finds Griffin has not demonstrated an abuse of the Clay Circuit Court’s discretion in the denial of his motion for sequestered, individualized voir dire. Also finds sufficient evidence supports Griffin’s conviction. Finally, finds his sentence is not inappropriate.
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Opinions July 18, 2017

July 18, 2017
The following 7th Circuit Court of Appeals opinion was issued after IL deadline Monday:
United States of America v. Kenneth Sandidge
16-2180
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division. Judge Rudy Lozano.
Criminal. Modifies the district court’s order to prohibit Kenneth Sandidge’s use of alcohol if it “materially adversely affects the defendant’s employment, relationships, or ability to comply with the conditions of supervision” and affirms the order as modified. Finds the original language of the order was loose and indeterminate, raising concerns about arbitrariness in enforcement, but the problem is solved by adding the materiality requirement.
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Opinions July 17, 2017

July 17, 2017
The following 7th Circuit Court of Appeals opinion was posted after IL deadline Friday:
Estate of Dennis Simpson, et al. v. Mark E. Gorbett, James Tindell, Jared Williams, Johnny York, Travis Harbaugh and Cory Lehman

16-2899
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division. Judge Sarah Evans Barker.
Civil. Affirms the grant of summary judgment to six Bartholomew County employees. Finds the Estate of Dennis Simpson failed to provide sufficient evidence to prove its deliberate indifference and inhumane conditions claims.
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Opinions July 14, 2017

July 14, 2017
Indiana Court of Appeals
Louis Bell v. State of Indiana
49A05-1606-CR-1390
Criminal. Affirms Louis Bell’s convictions of Level 4 felony unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon, Level 5 felony possession of a narcotic drug, Level 5 felony possession of cocaine, Class B misdemeanor possession of marijuana and Class C misdemeanor possession of paraphernalia. Finds Officer Justin Gough had reasonable suspicion to stop Bell due to the nighttime traffic violation created by the lack of lights on the bicycle. Also finds that once stopped, neither Bell’s Fourth Amendment nor Article 1, Section 11 rights were violated by the pat-down search. Finally, finds the Marion Superior Court did not abuse its discretion in the admission of evidence. Judge Margaret Robb dissents with separate opinion.
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Opinions July 13, 2017

July 13, 2017
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Gary Jet Center, Inc. v. AFCO AvPorts Management LLC, et al.
16-1233
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division. Judge Joseph S. Van Bokkelen.
Civil. Affirms the dismissal of Gary Jet Center Inc.’s claim alleging violation of the Contracts Clause of the U.S. Constitution. Finds legislative power was not used to deny Gary Jet’s remedy for breach of a 2007 lease.
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Opinions July 12, 2017

July 12, 2017
Indiana Court of Appeals
James E. Saylor v. State of Indiana
39A01-1701-MI-90
Miscellaneous. Affirms the Jefferson Circuit Court’s order granting the state’s motion for judgment on the pleadings. Finds the trial court did not err in ruling on state’s Rule 12(C) motion without an evidentiary hearing. Also finds there is no error in the state’s order granting the motion for judgment on the pleadings. Finally, finds it is clear from the face of James E. Saylor’s complaint that under no circumstances could the relief he sought be granted.
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Opinions July 11, 2017

July 11, 2017
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Jennifer R. Wilson-Trattner v. Robert Campbell, et al.

16-2509
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division. Judge Larry J. McKinney.
Civil. Affirms the grant of summary judgment to the defendants on Jennifer R. Wilson-Trattner’s substantive due process, failure to train and intentional infliction of emotional distress claims, based on allegations that the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department improperly responded to her complaints of domestic abuse. Finds the responding officers’ conduct did not embolden Scott Roeger to continue abusing Wilson-Trattner. Also finds Wilson-Trattner did not provide sufficient evidence to defeat the award of summary judgment on her failure to train and intentional infliction of emotional distress claims.
 

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Opinions July 10, 2017

July 10, 2017
Indiana Court of Appeals
Kyle DeHart v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
43A03-1611-CR-2594
Criminal. Affirms Kyle DeHart’s convictions of two counts of murder and obstruction of justice. Finds the state presented sufficient evidence to support DeHart’s convictions. Also finds the Kosciusko Circuit Court did not abuse its discretion by denying DeHart’s motion for a separate trial or in admitting evidence regarding Brandon Woody’s rap performance with a handgun. Finally, finds the trial court did not commit reversible error in admitting evidence regarding rap songs.
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Opinions July 7, 2017

July 7, 2017
Indiana Court of Appeals
AAA Federal Credit Union v. Indiana Department of Transportation
71A03-1609-PL-2091
Civil plenary. Affirms the St. Joseph Superior Court’s conclusion that AAA Federal Credit Union did not have a property interest in the free flow of traffic from U.S. 31. Finds the trial court did not err.
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Opinions July 6, 2017

July 6, 2017
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Jason Perry
16-1535
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Evansville Division.
Judge Richard L. Young.
Criminal. Affirms the enhancement of Jason Perry’s sentence to 360 months’ imprisonment for two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition after the district court found three of his prior felonies qualified as violent felonies under the Armed Career Criminal Act. Finds Perry has not identified cases in which an Indiana court has affirmed a burglary conviction for acts inconsistent with the generic offense of burglary. Also finds Perry’s conduct supports his two separate counts.
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Opinions July 5, 2017

July 5, 2017
Indiana Court of Appeals
401 Public Safety and Lifeline Data Centers, LLC v. David Ray and the Committee to Elect David Ray
49A02-1609-PL-2132
Civil plenary. Affirms the Marion Superior Court’s order dismissing 401 Public Safety and Lifeline Data Centers LLC’s defamation complaint against David Ray and the Committee to Elect David Ray based on the Anti-SLAAP Statute. Finds the speech contained in a flyer constitutes a matter of public interest. Also finds Ray and the committee have established as a matter of law that they acted in good faith, without malice and with a reasonable basis in law and fact. Judge Paul Mathias concurs and dissent in part with separate opinion.
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Opinions June 30, 2017

June 30, 2017
Indiana Court of Appeals
Ryan Martin v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
75A04-1609-CR-2098
Criminal. Affirms Ryan Martin’s conviction of Level 5 felony dealing in meth. Finds the trial court did not abuse its discretion in admitting testimony indicating that he was on probation and that the rules of probation provided that he would waive his Fourth Amendment right and submit his place of residence to a reasonable search.
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Opinions June 29, 2017

June 29, 2017
Indiana Supreme Court
Jordan Jacobs v. State of Indiana
49S02-1706-CR-438
Criminal. Reverses Jordan Jacobs’ conviction of Class A misdemeanor possession of a handgun without a license. Finds the search of Jacobs by police was constitutionally impermissible. Remands for further proceedings.
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Opinions June 28, 2017

June 28, 2017
Indiana Court of Appeals
Joseph Richardson v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
49A04-1609-CR-2196
Criminal. Affirms Joseph Richardson’s two convictions of felony child molesting, finding sufficient evidence and that the convictions do not violate the continuing crime doctrine.
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Opinions June 27, 2017

June 27, 2017
Indiana Court of Appeals
In the Matter of the Civil Commitment of: M.L. v. Eskenazi Health/Midtown Mental Health CMHC
49A02-1612-MH-2823
Mental health.  Majority affirms in part, reverses in part and remands with instructions the trial court’s grant of Eskenazi’s request for temporary commitment. A special condition prohibiting M.L. from consuming alcohol or drugs not prescribed by a doctor was not sufficiently supported by the evidence. The trial court is instructed to strike the special condition from the order of commitment. Judge Cale Bradford dissents and would affirm the trial court. Denies Eskenazi’s “remarkable” request for appellate attorney fees from the Marion County Public Defender Agency.
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Opinions, June 26, 2017

June 26, 2017
Indiana Court of Appeals
Travis L. Woodruff v. State of Indiana
32A01-1612-CR-2751
Criminal. Affirms the sentencing enhancements of 15 years for being a habitual offender and 10 years for using a firearm. Finds the double enhancements were not applied to the same proof of an “uninterrupted transaction.”
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Opinions June 23, 2017

June 23, 2017
Indiana Court of Appeals
Troy Burgh v. State of Indiana
71A03-1611-CR-2669
Criminal. Affirms Troy Burgh’s conviction for battery as a Level 5 felony. Finds as a matter of first impression that when the paved surface of a parking lot is used in a manner that makes the surface readily capable of causing serious bodily injury, a reasonable trier of fact may conclude the battery was “committed with a deadly weapon.”
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Opinions June 22, 2017

June 22, 2017
Indiana Supreme Court
Reginald Harris v. State of Indiana
45S03-1703-CR-172
Criminal. Affirms Reginald Harris’ convictions for battery against a public safety official and resisting law enforcement. Finds the Lake Superior Court was within its discretion to admit Summer Snow’s gun as evidence. Also finds that although the gun was not relevant to Harris’ crimes, he failed to seek a separate trial or a limiting instruction, thus waiving any argument that the gun’s admission denied him a fair trial.
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Opinions June 21, 2017

June 21, 2017
Indiana Court of Appeals
James A. Hart v. State of Indiana
59A01-1607-CR-1655
Criminal. Reverses James Hart’s conviction of Class A misdemeanor invasion of privacy. Finds the Orange Superior Court did not properly advise Hart of the dangers of representing himself and, thus, he did not knowingly, intelligently and voluntarily waive his right to counsel verbally or through his conduct. Remands for a new trial.
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Opinions June 20, 2017

June 20, 2017
Indiana Supreme Court
William McNeal v. State of Indiana
49S05-1706-CR-405
Criminal. Grants transfer and vacates the Court of Appeals’ discussion in its opinion of the community caretaking function, specifically the final sentence of Section 1, the entirety of Section 1.1, the first phrase of Section 1.2 and the second sentence of the paragraph numbered 25. Summarily affirms the remainder of the Court of Appeals’ opinion, including the rest of Section 1.2 and Section 2.
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