Opinions

Opinions Sept. 12, 2011

September 12, 2011
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Kevin B. Arnett v. Thomas A. Webster, M.D., et al.
09-3280
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Terre Haute Division, Judge William T. Lawrence.
Civil. Affirms dismissal of the non-medical defendants from Arnett’s Bivens action for cruel and unusual punishment while he was in prison. Finds Arnett properly stated a claim against the medical defendants Beighley, Dr. Wilson, and Paul-Blanc and reverses dismissal with regards to those three. Affirms summary judgment in favor of Dr. Webster because Arnett failed to meet his burden to submit evidence upon which a reasonable jury could find that the doctor acted with deliberate indifference. Remands for further proceedings.
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Opinions Sept. 9, 2011

September 9, 2011
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Autumn Eaton v. Indiana Department of Corrections, Pendleton Juvenile Corrections Facility

10-3214
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson.
Civil. Reverses judgment of the District Court, finding that sufficient evidence exists to preclude summary judgment in favor of Eaton’s employer, the Indiana Department of Corrections, in her Title VII discrimination claim. Remands to the court for proceedings consistent with the opinion.
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Opinions Sept. 8, 2011

September 8, 2011
Indiana Court of Appeals
Cathy Minix, et al. v. Sheriff Frank Canarecci, Jr., et al.
71A04-1009-CT-591
Civil tort. Reverses summary judgment in favor of Canarecci on Minix’s wrongful death claim and affirms denial of the medical providers’ motion for summary judgment in Minix’s wrongful death claim and medical malpractice claim. Minix’s Child Wrongful Death Statute claim against the sheriff isn’t barred by the doctrine of res judicata, and an award of damages on both the federal and state claims at issue won’t result in double recovery.
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Opinions Sept. 7, 2011

September 7, 2011
Indiana Court of Appeals
Christopher A. Andrews v. Sara L. Ivie
55A01-1103-PO-110
Protective order. Affirms issuance of a protective order in favor of Ivie. Andrews engaged in a knowing or an intentional course of conduct involving repeated or continuing harassment of Ivie that would cause a reasonable person to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, or threatened.
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Opinions Sept. 6, 2011

September 6, 2011
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Jeffrey William Paul v. Helen J. Marberry, et al.
10-3670
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Terre Haute Division, Judge William T. Lawrence.
Civil. Reverses District Court’s denial of Paul’s motion to be allowed to proceed in forma pauperis on the grounds that he had three strikes and remands for further proceedings. Since most prisoners litigate their civil claims pro se, they should not be required to speculate on the grounds the judge could or even should have based the dismissal on. Classifying a strike depends on the grounds given for it.
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Opinions Sept. 2, 2011

September 2, 2011
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Gary Williams and Nancy Meehan v. Rohm and Haas Pension Plan
10-1978, 10-2175, 10-3713
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, New Albany Division, Judge Sarah Evans Barker.
Civil. Affirms $180 million settlement and approval of $43.5 million in attorney fees. The District Court adequately addressed the expected value of the early retirees’ claims. The District Court did not abuse its discretion by not creating a separately represented subclass of early retirees. The 7th Circuit sees no reason to disturb the District Court’s assessment of attorney fees.
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Opinions Sept. 1, 2011

September 1, 2011
Indiana Court of Appeals
Mark E. Croy v. State of Indiana
48A02-1012-CR-1383
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class D felony domestic battery and sentence imposed for that conviction and for Class D felony criminal confinement. The evidence is sufficient to show that Croy and Betty Cox had a spousal relationship at the time Croy attacked his ex-girlfriend. The sentence is appropriate.
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Opinions Aug. 31, 2011

August 31, 2011

Indiana Court of Appeals
Indiana Area Foundation of the United Methodist Church, Inc., d/b/a United Methodist Church, Bishop Michael Coyner, Ann Glass, and Robert Ostermeier v. Lynn Snyder
49A05-1011-CT-715
Civil tort. Reverses denial of the church’s motion for summary judgment on Rev. Snyder’s defamation claim. The church has made a prima facie showing that the trial court erred on this matter because the statements at issue involve Snyder’s fitness for ministry. Affirms summary judgment in favor of the church on Snyder’s breach of contract claim. The trial court couldn’t determine whether he had an enforceable contract without becoming excessively entangled in church doctrine in violation of the First Amendment. Remands for further proceedings.

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Opinions Aug. 30, 2011

August 30, 2011

Indiana Court of Appeals
Martin A. Villalon, Jr. v. State of Indiana
45A03-1010-CR-544
Criminal. Affirms conviction of felony murder and 60-year sentence, holding the juvenile court did not abuse its discretion in waiving Villalon to adult court, and that the Sixth Amendment does not apply to juvenile proceedings.

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Opinions Aug. 29, 2011

August 29, 2011
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
William Padula, administrator of the estate of Jerome Clement v. Timothy Leimbach, et al.
10-3395
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division, Judge Joseph Van Bokkelen.
Civil. Affirms summary judgment for defendants, which include the City of East Chicago Police Department, on Padula’s suit for wrongful arrest, excessive force, failure to train officers, and condoning the use of excessive force, and the remand of state law claims to state court. The officers had probable cause to arrest Clement because they believed him to be intoxicated, the officers’ use of force was not excessive, and Padula’s claims of failure to adequately train and supervise officers and for condoning and ratifying excessive force fail.
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Opinions Aug. 26, 2011

August 26, 2011
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Victoria Serednyj v. Beverly Healthcare, LLC.
10-2201
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division, Judge Robert L. Miller, Jr.
Civil. Affirms District Court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of Serednyj’s former employer, Beverly Healthcare, holding the employer did not violate the law in firing her, because she was unable to perform all the functions of her job due to pregnancy complications.
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Opinions Aug. 25, 2011

August 25, 2011
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Michael H. Haury v. Bruce Lemmon, et al.
11-2148
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division, Judge Robert L Miller Jr.
Civil. Reverses denial by District Court to proceed as a pauper on the ground that Haury had accumulated three strikes for the dismissal of three prior lawsuits. Only two of the cases named by the District Court warrant strikes under 28 U.S.C. Section 1915(g). Grants Haury’s motion and remands for further proceedings.
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Opinions August 24, 2011

August 24, 2011
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Arboleda Ortiz v. Thomas Webster, Doctor
10-2012
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Terre Haute Division, Judge Larry McKinney.
Civil. Vacates summary judgment for Dr. Webster and remands with instructions that the case proceed to trial. This is the second time the case has come on appeal and the first time, the 7th Circuit reversed summary judgment for the doctor on the grounds that Ortiz had established fact disputes on the seriousness of his eye condition and the constitutionally of Webster’s delayed response. The record had changed very little on remand yet the District Court granted summary judgment for the doctor. Judge Kanne dissents.
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Opinions Aug. 23, 2011

August 23, 2011
Indiana Court of Appeals
Brian Roberts v. State of Indiana
24A04-1011-PC-726
Post conviction. Affirms denial of Roberts’ petition for post-conviction relief. Roberts’ plea was entered knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily and Roberts can’t establish prejudice due to his trial counsel’s deficient performance.
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Opinions Aug. 22, 2011

August 22, 2011
Indiana Court of Appeals
Smith Barney, et al. v. StoneMor Operating LLC, et al.
41A04-1103-MF-96
Mortgage foreclosure. Affirms denial of Barney’s motion to compel arbitration. As a matter of law, Independence Trust was not a “successor in interest” to either of the prior trustees and therefore isn’t bound by the arbitration clause in the account agreements. Consequently, there is no basis for compelling StoneMor to arbitrate its claims.
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Opinions Aug. 19, 2011

August 19, 2011
Indiana Court of Appeals
George A. Feuston v. State of Indiana
38A02-1011-CR-1175
Criminal. Affirms denial of Feuston’s motion for discharge of his Class D felony theft charge in Jay County. He caused the delay in the case by absconding and failing to appear at his pretrial conference. Chief Judge Robb concurs in a separate opinion.

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Opinions Aug. 18, 2011

August 18, 2011
Indiana Court of Appeals
The Kroger Company, et al. v. Plan Commission of the Town of Plainfield, Indiana
32A04-1012-MI-751
Miscellaneous. Reverses trial court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of the Plan Commission of the Town of Plainfield and remands for further proceedings, holding the plan commission must provide specific reasons for denying Kroger’s development petition.
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Opinions Aug. 17, 2011

August 17, 2011
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Lisa Hicks v. Avery Drei, LLC and Chance Felling
10-2744
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson.
Civil. Affirms grant of Avery Drei and Felling’s motion for judgment as a matter of law on Hicks’ vacation pay claim and a portion of their similar motion on her overtime pay claim. Evidence shows that Hicks and Felling had an agreement that Hicks would not earn vacation pay until after being employed for one year; her employment ended before she reached her one-year anniversary. The District Court did not abuse its discretion in denying Hicks’ motion in limine. Affirms in all other respects.
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Opinions Aug. 16, 2011

August 16, 2011
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Lady Di’s, Inc. v. Enhanced Services Billing, Inc., and ILD Telecomunications, doing business as ILD Teleservices, Inc.
10-3903
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Sarah Evans Barker.
Civil. Affirms District Court’s denial of plaintiff’s request for class certification and grant of the defendants’ motions for summary judgment on the unjust enrichment and statutory deception claims, holding Indiana “anti-cramming” regulation does not apply to the defendants because they are not telephone companies and did not act in this case as billing agents for telephone companies.
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Opinions Aug. 15, 2011

August 15, 2011
Indiana Court of Appeals
T.W. v. State of Indiana
54A01-1103-JV-125
Juvenile. Affirms order that T.W. must register as a sex offender for 10 years. In the absence of any constitutional constraints, it was entirely the General Assembly’s prerogative to grant Indiana courts the subject matter jurisdiction to enter orders requiring certain juveniles to register as sex offenders. The trial court did not abuse its discretion in overruling T.W.’s objections to the testimony of two court-appointed psychologists.
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Opinions Aug. 12, 2011

August 12, 2011
LaDon Moore v. Review Board and Whitington Homes and Services
93A02-1005-EX-529
Civil. Affirms finding that Moore was discharged by her employer for just cause. Finds that publishing the names of the parties involved in cases with the Review Board of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development is essential to eliminate confusion and to increase efficiency.
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Opinions Aug. 11, 2011

August 11, 2011

Indiana Court of Appeals
Westville Correctional Facility, et al. v. George Finney
49A05-1103-PL-92
Civil plenary. Affirms grant of Finney’s verified petition for judicial review. Westville has not shown that the reviewing court committed reversible error. It is clear from the record that the agency’s action was without evidentiary foundation, let alone substantial evidence as required by Ind. Code 4-21.5-5-14(d)(5).
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Opinions Aug. 10, 2011

August 10, 2011
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Gregory K. Weatherbee v. Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of the Social Security Administration
10-3736
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, New Albany Division, Judge Tanya Walton Pratt.
Civil. Affirms denial of application for Social Security disability insurance benefits and supplemental security income payments after plaintiff suffered serious injuries in a motorcycle crash. The decision to deny his application was supported by substantial evidence.
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Opinions Aug. 9, 2011

August 9, 2011

Indiana Court of Appeals
Steven Buse, Kathleen Payne, et al. v. Trustees of the Luce Township Regional Sewer District
74A05-1009-PL-590
Civil plenary. Reverses trial court’s conclusion that four counts of the property owners’ complaint constitute a public lawsuit against the Luce Township Regional Sewer District, pursuant to Indiana Code 34-6-2-124. Remands for further proceedings.

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Opinions Aug. 8, 2011

August 8, 2011
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Wanda Joshua, et al.
10-2140, 10-2181, 10-2182
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division, Judge Philip Simon.
Criminal. Affirms convictions of two counts of mail fraud. Although the evidence of the mailing element of mail fraud was thin, it was enough to send the case to the jury. Finds the defendants arguments that Skilling v. United States requires the court to set aside their convictions, and that the District Court improperly instructed the jury regarding their advice-of-counsel defense have no merit.
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  1. Applause, applause, applause ..... but, is this duty to serve the constitutional order not much more incumbent upon the State, whose only aim is to be pure and unadulterated justice, than defense counsel, who is also charged with gaining a result for a client? I agree both are responsible, but it seems to me that the government attorneys bear a burden much heavier than defense counsel .... "“I note, much as we did in Mechling v. State, 16 N.E.3d 1015 (Ind. Ct. App. 2014), trans. denied, that the attorneys representing the State and the defendant are both officers of the court and have a responsibility to correct any obvious errors at the time they are committed."

  2. Do I have to hire an attorney to get co-guardianship of my brother? My father has guardianship and my older sister was his co-guardian until this Dec 2014 when she passed and my father was me to go on as the co-guardian, but funds are limit and we need to get this process taken care of quickly as our fathers health isn't the greatest. So please advise me if there is anyway to do this our self or if it requires a lawyer? Thank you

  3. I have been on this program while on parole from 2011-2013. No person should be forced mentally to share private details of their personal life with total strangers. Also giving permission for a mental therapist to report to your parole agent that your not participating in group therapy because you don't have the financial mean to be in the group therapy. I was personally singled out and sent back three times for not having money and also sent back within the six month when you aren't to be sent according to state law. I will work to het this INSOMM's removed from this state. I also had twelve or thirteen parole agents with a fifteen month period. Thanks for your time.

  4. Our nation produces very few jurists of the caliber of Justice DOUGLAS and his peers these days. Here is that great civil libertarian, who recognized government as both a blessing and, when corrupted by ideological interests, a curse: "Once the investigator has only the conscience of government as a guide, the conscience can become ‘ravenous,’ as Cromwell, bent on destroying Thomas More, said in Bolt, A Man For All Seasons (1960), p. 120. The First Amendment mirrors many episodes where men, harried and harassed by government, sought refuge in their conscience, as these lines of Thomas More show: ‘MORE: And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Paradise for doing according to your conscience, *575 and I am damned for not doing according to mine, will you come with me, for fellowship? ‘CRANMER: So those of us whose names are there are damned, Sir Thomas? ‘MORE: I don't know, Your Grace. I have no window to look into another man's conscience. I condemn no one. ‘CRANMER: Then the matter is capable of question? ‘MORE: Certainly. ‘CRANMER: But that you owe obedience to your King is not capable of question. So weigh a doubt against a certainty—and sign. ‘MORE: Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But if it is flat, will the King's command make it round? And if it is round, will the King's command flatten it? No, I will not sign.’ Id., pp. 132—133. DOUGLAS THEN WROTE: Where government is the Big Brother,11 privacy gives way to surveillance. **909 But our commitment is otherwise. *576 By the First Amendment we have staked our security on freedom to promote a multiplicity of ideas, to associate at will with kindred spirits, and to defy governmental intrusion into these precincts" Gibson v. Florida Legislative Investigation Comm., 372 U.S. 539, 574-76, 83 S. Ct. 889, 908-09, 9 L. Ed. 2d 929 (1963) Mr. Justice DOUGLAS, concurring. I write: Happy Memorial Day to all -- God please bless our fallen who lived and died to preserve constitutional governance in our wonderful series of Republics. And God open the eyes of those government officials who denounce the constitutions of these Republics by arbitrary actions arising out capricious motives.

  5. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

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