Opinions

Opinions Jan. 3, 2012

January 3, 2012
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States v. Jason Smith
Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division. U.S. Judge Robert Miller, Jr.
11-2016
Criminal. Affirms District Court’s denial of motion to suppress evidence and motion for acquittal for a man convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm, possessing crack cocaine with intent to deliver and possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug transaction. The court rejected arguments that Jason Smith didn’t commit a traffic infraction and that the government constructively amended his indictment about when the traffic stop occurred.
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Opinions Dec. 30, 2011

December 30, 2011
Indiana Court of Appeals
Jeremy L. Peters v. State of Indiana
43A05-1103-CR-144
Criminal. Affirms conviction of and sentence for Class B felony unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon, holding that the use of Peters’ post-arrest, pre-Miranda silence during the state’s case-in-chief was not fundamental error because the evidence of his guilt was strong, the references to his silence were brief, and the references came amidst the narrative explaining the events after the crime.
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Opinions Dec. 29, 2011

December 29, 2011
Indiana Supreme Court
State of Indiana v. Economic Freedom Fund, FreeEats.com, Inc., Meridian Pacific, Inc., and John Does 3-10
07S00-1008-MI-411
Miscellaneous. Reverses trial court’s grant of preliminary injunction in favor of FreeEats, holding that the court erred in finding FreeEats had a reasonable likelihood of success on its claim that the live-operator provision of the Indiana Autodialer Law violates Article 1, Section 9 of the Indiana Constitution. Remands for further proceedings. Justice Frank Sullivan dissented, writing that the application of the live-operator requirement in the present case imposes a material burden on political speech in violation of Art. I, Section 9 of the Indiana Constitution, and that the application of this requirement violates the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.
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Opinions Dec. 28, 2011

December 28, 2011
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. George Pabey
11-2046
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division, Judge James T. Moody.
Criminal. Affirms Pabey’s convictions of conspiring to embezzle government funds and embezzling government funds and sentence of 60 months in prison, along with a $60,000 fine, $14,000 in restitution, and three years of supervised release. The District Court did not abuse its discretion by permitting the jury to receive the conscious avoidance instruction. The sentence enhancements were appropriate and the District Court provided adequate support for its upward departure of his sentence.
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Opinions Dec. 27, 2011

December 27, 2011
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
ATA Airlines Inc. v. Federal Express Corp.
11-1382, 11-1492
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Chief Judge Richard L. Young
Civil. Reverses $66 million jury award in favor of ATA against FedEx for breach of contract. ATA’s breach of contract claim should never have been permitted to go to trial because the letter agreement between the two parties was not an enforceable contract. In addition, ATA’s expert’s testimony on regression analysis never should have been allowed to be put before a jury.
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Opinions Dec. 22, 2011

December 22, 2011
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
M.B., by his parents and next friends, Damian Berns and Amy Berns v. Hamilton Southeastern Schools and Hamilton-Boone-Madison Special Services
10-3096
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Tanya Walton Pratt.
Civil. Affirms summary judgment in favor of the schools on the Berns’ suit that the schools violated the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and the provisions relating to special education in the Indiana Administrative Code by failing to provide M.B. with a free appropriate public education. There was nothing unreasonable about the determination by the hearing officer, the Board of Special Education Appeals, and the District Court in finding that M.B. was making progress under his individualized education program. The Berns are also not entitled to reimbursement for the costs to place M.B. in a learning center or for attorney fees.
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Opinions Dec. 21, 2011

December 21, 2011
Indiana Court of Appeals
Hans Maldonado v. State of Indiana (NFP)
29A05-1104-CR-231
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C misdemeanor operating a vehicle while intoxicated.
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Opinions Dec. 20, 2011

December 20, 2011
Indiana Court of Appeals
Christopher A. Bryant v. State of Indiana
45A03-1101-CR-11
Criminal. Affirms convictions of and sentences for two counts of Class A felony dealing in a narcotic drug, Class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement, Class A misdemeanor marijuana possession and Bryant’s admission that he is a habitual substance offender, holding that his extensive arrest record renders harmless any error the trial court may have made.
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Opinions Dec. 19, 2011

December 19, 2011
Indiana Court of Appeals
Capitol Construction Services, Inc. v. Amy Gray, as Personal Rep. of the Estateof Clinton Gray and All One, Inc.
49A04-1005-CT-289
Civil tort. Affirms trial court’s grant of partial summary judgment in favor of Gray’s estate, holding that per terms of the contract, Capitol Construction was obligated to provide fall protection for all subcontractors.
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Opinions Dec. 16, 2011

December 16, 2011
Indiana Court of Appeals
Justin M. Corwin v. State of Indiana
79A04-1005-CR-296
Criminal. Reverses conviction of Class C felony possession of a controlled substance, holding that a police officer exceeded the limits of a search as defined by Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1, 30 (1968), and therefore, the evidence he obtained in the search should not have been admitted at trial.
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Opinions Dec. 15, 2011

December 15, 2011
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Adrianna Brown, et al. v. Columbia Sussex Corp., et al.
10-3849
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division, Chief Judge Philip P. Simon.
Civil. Affirms dismissal of 53 of the 224 plaintiffs who had their civil rights and breach of contract claims dismissed because they continually missed both formal and informal deadlines. Holds that, in the context of a multi-party or multi-claim suit, a premature notice of appeal from the dismissal of a party or claim will ripen upon the entry of a belated Rule 54(b) judgment under Rule 4(a)(2) and FirsTier. The District Court was within its discretion to find that the appellants acted willfully, in bad faith, or with fault.
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Opinions Dec. 14, 2011

December 14, 2011
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Susan Kellar v. Summit Seating Inc.
11-1221
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division, Magistrate Judge Christopher A. Nuechterlein
Civil. Affirms summary judgment for Summit Seating on Kellar’s lawsuit that she is entitled to overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act for work performed before the official start of her work shift. Concludes that Summit did not know or have reason to know that Kellar was working before her shift.
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Opinions Dec. 13, 2011

December 13, 2011
Indiana Supreme Court
Steven Spangler and Heidi Brown v. Barbara Bechtel, Expectations Women's Health and
Childbearing Center, and St. Vincent Randolph Hospital

49S05-1012-CV-703
Civil. Reverses summary judgment in favor of Bechtel and the health and childbearing center. The parents’ separate actions seeking damages for emotional distress from experiencing the stillbirth of their child are not barred by the Indiana Child Wrongful Death Act or the Indiana Medical Malpractice Act. Remands for further proceedings.
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Opinions Dec. 12, 2011

December 12, 2011
Indiana Court of Appeals
Douglas Garwood v. State of Indiana (NFP)
35A02-1106-CR-588
Criminal. Affirms conviction of and sentence for Class B felony dealing in methamphetamine and reverses conviction of Class D felony possession of precursors with intent to manufacture methamphetamine.
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Opinions Dec. 9, 2011

December 9, 2011
Indiana Court of Appeals
Scott Pattison v. State of Indiana
85A02-1101-CR-88
Criminal. Affirms conviction of felony murder. The circumstantial evidence is sufficient to establish beyond a reasonable doubt that Pattison killed his wife. Affirms in all other respects.
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Opinions Dec. 8, 2011

December 8, 2011
Indiana Court of Appeals
Term. of Parent-Child Rel. of C.M., G.M., and R.M.; A.M. (Mother) and C.M. (Father) v. Indiana Dept. of Child Services, Dearborn County Office
15A01-1104-JT-204
Juvenile. Reverses termination of mother A.M.’s parental rights. The Department of Child Services did not establish by clear and convincing evidence the requisite statutory elements to support the termination. Judge Darden concurs in result.
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Opinions Dec. 7, 2011

December 7, 2011
Indiana Court of Appeals
In the Matter of the Estate of Melissa K. Patrick: Yvonne Griffith v. Jason Patrick
17A03-1104-ES-190
Estate, supervised. Affirms denial of the estate’s motion to dismiss a petition for survivor’s allowance filed by Melissa Patrick’s surviving spouse, Jason. The trial court did not commit clear error in determining that Ind. Code 29-1-2-14 did not divest Patrick of a survivor’s share of the estate with his late wife.
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Opinions Dec. 6, 2011

December 6, 2011
Indiana Court of Appeals
A.A.Q. v. State of Indiana
71A03-1105-JV-239
Juvenile. Affirms judgment of juvenile court finding A.A.Q. a juvenile delinquent for committing an act that would have been Class A misdemeanor trespass if committed by an adult. Holds that A.A.Q. and his parents waived the right to counsel.
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Opinions Dec. 5, 2011

December 5, 2011
Indiana Court of Appeals
Linzy C. Clark v. State of Indiana
48A04-1104-CR-249
Criminal. Reverses trial court’s denial of Clark’s motion to dismiss the notice of probation violation. After the probation was transferred from Madison County to Tippecanoe County, the Tippecanoe County court held supervisory authority. It received notice of the probation violation, but Madison County – the sentencing court – did not, nor did it file the notice of probation violation within 45 days of receiving the notice of violation.
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Opinions Dec. 2, 2011

December 2, 2011
Indiana Court of Appeals
Billy Jack Steele v. State of Indiana (NFP)
15A01-1104-CR-194
Criminal. Affirms eight-year sentence for Class C felony robbery.
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Opinions Dec. 1, 2011

December 1, 2011
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Bridgett Stevens v. Housing Authority of South Bend, Indiana, et al. and State of Indiana
10-2724
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division, Judge Rudy Lozano.
Civil. Affirms summary judgment for defendants on Stevens’ federal claims alleging violations of the Fair Housing Act and the 14th Amendment and the decline by the court to exercise jurisdiction over the remaining state law claims, dismissing them without prejudice. Injunctive relief is no longer available to Stevens because she voluntarily left her public housing apartment after receiving two additional notices indicating that she must leave due to violating housing policy. The first notice was therefore lawfully issued, and Stevens has no claim for emotional distress caused by a wholly lawful action.
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Opinions Nov. 30, 2011

November 30, 2011
Indiana Supreme Court
Christopher Jewell v. State of Indiana
32S04-1104-CR-200
Criminal. Affirms denial of Jewell’s motion to suppress recorded phone conversations between him and his former stepdaughter and finds his sentence is appropriate for six counts relating to child molesting, sexual misconduct with a minor, and child seduction. Holds that under the broader protections of Article 1, Section 13 of the Indiana Constitution, the right to counsel is violated only where the different offense is inextricably intertwined with the charge on which counsel is already representing the defendant.
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Opinions Nov. 29, 2011

November 29, 2011
Indiana Supreme Court
David Hopper v. State of Indiana
13S01-1007-PC-399
Post conviction. Grants rehearing to address the role and necessity of advising someone of the risks of dealing with prosecutors without a lawyer. The post-conviction court was right that Hopper’s waiver of counsel was voluntary and intelligent. Finds Hopper’s contention that advisement language should be mandatory in all stages of all cases with all defendants is misplaced. Justice Rucker dissents with separate opinion, in which Justice Sullivan concurs.
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Opinions Nov. 28, 2011

November 28, 2011
Indiana Court of Appeals
Jennings Daugherty v. State of Indiana
89A05-1103-CR-131
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class B felony possession of cocaine and Class D felony maintaining a common nuisance. Daugherty’s arguments on appeal are insufficient to demonstrate reversible error. Affirms the admission of the state’s evidence.
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Opinions Nov. 23, 2011

November 23, 2011
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Monica Del Carmen Gonzalez-Servin, et. al. v. Fort Motor Company, et. al.
11-1665
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Sarah Evans Barker.
Civil. In a consolidated appeal, the court affirmed decisions by District Courts in Indiana and Illinois granting forum non conveniens in multidistrict litigation. In the Indiana case, the court held that Judge Sarah Evans Barker was acting within her discretion in deciding that the courts of Mexico would be better suited to adjudication of a lawsuit by Mexican citizens arising from the death of another Mexican citizen in an accident in Mexico.
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  1. I have been on this program while on parole from 2011-2013. No person should be forced mentally to share private details of their personal life with total strangers. Also giving permission for a mental therapist to report to your parole agent that your not participating in group therapy because you don't have the financial mean to be in the group therapy. I was personally singled out and sent back three times for not having money and also sent back within the six month when you aren't to be sent according to state law. I will work to het this INSOMM's removed from this state. I also had twelve or thirteen parole agents with a fifteen month period. Thanks for your time.

  2. Our nation produces very few jurists of the caliber of Justice DOUGLAS and his peers these days. Here is that great civil libertarian, who recognized government as both a blessing and, when corrupted by ideological interests, a curse: "Once the investigator has only the conscience of government as a guide, the conscience can become ‘ravenous,’ as Cromwell, bent on destroying Thomas More, said in Bolt, A Man For All Seasons (1960), p. 120. The First Amendment mirrors many episodes where men, harried and harassed by government, sought refuge in their conscience, as these lines of Thomas More show: ‘MORE: And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Paradise for doing according to your conscience, *575 and I am damned for not doing according to mine, will you come with me, for fellowship? ‘CRANMER: So those of us whose names are there are damned, Sir Thomas? ‘MORE: I don't know, Your Grace. I have no window to look into another man's conscience. I condemn no one. ‘CRANMER: Then the matter is capable of question? ‘MORE: Certainly. ‘CRANMER: But that you owe obedience to your King is not capable of question. So weigh a doubt against a certainty—and sign. ‘MORE: Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But if it is flat, will the King's command make it round? And if it is round, will the King's command flatten it? No, I will not sign.’ Id., pp. 132—133. DOUGLAS THEN WROTE: Where government is the Big Brother,11 privacy gives way to surveillance. **909 But our commitment is otherwise. *576 By the First Amendment we have staked our security on freedom to promote a multiplicity of ideas, to associate at will with kindred spirits, and to defy governmental intrusion into these precincts" Gibson v. Florida Legislative Investigation Comm., 372 U.S. 539, 574-76, 83 S. Ct. 889, 908-09, 9 L. Ed. 2d 929 (1963) Mr. Justice DOUGLAS, concurring. I write: Happy Memorial Day to all -- God please bless our fallen who lived and died to preserve constitutional governance in our wonderful series of Republics. And God open the eyes of those government officials who denounce the constitutions of these Republics by arbitrary actions arising out capricious motives.

  3. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

  4. "Meanwhile small- and mid-size firms are getting squeezed and likely will not survive unless they become a boutique firm." I've been a business attorney in small, and now mid-size firm for over 30 years, and for over 30 years legal consultants have been preaching this exact same mantra of impending doom for small and mid-sized firms -- verbatim. This claim apparently helps them gin up merger opportunities from smaller firms who become convinced that they need to become larger overnight. The claim that large corporations are interested in cost-saving and efficiency has likewise been preached for decades, and is likewise bunk. If large corporations had any real interest in saving money they wouldn't use large law firms whose rates are substantially higher than those of high-quality mid-sized firms.

  5. The family is the foundation of all human government. That is the Grand Design. Modern governments throw off this Design and make bureaucratic war against the family, as does Hollywood and cultural elitists such as third wave feminists. Since WWII we have been on a ship of fools that way, with both the elite and government and their social engineering hacks relentlessly attacking the very foundation of social order. And their success? See it in the streets of Fergusson, on the food stamp doles (mostly broken families)and in the above article. Reject the Grand Design for true social function, enter the Glorious State to manage social dysfunction. Our Brave New World will be a prison camp, and we will welcome it as the only way to manage given the anarchy without it.

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