Opinions

Opinions Aug. 28, 2012

August 28, 2012
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Angela M. Farrell v. Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security
11-3589
Civil. Reverses District Court’s affirmation of the decision to deny disability insurance benefits. The Social Security Administration Appeals Council did not follow its own regulations which require it to consider “new and material evidence.” Also finds the administrative law judge’s residual functional capacity determination is based on an incomplete assessment of the record. Remands for further proceedings.
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Opinions Aug. 27, 2012

August 27, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Ian McCullough v. State of Indiana
49A02-1106-PC-571
Post-conviction relief. Affirms post-conviction court’s judgment that trial counsel was not ineffective, holding that McCullough failed to carry his burden to show that the evidence as a whole leads unerringly and unmistakably to a conclusion opposite that reached by the post-conviction court.
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Opinions Aug. 24, 2012

August 24, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
MSKTD & Associates, Inc. v. CCJ Enterprises, LLC, Jeffrey Sassmannshausen, Loretta Sassmannshausen, Salin Bank & Trust Company (NFP)
02A04-1202-PL-101
Civil plenary. Affirms summary judgment in favor of defendants.
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Opinions Aug. 23, 2012

August 23, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Konrad Motor and Welder Service, Inc., Konrad Lambrecht, and Sharon Lambrecht v. Magnetech Industrial Services, Inc.
45A04-1203-CC-109
Civil collection. Reverses summary judgment for Magnetech and piercing Konrad Electric’s corporate veil because there are genuine issues of material fact. Affirms summary judgment for Magnetch on whether Konrad Motor and Welder Service is the alter ego of Konrad Electric. Remands for determination whether Konrad Electric’s corporate veil should be pierced and liability imposed upon the Lambrechts. If pierced, Konrad and Sharon Lambrecht may be held individually liable. Judge Crone concurs in part and dissents in part.
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Opinions Aug. 22, 2012

August 22, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Ashley T. Tucker v. Michelle R. Harrison, M.D.
79A05-1108-CT-404
Civil tort. Affirms judgment in favor of Dr. Harrison on Tucker’s medical malpractice complaint. The trial court did not abuse its discretion in excluding Tucker’s expert testimony, limiting her questioning of a witness about possible bias, or in instructing the jury.
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Opinions Aug. 21, 2012

August 21, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Jason Fields v. State of Indiana
47A04-1110-CR-577
Criminal. Affirms two convictions of Class B felony dealing in methamphetamine. The trial court’s response to the jury’s mid-deliberation question did not constitute a modification of the jury instructions.
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Opinions Aug. 20, 2012

August 20, 2012
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Joshua Resendez v. Brian Smith
11-1121
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Sarah Evans Barker.
Civil. Affirms dismissal of petition for writ of habeas corpus, in which Resendez claimed the state denied him his constitutional right to counsel in a sentence correction proceeding under I.C. 35-38-1-15.  His claims may not be presented via that statute as his motion is a collateral challenge to his sentence.
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Opinions Aug. 17, 2012

August 17, 2012
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Amerisure Insurance Co. v. National Surety Corp. v. Scottsdale Insurance Co.
11-2762, 11-2771
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge William T. Lawrence.
Civil. Affirms breakdown that Amerisure, Scottsdale, and National are liable for $1 million, $1 million and $900,000, respectively, of the $2.9 million settlement a steel worker won after injuring himself on the job. Declines to apply the ‘mend-the-hold’ doctrine in this case, and Amerisure and National were not prejudiced by Scottsdale’s litigation conduct.
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Opinions Aug. 16, 2012

August 16, 2012
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Thomas Rosenbaum, et al. v. Beau J. White, et al.
11-3224
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Fort Wayne Division, Judge Theresa L. Springmann.
Civil. Affirms summary judgment for the attorney defendants in a lawsuit filed by investors in a failed business alleging state and federal RICO violations, conversion, securities fraud, common-law fraud, civil conspiracy, and legal malpractice.
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Opinions Aug. 15, 2012

August 15, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Reko D. Levels v. State of Indiana
82A01-1201-CR-25
Criminal. Reverses convictions of battery and public intoxication as Class B misdemeanors. Levels did not validly waive his right to a jury trial.
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Opinions Aug. 14, 2012

August 14, 2012
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Jason Halasa v. ITT Educational Services Inc.
11-3305
Civil. Affirms summary judgment ruling and costs in favor of ITT. Jason Halasa, who directed the company’s Lathrop, Calif., campus for six months in 2009, sued the school on a claim that his rights were violated under the False Claims Act. ITT said Halasa was fired for showing poor management skills and delivering inadequate results.
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Opinions Aug. 13, 2012

August 13, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
CSL Community Association, Inc. v. Clarence Ray Meador
40A01-1112-MI-579
Miscellaneous. Reverses trial court’s grant of Meador’s motion for declaratory judgment that abrogated his obligation to pay homeowner’s association dues, finding that the evidence does not support the trial court’s conclusion that the changes in the community were so radical that the original purpose of the community and the deed restrictions were destroyed, and that the trial court erred in abrogating Meador’s obligation to pay dues and assessments.

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Opinions Aug. 10, 2012

August 10, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
HDNET LLC v. North American Boxing Council
49A02-1112-PL-1146
Civil plenary. Reverses and remands trial court grant of partial summary judgment in favor of North American Boxing Council, finding the grant of summary judgment was erroneous as a matter of law as it pertains to the Indiana Uniform Trade Secrets Act, and that the Boxing Council’s civil conversion claim doesn’t fall within the criminal law exception to the IUTSA’s preemption provision.
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Opinions Aug. 9, 2012

August 9, 2012

7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Danny R. Richards v. Michael Mitcheff, et al.
11-3227
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division. Judge Sarah Evans Barker.
Civil. Reverses dismissal of Richards’ lawsuit alleging the defendants violated his Eighth Amendment rights by indifference to his serious medical condition and remands for further proceedings. The suit could not be properly dismissed under Rule 12(b)(6) or Rule 12(c) because Indiana allows the statute of limitations to be tolled while one is incapacitated, which is what Richards argued as to why he didn’t file his complaint within the applicable time period.

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Opinions Aug. 8, 2012

August 8, 2012

7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Michael J. Alexander v. Mark McKinney
11-3539
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division. Chief Judge Richard Young.
Civil. Affirms dismissal of criminal defense attorney Michael Alexander’s lawsuit against Mark McKinney alleging violations of due process after finding McKinney, former Delaware County prosecutor, was entitled to qualified immunity because the complaint did not identify a depravation of a cognizable constitutional right. Alexander’s complaint is merely an attempt to recast an untimely false arrest claim into a due process claim.

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Opinions Aug. 7, 2012

August 7, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Warrick County, Indiana, A Political Subdivision, by and through its County Commissioners, Nova Conner, Don Williams, and Phillip Baxter, and Cincinnati Insurance Co. v. William Hill and Stacy Hill
87A01-1201-PL-8
Civil plenary. Affirms denial of summary judgment for Warrick County in an action brought against it and Cincinnati Insurance Co. by William and Stacy Hill. Agrees with trial court conclusion that the Hills filed their notice under the Indiana Tort Claims Act within 180 days and that the Hills did not discover the source of the damage to their home until 2007, so the claims are within the six-year statute of limitations on actions for injury to property other than personal property.
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Opinions Aug. 6, 2012

August 6, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Donald Gregory Huls v. State of Indiana

64A04-1110-CR-552
Criminal. Affirms convictions of criminal recklessness, one as a Class D felony and one as a Class C felony. Affirms denial of motion for mistrial because the prosecutor’s isolated comment did not have a probable persuasive effect on the jury and did not place Huls in grave peril. His proposed jury instructions incorrectly stated the law on self-defense or the evidence did not support giving them.
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Opinions Aug. 3, 2012

August 3, 2012
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
BKCAP, LLC, GRAYCAP, LLC, AND SWCAP, LLC v. Captec Franchise Trust 2000-1
11-2928, 11-3378
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division. Magistrate Judge Roger B. Cosbey.
Civil. Affirms ruling in favor of the borrowers’ interpretation of the prepayment premium requirements in 12 loans involving restaurants and award of prejudgment interest to the borrowers. The borrowers’ position was supported by the evidence presented at trial, and the lender is not entitled to attorney fees.
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Opinions Aug. 2, 2012

August 2, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
N.B. v. State of Indiana
55A01-1111-JV-574
Juvenile. Affirms determination that N.B. committed the delinquent act of reckless homicide, a Class C felony if committed by an adult. N.B. contended that the juvenile court abused its discretion in admitting his statement to the investigating officer at the evidentiary hearing. Finds the procedural safeguards set forth in the juvenile waiver statute were met.
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Opinions Aug. 1, 2012

August 1, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Justin A. Staton v. State of Indiana (NFP)
48A02-1112-CR-1192
Criminal. Affirms revocation of probation.
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Opinions July 31, 2012

July 31, 2012
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Carol Aschermann v. Aetna Life Insurance Company, et al.
12-1230
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division. Judge Larry J. McKinney.
Civil. Affirms the District Court judgment in favor of the insurers, in which an insurer stopped paying a worker’s disability benefits claim, holding that the decision was not arbitrary or capricious.
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Opinions July 30, 2012

July 30, 2012
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Winforge, Inc., et al., v. Coachmen Industries, Inc., et al.
10-3178
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Sarah Evans Barker.
Civil. Affirms trial court judgment for defendants, agreeing that the parties had never entered into a final, enforceable contract.
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Opinions July 27, 201

July 27, 2012
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Leonard Lapsley, et al. v. Xtek Inc.
11-3313
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division. Judge Joseph S. Van Bokkelen.
Civil. Affirms denial of Xtek’s Daubert motion that sought to bar Dr. Gary Hutter from offering his expert opinions, which were essential to Lapsley’s case that a design defect in Xtek’s equipment was the cause of his accident. In this case, the District Court’s stated analysis of the proposed testimony was brief, but it was also directly to the point and was sufficient to trigger deferential review on appeal. The District Court did not misapply Daubert.
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Opinions July 26, 2012

July 26, 2012
Indiana Supreme Court
Michael J. Lock v. State of Indiana
35S04-1110-CR-622
Criminal. Affirms Lock’s conviction and sentence for Class D felony operating a motor vehicle as a habitual traffic violator and the revocation of his driving privileges for life. I.C. 9-30-10-16 is not unconstitutionally vague and based on the stipulation that Lock’s Zuma was traveling 43 MPH, a reasonable fact-finder could find beyond a reasonable doubt that the Zuma had a maximum design speed in excess of 25 MPH. Justice Rucker dissents.
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Opinions July 25, 2012

July 25, 2012
Indiana Supreme Court
Kenneth Dwayne Vaughn v. State of Indiana
45S05-1112-CR-684
Criminal. Affirms decision not to grant a mistrial. Vaughn did not suffer actual harm from the bailiff restraining him by covering Vaughn’s mouth in front of the jury so he would stop taking.
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  1. It's a big fat black mark against the US that they radicalized a lot of these Afghan jihadis in the 80s to fight the soviets and then when they predictably got around to biting the hand that fed them, the US had to invade their homelands, install a bunch of corrupt drug kingpins and kleptocrats, take these guys and torture the hell out of them. Why for example did the US have to sodomize them? Dubya said "they hate us for our freedoms!" Here, try some of that freedom whether you like it or not!!! Now they got even more reasons to hate us-- lets just keep bombing the crap out of their populations, installing more puppet regimes, arming one faction against another, etc etc etc.... the US is becoming a monster. No wonder they hate us. Here's my modest recommendation. How about we follow "Just War" theory in the future. St Augustine had it right. How about we treat these obvious prisoners of war according to the Geneva convention instead of torturing them in sadistic and perverted ways.

  2. As usual, John is "spot-on." The subtle but poignant points he makes are numerous and warrant reflection by mediators and users. Oh but were it so simple.

  3. ACLU. Way to step up against the police state. I see a lot of things from the ACLU I don't like but this one is a gold star in its column.... instead of fighting it the authorities should apologize and back off.

  4. Duncan, It's called the RIGHT OF ASSOCIATION and in the old days people believed it did apply to contracts and employment. Then along came title vii.....that aside, I believe that I am free to work or not work for whomever I like regardless: I don't need a law to tell me I'm free. The day I really am compelled to ignore all the facts of social reality in my associations and I blithely go along with it, I'll be a slave of the state. That day is not today......... in the meantime this proposed bill would probably be violative of 18 usc sec 1981 that prohibits discrimination in contracts... a law violated regularly because who could ever really expect to enforce it along the millions of contracts made in the marketplace daily? Some of these so-called civil rights laws are unenforceable and unjust Utopian Social Engineering. Forcing people to love each other will never work.

  5. I am the father of a sweet little one-year-old named girl, who happens to have Down Syndrome. To anyone who reads this who may be considering the decision to terminate, please know that your child will absolutely light up your life as my daughter has the lives of everyone around her. There is no part of me that condones abortion of a child on the basis that he/she has or might have Down Syndrome. From an intellectual standpoint, however, I question the enforceability of this potential law. As it stands now, the bill reads in relevant part as follows: "A person may not intentionally perform or attempt to perform an abortion . . . if the person knows that the pregnant woman is seeking the abortion solely because the fetus has been diagnosed with Down syndrome or a potential diagnosis of Down syndrome." It includes similarly worded provisions abortion on "any other disability" or based on sex selection. It goes so far as to make the medical provider at least potentially liable for wrongful death. First, how does a medical provider "know" that "the pregnant woman is seeking the abortion SOLELY" because of anything? What if the woman says she just doesn't want the baby - not because of the diagnosis - she just doesn't want him/her? Further, how can the doctor be liable for wrongful death, when a Child Wrongful Death claim belongs to the parents? Is there any circumstance in which the mother's comparative fault will not exceed the doctor's alleged comparative fault, thereby barring the claim? If the State wants to discourage women from aborting their children because of a Down Syndrome diagnosis, I'm all for that. Purporting to ban it with an unenforceable law, however, is not the way to effectuate this policy.

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