Opinions

Opinions Aug. 25, 2010

August 25, 2010
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Jorge Quintero, a/k/a Samuel Munoz, and Claudia Andrade Martinez
09-2715, 09-2788
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division, Judges Rudy Lozano and James T. Moody.
Criminal. Dismisses Quintero’s appeal of his sentence after pleading guilty to charges related to a bank robbery and unlawful entering on waiver grounds. Affirms Martinez’s conviction and sentence for bank robbery and unlawfully remaining in the U.S. The jury instructions given at Martinez’s trial regarding aiding and abetting were correct statements of the law.
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Opinions Aug. 24, 2010

August 24, 2010

Indiana Court of Appeals
Monty Rader v. State of Indiana
49A02-0907-CR-691
Criminal. Affirms denial of motion to suppress. The IP address used to log in to the monty20064 account was, on the dates in question, assigned to Rader’s home in Greencastle. Rejects Rader’s request that the court follow the precedent of the New Jersey Supreme Court and ignore the holding of the Indiana Supreme Court with regard to the issuance of investigatory subpoenas to third parties.

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Opinions Aug. 23, 2010

August 23, 2010
Indiana Court of Appeals
Arthur Balls v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1001-CR-12
Criminal. Affirms conviction of and sentence for Class C felony battery and finding Balls is a habitual offender.
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Opinions Aug. 20, 2010

August 20, 2010

7th Circuit Court of Appeals

Torrey Bauer, David Certo, and Indiana Right to Life, Inc. v. Randall T. Shepard, et al.
09-2963
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Fort Wayne Division. Judge Theresa L. Springmann.
Civil. Affirms District court’s ruling that the state’s judicial canons are constitutional regarding whether judges can make public statements regarding controversial issues. The opinion recognizes a split among Circuits throughout the country on the issue. Also finds that a portion of the challenge involving the pre-2009 conduct code is unripe, rather than moot as the District court had found.

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Opinions Aug. 19, 2010

August 19, 2010

Indiana Court of Appeals
Kari Heyser, et al. v. Noble Roman's, Inc., et al.
29A04-1002-PL-71
Civil plenary. Affirms partial summary judgment for Noble Roman’s Inc. and other defendants on Heyser and other franchisees’ claim for constructive fraud. The admission by the franchisees’ attorney that their fraud claims against the banks were based solely on allegedly fraudulent representations by Noble Roman’s, with whom the banks allegedly acted in conspiracy; and the franchisees were alleging actual fraud, not constructive fraud.

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Opinions Aug. 18, 2010

August 18, 2010

7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Anna LaFaive, also known as Phyllis Click
09-2344
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Fort Wayne Division, Judge Theresa L. Springmann.
Criminal. Affirms conviction of and sentence for two counts of bank fraud and two counts of aggravated identity theft. 18 U.S.C. Section1028A criminalizes the use of both a living or deceased person’s identification. The District Court did not plainly err in calculating or imposing her sentence.

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Opinions Aug. 17, 2010

August 17, 2010
Indiana Court of Appeals
Cullen Davis Walker v. State of Indiana
71A03-1003-CR-115
Criminal. Affirms Walker’s convictions of burglary, robbery, criminal confinement – all as Class B felonies, and possession of cocaine as a Class C felony. Also affirms his sentence of 56 years. Walker argued his burglary and criminal confinement convictions should be vacated pursuant to the continuing crime doctrine because his offenses of were all part of the same continuing crime since they occurred in a short period of time and facilitated his sole purpose of taking things from people at one house. The court ruled each offense was a distinct chargeable crime. Remands with instructions to correct clerical errors in the amended judgment and chronological case summary.
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Opinions Aug. 16, 2010

August 16, 2010

Indiana Court of Appeals
Gail M. Flatow and Flatow Comer, LLP v. Dwane Ingalls
49A02-0910-CV-994
Civil. Reverses denial of Flatow and Flatow Comer’s motion for summary judgment in Ingalls’ suit for legal malpractice. There is no designated evidence in the malpractice litigation to show the result of Ingalls’ partial motion for summary judgment would have been any different had a reply been filed. As a matter of law, the Flatow defendants had no duty to provide the services Ingalls claims they were negligent in failing to provide.

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Opinions Aug. 13, 2010

August 13, 2010

7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Barbara J. Castile v. Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of the Social Security Administration
09-3917
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge David Hamilton.
Civil. Affirms denial of Castile’s numerous claims for obtaining disability insurance and disability widow’s benefits. There was substantial evidence to support the administrative law judge’s conclusion that Castile’s chronic fatigue syndrome didn’t render her disabled. The ALJ thoroughly examined the evidence and articulated his findings and the District Court didn’t err in upholding the ALJ’s credibility determinations.

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Opinions Aug. 12, 2010

August 12, 2010

7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Frank McAllister v. Jerry L. Price, in his individual capacity
10-1213
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division, Judge Joseph S. Van Bokkelen.
Civil. Affirms denial of summary judgment for police officer Price, who claimed qualified immunity. There are genuine issues of material fact about whether Price violated McAllister’s clearly established constitutional rights. McAllister alleges that Price violated his Fourth Amendment rights by using excessive force to remove McAllister from his car after suffering a diabetic episode that resulted in the crash.

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Opinions Aug. 11, 2010

August 11, 2010
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Eddie Lamar Carlisle
10-1173

U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Fort Wayne Division, Judge William C. Lee.
Criminal. Affirms denial of motion to suppress. Carlisle didn’t have a privacy interest in the bag he was carrying, which contained drugs and paraphernalia, when police came to the house during a drug sweep. The officers had reasonable suspicion to believe that criminal activity was occurring and that Carlisle was armed and dangerous, thereby making the initial stop proper.
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Opinions Aug. 10, 2010

August 10, 2010

7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Jermarcus Robinson
09-3955
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Fort Wayne Division, Judge Theresa L. Springmann.
Criminal. Affirms conviction of possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine. The District Court correctly refused to suppress the cocaine police officers pulled from Robinson’s buttocks after a traffic stop. The officer wasn’t satisfied with his initial effort to pat down Robinson and was justified to return to finish the job within the bounds outlined in Terry.

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Opinions Aug. 9, 2010

August 9, 2010

7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association Inc., et al. v. Mayflower Transit, LLC
08-1673
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Sarah Evans Barker.
Civil. Affirms judgment with respect to a chargeback for the cost of insurance not being a sale of insurance. Rules the period of limitations for suits under Section 14704(a)(2) is four years, not two. Remands for further proceedings that may be required by the ruling on the limitations issue.

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Opinions Aug. 6, 2010

August 6, 2010

Indiana Court of Appeals
State of Indiana v. Jeffrey Brunner
57A04-1003-CR-121
Criminal. Reverses and remands with instructions trial court’s October 2009 order modifying Brunner’s August 2000 conviction from a Class D felony to a Class A misdemeanor. The parties raised two issues for review.

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Opinions Aug. 5, 2010

August 5, 2010
7th Circuit Court of Appeals

United States of America v. Adam Williams
09-3174
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division, Judge James T. Moody.
Criminal. Affirms convictions of and sentence for illegal possession of a firearm as a felon and various drug distribution offenses. Williams couldn’t satisfy his burden under either prong of the Strickland standard, so the District Court’s refusal to investigate further his perceived problems with his attorney is a harmless abuse of discretion. Because Williams was convicted of a violent felony, his claim that Section 922(g)(1) unconstitutionally infringes on his right to possess a firearm is without merit.

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Opinions Aug. 4, 2010

August 4, 2010
Indiana Court of Appeals
Wells Fargo Insurance v. Bruce A. Land

48A02-0911-CV-1099
Civil. Affirms Land is entitled to commission on all of his 2005 crop-year policies. By Feb. 2, 2006, the date of Land’s resignation, the sales had been consummated, and his right to the 2005 crop-year commissions had fully accrued, subject only to receipt of the premium payments.
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Opinions Aug. 3, 2010

August 3, 2010
Indiana Court of Appeals
F.B. Boushehry v. City of Indianapolis, et al.
49A05-1002-PL-55
Civil. Affirms trial court’s grant of summary judgment in the city’s favor because Boushehry’s claim did not meet the Indiana Tort Claims Act notice requirement.
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Opinions Aug. 2, 2010

August 2, 2010

Indiana Court of Appeals
David Hopper v. State of Indiana (NFP)
31A01-1003-PC-89
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

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Opinions July 30, 2010

July 30, 2010

7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Anthony L. Vaughn
09-3789
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Terre Haute Division, Judge Larry J. McKinney.
Criminal. Affirms 180-month sentence after pleading guilty to committing aggravated assault on a federal officer. The District Court reasonably explained why the sentence that was outside the guidelines range was appropriate.

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Opinions July 29, 2010

July 29, 2010
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Louis and Karen Metro Family LLC, et al. v. Lawrenceburg Conservancy District, et al.
09-2418, -2482
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, New Albany Division, Magistrate Judge William G. Hussman.
Civil. Affirms the City of Lawrenceburg and the Lawrenceburg Conservancy District breached their contract with the Metros to convey land to the Metros based on the option contract their company held. Vacates decision to reform the contract to change the date by which the option could be exercised from 18 months after completion of the project to 18 months after the date of the District Court opinion. Remands for further proceedings to calculate damages and to assess costs against the district and city.
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Opinions July 28, 2010

July 28, 2010

7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Jamarkus Gorman
09-3010
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Sarah Evans Barker.
Criminal. Affirms conviction of perjury after testifying falsely before a grand jury. There is ample evidence to support the finding Gorman perjured himself with regard to the possession of a Bentley. The evidence was properly admitted, albeit as direct evidence rather than inextricable intertwinement evidence, and its probative value was not substantially outweighed by any risk of unfair prejudice. 

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Opinions July 27, 2010

July 27, 2010
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Marion County Coroner’s Office v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and John Linehan
09-3595
Petition for review of an order of the EEOC. Upholds the EEOC determination that Coroner Ackles’ stated reason for taking action against Linehan was pretextual and that the EEOC had jurisdiction over Linehan’s retaliation claim.
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Opinions July 26, 2010

July 26, 2010

7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Mark Ciesiolka
09-2787
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division, Judge Rudy Lozano.
Criminal. Reverses conviction of knowingly attempting to persuade, induce, entice, and coerce a minor to engage in sexual activity. Because the District Court failed to explain its ruling that the four-factor test for introducing evidence of prior acts under Rule 404(b) was satisfied, and since the evidence introduced in unconstrained fashion is perhaps excessively prejudicial in light of its probative value, reverses and remands for a new trial. Judge Ripple dissents.

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Opinions July 23, 2010

July 23, 2010

Indiana Court of Appeals
David K. Murphy v. State of Indiana
18A02-1002-CR-213
Criminal. Reverses and remands trial court’s decision denying Murphy educational credit time. Murphy contended the trial court is the proper authority to determine whether to grant educational credit time for receiving his general educational development diploma prior to sentencing. The Court of Appeals agreed.

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Opinions July 22, 2010

July 22, 2010

Indiana Court of Appeals
Daniel A. Donald v. State of Indiana
23A04-0912-CR-685
Criminal. Reverses and remands trial court’s denial of Donald’s request for a competency evaluation prior to his probation revocation hearing. Donald contended he was entitled to a competency evaluation pursuant to Indiana statute and the Due Process Clause of the United States Constitution. The Court of Appeals disagreed with Donald’s statutory argument, but agreed the Due Process Clause may warrant a competency evaluation prior to a probation revocation hearing.

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  1. I grew up on a farm and live in the county and it's interesting that the big industrial farmers like Jeff Shoaf don't live next to their industrial operations...

  2. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  3. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  4. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  5. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

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