Opinions

Opinions Jan. 26, 2011

January 26, 2011
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Ty Brock
10-2385
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division, Chief Judge Philip P. Simon.
Criminal. Affirms denial of motion to suppress items found in Brock’s car during a checkpoint stop. Because the checkpoint was neither objectively nor subjectively intrusive in any way that would outweigh the government’s interest in operating it, the checkpoint stop didn’t violate his Fourth Amendment rights.
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Opinions Jan. 25, 2011

January 25, 2011
Indiana Court of Appeals
Adoption of L.C.E.; D.H. v. J.H. and J.D.E.
47A05-1008-AD-474
Adoption. Reverses adoption of L.C.E. by his maternal grandfather J.D.E. The stepfather, D.H., had custody of L.C.E. and his consent is required for the adoption of L.C.E. The trial court erred in granting the grandfather’s petition prior to the expiration of the 30 days provided for objection to be filed and prior to receiving D.H.’s properly filed objection.
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Opinions Jan. 24, 2011

January 24, 2011
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Applications of Heraeus Kulzer, GmbH, for orders compelling discovery for use in a foreign proceeding v. Biomet Inc., et al.
09-2858, 10-2639
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division, Judge Robert L. Miller Jr.
Civil. Reverses denial of applications to compel discovery for use in a lawsuit pending in a foreign court. The District Court committed two serious legal errors in its denial – concluding Heraeus Kulzer was trying to circumvent German law and turning down the company’s discovery request flat. Remands for further proceedings consistent with the opinion.
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Opinions Jan. 21, 2011

January 21, 2011

7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Maria Tara Sutherland v. Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
10-2214
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge William T. Lawrence.
Civil. Affirms summary judgment in favor of Wal-Mart on Sutherland’s hostile work environment and negligent infliction of emotional distress claims. She did not present evidence that would allow a jury to conclude Wal-Mart is liable for the assault committed against her by Aguas.

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Opinions Jan. 20, 2011

January 20, 2011
Indiana Court of Appeals
Nathaniel Williams v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1005-CR-466
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class B felony dealing in a narcotic drug and Class A felony dealing in a narcotic drug.
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Opinions Jan. 19, 2011

January 19, 2011
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Anthony L. Smith v. Gilbert Peters, et al.
10-1013
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Evansville Division, Chief Judge Richard Young.
Civil. Reverses District Court’s dismissal of Smith’s civil rights suit alleging prison employees violated his First and Eighth Amendment rights. Prison officials who recklessly expose a prisoner to a substantial risk of a serious physical injury may have violated a prisoner's Eighth Amendment rights and therefore are subject to those remedies that aren’t barred by 42 U.S.C. Section 1997e(e). Also if the facts alleged in the complaint are true, Smith may have been punished for complaining about mistreatment. Remands for further proceedings.
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Opinions Jan. 18, 2011

January 18, 2011
Indiana Court of Appeals
Desmond Parks v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1003-CR-174
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony domestic battery.
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Opinions Jan. 17, 2011

January 17, 2011
The Indiana Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, and Tax Court are closed today in observance of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday.
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Opinions Jan. 14, 2011

January 14, 2011
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
John M. Stephenson v. Bill Wilson, Superintendent of Indiana State Prison
09-2924
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division, Judge Theresa L. Springmann.
Order. Petition for rehearing en banc is denied. Panel previously reversed District Court’s finding that Stephenson received ineffective assistance of counsel because the attorney didn’t object to Stephenson’s wearing a stun belt in court. Judges Rovner, Williams, and Hamilton dissent.
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Opinions Jan. 13, 2011

January 13, 2011

Indiana Court of Appeals
Term. of Parent-Child Rel. of H.C. and T.C.; J.C. v. IDCS (NFP)
76A03-1006-JT-374
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.
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Opinions Jan. 12, 2011

January 12, 2011
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Amorita N. Thomas, on behalf of herself and all others similarly situated v. H&R Block Eastern Enterprises Inc.
10-1482
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge David Hamilton.
Affirms summary judgment in favor of H&R Block in Thomas’ suit under Indiana’s Wage Payment Statute for paying its end-of-season compensation more than 10 days after it was earned. Concludes that the end-of-season compensation is not a wage under the statute because it was depending on other factors than her efforts and it would be highly difficult for the company to calculate it within 10 days. Declines to send a certified question on the issue to the Indiana Supreme Court.
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Opinions Jan. 11, 2011

January 11, 2011
Indiana Court of Appeals
John G. Cooper v. State of Indiana
32A05-1005-CR-309
Criminal. Affirms five-year enhancement imposed under the Firearm Enhancement Statute following the jury’s determination Cooper knowingly or intentionally used a firearm in the commission of reckless homicide, a Class C felony. Double jeopardy principles aren’t implicated in this case. Also affirms aggregate 13-year sentence.
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Opinions Jan. 10, 2011

January 10, 2011
Indiana Court of Appeals
Francisco Onan Delao v. State of Indiana
20A05-1003-CR-182
Criminal. Affirms four convictions of Class A felony dealing in cocaine. Delao waived any error in the admission of the audio recordings of certain cocaine transactions because he failed to present a sufficient record for appellate review. His sentence is appropriate in light of his character and offenses.
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Opinions Jan. 7, 2011

January 7, 2011
Indiana Court of Appeals
Anthony V. Collins-Caudill v. State of Indiana (NFP)
92A05-1003-CR-242
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B felony robbery.
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Opinions Jan. 6, 2011

January 6, 2011
Indiana Court of Appeals
Jeremiah Hayes v. State of Indiana (NFP)
82A05-1006-CR-388
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to two counts of child molesting as Class C felonies.
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Opinions Jan. 5, 2011

January 5, 2011
The Indiana Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, and Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.
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Opinions Jan. 4, 2011

January 4, 2011
7th Circuit Court of Appeals

USA v. Timothy Redd
09-3799
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, Fort Wayne Division, Judge Theresa L. Springmann
Criminal. Affirms District Court’s denial of Redd’s successive §3582(c)(2) motion to reduce his sentence. Redd’s sentence was reduced from 405 months to 327 months after the Sentencing Commission made the reduction in the guideline ranges for crack offenses retroactive. In a motion filed 10 months after his sentence was reduced, Redd claimed his reduction was not as much as it should have been. 7th Circuit concludes Redd let the time for reconsideration or appeal of the district judge’s resentencing expire without action.
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Opinions Jan. 3, 2011

January 3, 2011
Indiana Court of Appeals
Kyle Beals v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1004-CR-461
Criminal. Reverses convictions of four counts of Class B felony criminal confinement and orders they be vacated. Affirms convictions of two counts of Class B felony robbery and one count of resisting law enforcement as a Class D felony.
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Opinions Dec. 30, 2010

December 30, 2010

Indiana Court of Appeals
Richmond State Hospital, et al. v. Paula Brattain, Francis Ernst, et al.
49A02-0908-CV-718
Civil. Denies the state’s petition and grants the employees’ petition to clarify the Court of Appeals’ instructions on remand for determining the merit employees’ damages. Concludes merit employees are entitled to back pay for the period beginning either 10 days before the filing of the July 29, 1993, complaint, or 10 days before the filing of their individual administrative grievances, whichever comes first, until the date that the state abolished the split class system. The trial court must determine whether the state terminated the split class system on Sept. 12 or Sept. 19, 1993.
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Opinions Dec. 29, 2010

December 29, 2010

7th Circuit Court of Appeals
USA v. James K. Taylor
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division, Judge Robert L. Miller Jr.
10-2947
Criminal. Affirms sentenced for 64 months’ imprisonment following a guilty plea to possession of a firearm in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1). The sentence was based in part on the District Court’s conclusion that his prior Indiana conviction for Class C felony battery qualified as a “crime of violence” under § 4B1.2(a) of the federal sentencing guidelines, enhancing his recommended base offense level. Taylor argued his battery conviction was not a crime of violence for the purposes of the federal sentencing guidelines.

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Opinions Dec. 28, 2010

December 28, 2010

Indiana Court of Appeals
Richard Childress Jr. v. State of Indiana
45A03-0911-CR-520
Criminal. Affirms convictions of robbery and criminal confinement, both Class B felonies. On appeal, appellant-defendant raised the sole issue of whether the trial court erred in admitting evidence the state did not disclose until the second day of trial. Court of Appeals concluded the state’s late disclosure did not impair his right to a fair trial.

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Opinions Dec. 27, 2010

December 27, 2010

Indiana Court of Appeals
Paternity of M.F., et al.; J.F. v. W.M.
21A04-1002-JP-84
Juvenile. Affirms denial of mother’s petition to establish paternity with respect to M.F. Mother failed to prove that insemination incurred in such a way as to render the donor agreement unenforceable and void as against public policy. Reverses finding that a valid, enforceable contract existed that would prohibit an action to establish paternity of C.F., the second child born. Remands to grant mother’s petition to establish paternity with respect to C.F. Judge Crone dissents in part.
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Opinions Dec. 23, 2010

December 23, 2010

7th Circuit Court of Appeals
USA v. Kevin Dortch
09-3260
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division, Judge Rudy Lozano
Criminal. Affirms statutory maximum of 240 months imprisonment for Dortch, who pled guilty and only appealed his sentence. After robbing a bank that was located inside a drugstore in Munster, he led police on two high-speed chases through the nearby residential neighborhoods. At issue was whether enough evidence was presented regarding an officer’s hospital visit following the car chase to show “serious bodily injury.”

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Opinions Dec. 22, 2010

December 22, 2010

7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Trinity Homes LLC and Beazer Homes Investments LLC v. Ohio Casualty Insurance Company and Cincinnati Insurance Company
09-3613
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Sarah Evans Barker
Civil. Reverses District Court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of the insurers on the homebuilders’ suit alleging breach of contract and seeking a declaration that all of the insurers had a duty to provide coverage. The precedential landscape has changed regarding the claim against Ohio Casualty. Remands for reconsideration in light of Sheehan.

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Opinions Dec. 21, 2010

December 21, 2010

7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Lawrence Taylor

10-1304
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division, Judge Robert L. Miller Jr.
Criminal. Affirms Taylor’s sentences for bank robbery and for violating terms of his supervised release relating to an earlier bank robbery conviction, but orders a limited remand. The District Court erred by treating the policy statement recommendation in U.S.S.G. Section 7B1.3(f) as mandating consecutive sentencing for Taylor’s 2008 bank robbery case and his supervised release case.

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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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