Opinions

Opinions May 1, 2012

May 1, 2012
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Securities and Exchange Commission v. First Choice Management Services Inc. et al.; SonCo Holdings LLC v. Joseph D. Bradley, receiver, and ALCO Oil & Gas Co. LLC
11-1702
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division, Judge Robert L. Miller Jr.
Civil. Affirms order insofar as it determines that SonCo willfully violated the agreed order, but vacates the $600,000 sanction and remands. On remand, the judge can: reimpose the sanction he imposed, upon demonstrating that it is a compensatory remedy for a civil contempt after all; impose a different or perhaps no sanction, whether for civil contempt or for misconduct not characterized as contempt; or proceeding under the rules governing criminal contempts.
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Opinions April 30, 2012

April 30, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
D.A. v. State of Indiana
49A02-1108-JV-692
Juvenile. Affirms juvenile court’s decision to order inpatient treatment for D.A. who entered into a plea agreement admitting to Class B misdemeanor battery if committed by an adult and “conditionally” agreed to admit to Class C felony child molesting, if committed by an adult. D.A.’s placement is consistent with the goals for his rehabilitation. The appellate judges do not have jurisdiction to resolve the issue of whether the trial court erred in accepting his conditional plea to the child molesting charge because there was no evidence of D.A.’s intent with regard to the molesting. The conditional plea is the equivalent to a withheld judgment so there is no final judgment or appealable final order from which to appeal.
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Opinions April 27, 2012

April 27, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
In the Matter of V.C., Child Alleged to be in Need of Services v. Indiana Dept. of Child Services
79A02-1112-JC-1172
Juvenile. Affirms determination that V.C. is a child in need of services. The juvenile court did not erroneously deny father’s request to issue a subpoena to the maternal aunt. Father also failed to demonstrate good cause for granting his request for a continuance, so the juvenile court acted within its discretion in denying his request.
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Opinions April 26, 2012

April 26, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Christopher King v. Karen Patrick (NFP)
49A02-1105-PL-444
Civil plenary. Reverses grant of partial summary judgment against Christopher King on Karen Patrick’s complaint against him alleging breach of contract. Remands for further proceedings.
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Opinions April 25, 2012

April 25, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
John Ludack v. State of Indiana
49A02-1109-CR-930
Criminal. Affirms convictions of and aggregate 130-year sentence for two counts of Class A felony child molesting and being a habitual offender. Defense counsel, by first asking the detective whether Ludack had admitted the allegations of child molestation during the interview, opened the door to the detective’s testimony that Ludack neither admitted nor denied the allegations of child molesting and just asked to stop speaking. Ludack also failed to prove his sentence is inappropriate.
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Opinions April 24, 2012

April 24, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
George Clements v. Kimberly Hall and Stanley Harmon
06A04-1106-MI-282
Miscellaneous. Reverses trial court’s award of summary judgment for Kimberly Hall and Stanley Harmon, holding their attorney failed to notify George Clements and his attorney that a motion had been filed. Remands for further proceedings consistent with its opinion.
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Opinions April 23, 2012

April 23, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Richard Leggs v. State of Indiana
49A02-1105-CR-522
Criminal. Affirms convictions of and sentences for one count of Class B felony criminal confinement and one count each of Class C felony intimidation, Class C felony criminal recklessness, and Class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement. Reverses one count of Class B felony criminal confinement, due to the continuing crime doctrine and remands for resentencing.
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Opinions April 20, 2012

April 20, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Andre M. Perry v. State of Indiana (NFP)
45A05-1108-CR-397
Criminal. Affirms convictions of murder, Class A felony attempted murder and Class D felony residential entry.
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Opinions April 19, 2012

April 19, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Anthony Hogan v. State of Indiana
20A03-1103-PC-158
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief. Hogan failed to show ineffective assistance of trial and appellate counsel.
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Opinions April 18, 2012

April 18, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Todd Walters and Matenia Walters v. Aaron Austin and Herman & Goetz, Inc.
20A04-1106-CT-342
Civil tort. Dismisses the Walterses’ appeal of the judgment on a jury verdict in favor of Austin and his employer on the Walterses’ complaint for damages arising from a multi-vehicle accident. The appellate court does not have jurisdiction. Judge Darden dissents.
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Opinions April 17, 2012

April 17, 2012
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Kimani Lanier Fleming
11-1404
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division, Judge Robert L. Miller Jr.
Criminal. Affirms Fleming’s revised sentence of 480 months imprisonment for convictions of several serious drug and firearm charges. There was no clear error in the District Court’s decision to include routine drug purchases as relevant conduct when it computed his revised sentencing guideline range. Denies Fleming’s implicit request for an expanded certificate of appealability. 
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Opinions April 16, 2012

April 16, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Whiskey Barrel Planters Co., Inc., n/k/a Diggs Enterprises, Inc., Robinson Family Enterprises, LLC, et al. v. American GardenWorks, Inc., and Millennium Real Estate Investment, LLC
04A03-1011-PL-582
Civil plenary. Reverses determination in favor of American GardenWorks and Millennium Real Estate on AGW and MRE’s fraud claims against Whiskey Barrel and judgment for $409,611.24 and attorney fees and costs. The trial court erred in denying Whiskey Barrel’s motion for partial summary judgment on the issue of whether AGW was entitled to loans made to Whiskey Barrel shareholders and on the issue of whether AGW was entitled to 2008 season football tickets to Purdue that were purchased with Whiskey Barrel funds. The trial court erred in determining that AGW acquired the previous owner’s personal property under the terms of the purchase agreement. Remands for the trial court to determine the amount of attorney fees – if any – that are recoverable.
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Opinions April 13, 2012

April 13, 2012
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals and Indiana appellate courts posted no opinions at IL deadline.
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Opinions April 12, 2012

April 12, 2012
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Jaymie T. Mount
11-2616
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Jane E. Magnus-Stinson.
Criminal. Remands for resentencing after the District Court denied the government’s motion for Mount to receive an additional one-level reduction following his guilty plea, citing Mount’s flight from charges. The additional reduction is mandatory once the government determines that the criteria spelled out in U.S.S.G. Section 3E1.1(b) are satisfied and it makes the necessary motion.
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Opinions April 11, 2012

April 11, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Anthony Wade v. Terex-Telelect, Inc.
29A05-1101-CT-72
Civil tort. Reverses jury verdict in favor of Terex-Telelect on Wade’s negligence claim under the Indiana Product Liability Act. Wade was prejudiced by the judge instructing the jury as to the rebuttable presumption under Indiana Code 34-20-5-1. Remands for a new trial. Judge Bradford concurs in part and dissents in part.
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Opinions April 10, 2012

April 10, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Salsbery Pork Producers, Inc., Richard K. Wilson, Tipton Co. Commissioners, Tipton Co. Highway Department, Chad Bergin, State of Indiana, Indiana Department of Transportation v. Latina Booth
49A02-1110-CT-983
Civil tort. Reverses trial court’s denial of motion for transfer of venue, holding that the state should have been dropped as a defendant because only Tipton County had control over the road where a crash occurred. Remands for proceedings consistent with its opinion that Tipton County is the preferred venue rather than Marion County.
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Opinions April 9, 2012

April 9, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
In the Matter of the Involuntary Term. of the Parent-Child Rel. of L.J., and R.J., III; and V.A., and R.J. v. Marion Co. Dept. of Child Services and Child Advocates (NFP)
49A02-1108-JT-804
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights for mother and father.
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Opinions April 6, 2012

April 6, 2012
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Beverly K. Copeland, et al. v. Penske Logistics LLC; Penske Logistics, Inc.; and Chauffeurs, Teamsters, Warehousemen and Helpers Local Union Number 135
11-1955
U.S. Ditrict Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Chief Judge Richard L. Young.
Civil. In hybrid breach-of-contract/duty-of-fair representation suit, affirms District Court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of the defendants in the matter of fair representation. Citing lack of subject matter jurisdiction, remanded for dismissal of the claim that the union failed to engage in good faith bargaining.
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Opinions April 5, 2012

April 5, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
GMAC Mortgage, LLC v. Ronald Glenn Dyer
28A04-1107-MF-404
Mortgage Foreclosure. Reverses trial court’s order that GMAC Mortgage rewrite an agreement about an FHA-insured loan that Ronald Dyer defaulted on. Appellate court held that under federal law and HUD regulations, deeds in lieu of foreclosure release the borrower from any mortgage obligation and in this case the standard language GMAC used was sufficient.

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Opinions April 4, 2012

April 4, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Melanie Webster v. Walgreen Co.
55A01-1110-CT-442
Civil. Affirms judgment of trial court denying motion to amend the filing date of a complaint against Walgreen in order to comply with the statute of limitations. The appellate court held that “mailing” for purposes of the Indiana Trial Rules requires the sender to affix sufficient postage, and since that didn’t happen here the original complaint was untimely.
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Opinions April 3, 2012

April 3, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
William Minnick v. State of Indiana
47A05-1108-CR-448
Criminal. Minnick failed to establish that his right to speedy sentencing was violated. Reverses conviction of Class A felony robbery and orders that it be entered as a Class B felony due to double jeopardy and that a 20-year and consecutive sentence on this count be imposed. Minnick also failed to establish that the trial court abused its discretion in denying his request for a competency hearing.
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Opinions April 2, 2012

April 2, 2012
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Laenise Arnett v. Michael J. Astrue, commissioner of Social Security
11-2424
U.S District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Fort Wayne Division, Judge Robert L. Miller Jr.
Civil. Reverses decision by administrative law judge to deny claim for disability insurance benefits as the judge failed to properly assess residual functional capacity. Remands for further proceedings.
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Opinions March 30, 2012

March 30, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Kristine A. and Larry G. Dawson v. Fifth Third Bank
49A02-1107-PL-704
Civil plenary. Affirms order denying the Dawsons’ motion for summary judgment and granting Fifth Third Bank’s cross-motion for summary judgment on its claim for replevin. When Magish, who sold a motorcycle to the Dawsons, defaulted on his loan from Fifth Third, the bank as the secured party had the right to take possession of the motorcycle.
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Opinions March 29, 2012

March 29, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Ronyai Thompson v. State of Indiana
49A05-1106-CR-323
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A felony dealing in cocaine. The trial court did not abuse its discretion when it denied Thompson’s motion to dismiss the charges against him. The court did not err when it granted the state’s peremptory challenges as to the two African-American members of the venire. There was sufficient evidence from which the jury could infer Thompson intended to exercise control over the cocaine.
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Opinions March 28, 2012

March 28, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Juan M. Garrett v. State of Indiana
49A04-1107-PC-410
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief. Because Garrett’s double jeopardy claims are without merit, he was not prejudiced by his trial and direct appeal attorneys’ failure to raise these claims.
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  1. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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