Opinions Oct. 10, 2012

October 10, 2012
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Charles R. Kastner v. Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security
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.

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)
Collections. Reverses and remands trial court’s grant of relief to Kinnard from a default judgment of $4,189.22 for the plaintiff.

Opinions Oct. 5, 2012

October 5, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Heartland Crossing Foundation, Inc. v. Chris M. Dotlich
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.”

Opinions Oct. 4, 2012

October 4, 2012
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Angelina Povey v. City of Jeffersonville, Indiana
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.

Opinions Oct. 3, 2012

October 3, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Steven B. Steele v. State of Indiana
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.

Opinions Oct. 2, 2012

October 2, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Moise Joseph v. State of Indiana
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.

Opinions Oct. 1, 2012

October 1, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Scott F. West v. State of Indiana
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.

Opinions Sept. 28, 2012

September 28, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Steven Duncan v. State of Indiana
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.

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)
Agency action. Affirms suspension of unemployment benefits.

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
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.

Opinions Sept. 25, 2012

September 25, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Charles Hall v. State of Indiana
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.


Opinions Sept. 24, 2012

September 24, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
State of Indiana v. Russell Oney
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.

Opinions Sept. 21, 2012

September 21, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Justin Taylor v. State of Indiana
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.

Opinions Sept. 19, 2012

September 19, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Michael Carpenter v. State of Indiana
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.

Opinions Sept. 18, 2012

September 18, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Marlon Sims v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms sentence for Class C felony robbery, Class D felony criminal confinement and finding Sims is a habitual offender.

Opinions Sept. 17, 2012

September 17, 2012
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Fred E. Dowell v. United States of America
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.

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.
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.

Opinions Sept. 13, 2012

September 13, 2012
Indiana Supreme Court
An-Hung Yao and Yu-Ting Lin v. State of Indiana
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.

Opinions Sept. 12, 2012

September 12, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Dezmon Gaines v. State of Indiana
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.

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
Mortgage foreclosure. Affirms summary judgment in favor of HSBC, holding that Collins is estopped from asserting claims previously lost and litigated.

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. 

Opinions Sept. 5, 2012

September 5, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Cody B. Honeycutt v. State of Indiana
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.

Opinions Sept. 4, 2012

September 4, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Nathan S. Berkman v. State of Indiana
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.

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
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.

Opinions Aug. 30, 2012

August 30, 2012
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Sung Park v. Indiana University School of Dentistry, et al.
11-1933, 11-2109
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge William T. Lawrence.
Civil. Affirms dismissal for failure to state a claim in Park’s suit alleging equal protection and due process violations and claims for state law breach of contract. She has no state law claim for breach of contract, and Park has not identified a protectable property interest.
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  1. I think the cops are doing a great job locking up criminals. The Murder rates in the inner cities are skyrocketing and you think that too any people are being incarcerated. Maybe we need to lock up more of them. We have the ACLU, BLM, NAACP, Civil right Division of the DOJ, the innocent Project etc. We have court system with an appeal process that can go on for years, with attorneys supplied by the government. I'm confused as to how that translates into the idea that the defendants are not being represented properly. Maybe the attorneys need to do more Pro-Bono work

  2. We do not have 10% of our population (which would mean about 32 million) incarcerated. It's closer to 2%.

  3. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  4. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  5. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.