Opinions

Opinions July 29, 2015

July 29, 2015
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Robert L. Lee
14-2010
Appeal from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division.
Judge Robert L. Miller
Affirms revocation of supervised release for violation of terms due to commission of a crime. Rejects Lee’s argument that due process under the Fifth Amendment and Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 32.1 requires citation to a specific statute to provide written notice of the alleged violation.
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Opinions July 28, 2015

July 28, 2015
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Grant E. Bentrud v. Bowman Heintz Boscia & Vician, P.C.
14-2384
Appeal from the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division
Judge William Lawrence.
Civil. Affirms grant of summary judgment in favor of Bowman Heintz. Finds Bowman Heintz did not violate the Federal Debt Collections Practices Act for filing a second motion for summary judgment after the 30-day deadline to initiate arbitration had passed.
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Opinions July 27, 2015

July 27, 2015
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
The following opinion was issued after IL deadline Friday
Katherine Cerajeski, Guardian for Walter Cerajeski v. Greg Zoeller, Attorney General of the State of Indiana, et al.
15-1313
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.
Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson
Civil. Reverses dismissal of Cerajeski’s claim as moot, holding that she is entitled to legal fees because the suit led to a change in state law that enabled her to obtain damages sought in the litigation. Remands for a determination of reasonable legal fees, expressing a tentative view that the amount sought for the prior appeal –  $258,462.50 for 375.75 hours – is excessive.
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Opinions July 24, 2015

July 24, 2015
Indiana Court of Appeals
Antyon Buford v. State of Indiana
20A05-1408-CR-392
Criminal. Reverses convictions of Class A felony dealing cocaine, Class B felony unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon, and Class D felony maintaining a common nuisance. A warrant on which the search of Buford’s residence was premised was not supported by probable cause. Remands for proceedings.
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Opinions July 23, 2015

July 23, 2015
7th  Circuit Court of Appeals
The following opinion was issued after IL deadline Wednesday.
United States of America v. Joseph B. Miller
14-2779
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana.
Judge James T. Moody.
Criminal. Affirms bank robbery conviction, holding that neither an FBI agent’s alleged misstatements nor defense counsel’s purported errors in failing to suppress certain evidence affected the outcome of the trial.
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Opinions July 22, 2015

July 22, 2015
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
The following opinions were issued after IL deadline Tuesday.
United States of America v. Michael B. McClellan
14-2449
Appeal from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division; Chief Judge Philip P. Simon.
Criminal. Affirms convictions of harboring an illegal alien, three counts of mail fraud, and one count of engaging in a monetary transaction involving criminally derived property. The evidence presented to the jury was sufficient for the convictions, and jury instructions concerning the harboring count did not constitute plain error.
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Opinions July 21, 2015

July 21, 2015
Indiana Supreme Court
In the Matter of: Steven J. Ouellette
02S00-1502-DI-107
Attorney discipline. Disbars Steven J. Ouellette for converting $8,725 in client funds and failing to cooperate with the disciplinary process. Ouellette, who currently was suspended indefinitely in a separate disciplinary matter, violated Rules of Professional Conduct 1.15(a), 8.1(b), 8.4(b) and 8.4(c). Respectively, those rules violations are for failing to hold client property in trust; failing to respond to disciplinary authorities; committing a criminal act that reflects adversely on the lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness or fitness; and conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation.
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Opinions July 20, 2015

July 20, 2015
Indiana Court of Appeals
Charles R. Ferguson v. The Estate of Lera V. Ferguson
34A02-1411-ES-793
Estate. Reverses on interlocutory appeal an order that Charles R. Ferguson post a bond in excess of $1.1 million, representing the amount of his claim against the estate plus administrative costs in order to stay the sale of the family farm. Finding the trial court abused its discretion in ordering a bond in the amount of a claim against the estate plus costs, the panel remands with instructions that bond be posted at $60,000, the amount of administrative costs.
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Opinions July 17, 2015

July 17, 2015
Indiana Tax Court
Richard D. Foster v. Indiana Department of State Revenue (mem. dec.)
49T10-1504-TA-17
Tax. Grants Indiana Department of State Revenue’s motion to dismiss. Foster appealed the revenue department’s seizure of his tax refunds and vehicles after he pled guilty to possession of marijuana. However, the Tax Court concluded it lacked subject matter jurisdiction since Foster had not taken his appeal from a final determination of the revenue department.
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Opinions July 16, 2015

July 16, 2015
Indiana Tax Court
Indianapolis Public Transportation Corporation v. Department of Local Government Finance
49T10-1203-TA-19
Tax. Denies Department of Local Government Finance’s motion for judgment on the pleadings. Indianapolis Public Transportation Corp. (IndyGo) has standing to appeal the DLGF’s adjustment of its budget because under the facts of the case an “appeal” could not have contemplated adjustments made to the budget that are at issue in the case.
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Opinions July 15, 2015

July 15, 2015
Indiana Court of Appeals
Robert Seal v. State of Indiana
48A02-1410-CR-775
Criminal. Affirms convictions of two counts of Class A felony child molesting; two counts of Class B felony incest; and one count of Class B sexual misconduct with a minor. Finds police’s failure to capture the audio on the recordings of the victims’ interviews does not violate Seal’s due process rights. Rules trial court did not abuse its discretion in instructing the jury that time is not an element of the offenses. Concludes the continuous crime doctrine does not apply.
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3 things to know about lawyer services disclaimers

July 15, 2015
James Bell, Jessica Whelan
Prospective clients routinely and increasingly turn to the Internet to find a lawyer. Therefore, the information you, as a lawyer with a Web presence, put out there is important to the success of your law practice.
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Opinions July 14, 2015

July 14, 2015
Indiana Court of Appeals
Parkview Hospital, Inc. v. John J. Wernert, in his official capacity as Secretary of the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, and The Methodist Hospitals, Inc.
02A03-1408-PL-296
Civil plenary. Affirms trial court ruling in favor of Indiana Family and Social Service Administration’s denial of Medicaid disproportionate share payments to Parkview Hospital. The decision of the FSSA secretary was not arbitrary, capricious, or unsupported by substantial evidence, and there was no contract or agreement of material terms and conditions regarding disproportionate share hospital payments supporting a forfeiture claim.
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Opinions July 13, 2015

July 13, 2015
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Joshua R. Mackin
14-3602
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Fort Wayne Division;
Judge Theresa Springmann
Criminal. Vacates conviction of being a felon in possession of a firearm and remands for further proceedings. Finds the government’s failure to produce the correct and complete continuity slip until mid-trial violated Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 16. Agrees with defense that the incomplete slip presented during discovery was the basis of the defendant’s trial strategy and his decision not to seek a plea agreement.
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Opinions July 10, 2015

July 10, 2015
Indiana Supreme Court
In the Matter of: Tenneil E. Selner
71S00-1402-DI-96
Attorney discipline. Suspends Tenneil E. Selner for three years without automatic reinstatement for her federal conviction of distribution of pseudoephedrine to participants in a methamphetamine ring. Justices approved the conditional agreement for discipline by a 4-1 vote, with Justice Dickson dissenting, believing Selner’s conduct demonstrated unfitness.
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Opinions July 9, 2015

July 9, 2015
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
The following opinion was posted Wednesday after IL deadline
Carlene M. Craig, et al. v. FedEx Ground Package System, Inc.
10-3115
Appeal from U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division;
Judge Robert L. Miller, Jr.
Civil. Reverses multi-district litigation court’s grant of summary judgment to FedEx and remands with instructions to enter summary judgment in favor of plaintiffs, the Kansas drivers. The drivers are employees of FedEx rather than independent contractors under the Kansas Wage Payment Act, the court ruled. Proceedings may include remand to the Kansas District Court for a determination of damages.
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Opinions July 8, 2015

July 8, 2015
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Choice Hotels International, Inc. v. Anuj Grover, Arjun Grover and Dharam Punwani

14-3294
Appeal from the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division;
Judge Joseph S. Van Bokkelen
Civil. Affirms denial of motion for relief from judgment. Finds the investors cannot have the judgment set aside because their attorney failed to protect their interests. Instead they should seek remedy through a malpractice action.
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Opinions July 7, 2015

July 7, 2015
Indiana Court of Appeals
Bryan A. Cox v. State of Indiana
27A02-1412-CR-599
Criminal. Affirms 15-year aggregate executed sentence for Class B felony dealing cocaine and adjudication as a habitual offender. The doctrine of amelioration does not apply to Cox’s habitual offender sentence enhancement. Cox argued that he should have been sentenced under a more lenient amended habitual offender statute effective July 1, 2014, but his crime occurred before this, and the Legislature clearly did not intend for the doctrine of amelioration to apply to the amended statute.
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Opinions July 6, 2015

July 6, 2015
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Corre Opportunities Fund, LP, et al., v. Emmis Communications Corp.
14-1647
Civil. Affirms ruling against Corre on a complaint that Emmis owed some $34 million in unpaid dividends to owners of preferred stock in the company. Under Indiana’s unique law allowing corporations to vote their shares, Emmis had authority to vote shares that the preferred stock owners claimed were outstanding.  
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Opinions July 2, 2015

July 2, 2015
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
The following opinions were issued after IL deadline Wednesday.

U.S.A. v. Willie J. Harris
14-1846
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division, Judge Philip P. Simon
Criminal. Affirms convictions of fraud, conspiracy to commit fraud with identification documents, production and trafficking in counterfeit devices, and aggravated identity theft. Finds a notebook taken from Harris’ truck was admissible at trial and the evidence was sufficient to support his convictions. Also finds the District Court did not err in applying sentencing enhancements.
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Opinions 7/1/15

July 1, 2015

7th Circuit Court of Appeals
The following opinion was issued after IL deadline Tuesday.
David Lawson v. Sun Microsystems, Inc.
13-1502 and 13-1503
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Chief Judge Richard Young
Civil. Reverses jury award to Lawson for $1.5 million and remands with instructions to enter judgment for Sun Microsystems. Finds the employee compensation plan that was instituted when Sun acquired StorageTek Inc., is unambiguous and Lawson is not entitled to the jury award of $1.5 million.

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Opinions June 30, 2015

June 30, 2015
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Richard Bell v. Cameron Taylor
14-3099
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Tanya Walton Pratt.
Civil. Dismisses interlocutory appeal for lack of jurisdiction and remands to the District Court for resolution of outstanding issues. The 7th Circuit had no jurisdiction because Bell’s suit was still alive even though partial summary judgment had been granted.
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Opinions: 6/29/2015

June 29, 2015
Indiana Supreme Court
Larry D. Russell, Jr. v. State of Indiana
84S01-1409-CR-583
Criminal. Affirms 10-year sentence for conviction of five counts of Class C felony neglect of a dependent and two counts of Class C felony criminal confinement. Despite an erroneous application of a particular section of Indiana Code on a perceived statutory cap on sentencing, the plea agreement is enforceable because Russell received the benefit of the bargain and there is no compelling reason to set aside the conviction, the majority held. Chief Justice Loretta Rush concurred in result only. Justice Mark Massa dissented, finding that the trial court’s acceptance of a plea agreement based on an error of law amounted to an abuse of discretion.

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Opinions June 26, 2015

June 26, 2015
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Renato DeBartolo v. United States of America
14-3579
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division, Judge Robert L. Miller.
Reverses denial of a petition for relief from a removal order resulting in the deportation of DeBartolo to Italy. The panel held that the failure of DeBartolo’s attorney to inform him that pleading guilty to a drug charge could result in deportation proceedings was ineffective assistance of counsel.
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Opinions June 25, 2015

June 25, 2015
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Pascal Sylla
14-2813
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division. Judge Sarah Evans Barker.
Criminal. Affirms 2013 conviction of attempted bank robbery stemming from an attempted robbery in 2003. Sylla’s DNA was matched to the crime scene in 2010, thus making his conviction not outside the statute of limitations.
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  1. Ah yes... Echoes of 1963 as a ghostly George Wallace makes his stand at the Schoolhouse door. We now know about the stand of personal belief over service to all constituents at the Carter County Clerk door. The results are the same, bigotry unable to follow the directions of the courts and the courts win. Interesting to watch the personal belief take a back seat rather than resign from a perception of local power to make the statement.

  2. An oath of office, does it override the conscience? That is the defense of overall soldier who violates higher laws, isnt it? "I was just following orders" and "I swore an oath of loyalty to der Fuhrer" etc. So this is an interesting case of swearing a false oath and then knowing that it was wrong and doing the right thing. Maybe they should chop her head off too like the "king's good servant-- but God's first" like St Thomas More. ...... We wont hold our breath waiting for the aclu or other "civil liberterians" to come to her defense since they are all arrayed on the gay side, to a man or should I say to a man and womyn?

  3. Perhaps we should also convene a panel of independent anthropological experts to study the issues surrounding this little-known branch of human sacrifice?

  4. I'm going to court the beginning of Oct. 2015 to establish visitation and request my daughters visits while she is in jail. I raised my grandchild for the first two and half years. She was born out of wedlock and the father and his adopted mother wantwd her aborted, they went as far as sueing my daughter for abortion money back 5mo. After my grandchild was born. Now because of depression and drug abuse my daughter lost custody 2 and a half years ago. Everyting went wrong in court when i went for custody my lawyer was thrown out and a replacment could only stay 45 min. The judge would not allow a postponement. So the father won. Now he is aleinating me and my daughter. No matter the amount of time spent getting help for my daughter and her doing better he runs her in the ground to the point of suicide because he wants her to be in a relationship with him. It is a sick game of using my grandchild as a pawn to make my daughter suffer for not wanting to be with him. I became the intervener in the case when my daughter first got into trouble. Because of this they gave me her visitation. Im hoping to get it again there is questions of abuse on his part and I want to make sure my grandchild is doing alright. I really dont understand how the parents have rights to walk in and do whatever they want when the refuse to stand up and raise the child at first . Why should it take two and a half years to decide you want to raise your child.The father used me so he could finish college get a job and stop paying support by getting custody. Support he was paying my daughter that I never saw.

  5. Pence said when he ordered the investigation that Indiana residents should be troubled by the allegations after the video went viral. Planned Parenthood has asked the government s top health scientists at the National Institutes of Health to convene a panel of independent experts to study the issues surrounding the little-known branch of medicine.

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