Opinions

Opinions Feb. 10, 2014

February 10, 2014
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Timmothy Williams
13-1260
Criminal. Vacates sentence for convictions related to identity theft and remands to the District Court. In accordance with the ruling in Peugh v. United States, 133 S. Ct. 2072, 2078 (2013), sentencing guidelines that were stricter than those in place at the time Williams committed the crime were improperly applied when he was sentenced to 56 months in prison for identity theft convictions plus 24 months for aggravated identity theft. Remands to sentence Williams to 30 to 37 months in prison – the range under the guidelines in place at the time of his offenses.
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Opinions Feb. 7, 2014

February 7, 2014
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Gary W. Helman v. Bruce Duhaime, et al.
12-3428
Civil. Affirms summary judgment in favor of defendants in a civil rights suit alleging police used excessive force when they shot Gary Helman, ending an armed standoff that began when authorities attempted to serve a warrant for his arrest at his home in Cromwell. Helman’s § 1983 complaint cannot survive summary judgment because he pleaded guilty to a class D felony count of resisting law enforcement in which evidence showed authorities only fired after Helman reached for his firearm.
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Opinions Feb. 6, 2014

February 6, 2014
Indiana Supreme Court
Veolia Water Indianapolis, LLC, City of Indianapolis, Department of Waterworks, and City of Indianapolis v. National Trust Insurance Company and FCCI Insurance Company a/s/o Ultra Steak, Inc., et. al.
49S04-1301-PL-8
Civil plenary. Holds that a private, for-profit company under the circumstances of this case is not entitled to common law sovereign immunity from liability for damages resulting from a fire that destroyed a Texas Roadhouse restaurant. Accordingly, affirms the trial court’s rulings that Veolia is not entitled to common law sovereign immunity and that the city is not entitled to statutory sovereign immunity from liability for damages resulting from an inadequate water supply in the hydrants near the restaurant. The city is entitled to common law sovereign immunity, so reverses holding that the city is not entitled to common law sovereign immunity.
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Opinions Feb. 5, 2014

February 5, 2014
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Kendale L. Adams, et al. v City of Indianapolis
12-1874
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Sarah Evans Barker.
Civil. In a consolidated appeal, affirms entry of summary judgment for the city on the officers’ disparate-treatment claims because the plaintiffs had not produced any evidence that using the test results to make promotions was a pretext for discrimination. Affirms dismissal of new claims brought as barred by res judicata because the same eligibility list generated by the testing process was at issue in the first case.
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Opinions Feb. 4, 2014

February 4, 2014
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Eric Smith v. Executive Director of the Indiana War Memorials Commission, et al.
13-1939
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge William T. Lawrence.
Civil. Reverses denial of Smith’s motion for a preliminary injunction against the enforcement of a policy that requires a permit before gathering on commission properties. The new policy, revised shortly after the District Court denied the motion, retains the problematic features of the old policy. Also, Smith has met the requirements for obtaining a preliminary injunction. Remands with instructions to enter an appropriate preliminary injunction.
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Opinions Feb. 3, 2014

February 3, 2014
Indiana Court of Appeals
William Rinehart v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1305-CR-236
Criminal. Reverses conviction of Class C felony possession of a handgun without a license.
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Opinions Jan. 31, 2014

January 31, 2014
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Timothy L. Richards
12-3763
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Fort Wayne Division, Judge Theresa L. Springmann.
Criminal. Affirms convictions of possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, maintaining a residence or place for the purpose of using and distributing controlled substances, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and being a felon in possession of a firearm. There was no error in allowing the government to introduce seized evidence, finding Richards’ 86-year-old uncle had authority to consent to a search of the bedroom where Richards stayed.
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Opinions Jan. 30, 2014

January 30, 2014
Indiana Court of Appeals
In Re: The Matter of C.L., a Delinquent v. State of Indiana
05A04-1306-JV-319
Juvenile. Reverses adjudication that C.L. is delinquent for committing what would be Class A misdemeanor intimidation if committed by an adult. It was not established that C.L. committed intimidation for a prior lawful act. The evidence established that the alleged threats C.L. directed toward his grandfather were aimed at influencing future conduct, rather that in retaliation for past conduct. Judge Najam dissents.
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Opinions Jan. 29, 2014

January 29, 2014
Indiana Court of Appeals
Cory L. Meadows v. State of Indiana
39A01-1305-CR-215
Criminal. Affirms the denial of Meadows’ request for credit for the time he served on electronic monitoring while he was in the drug court program. After examining the statutory provisions governing sentencing, electronic monitoring and deferral programs, concludes it was within the court’s discretion to deny the credit toward his sentence.
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Opinions Jan. 28, 2014

January 28, 2014
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Bitler Investment Venture II, LLC, et al. v. Marathon Petroleum Company LP, et al.
12-3722.
Civil. Affirms in part, reverses in part a $269,000 judgment in favor of Bitler. Remands with instructions to double damages awarded under Michigan’s laws regarding doctrine of waste for properties that Marathon failed to maintain and were ultimately condemned. Reverses dismissal of certain contract claims and remands to the District Court for the Northern District of Indiana for trial on those issues.
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Opinions Jan. 27, 2014

January 27, 2014
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Annex Books Inc, et al. v. City of Indianapolis
13-1500.
Civil. Reverses District Court order upholding a city of Indianapolis ordinance limiting the hours of adult bookstores to 10 a.m. to midnight, Monday-Saturday. Remands to the District Court with instructions to enter injunction against enforcement of the closure ordinance. Finds that in light of prior Supreme Court jurisprudence, the city cannot restrict the distribution of material that might be objectionable but is not obscene. The city’s argument that the closure ordinance had reduced instances of armed robberies near the bookstore locations was “weak as a statistical matter,” the court ruled.
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Opinions Jan. 24, 2014

January 24, 2014
Jan. 24, 2014
Indiana Tax Court

William W. Thorsness v. Porter County Assessor
49T10-1102-TA-14
Tax. Affirms final determination of the Indiana Board of Tax Review regarding Thorsness’ 2007 real property assessment. The burden-shifting rule contained in Indiana Code 6-1.1-15-1(p) and its progeny applies only to valuation challenges, not to uniform and equal constitutional challenges. Concludes that the Indiana Board of Tax Review did not err by determining that Thorsness’ ratio study did not demonstrate that the assessor’s assessment lacked uniformity.
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Opinions Jan. 23, 2014

January 23, 2014
Indiana Court of Appeals
A.J.R. v. State of Indiana
46A03-1306-JV-243
Juvenile. Holds that the juvenile court did not abuse its discretion by admitting the officer’s testimony, and the evidence is sufficient to prove A.J.R. shot two cattle and to sustain his adjudications for criminal mischief. However, concluding A.J.R.’s actions did not constitute mutilation or torture of an animal, the court reverses his adjudications for cruelty to an animal.
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Opinions Jan. 22, 2014

January 22, 2014
Indiana Court of Appeals
Antoine Duff v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1306-CR-503
Criminal. Affirms 16-year sentence, with 10 years executed and six years suspended, for Class B felony battery.
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Opinions Jan. 21, 2014

January 21, 2014
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Lovoyne Drain
12-3684
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Sarah Evans Barker.
Criminal. Affirms above-guidelines sentence for possession of a firearm by a felon. Section 4A1.3(a)(3), like every provision of the sentencing guidelines, is advisory. And the judge did not violate Drain’s right to due process by taking into account his arrest history as part of her evaluation of the sentencing factors under 18 U.S.C. Section 3553(a).
 
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Opinions Jan. 20, 2014

January 20, 2014
The following Indiana Court of Appeals opinion was posted after IL deadline Friday:
Marilyn South v. Harry South (NFP)
15A01-1306-DR-251
Domestic relation. Affirms dissolution of marriage and division of assets.

The Indiana Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, Tax Court and 7th Circuit Court of Appeals are closed Monday in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
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Opinions Jan. 17, 2014

January 17, 2014
Indiana Court of Appeals
Shane L. Duckworth v. State of Indiana (NFP)
82A04-1304-CR-152
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A felony dealing in methamphetamine.
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Opinions Jan. 16, 2014

January 16, 2014
Indiana Court of Appeals
Floyd County and Floyd County Plan Commission v. City of New Albany and New Albany City Plan Commission
22A05-1303-MI-139
Miscellaneous. Affirms summary judgment for the city on a lawsuit over whether the city or county has zoning jurisdiction over an unincorporated area outside the city limits. As a matter of law, the county is not entitled to exercise jurisdiction over the fringe area, nor is it required to consent to the city’s exercise of jurisdiction. Because the county has a population of less than 95,000, Indiana Code 36-7-4-205(f) determines which entity is entitled to exercise jurisdiction over the fringe area, and because the city is providing municipal services to the fringe area, it is entitled to the exercise of jurisdiction without the necessity of county approval.
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Opinions Jan. 15, 2014

January 15, 2014
Indiana Court of Appeals
The City of Fort Wayne v. Northern Indiana Public Service Company and NiSource, Inc.
02A04-1307-CT-366
Civil tort. Affirms summary judgment for NIPSCO and NiSource on the city’s lawsuit after NIPSCO’s contractor damaged an underground drain, causing flooding. The city’s failure to discharge its statutory duties to provide accurate locations of its underground facilities to NIPSCO is dispositive of all claims on appeal.
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Opinions Jan. 14, 2014

January 14, 2014
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Kimberly Spurling v. C&M Fine Pack, Inc.
13-1708
Civil. Affirms the U.S. District Court Northern District of Indiana’s entry of summary judgment for C&M on the Family Medical Leave Act claim. Reverses the entry of summary judgment in favor of C&M on Spurling’s Americans with Disabilities Act claim and remands for further proceedings consistent with this opinion. Rules the company did not actually fire Spurling until after it learned she had a medical condition that was covered under the ADA.
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Opinions Jan. 13, 2014

January 13, 2014
The Indiana Supreme Court, Court of Appeals and Tax Court posted no opinions by IL deadline. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals posted no Indiana decisions by IL deadline.
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Opinions Jan. 10, 2014

January 10, 2014
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Julio Cesar Chavarria v. United States of America
11-3549
Criminal. Affirms District Court order dismissing Chavarria’s claim of ineffective assistance of counsel that led to his deportation after conviction of cocaine distribution charges. The panel found the distinction between affirmative misadvice and failure to advise does not evade the non-retroactive ruling of Padilla v. Kentucky, 559 U.S. 356 (2010).
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Opinions Jan. 9, 2014

January 9, 2014
Indiana Court of Appeals
Wolf's Marine, Inc. v. Dev Brar
29A02-1303-SC-293
Small claim. Reverses denial of Wolf’s Marine’s motion to dismiss a complaint filed by Dr. Dev Brar. The trial court incorrectly determined that personal jurisdiction over Wolf’s existed in Indiana, and it should have granted the company’s motion to dismiss.
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Opinions Jan. 8, 2014

January 8, 2014
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Tony Currie
12-1666
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Sarah Evans Barker.
Criminal. Affirms decision to deny Currie’s motion to suppress evidence without conducting an evidentiary hearing. Orders a limited remand for purposes of ascertaining whether the District Court would be inclined to sentence him differently knowing Currie is subject to the lower statutory minimum of five years as provided by the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010. His current sentence is 121 months.
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Opinions Jan. 7, 2014

January 7, 2014
Indiana Court of Appeals
Anthony Barron v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A04-1304-CR-165
Criminal. Reverses and remands to the trial court with instructions to vacate Barron’s conviction for Class D felony domestic battery, leaving his remaining Class D felony convictions for strangulation and criminal confinement and sentence in place.
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  1. Am I the only one who sees that the City is essentially giving away the MSA site AND giving millions to build new buildings on the site when this site would be the perfect place for the Justice Complex? Across from City-County, check; keeping it centrally located, check, etc. It's my understanding that the GM site must be purchased by the City from Motors Liquidation Company. STOP WASTING WHAT WE ALREADY HAVE AND OUR TAX DOLLARS! The Ballard Administration has not been known for it's common sense...never voted for him and never will!

  2. This guy sounds like the classic molester/manipulator.

  3. Louis D. Brandeis was born in 1856. At 9 years of age it would have been 1865. The Brandeis family did not own slaves. My source Louis D. Brandeis: A Life, by Melvin L. Urofsky.

  4. My name is Matthew Lucas Major, I recently went through a jury trial in Bloomington , In. It was the week of Feb 19-21. Although I have been incarcerated since August 5, 2014. The reason I 'am writing to you sir is on the 21 of February the jury came in with a very excessive and wrongful verdict of guilty on 6 child molesting charges against my daughter who was 9 at the time I was accused. I also had 2 other Felonies one of Intimidation and 1 of Sexual Vicarious Gratification. Judge Marc Kellam on the second day of trial gave me a not guilty on those 2 felonies. The jury was sent out during that time and when brought back Judge Kellam told them to not concern themselves with the 2 Felonies that he ruled on them. They were told to not let evidence they had already heard influence there verdicts. I never in my life touched any child sexually and definitely not with my own daughter. When I was arrested Detective Shawn Karr told me I would be convicted guilty just on my daughters word even without evidence. That's just what happened. my public defender did me so wrong he never once proved to the court and jury all the lies the child told, and Jeremy Noel my public defender could of proven the lies easily. The stories in Serenity's depositions and Forensic interview changed and were not consistent as Prosecutor Darcie Fawcett claimed they were. Yet my attorney never mentioned that. The facts that the child accused me of full penetration in her vagina and rectum was proven lies. Doctor Roberta Hibbard of Riley hospital in Indianapolis confirmed Serenity's hymen intact, no scars, no tearing, no signs of rape to her. Yet my attorney didn't use that knowledge . the DNA was all in my favor. I tell you I will spend my entire life in prison going through rape and beatings etc. even Judge Kellam abused his authority by telling the jurors to listen and believe what the prosecutors side in evidence like my daughters testimony. In one interview with the detectives my daughter got flustered with her mom and said on camera " I'm saying what you told me to mom"!! Yet Mr. Noel said nor did anything to even resemble a defense attorney. Judge Kellam allowed edited version of a taped conversation between the child and her mother. Also Judge Kellam allowed the Prosecutor too bring in to my case a knife found under my seat, the knife wasn't part of my case. She was allowed by my attorney and the judge to put a huge picture of it on the screen and huge picture of my naked privates in a full courtroom and open court. Ms. Fawcett says to jury see how easy Mr. Major could reach the knife and cut his Childs throat. Even though I had no weapons charge against these cases. This gave the jurors prejudice thought against me thinking I threatened her with that knife and how scared she would of been knowing i could get it and kill her. On my sentencing court March 19, 2014 my public defender told Judge Kellam he wish to resign from being my attorney and wished for the court to give me outside council to file a error to trial or appeal. We were denied. Now after openly knowing my public defender don't want to represent me he has to. Well when as parents we make our kids clean a room when they really don't wish to, well the child will but don't mean she will do a good job, that's where I'm at with Mr. Noel. please dont ignore mine and my families pleas for your help . we have all the legal proof you could need to prove Im innocent. Please dont make my spend years in prison innocent when you can fix this wrong. Im not saying Im a perfect man or that I was a perfect dad to my 2 children none of us are. Ive made some bad choices in life and I paid for them. But I didnt ever touch or rape my daughter . I love my children with all my heart. And now through needing attention and a ex-wife who told my granny several times she wish she could put me in prison to get me out of their lives. Well my ex finally accomplished her goal. Sad part is she is destroying our daughter with all this horrific lies and things she taught my daughter to say. My daughter will need therapist to ever hope for a chance of a normal life after what she had done to her by her mom and their side of the family. My daughter told everyone even on stand she had a dream months before i supposedly molested her in this dream I was molesting her and when I finally did it matched her dream perfectly. She admitted to watching movies about little girls being molested and watching U-Tube videos about child molesting all before it happened supposedly to her. Doesn't that sound very unusual that a non molested 9 yr old would need to know so much about being molested? The only reason I could think a 9 year old would need so much information is to be prepared to know what to say and be able to say how it felt what took place etc.. So when questioned by authorities she would be prepared. And there again sir if a parent is pre grooming a 9 year old child she would need intimate details . Like telling her daughter about a couple moles on my private area. The child admitted to sneaking my cell and looking many many times at nudes of me and my girlfriend even one where my penis was entering my girlfriends vagina. In that picture my moles are obvious. Yet when prosecutor showed everyone in court my privates and pictures of the moles she said the only way the child would know about them is if she saw them for herself. My attorney once again said nothing about the pictures my child saw. Or could a ex-wife be able to describe my moles to help her case against getting rid of me? I beg you help me. This is my very existence. Ive lost everything , a good job, a wonderful girlfriend, my freedom, but worse thing Ive lost is my children. They were my reason to get up every morning and strive to be better. The wonderful bond I had with my Serenity is gone. After this I would be afraid to even hug her for fear of what next can they do to me. I'm not afraid to tell you I sit here in this cell and try to hold back my tears. Everyone knows you cant show weakness in prison. My life has already been threatened here at Wabash Valley Prison. After only 3 days of arrival. I was tricked into signing a waiver now Im in G Block General Population with 6 child molesting felony charges. Mrs. Hart as a 18 year old I almost died hooked to machines in hospital almost 1 month and now I know that fear was childish compared to this . I cant help but put emotions in this, after all Mrs. Hart Im human and God help Me I never been more afraid in my life. I didnt hurt my little girl I didnt touch her sexually. As much as it shreds me and fills my mind what Im facing I worry more about my mom and granny because of their great love for me mam they are suffering so deeply. I aint done this things but my loved ones suffering right along beside me and If you take my case you will be in essence freeing them also. I sent momma this letter and asked her to email it to you. I'm scared I have been done so unjustly by our legal system and I need you to fix this and give me freedom. I ask you please don't just ignore my pleas. Here in America its nice to be able to trust our legal justice system, well they destroyed my and my loved ones trust in our justice system . And I'm trusting in You !!! My entire family is suffering this nightmare with me. My 77 year old granny had a stroke and isn't doing so well. My single mother that raised 3 kids alone is dying from Lupus and since my arrest has stayed so sick and weary. Our lives torn to peices by a government I was taught I could trust in. my momma has tried so many innocent project and wrongfully accused and cant get anywhere. please please help me. A quote from the late Nelson Mandela: To be free is not merely to cast off ones chains, But to live in a way that respects and enhances The Freedom Of Others. I have Faith in you and your clinic to cast my chains off and give me freedom I do deserve as a wrongfully accused Man, son, brother, father, friend. Matthew Major DOC# 246179 Cause # : 53c02-1308-FA-000779 God Bless you. Please contact me with your decision so I know you made a life changing decision for me , just please at least write me so I know you care enough about your citizens to respond to cries for your help. You can speak openly with my mother Charlotte Spain (828) 476-0406: 71 Lakeview Dr. Canton, NC 28716 Thank You Matthew Major I know yall get thousands of request and inmates claiming innocence, and each person who are innocent deserve to have organizations like yours willing to fight for them and I give yall so much Thanks and I thank God everyday yall are out there caring enough to help free the innocents. Since discovering firsthand how easily lives and families can be destroyed by Poor Defense attorneys not doing their job . And Prosecutors allowed to do as they please in court

  5. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

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