Opinions

Opinions April 26, 2013

April 26, 2013
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Big Ridge Inc., Jerad Bickett, et al. v. Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission, et al.
12-2316, 12-2460
Review of order. Denies petitions for review filed by mine operators and a group of mine employees regarding regulations that allow for Federal Mine Safety and Health Administration inspectors to review employee medical and personnel records during inspections to verify the mines have not been under-reporting miners’ injuries and illnesses.
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Opinions April 25, 2012

April 25, 2013
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Emilio Martino v. Western & Southern Financial Group
12-1855
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Fort Wayne Division, Judge Theresa L. Springmann.
Civil. Affirms summary judgment for Western & Southern Financial Group on Martino’s lawsuit for religious discrimination and defamation. Martino’s evidence neither calls into doubt W&S’s explanation for his discharge – that he did not provide documents verifying his eligibility for employment in the U.S. – nor establishes a prima facie case of defamation.
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Opinions April 24, 2013

April 24, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
Joshua McCaine Pillow v. State of Indiana
71A04-1206-CR-325
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C felony operating a motor vehicle after driving privileges had been forfeited for life. There was sufficient evidence Pillow operated a motor vehicle and his driving privileges had been forfeited for life, which is all the state is obliged to prove under I.C. 9-30-10-17.
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Opinions April 23, 2013

April 23, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
Kenyatta Erkins and Ugbe Ojile v. State of Indiana
58A01-1205-CR-215
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class A felony conspiracy to commit robbery resulting in serious bodily injury. Rejected all the issues Erkins and Ojile raised on appeal. Found the trial court did not err in permitting the amendment to the charging information; the evidence was sufficient to show the pair intended and agreed to commit robbery that would result in serious bodily injury; the trial court did not abuse its discretion in admitting evidence gathered after Erkins and Ojile left the casino; any error in admitted interpretations of the pair’s phone conversation was harmless; and the prosecutor did not commit misconduct nor cause a fundamental error.
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Opinions April 22, 2013

April 22, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
Douglas A. Guilmette v. State of Indiana
71A04-1205-CR-250
Criminal. Affirms conviction for murder. The court found although the trial court did err by admitting DNA from a bloody shoe into evidence, the error was harmless because other substantial and independent evidence supported the conviction. It also ruled the trial court did not abuse its discretion by instructing the jury on accomplice liability, and it ruled the evidence was ample to sustain the murder conviction. 
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Opinions April 19, 2013

April 19, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
Razien McCullough v. State of Indiana
49A02-1210-CR-789
Criminal. Affirms two murder convictions and a 115-year aggregate sentence, holding that the state presented sufficient evidence to disprove McCullough’s claim of self-defense and that the sentence was not inappropriate given the nature of the crimes and McCullough’s character.
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Opinions April 18, 2013

April 18, 2013
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Johnnie C. Collins
12-3317
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Fort Wayne Division, Judge Theresa L. Springmann.
Criminal. Affirms denial of motion to suppress evidence in drug case in which Collins entered a conditional plea of guilty to possession of crack with intent to distribute and possession of powder cocaine with intent to distribute.

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Opinions April 17, 2013

April 17, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
Earlie B. Berry, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
02A03-1210-CR-455
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C felony burglary.
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Opinions April 16, 2013

April 16, 2013
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Renee S. Majors v. General Electric Co.
12-2893
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Larry J. McKinney.
Civil. Affirms grant of summary judgment on Majors’ claims that GE violated the Americans with Disabilities Act when it denied her positions and that GE retaliated against her for filing EEOC charges of discrimination.
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Opinions April 15, 2013

April 15, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
Jose Guzman v. State of Indiana
54A01-1209-CR-409
Criminal. Affirms eight-year sentence following guilty plea to Class C felony reckless homicide and the order Guzman pay restitution to the accident victims. The trial court acted within its discretion in ordering the restitution and in sentencing Guzman, and his sentence is not inappropriate.
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Opinions April 12, 2013

April 12, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
David R. Mertz v. City of Greenwood, Indiana
41A01-1206-MI-286
Miscellaneous. Affirms order denying Mertz’s petition to reverse the disciplinary action taken against him by the Greenwood Police Merit Commission following an evidentiary hearing. Mertz has not met his burden to show that the trial court determination, upholding the commission’s interpretation of the relevant ordinances, is arbitrary and capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise contrary to law.
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Opinions April 11, 2013

April 11, 2013
Indiana Supreme Court
Utility Center, Inc. d/b/a Aqua Indiana, Inc. v. City of Fort Wayne, Indiana
90S04-1208-PL-450
Civil plenary. Reverses the judgment of the trial court granting the city’s motion to strike a jury request by Aqua Indiana and remands this cause for further proceedings. Concludes that “rehear the matter of the assessment de novo” within the meaning of Indiana Code 32-24-2-11(a) contemplates a new hearing with trial and judgment as in all other civil actions. And where a party so requests, a trial by jury.
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Opinions April 10, 2013

April 10, 2013
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Kevin B. McCarthy, et al., and Langsenkamp Family Apostolate, et al. v. Patricia Ann Fuller, et al.
12-2157, 12-2257, 12-2262
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge William T. Lawrence.
Civil. The District Court’s denial of McCarthy’s motion that the court take judicial notice of the Holy See’s rulings on Fuller’s status in the Roman Catholic Church is reversed, with a reminder to the district court that federal courts are not empowered to decide (or to allow juries to decide) religious questions. The other two appeals are dismissed.
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Opinions April 9, 2013

April 9, 2013
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Nancie Cloe v. City of Indianapolis
12-1713
Civil/discrimination. Affirms District Court grant of summary judgment to Indianapolis on Nancy Cloe’s argument that the city failed to reasonably accommodate her injury, but reversed and remanded the District Court’s summary judgment against Cloe’s claims that she was discriminated against and faced retaliation for requesting a work accommodation be made because of her disability.

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Opinions April 8, 2013

April 8, 2013
Halden Martin v. State of Indiana
73A01-1207-CR-300
Criminal. Reverses and remands a conviction of Class A misdemeanor operating a vehicle while intoxicated. A toxicology department witness’s repeated failure to appear for scheduled depositions was a delay attributable to the state, the court ruled, finding that the delay caused a trial 476 days after Martin’s arrest, in violation of Criminal Rule 4(C).
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Opinions April 5, 2013

April 5, 2013
Indiana Supreme Court
Daniel Ray Wilkes v. State of Indiana
10S00-1004-PD-185
Post Conviction. Affirms denial of post-conviction relief from a sentence of life without parole for conviction of three murders, concluding that Wilkes did not meet his burden of proof on arguments that he was deprived of his rights to an impartial jury and effective assistance of counsel.
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Opinions April 4, 2013

April 4, 2013
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Betty M. Jordan and Theodore R. Jordan v. Kelly D. Binns and U.S. Xpress Inc.
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge William T. Lawrence.
Civil. Affirms jury verdict in favor of Binns and his employer U.S. Xpress on the Jordans’ lawsuit filed after Betty Jordan lost both of her legs while riding a motorcycle and being hit by the tractor-trailer driven by Binns. Rejects claims on appeal that improperly admitted hearsay evidence warrants a new trial. The court found that some hearsay evidence regarding Betty Jordan’s statement that she was at fault in a motorcycle accident was improperly admitted, but it was cumulative, and other evidence presented at trial strongly favored the defendants’ position.
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Opinions April 3, 2013

April 3, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
Albert Lee Baker v. State of Indiana (NFP)
53A01-1210-CR-490
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to Class B felony dealing in a narcotic drug.
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Opinions April 2, 2013

April 2, 2013
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Koransky, Bouwer & Poracky P.C. v. The Bar Plan Mutual Insurance Co.
12-1579
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Judge William C. Lee.
Civil. Affirms summary judgment for The Bar Plan and the denial of Koransky Bower & Poracky’s motion for summary judgment on whether The Bar Plan had to represent the law firm or indemnify it on a client’s malpractice claim. The law firm’s knowledge of the email exchange with the seller’s counsel in February and the Alabama declaratory judgment action filed March 14 constituted knowledge of “any circumstance, act or omission that might reasonably be expected to be the basis of” a malpractice claim by the firm’s client. The firm did not notify The Bar Plan in a timely manner.
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Opinions April 1, 2013

April 1, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
Roche Diagnostics Operations, Inc. v. Marsh Supermarkets, LLC
29A02-1201-PL-4
Civil plenary. Affirms judgment in favor of Marsh Supermarkets. The trial court did not abuse its discretion in awarding Marsh damages based on Roche’s rental obligation under the 18-year term of the sublease after Roche terminated it over a subordination non-disturbance and attornment agreement. Judge Crone dissents.
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Opinions March 29, 2013

March 29, 2013
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Phillip Jackson and Deborah Jackson v. Bank of America Corp., et al.
12-3338
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge William T. Lawrence.
Civil. Affirms dismissal of the Jacksons’ action to quiet title and claims that all or some of the defendants negligently evaluated the Jacksons’ ability to repay the loan and that the loan contract was substantively and procedurally unconscionable. The Jacksons can’t show that the institutions actually owed them a duty, and they failed to allege facts that would support any unconscionability determination in Indiana.

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Opinions March 28, 2013

March 28, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
In the Matter of the Involuntary Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of G.P., and J.A. v. The Indiana Department of Child Services

49A02-1208-JT-643
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights. Mother J.A.’s due process rights were not violated, and there was sufficient evidence to support the termination.
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Opinions March 27, 2013

March 27, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
Terrence J. Fuqua v. State of Indiana
02A03-1207-CR-342
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class A felony dealing in cocaine, Class B felony unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon, Class D felonies possession of a controlled substance and dealing in marijuana, and Class A misdemeanor possession of paraphernalia. The investigating detectives had reasonable suspicion to search Fuqua’s trash, and the subsequent search warrant was supported by probable cause. The trial court acted within its discretion when it admitted evidence seized during the execution of the search warrant.
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Opinions March 26, 2013

March 26, 2013
Indiana Supreme Court
Teresa Meredith, et al. v. Mike Pence, et al.
Civil plenary/school vouchers. Affirms constitutionality of Indiana’s Choice Scholarship program, affirming a trial court’s grant of summary judgment for state defendants in a suit in which plaintiffs claimed the voucher program violated state Constitution provisions on education and religious liberties. The court held that the voucher plan is within the Legislature’s power under Article 8, Section 1, and that the enacted program does not violate either Section 4 or Section 6 of Article 1 of the Indiana Constitution.
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Opinions March 25, 2013

March 25, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
Maria Upham, as Surviving Spouse and Personal Rep. of the Estate of Wilbur A. Upham, Deceased v. Morgan County Hospital, Richard J. Eisenhut, M.D., Unity Physicians, Kendrick Family Practice, et al.
55A01-1202-CT-53
Civil tort/malpractice. Affirms jury verdict in favor of the hospital, holding that Upham’s counsel failed to request an admonishment and therefore waived the argument that the court should have declared a mistrial because of a prospective juror’s comments that plaintiff’s counsel was motivated by money. There was no abuse of discretion in jury instructions or in the court’s limiting of discovery. 
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  1. Two cops shot execution style in NYC. Was it first amendment protest, or was it incitement to lawlessness? Some are keeping track of the body bags: http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2014/12/13/al-sharpton-leads-thousands-in-saturday-march-on-washington-dc/

  2. From the MCBA: “This situation is not just about the death of Michael Brown, but the thousands of other African-Americans who are disproportionately targeted and killed by police officers.” The association said it was “saddened and disappointed” by the decision not to indict Ferguson police officer. HOPING that the MCBA will denouce the execution style killig of two NYC police officers this day, seemingly the act of one who likewise believes that the police are targeting blacks for murder and getting away with it. http://www.mediaite.com/online/two-nypd-cops-fatally-shot-in-ambush-in-brooklyn/ Pray this violence soon ends, and pray it stays far away from Indiana.

  3. "Am I bugging you? I don't mean to bug ya." If what I wrote below is too much social philosophy for Indiana attorneys, just take ten this vacay to watch The Lego Movie with kiddies and sing along where appropriate: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=etzMjoH0rJw

  4. I've got some free speech to share here about who is at work via the cat's paw of the ACLU stamping out Christian observances.... 2 Thessalonians chap 2: "And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe. For you, brothers and sisters, became imitators of God’s churches in Judea, which are in Christ Jesus: You suffered from your own people the same things those churches suffered from the Jews who killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets and also drove us out. They displease God and are hostile to everyone in their effort to keep us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved. In this way they always heap up their sins to the limit. The wrath of God has come upon them at last."

  5. Did someone not tell people who have access to the Chevy Volts that it has a gas engine and will run just like a normal car? The batteries give the Volt approximately a 40 mile range, but after that the gas engine will propel the vehicle either directly through the transmission like any other car, or gas engine recharges the batteries depending on the conditions.

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