Opinions

Opinions Jan. 22, 2014

January 22, 2014
Indiana Court of Appeals
Antoine Duff v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1306-CR-503
Criminal. Affirms 16-year sentence, with 10 years executed and six years suspended, for Class B felony battery.
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Opinions Jan. 21, 2014

January 21, 2014
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Lovoyne Drain
12-3684
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Sarah Evans Barker.
Criminal. Affirms above-guidelines sentence for possession of a firearm by a felon. Section 4A1.3(a)(3), like every provision of the sentencing guidelines, is advisory. And the judge did not violate Drain’s right to due process by taking into account his arrest history as part of her evaluation of the sentencing factors under 18 U.S.C. Section 3553(a).
 
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Opinions Jan. 20, 2014

January 20, 2014
The following Indiana Court of Appeals opinion was posted after IL deadline Friday:
Marilyn South v. Harry South (NFP)
15A01-1306-DR-251
Domestic relation. Affirms dissolution of marriage and division of assets.

The Indiana Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, Tax Court and 7th Circuit Court of Appeals are closed Monday in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
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Opinions Jan. 17, 2014

January 17, 2014
Indiana Court of Appeals
Shane L. Duckworth v. State of Indiana (NFP)
82A04-1304-CR-152
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A felony dealing in methamphetamine.
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Opinions Jan. 16, 2014

January 16, 2014
Indiana Court of Appeals
Floyd County and Floyd County Plan Commission v. City of New Albany and New Albany City Plan Commission
22A05-1303-MI-139
Miscellaneous. Affirms summary judgment for the city on a lawsuit over whether the city or county has zoning jurisdiction over an unincorporated area outside the city limits. As a matter of law, the county is not entitled to exercise jurisdiction over the fringe area, nor is it required to consent to the city’s exercise of jurisdiction. Because the county has a population of less than 95,000, Indiana Code 36-7-4-205(f) determines which entity is entitled to exercise jurisdiction over the fringe area, and because the city is providing municipal services to the fringe area, it is entitled to the exercise of jurisdiction without the necessity of county approval.
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Opinions Jan. 15, 2014

January 15, 2014
Indiana Court of Appeals
The City of Fort Wayne v. Northern Indiana Public Service Company and NiSource, Inc.
02A04-1307-CT-366
Civil tort. Affirms summary judgment for NIPSCO and NiSource on the city’s lawsuit after NIPSCO’s contractor damaged an underground drain, causing flooding. The city’s failure to discharge its statutory duties to provide accurate locations of its underground facilities to NIPSCO is dispositive of all claims on appeal.
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Opinions Jan. 14, 2014

January 14, 2014
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Kimberly Spurling v. C&M Fine Pack, Inc.
13-1708
Civil. Affirms the U.S. District Court Northern District of Indiana’s entry of summary judgment for C&M on the Family Medical Leave Act claim. Reverses the entry of summary judgment in favor of C&M on Spurling’s Americans with Disabilities Act claim and remands for further proceedings consistent with this opinion. Rules the company did not actually fire Spurling until after it learned she had a medical condition that was covered under the ADA.
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Opinions Jan. 13, 2014

January 13, 2014
The Indiana Supreme Court, Court of Appeals and Tax Court posted no opinions by IL deadline. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals posted no Indiana decisions by IL deadline.
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Opinions Jan. 10, 2014

January 10, 2014
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Julio Cesar Chavarria v. United States of America
11-3549
Criminal. Affirms District Court order dismissing Chavarria’s claim of ineffective assistance of counsel that led to his deportation after conviction of cocaine distribution charges. The panel found the distinction between affirmative misadvice and failure to advise does not evade the non-retroactive ruling of Padilla v. Kentucky, 559 U.S. 356 (2010).
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Opinions Jan. 9, 2014

January 9, 2014
Indiana Court of Appeals
Wolf's Marine, Inc. v. Dev Brar
29A02-1303-SC-293
Small claim. Reverses denial of Wolf’s Marine’s motion to dismiss a complaint filed by Dr. Dev Brar. The trial court incorrectly determined that personal jurisdiction over Wolf’s existed in Indiana, and it should have granted the company’s motion to dismiss.
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Opinions Jan. 8, 2014

January 8, 2014
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Tony Currie
12-1666
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Sarah Evans Barker.
Criminal. Affirms decision to deny Currie’s motion to suppress evidence without conducting an evidentiary hearing. Orders a limited remand for purposes of ascertaining whether the District Court would be inclined to sentence him differently knowing Currie is subject to the lower statutory minimum of five years as provided by the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010. His current sentence is 121 months.
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Opinions Jan. 7, 2014

January 7, 2014
Indiana Court of Appeals
Anthony Barron v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A04-1304-CR-165
Criminal. Reverses and remands to the trial court with instructions to vacate Barron’s conviction for Class D felony domestic battery, leaving his remaining Class D felony convictions for strangulation and criminal confinement and sentence in place.
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Opinions Jan. 6, 2014

January 6, 2014

The Indiana Supreme Court, Court of Appeals and Tax Court are closed Monday. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals posted no Indiana opinions at IL deadline.

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Opinions Jan. 3, 2014

January 3, 2014
The Indiana Supreme Court, Court of Appeals and Tax Court posted no opinions by IL deadline. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals posted no Indiana decisions by IL deadline.
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Opinions Jan. 2, 2014

January 2, 2014
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Phillip Rucker

13-1297
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division. Judge Rudy Lozano.
Criminal. Affirms conviction of one count of wire fraud and sentence of 30 months imprisonment, one year of supervised release and $73,488.95 to be paid in restitution. In light of the admission of co-conspirator Sheila Chandler’s 11 prior convictions for wire fraud that were within the 10-year window, her 2000 conviction had very little probative value, if any. Thus, the District Court did not abuse its discretion in finding that the probative value of the remote conviction did not substantially outweigh the prejudicial effect of presenting cumulative evidence.

 
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Opinions Dec. 31, 2013

December 31, 2013
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Zachary Medlock v. Trustees of Indiana University, et al.
13-1900
Civil. Affirms summary judgment in favor of IU and other defendants, holding that a student inspection of a dorm room that found marijuana followed by a police search warrant in which the pot was seized was not a violation of the Fourth Amendment. Likewise, the process through which Medlock was suspended was not a denial of due process.
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Opinions Dec. 30, 2013

December 30, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
Rico Nathaniel Morst v. State of Indiana (NFP)
84A01-1305-CR-226
Criminal. Affirms revocation of Morst’s probation.
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Opinions Dec. 27, 2013

December 27, 2013
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Dawn Marie Adams v. James Gregory Adams
13-1636
Civil. Reverses District Court denial of creditor Dawn Marie Adams’ bankruptcy court claim against her former husband and business partner, James Gregory Adams. The bankruptcy court claims were previously adjudicated in state courts and the doctrine of issue preclusion prevented the bankruptcy court from rehearing those issues. Remanded for proceedings.
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Opinions Dec. 26, 2013

December 26, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
Terry Donald Rutledge v. State of Indiana (NFP)
18A05-1302-CR-70
Criminal. Affirms conviction of murder.
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Opinions Dec. 24, 2013

December 24, 2013
There are no opinions Dec. 24 due to the courts being closed.
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Opinions Dec. 23, 2013

December 23, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
Michael W. Peters, M.D. and Deaconess Hospital, Inc. v. Cynthia S. Kendall and Michael J. Kendall
82A01-1302-PL-55
Civil plenary. Affirms denial of the medical group’s motion for partial summary judgment in the medical malpractice lawsuit brought by the Kendalls. The proof of claim filed by the Kendalls in the liquidation proceedings of Dr. Peters’ insurer does not constitute a binding contract.
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Opinions Dec. 20, 2013

December 20, 2013

7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Michael E. Garcia v. Carolyn W. Colvin
13-2120
Civil. Reverses the Social Security Administration’s denial of disability benefits for Michael E. Garcia, finding that the denial was riddled with error and that the record shows Garcia is among the most seriously disabled applicants for disability the Circuit Court has encountered. Remands to the Social Security Administration for proceedings consistent with the opinion.

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Opinions Dec. 19, 2013

December 19, 2013
Indiana Supreme Court
Tyrice J. Halliburton v. State of Indiana
20S00-1206-LW-560
Life without parole. Affirms murder conviction and sentence of life without parole. The trial court did not err in admitting certain evidence. Concludes the trial court committed no error, let alone fundamental error, by admitting photographs into evidence. Finds the court’s limiting instruction was erroneous, but Halliburton made no claim that the error was fundamental and no such fundamental error occurred.
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Opinions Dec. 18, 2013

December 18, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
Ralph Stockton v. Falls Auctioneers and Realtors and Peggy Buck as Trustee of the Peggy Buck Trust
18A05-1304-CT-160
Civil tort. Reverses summary judgment in favor of Peggy Buck as trustee of the Peggy Buck Trust on Stockon’s negligence suit. There are questions of fact regarding whether Stockton’s fall was caused in part by the length of the grass and whether Buck controlled the length of the grass. It cannot be said as a matter of law that Buck owed no duty to Stockton and Buck was not entitled to summary judgment on this basis. Remands for further proceedings.
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Opinions Dec. 17, 2013

December 17, 2013
Indiana Supreme Court
Indiana Gas Company, Inc. and Southern Indiana Gas and Electric Company, et al v. Indiana Finance Authority and Indiana Gasification, LLC
93S02-1306-EX-407
Agency action. Affirms the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission’s approval of a contract between Indiana Finance Authority and Indiana Gasification, LLC that obligates the state to purchase synthetic natural gas that would be produced at a coal-gasification plant in Rockport. A divided panel of the Court of Appeals had invalidated the contract, but justices agreed that the IURC’s decision should be affirmed because the parties modified the disputed portion of the contract.
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  1. I like the concept. Seems like a good idea and really inexpensive to manage.

  2. I don't agree that this is an extreme case. There are more of these people than you realize - people that are vindictive and/or with psychological issues have clogged the system with baseless suits that are costly to the defendant and to taxpayers. Restricting repeat offenders from further abusing the system is not akin to restricting their freedon, but to protecting their victims, and the court system, from allowing them unfettered access. From the Supreme Court opinion "he has burdened the opposing party and the courts of this state at every level with massive, confusing, disorganized, defective, repetitive, and often meritless filings."

  3. So, if you cry wolf one too many times courts may "restrict" your ability to pursue legal action? Also, why is document production equated with wealth? Anyone can "produce probably tens of thousands of pages of filings" if they have a public library card. I understand this is an extreme case, but our Supreme Court really got this one wrong.

  4. He called our nation a nation of cowards because we didn't want to talk about race. That was a cheap shot coming from the top cop. The man who decides who gets the federal government indicts. Wow. Not a gentleman if that is the measure. More importantly, this insult delivered as we all understand, to white people-- without him or anybody needing to explain that is precisely what he meant-- but this is an insult to timid white persons who fear the government and don't want to say anything about race for fear of being accused a racist. With all the legal heat that can come down on somebody if they say something which can be construed by a prosecutor like Mr Holder as racist, is it any wonder white people-- that's who he meant obviously-- is there any surprise that white people don't want to talk about race? And as lawyers we have even less freedom lest our remarks be considered violations of the rules. Mr Holder also demonstrated his bias by publically visiting with the family of the young man who was killed by a police offering in the line of duty, which was a very strong indicator of bias agains the offer who is under investigation, and was a failure to lead properly by letting his investigators do their job without him predetermining the proper outcome. He also has potentially biased the jury pool. All in all this worsens race relations by feeding into the perception shared by whites as well as blacks that justice will not be impartial. I will say this much, I do not blame Obama for all of HOlder's missteps. Obama has done a lot of things to stay above the fray and try and be a leader for all Americans. Maybe he should have reigned Holder in some but Obama's got his hands full with other problelms. Oh did I mention HOlder is a bank crony who will probably get a job in a silkstocking law firm working for millions of bucks a year defending bankers whom he didn't have the integrity or courage to hold to account for their acts of fraud on the United States, other financial institutions, and the people. His tenure will be regarded by history as a failure of leadership at one of the most important jobs in our nation. Finally and most importantly besides him insulting the public and letting off the big financial cheats, he has been at the forefront of over-prosecuting the secrecy laws to punish whistleblowers and chill free speech. What has Holder done to vindicate the rights of privacy of the American public against the illegal snooping of the NSA? He could have charged NSA personnel with violations of law for their warrantless wiretapping which has been done millions of times and instead he did not persecute a single soul. That is a defalcation of historical proportions and it signals to the public that the government DOJ under him was not willing to do a damn thing to protect the public against the rapid growth of the illegal surveillance state. Who else could have done this? Nobody. And for that omission Obama deserves the blame too. Here were are sliding into a police state and Eric Holder made it go all the faster.

  5. JOE CLAYPOOL candidate for Superior Court in Harrison County - Indiana This candidate is misleading voters to think he is a Judge by putting Elect Judge Joe Claypool on his campaign literature. paragraphs 2 and 9 below clearly indicate this injustice to voting public to gain employment. What can we do? Indiana Code - Section 35-43-5-3: Deception (a) A person who: (1) being an officer, manager, or other person participating in the direction of a credit institution, knowingly or intentionally receives or permits the receipt of a deposit or other investment, knowing that the institution is insolvent; (2) knowingly or intentionally makes a false or misleading written statement with intent to obtain property, employment, or an educational opportunity; (3) misapplies entrusted property, property of a governmental entity, or property of a credit institution in a manner that the person knows is unlawful or that the person knows involves substantial risk of loss or detriment to either the owner of the property or to a person for whose benefit the property was entrusted; (4) knowingly or intentionally, in the regular course of business, either: (A) uses or possesses for use a false weight or measure or other device for falsely determining or recording the quality or quantity of any commodity; or (B) sells, offers, or displays for sale or delivers less than the represented quality or quantity of any commodity; (5) with intent to defraud another person furnishing electricity, gas, water, telecommunication, or any other utility service, avoids a lawful charge for that service by scheme or device or by tampering with facilities or equipment of the person furnishing the service; (6) with intent to defraud, misrepresents the identity of the person or another person or the identity or quality of property; (7) with intent to defraud an owner of a coin machine, deposits a slug in that machine; (8) with intent to enable the person or another person to deposit a slug in a coin machine, makes, possesses, or disposes of a slug; (9) disseminates to the public an advertisement that the person knows is false, misleading, or deceptive, with intent to promote the purchase or sale of property or the acceptance of employment;

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