Opinions

Opinions Jan. 8, 2015

January 8, 2015
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Daniel P. Minnick v. Carolyn W. Colvin, acting commissioner of Social Security
13-3626
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Fort Wayne Division, Judge Joseph S. Van Bokkelen.
Civil. Reverses judgment of the District Court upholding the acting commissioner’s decision to deny benefits to Minnick and remands for further proceedings. The administrative law judge did not fully develop the record before drawing any conclusions and did not adequately articulate her analysis so that the appellate court could follow her reasoning.
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Opinions Jan. 7, 2015

January 7, 2015
Indiana Court of Appeals
In the Matter of the Mental Health Proceedings of B.M. v. Indiana University Health Hospital
53A04-1405-MH-210
Mental health. Affirms order involuntarily committing B.M. to a mental health facility. The trial court’s finding that B.M. is a danger to others is supported by sufficient evidence. Judge Riley dissents with opinion.
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Opinions Jan. 6, 2015

January 6, 2015
Indiana Supreme Court
Fishers Adolescent Catholic Enrichment Society, Inc. v. Elizabeth Bridgewater o/b/o Alyssa Bridgewater
93S02-1310-EX-704
Civil. Vacates the final order from the Indiana Civil Rights Commission regarding a dispute over a dinner menu. The commission had found that the Fishers Adolescent Catholic Enrichment Society Inc. did not discriminate against Bridgewater when it did not provide a special meal for her daughter who suffered from food allergies. However, the commission did rule that FACES did commit an unlawful discriminatory practice when it expelled the Bridgewater family from the group after they filed the disability discrimination complaint. The Supreme Court concluded because the activities of FACES fell outside education, the commission lacked the statutory authority to take any action other than the dismissal of these claims. Remands with instructions to grant the motion to dismiss filed by FACES on both claims. Justice Robert Rucker dissented, maintaining the commission does have the authority to act on the retaliation claim.
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Opinions Jan. 5, 2015

January 5, 2015
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
State Farm Life Insurance Co. v. Troy Jonas et al.
14-1464
Civil tort. Vacates judgment of District Court and remands with instructions to dismiss for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction. Finds no justiciable controversy existed when Jonas filed his lawsuit against State Farm. Concluded that the disputes about the rate of interest and whether the insurance company must pay the attorney fees that Jonas has incurred in this litigation do not retroactively create jurisdiction.
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Opinions Dec. 31, 2014

December 31, 2014
Indiana Court Appeals
Alfredo D. Rodriguez, as Permanent Guardian of the Person and Estate of Miriam Rodriguez, and Alfredo D. Rodriguez, Individually v. United States Steel Corporation
45A04-1407-CT-350
Civil tort. Affirms summary judgment in favor of U.S. Steel on Alfredo Rodriguez’s negligence claim. Miriam Rodriguez was injured in an auto accident caused by an employee of U.S. Steel as he drove home from work. U.S. Steel did not owe Miriam Rodriguez a duty of reasonable care.
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Opinions Dec. 30, 2014

December 30, 2014
Indiana Court of Appeals
Jeffrey Hewitt v. Westfield Washington School Corp; Board of School Trusties of Westfield Washington School Corp. et al.
29A04-1403-PL-130
Civil plenary. Reverses grant of summary judgment in favor of Westfield Washington School Corp. and related defendants, holding they had not met the onerous burden of showing there are no issues of material fact entitling them to judgment as a matter of law. Hewitt, a former school principal, was fired for a sexual relationship with a teacher he supervised. He then sued the school system for breach of contract and denial of due process. His suit is remanded for further proceedings.
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Opinions Dec. 29, 2014

December 29, 2014
Indiana Court of Appeals
Charles P. White v. State of Indiana

29A05-1312-PC-641
Post conviction. Affirms White’s convictions for perjury, voting in the wrong precinct and theft. Finds White was convicted twice for the same actions in violation of double jeopardy. Reverses White’s other convictions for perjury and voting in the wrong precinct as well as another perjury conviction for putting the wrong address on his marriage license application. Remands with instructions that the trial court vacate those three convictions. Concludes White’s attorney, Carl Brizzi, was not ineffective. Holds White’s sentence to one-year of home detention remains.
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Opinions Dec. 24, 2014

December 24, 2014
Indiana Court of Appeals
Lloyd G. Perry v. Anonymous Physican 1, Alias Medical Group 1, Inc., Anonymous Physican 2, et al.
02A03-1401-CT-43
Civil Tort. Affirms summary judgment in favor of healthcare providers. Finds Perry did not submit expert testimony as required by court rules to support his medical malpractice claim.  
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Opinions Dec. 23, 2014

December 23, 2014
Indiana Supreme Court
In Re the Adoption of B.C.H.
41S04-1408-AD-515
Adoption. Vacates the trial court’s decision to grant stepfather’s petition to adopt B.C.H. and remands for a hearing on the child’s best interests in the adoption and other proceedings consistent with this opinion. At this hearing, the grandparents, who had primary custody of B.C.H. for the first four years of her life, shall be given the opportunity to give or withhold consent to the child’s adoption. They were not served with legal notice of the adoption.
 
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Opinions Dec. 22, 2014

December 22, 2014
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Milford J. Clark
12-1417
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Sarah Evans Barker.
Criminal. Affirms conviction for bank robbery. Clark was not deprived of his Sixth Amendment right to proceed pro se. Any errors in admission of evidence were harmless since Clark met the physical description of the robber and his DNA was found at the bank.
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Opinions Dec. 19, 2014

December 19, 2014
Indiana Court of Appeals
Christopher Duncan v. State of Indiana
09A05-1312-CR-613
Criminal. Reverses conviction of identity deception because the state did not prove that the name and birth date Duncan falsely gave to police belonged to a real person. Remands with instructions to vacate that conviction and sentence as well as the conviction and sentence for Class D felony pointing a firearm because of double jeopardy principles. Also remands for the court to reduce his resisting law enforcement conviction to a Class A misdemeanor due to double jeopardy principles.
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Opinions Dec. 18, 2014

December 18, 2014
Indiana Supreme Court
Rodregus Morgan v. State of Indiana
49S02-1405-CR-325
Criminal. Vacates conviction of Class B misdemeanor public intoxication as the requirements for conviction under Indiana’s public intoxication statute have not been met. An objective reasonable person standard should be read into Indiana’s public intoxication statute when applying the term “annoys.” Under that reading, the statute is not unconstitutionally vague.
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Opinions Dec. 17, 2014

December 17, 2014
Indiana Supreme Court
Shawn Blount v. State of Indiana
49S02-1405-CR-338
Criminal. Affirms conviction of being a serious violent felon in possession of a firearm. A detective’s testimony that a witness identified Blount as the suspect was inadmissible hearsay, but it was a harmless error. There was no variance between the charging information and the evidence presented at trial.
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Opinions Dec. 16, 2014

December 16, 2014
Indiana Supreme Court
Mark Rolley v. Melissa Rolley
87S01-1412-DR-739
Domestic relation. Affirms modification of child support order. Rules in a per curiam decision that ruling by Indiana Court of Appeals that an order of child support could be modified either because a substantial and continuing change in circumstances or, after 12 months, a 20 percent deviation.
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Opinions Dec. 15, 2014

December 15, 2014
Indiana Court of Appeals
Goodrich Quality Theaters, Inc. and Roncelli, Inc. v. Fostcorp Heating and Cooling, Inc., Wilson Iron Works, Inc., et. al.
64A03-1308-PL-318
Civil plenary. Reaffirms previous ruling by the Indiana Court of Appeals that the trial court erred in awarding attorney fees to Fostcorp Heating and Cooling, Wilson Iron Works and Johnson Carpet. Since the general contractor, Roncelli Inc., was not the property owner, it is not liable for payment of attorney fees. Judge Patricia Riley voted to deny rehearing.
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Opinions Dec. 12, 2014

December 12, 2014
Indiana Court of Appeals
Central Mutual Insurance Company v. Motorists Mutual Insurance Company
49A04-1405-CT-214
Civil tort. Affirms on interlocutory appeal the trial court order denying Central’s motion for partial summary judgment and granting Motorists’ motion for partial summary judgment. The trial court did not err in finding that Central provided primary coverage to a truck driver injured in a crash and that the Motorists policy provided excess coverage only when the limits of the Central policy had been reached.
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Opinions Dec. 11, 2014

December 11, 2014
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Kevin L. Harold v. Christopher C. Steel and Peters & Steel LLC
14-1875
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Tanya Walton Pratt.
Civil. Affirms dismissal of Harold’s lawsuit under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, contending Steel and his law firm had violated 15 U.S.C. Section 1692e by making false statements. Harold sought to challenge a garnishment order entered in state court. The Rooker-Feldmen doctrine bars his lawsuit.
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Opinions Dec. 10, 2014

December 10, 2014
7th Circuit Court of Appeal
Robert D. DeLee v. City of Plymouth, Indiana
14-1970
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Judge James T. Moody.
Civil. Reverses summary judgment in favor of the city on police officer DeLee’s lawsuit that he is entitled to his full longevity payment from the city for the year he served in the U.S. Air Force Reserves for eight months. Plymouth’s longevity benefit is more appropriately characterized as a reward for lengthy service rather than as compensation for work performed the preceding year, so the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act guarantees DeLee a fully longevity payment for his 12th year of employment. Remands for further proceedings.
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Opinions Oct. 9, 2014

December 9, 2014
Indiana Court of Appeals
Kolyann Williams v. State of Indiana
34A02-1406-CR-418
Criminal. Reverses conviction of Class A misdemeanor marijuana possession stemming from a traffic stop. Concludes the officer did not have a reasonable suspicion to believe that Williams had committed an infraction that supported stopping his car.
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Opinions Dec. 8, 2014

December 8, 2014
Indiana Court of Appeals
Randal L. Young v. Indiana Department of Correction, Bruce Lemmon, David J. Donahue, Stanley Knight, et al.
32A05-1403-MI-148
Miscellaneous. Affirms the DOC’s policy concerning the restoration of credit time for inmates, which says the credit time sought must be credit time that was deprived during the offender’s current sentence. The policy does not result in disparate treatment and does not unconstitutionally discriminate against offenders who are ordered to serve consecutive sentences.
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Opinions Dec. 5, 2014

December 5, 2014
Indiana Supreme Court
In the Matter of the Adoption of Minor Children: J.T.D. and J.S.: Ind. Dept. of Child Services v. N.E.
45S03-1406-AD-387
Adoption. Reverses trial court decision to not transfer cases from the civil division, which includes probate, to the juvenile division, which is where adoptions must be filed based on a local rule. Lake Superior Court’s four statutory divisions are not jurisdictional, and are merely descriptive of venue, so there is no conflict between the statute and the caseload allocation plan. Remands with instructions.
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Opinions Dec. 4, 2014

December 4, 2014
Indiana Supreme Court
In Re: The Carroll County 2013 Tax Sale: Twin Lakes Regional Sewer District v. Richard C. Ray and Patricia A. Alford, et al.
08S04-1402-MI-97
Miscellaneous. The lien foreclosure prohibition of Indiana Code 13-26-14-4, governing the collection of regional sewer district sewer liens, does not apply to collection by tax sale. Here, because the sewer district employed the tax sale method and did not seek collection of the appellees' unpaid sewer bills and penalties through the lien foreclosure method, the lien foreclosure prohibition clause does not apply. The judgment of the trial court removing the Ray and Alford properties from the tax sale list is reversed, and this cause is remanded for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.
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Opinions Dec. 3, 2014

December 3, 2014
Indiana Court of Appeals
S.L. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1406-JV-377
Juvenile. Affirms adjudication as a delinquent child for committing what would be Class C felony child molesting if committed by an adult.

 
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Opinions Dec. 2, 2014

December 2, 2014
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Emily Herx v. Diocese of Fort Wayne – South Bend, Inc. and St. Vincent de Paul School
14-3057
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Fort Wayne Division.
Judge Robert Miller Jr.
Civil. Grants Emily Herx’s motion to dismiss for lack of appellate jurisdiction. Rejects the argument from the diocese for a collateral-order review, finding the church’s interest will not be irreparably harmed by waiting for the District Court to issue a final judgment.
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Opinions Dec. 1, 2014

December 1, 2014
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. William Boswell
13-3641
Appeals from the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division. Judge William T. Lawrence.
Criminal. Affirms conviction and 235-month sentence for being a felon in possession of a firearm in violation of the Armed Career Criminal Act. The admission of evidence that Boswell had a gun tattoo on his neck was not an abuse of discretion because it served to impeach his testimony, and the sentence under the ACCA did not have to be alleged in the indictment.
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  1. A traditional parade of attorneys? Really Evansville? Y'all need to get out more. When is the traditional parade of notaries? Nurses? Sanitation workers? Pole dancers? I gotta wonder, do throngs of admiring citizens gather to laud these marching servants of the constitution? "Show us your billing records!!!" Hoping some video gets posted. Ours is not a narcissistic profession by any chance, is it? Nah .....

  2. My previous comment not an aside at court. I agree with smith. Good call. Just thought posting here a bit on the if it bleeds it leads side. Most attorneys need to think of last lines of story above.

  3. Hello everyone I'm Gina and I'm here for the exact same thing you are. I have the wonderful joy of waking up every morning to my heart being pulled out and sheer terror of what DCS is going to Throw at me and my family today.Let me start from the !bebeginning.My daughter lost all rights to her 3beautiful children due to Severe mental issues she no longer lives in our state and has cut all ties.DCS led her to belive that once she done signed over her right the babies would be with their family. We have faught screamed begged and anything else we could possibly due I hired a lawyer five grand down the drain.You know all I want is my babies home.I've done everything they have even asked me to do.Now their saying I can't see my grandchildren cause I'M on a prescription for paipain.I have a very rare blood disease it causes cellulitis a form of blood poisoning to stay dormant in my tissues and nervous system it also causes a ,blood clotting disorder.even with the two blood thinners I'm on I still Continue to develop them them also.DCS knows about my illness and still they refuse to let me see my grandchildren. I Love and miss them so much Please can anyone help Us my grandchildren and I they should be worrying about what toy there going to play with but instead there worrying about if there ever coming home again.THANK YOU DCS FOR ALL YOU'VE DONE. ( And if anyone at all has any ideals or knows who can help. Please contact (765)960~5096.only serious callers

  4. He must be a Rethuglican, for if from the other side of the aisle such acts would be merely personal and thus not something that attaches to his professional life. AND ... gotta love this ... oh, and on top of talking dirty on the phone, he also, as an aside, guess we should mention, might be important, not sure, but .... "In addition to these allegations, Keaton was accused of failing to file an appeal after he collected advance payment from a client seeking to challenge a ruling that the client repay benefits because of unreported income." rimshot

  5. I am not a fan of some of the 8.4 discipline we have seen for private conduct-- but this was so egregious and abusive and had so many points of bad conduct relates to the law and the lawyer's status as a lawyer that it is clearly a proper and just disbarment. A truly despicable account of bad acts showing unfit character to practice law. I applaud the outcome.

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