Opinions

Opinions Oct. 11, 2012

October 11, 2012
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Edward Jeroski, doing business as USA Cleaning Service and Building Maintenance v. Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission and U.S. Secretary of Labor
11-3687
Agency review. Denies USA Cleaning’s petition to review the order of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission, which affirmed the denial of an application for attorney fees under the Equal Access to Justice Act. The meaning of “prevailing party” under the act does not apply to USA Cleaning, which was the subject of an order by the Federal Mine Safety and Health Administration that was later dropped.
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Opinions Oct. 10, 2012

October 10, 2012
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Charles R. Kastner v. Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security
11-1166
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Evansville Division, Magistrate Judge William G. Hussmann Jr.
Civil. Reverses denial of disability benefits, finding the administrative law judge did not adequately explain why Kastner had not met the requirements for a presumptive disability. Remands for further proceedings.
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Opinions Oct. 9, 2012

October 9, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Ralph Jennings d/b/a A Cut Above Tree Service v. Terrance Kinnard (NFP)
49A05-1203-CC-117
Collections. Reverses and remands trial court’s grant of relief to Kinnard from a default judgment of $4,189.22 for the plaintiff.
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Opinions Oct. 5, 2012

October 5, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Heartland Crossing Foundation, Inc. v. Chris M. Dotlich
55A01-1203-SC-119
Small claims. Affirms judgment in favor of Dotlich on a breach of contract claim, holding that the trial court did not err in rejecting Heartland’s claim for attorney fees assessed on the late payment of homeowner association dues. The trial court had called an “administrative fee” assessed to Dotlich “nothing more than an abusive junk fee.”
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Opinions Oct. 4, 2012

October 4, 2012
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Angelina Povey v. City of Jeffersonville, Indiana
11-1896
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, New Albany Division, Judge Richard L. Young.
Civil. Affirms summary judgment for the city on Povey’s claim that her termination of employment by the city animal shelter violated the Americans with Disabilities Act and on her retaliation claim. Povey failed to meet her burden to demonstrate that she was disabled under the ADA and is not protected by its provisions.
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Opinions Oct. 3, 2012

October 3, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Steven B. Steele v. State of Indiana
49A05-1202-CR-54
Criminal. Affirms denial of motion to suppress. Evidence Rule 617 does not apply in this case because the police officer’s interrogation of Steele did not occur in a place of detention. The rule also does not explicitly or implicitly impose an affirmative duty on law enforcement officers to transport a person to a place of detention before conducting a custodial interrogation.
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Opinions Oct. 2, 2012

October 2, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Moise Joseph v. State of Indiana
82A05-1108-CR-387
Criminal. Reverses convictions of Class A felony burglary resulting in serious bodily injury, Class B felony attempted armed robbery and Class B felony criminal confinement. The trial court abused its discretion in admitting Joseph’s statements to the police detective.
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Opinions Oct. 1, 2012

October 1, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Scott F. West v. State of Indiana
11A01-1203-CR-123
Criminal. Orders discharge of marijuana charges because West was held to answer those charges for more than a year without a trial date while a motion to suppress awaited a ruling. West did not request an indefinite continuance such that he needed to notify the court that he wished to proceed to trial.
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Opinions Sept. 28, 2012

September 28, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Steven Duncan v. State of Indiana
82A01-1201-CR-22
Criminal. Affirms in part and reverses in part six convictions of Class A misdemeanor cruelty to an animal. Duncan did not knowingly waive his right to a jury trial because the court did not fully advise him of his rights and obligations. Finds the animal cruelty statute is not vague as applied to him and there was sufficient evidence to overcome a defense of necessity. Remands for a jury trial.
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Opinions Sept. 27, 2012

September 27, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
John Jorman, Jr. v. Review Board of the Indiana Dept. of Workforce Development, et al. (NFP)
93A02-1203-EX-263
Agency action. Affirms suspension of unemployment benefits.
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Opinions Sept. 26, 2012

September 26, 2012
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Sandra M. Bontrager, on her own behalf and on behalf of a class of those similarly situated v. Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, Michael A. Gargano and Patricia Casanova
11-3710
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division, Chief Judge Philip P. Simon.
Civil. Affirms grant of Bontrager’s request for a preliminary injunction in her putative class-action complaint challenging Indiana’s $1,000 annual limit for dental services covered by Medicaid. The state is required to cover all medically necessary dental services, irrespective of the monetary cap.
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Opinions Sept. 25, 2012

September 25, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Charles Hall v. State of Indiana
13A04-1111-CR-622
Criminal. Affirms conviction and aggregate 24-year sentence for convictions of dealing in methamphetamine, possession of precursors, operating a vehicle after a lifetime suspension, and resisting law enforcement. The court held that a search of the vehicle that Hall fled after leading police on a chase did not implicate the Fourth Amendment and that the sentence was not inappropriate given Hall’s dangerous conduct and long record of driving and drug convictions.

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Opinions Sept. 24, 2012

September 24, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
State of Indiana v. Russell Oney
49A05-1204-CR-196
Criminal. Reverses and remands a trial court ruling that vacated a determination that a defendant was a habitual traffic violator, holding that even though one of the predicate offenses later was vacated in post-conviction relief, the BMV’s determination that Oney was a habitual traffic offender did not constitute manifest injustice.
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Opinions Sept. 21, 2012

September 21, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Justin Taylor v. State of Indiana
49A05-1201-CR-4
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C felony failing to register as a sex offender. Rejects argument that ankle bracelet alerted authorities Taylor was living at a different address.
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Opinions Sept. 19, 2012

September 19, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Michael Carpenter v. State of Indiana
85A05-1202-CR-57
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B felony conspiracy to commit dealing in methamphetamine. The police officers did not violate Carpenter’s Fourth Amendment rights when they entered the house’s curtilage pursuant to an arrest warrant and looked into the bathroom window. The officers also did not violate his rights under the Indiana Constitution.
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Opinions Sept. 18, 2012

September 18, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Marlon Sims v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1203-CR-183
Criminal. Affirms sentence for Class C felony robbery, Class D felony criminal confinement and finding Sims is a habitual offender.
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Opinions Sept. 17, 2012

September 17, 2012
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Fred E. Dowell v. United States of America
10-2912
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Evansville Division, Chief Judge Richard L. Young.
Civil. Remands with instructions for the District Court to make a determination as to whether Dowell told his attorney to file an appeal to contest whether he was a career offender. Dowell claimed his plea agreement specifically reserved his right to appeal the career offender designation, but his attorney did not file the appeal.
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Opinions Sept. 14, 2012

September 14, 2012
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Alan Kress and Randy Carr v. CCA of Tennessee LLC, doing business as Corrections Corporation of America, et al.
11-2950
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Larry J. McKinney.
Civil. Affirms order denying class certification regarding the reduction of daily pill calls for inmates and granting summary judgment in favor of Corrections Corporation of America, et al., owner and operator of the Marion County Correctional Center. There was lack of evidence of any ongoing constitutional violations.
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Opinions Sept. 13, 2012

September 13, 2012
Indiana Supreme Court
An-Hung Yao and Yu-Ting Lin v. State of Indiana
35S02-1112-CR-704
Criminal. Cannot conclude that as a matter of law the defendants engaged in no conduct nor effected any result in Indiana that was an element of either the theft or the counterfeiting charge. The trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying sub silentio Lin’s motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction. The defendants’ airsoft gun is a written instrument within the meaning of the statute and therefore reverses the trial court’s dismissal of the counterfeiting charges. The trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying the defendants’ motions to dismiss the theft and corrupt business influence charges.
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Opinions Sept. 12, 2012

September 12, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Dezmon Gaines v. State of Indiana
34A05-1201-CR-21
Criminal. Affirms denial of motion to suppress evidence. Indiana Code 9-19-19-4 is not void for vagueness and the officer’s search of Gaines was reasonable. Judge Crone concurs in result.
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Opinions Sept. 11, 2012

September 11, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Phillip A. Collins v. HSBC Bank USA, National Association, as Trustee for Home Equity Loan Trust Series Act 2004-HE3
45A03-1111-MF-600
Mortgage foreclosure. Affirms summary judgment in favor of HSBC, holding that Collins is estopped from asserting claims previously lost and litigated.
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Opinions Sept. 7, 2012

September 7, 2012
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Robert S. Filus v. Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security
No. 12-1164
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Fort Wayne Division. Magistrate Judge Roger B. Cosbey.
Civil/Social Security. Affirms denial of disability benefits, holding that substantial evidence supports the decision of the administrative law judge. 
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Opinions Sept. 5, 2012

September 5, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Cody B. Honeycutt v. State of Indiana
92A04-1203-CR-149
Criminal. Reverses denial of motion to dismiss charges on grounds that they were barred by the Successive Prosecution Statute. Because the four charges were supported by probable cause and based on a series of acts so connected that they constituted parts of a single scheme or plan, they should have been charged in a single prosecution.
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Opinions Sept. 4, 2012

September 4, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Nathan S. Berkman v. State of Indiana
45A04-1111-CR-583
Criminal. Affirms conviction of and sentence for murder. The trial court did not abuse its discretion in declaring a witness unavailable or in admitting the deposition testimony of another unavailable witness. Berkman’s sentence is not inappropriate as he had argued.
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Opinions Aug. 31, 2012

August 31, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Seabrook, Dieckmann & Naville, Inc. v. Review Board of the Indiana Dept. of Workforce Development and Monica Hilbert
93A02-1202-EX-100
Agency action. Reverses board’s conclusion that Hilbert’s employment was not terminated for just cause. Based on the evidence and testimony, Seabrook Dieckmann & Naville showed that Hilbert breached a duty in connection with work which was reasonably owed to her employer and her conduct was of such a nature that a reasonable employee would understand that the conduct was a violation of a duty owed to the funeral home. Remands for further proceedings.
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  1. On a related note, I offered the ICLU my cases against the BLE repeatedly, and sought their amici aid repeatedly as well. Crickets. Usually not even a response. I am guessing they do not do allegations of anti-Christian bias? No matter how glaring? I have posted on other links the amicus brief that did get filed (search this ezine, e.g., Kansas attorney), read the Thomas More Society brief to note what the ACLU ran from like vampires from garlic. An Examiner pledged to advance diversity and inclusion came right out on the record and demanded that I choose Man's law or God's law. I wonder, had I been asked to swear off Allah ... what result then, ICLU? Had I been found of bad character and fitness for advocating sexual deviance, what result then ICLU? Had I been lifetime banned for posting left of center statements denigrating the US Constitution, what result ICLU? Hey, we all know don't we? Rather Biased.

  2. It was mentioned in the article that there have been numerous CLE events to train attorneys on e-filing. I would like someone to provide a list of those events, because I have not seen any such events in east central Indiana, and since Hamilton County is one of the counties where e-filing is mandatory, one would expect some instruction in this area. Come on, people, give some instruction, not just applause!

  3. This law is troubling in two respects: First, why wasn't the law reviewed "with the intention of getting all the facts surrounding the legislation and its actual impact on the marketplace" BEFORE it was passed and signed? Seems a bit backwards to me (even acknowledging that this is the Indiana state legislature we're talking about. Second, what is it with the laws in this state that seem to create artificial monopolies in various industries? Besides this one, the other law that comes to mind is the legislation that governed the granting of licenses to firms that wanted to set up craft distilleries. The licensing was limited to only those entities that were already in the craft beer brewing business. Republicans in this state talk a big game when it comes to being "business friendly". They're friendly alright . . . to certain businesses.

  4. Gretchen, Asia, Roberto, Tonia, Shannon, Cheri, Nicholas, Sondra, Carey, Laura ... my heart breaks for you, reaching out in a forum in which you are ignored by a professional suffering through both compassion fatigue and the love of filthy lucre. Most if not all of you seek a warm blooded Hoosier attorney unafraid to take on the government and plead that government officials have acted unconstitutionally to try to save a family and/or rescue children in need and/or press individual rights against the Leviathan state. I know an attorney from Kansas who has taken such cases across the country, arguing before half of the federal courts of appeal and presenting cases to the US S.Ct. numerous times seeking cert. Unfortunately, due to his zeal for the constitutional rights of peasants and willingness to confront powerful government bureaucrats seemingly violating the same ... he was denied character and fitness certification to join the Indiana bar, even after he was cleared to sit for, and passed, both the bar exam and ethics exam. And was even admitted to the Indiana federal bar! NOW KNOW THIS .... you will face headwinds and difficulties in locating a zealously motivated Hoosier attorney to face off against powerful government agents who violate the constitution, for those who do so tend to end up as marginalized as Paul Odgen, who was driven from the profession. So beware, many are mere expensive lapdogs, the kind of breed who will gladly take a large retainer, but then fail to press against the status quo and powers that be when told to heel to. It is a common belief among some in Indiana that those attorneys who truly fight the power and rigorously confront corruption often end up, actually or metaphorically, in real life or at least as to their careers, as dead as the late, great Gary Welch. All of that said, I wish you the very best in finding a Hoosier attorney with a fighting spirit to press your rights as far as you can, for you do have rights against government actors, no matter what said actors may tell you otherwise. Attorneys outside the elitist camp are often better fighters that those owing the powers that be for their salaries, corner offices and end of year bonuses. So do not be afraid to retain a green horn or unconnected lawyer, many of them are fine men and woman who are yet untainted by the "unique" Hoosier system.

  5. I am not the John below. He is a journalist and talk show host who knows me through my years working in Kansas government. I did no ask John to post the note below ...

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