Opinions

Opinions Aug. 30, 2012

August 30, 2012
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Sung Park v. Indiana University School of Dentistry, et al.
11-1933, 11-2109
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge William T. Lawrence.
Civil. Affirms dismissal for failure to state a claim in Park’s suit alleging equal protection and due process violations and claims for state law breach of contract. She has no state law claim for breach of contract, and Park has not identified a protectable property interest.
 
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Opinions Aug. 29, 2012

August 29, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Willis Pryor v. State of Indiana
49A02-1202-CR-101
Criminal. Reverses conviction of Class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement. Pryor’s trial counsel’s failure to preserve his right to a jury trial denied Pryor effective assistance of counsel. Remands with instructions to vacate the conviction and hold a new trial by jury.
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Opinions Aug. 28, 2012

August 28, 2012
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Angela M. Farrell v. Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security
11-3589
Civil. Reverses District Court’s affirmation of the decision to deny disability insurance benefits. The Social Security Administration Appeals Council did not follow its own regulations which require it to consider “new and material evidence.” Also finds the administrative law judge’s residual functional capacity determination is based on an incomplete assessment of the record. Remands for further proceedings.
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Opinions Aug. 27, 2012

August 27, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Ian McCullough v. State of Indiana
49A02-1106-PC-571
Post-conviction relief. Affirms post-conviction court’s judgment that trial counsel was not ineffective, holding that McCullough failed to carry his burden to show that the evidence as a whole leads unerringly and unmistakably to a conclusion opposite that reached by the post-conviction court.
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Opinions Aug. 24, 2012

August 24, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
MSKTD & Associates, Inc. v. CCJ Enterprises, LLC, Jeffrey Sassmannshausen, Loretta Sassmannshausen, Salin Bank & Trust Company (NFP)
02A04-1202-PL-101
Civil plenary. Affirms summary judgment in favor of defendants.
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Opinions Aug. 23, 2012

August 23, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Konrad Motor and Welder Service, Inc., Konrad Lambrecht, and Sharon Lambrecht v. Magnetech Industrial Services, Inc.
45A04-1203-CC-109
Civil collection. Reverses summary judgment for Magnetech and piercing Konrad Electric’s corporate veil because there are genuine issues of material fact. Affirms summary judgment for Magnetch on whether Konrad Motor and Welder Service is the alter ego of Konrad Electric. Remands for determination whether Konrad Electric’s corporate veil should be pierced and liability imposed upon the Lambrechts. If pierced, Konrad and Sharon Lambrecht may be held individually liable. Judge Crone concurs in part and dissents in part.
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Opinions Aug. 22, 2012

August 22, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Ashley T. Tucker v. Michelle R. Harrison, M.D.
79A05-1108-CT-404
Civil tort. Affirms judgment in favor of Dr. Harrison on Tucker’s medical malpractice complaint. The trial court did not abuse its discretion in excluding Tucker’s expert testimony, limiting her questioning of a witness about possible bias, or in instructing the jury.
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Opinions Aug. 21, 2012

August 21, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Jason Fields v. State of Indiana
47A04-1110-CR-577
Criminal. Affirms two convictions of Class B felony dealing in methamphetamine. The trial court’s response to the jury’s mid-deliberation question did not constitute a modification of the jury instructions.
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Opinions Aug. 20, 2012

August 20, 2012
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Joshua Resendez v. Brian Smith
11-1121
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Sarah Evans Barker.
Civil. Affirms dismissal of petition for writ of habeas corpus, in which Resendez claimed the state denied him his constitutional right to counsel in a sentence correction proceeding under I.C. 35-38-1-15.  His claims may not be presented via that statute as his motion is a collateral challenge to his sentence.
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Opinions Aug. 17, 2012

August 17, 2012
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Amerisure Insurance Co. v. National Surety Corp. v. Scottsdale Insurance Co.
11-2762, 11-2771
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge William T. Lawrence.
Civil. Affirms breakdown that Amerisure, Scottsdale, and National are liable for $1 million, $1 million and $900,000, respectively, of the $2.9 million settlement a steel worker won after injuring himself on the job. Declines to apply the ‘mend-the-hold’ doctrine in this case, and Amerisure and National were not prejudiced by Scottsdale’s litigation conduct.
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Opinions Aug. 16, 2012

August 16, 2012
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Thomas Rosenbaum, et al. v. Beau J. White, et al.
11-3224
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Fort Wayne Division, Judge Theresa L. Springmann.
Civil. Affirms summary judgment for the attorney defendants in a lawsuit filed by investors in a failed business alleging state and federal RICO violations, conversion, securities fraud, common-law fraud, civil conspiracy, and legal malpractice.
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Opinions Aug. 15, 2012

August 15, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Reko D. Levels v. State of Indiana
82A01-1201-CR-25
Criminal. Reverses convictions of battery and public intoxication as Class B misdemeanors. Levels did not validly waive his right to a jury trial.
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Opinions Aug. 14, 2012

August 14, 2012
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Jason Halasa v. ITT Educational Services Inc.
11-3305
Civil. Affirms summary judgment ruling and costs in favor of ITT. Jason Halasa, who directed the company’s Lathrop, Calif., campus for six months in 2009, sued the school on a claim that his rights were violated under the False Claims Act. ITT said Halasa was fired for showing poor management skills and delivering inadequate results.
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Opinions Aug. 13, 2012

August 13, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
CSL Community Association, Inc. v. Clarence Ray Meador
40A01-1112-MI-579
Miscellaneous. Reverses trial court’s grant of Meador’s motion for declaratory judgment that abrogated his obligation to pay homeowner’s association dues, finding that the evidence does not support the trial court’s conclusion that the changes in the community were so radical that the original purpose of the community and the deed restrictions were destroyed, and that the trial court erred in abrogating Meador’s obligation to pay dues and assessments.

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Opinions Aug. 10, 2012

August 10, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
HDNET LLC v. North American Boxing Council
49A02-1112-PL-1146
Civil plenary. Reverses and remands trial court grant of partial summary judgment in favor of North American Boxing Council, finding the grant of summary judgment was erroneous as a matter of law as it pertains to the Indiana Uniform Trade Secrets Act, and that the Boxing Council’s civil conversion claim doesn’t fall within the criminal law exception to the IUTSA’s preemption provision.
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Opinions Aug. 9, 2012

August 9, 2012

7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Danny R. Richards v. Michael Mitcheff, et al.
11-3227
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division. Judge Sarah Evans Barker.
Civil. Reverses dismissal of Richards’ lawsuit alleging the defendants violated his Eighth Amendment rights by indifference to his serious medical condition and remands for further proceedings. The suit could not be properly dismissed under Rule 12(b)(6) or Rule 12(c) because Indiana allows the statute of limitations to be tolled while one is incapacitated, which is what Richards argued as to why he didn’t file his complaint within the applicable time period.

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Opinions Aug. 8, 2012

August 8, 2012

7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Michael J. Alexander v. Mark McKinney
11-3539
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division. Chief Judge Richard Young.
Civil. Affirms dismissal of criminal defense attorney Michael Alexander’s lawsuit against Mark McKinney alleging violations of due process after finding McKinney, former Delaware County prosecutor, was entitled to qualified immunity because the complaint did not identify a depravation of a cognizable constitutional right. Alexander’s complaint is merely an attempt to recast an untimely false arrest claim into a due process claim.

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Opinions Aug. 7, 2012

August 7, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Warrick County, Indiana, A Political Subdivision, by and through its County Commissioners, Nova Conner, Don Williams, and Phillip Baxter, and Cincinnati Insurance Co. v. William Hill and Stacy Hill
87A01-1201-PL-8
Civil plenary. Affirms denial of summary judgment for Warrick County in an action brought against it and Cincinnati Insurance Co. by William and Stacy Hill. Agrees with trial court conclusion that the Hills filed their notice under the Indiana Tort Claims Act within 180 days and that the Hills did not discover the source of the damage to their home until 2007, so the claims are within the six-year statute of limitations on actions for injury to property other than personal property.
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Opinions Aug. 6, 2012

August 6, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Donald Gregory Huls v. State of Indiana

64A04-1110-CR-552
Criminal. Affirms convictions of criminal recklessness, one as a Class D felony and one as a Class C felony. Affirms denial of motion for mistrial because the prosecutor’s isolated comment did not have a probable persuasive effect on the jury and did not place Huls in grave peril. His proposed jury instructions incorrectly stated the law on self-defense or the evidence did not support giving them.
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Opinions Aug. 3, 2012

August 3, 2012
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
BKCAP, LLC, GRAYCAP, LLC, AND SWCAP, LLC v. Captec Franchise Trust 2000-1
11-2928, 11-3378
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division. Magistrate Judge Roger B. Cosbey.
Civil. Affirms ruling in favor of the borrowers’ interpretation of the prepayment premium requirements in 12 loans involving restaurants and award of prejudgment interest to the borrowers. The borrowers’ position was supported by the evidence presented at trial, and the lender is not entitled to attorney fees.
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Opinions Aug. 2, 2012

August 2, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
N.B. v. State of Indiana
55A01-1111-JV-574
Juvenile. Affirms determination that N.B. committed the delinquent act of reckless homicide, a Class C felony if committed by an adult. N.B. contended that the juvenile court abused its discretion in admitting his statement to the investigating officer at the evidentiary hearing. Finds the procedural safeguards set forth in the juvenile waiver statute were met.
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Opinions Aug. 1, 2012

August 1, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Justin A. Staton v. State of Indiana (NFP)
48A02-1112-CR-1192
Criminal. Affirms revocation of probation.
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Opinions July 31, 2012

July 31, 2012
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Carol Aschermann v. Aetna Life Insurance Company, et al.
12-1230
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division. Judge Larry J. McKinney.
Civil. Affirms the District Court judgment in favor of the insurers, in which an insurer stopped paying a worker’s disability benefits claim, holding that the decision was not arbitrary or capricious.
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Opinions July 30, 2012

July 30, 2012
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Winforge, Inc., et al., v. Coachmen Industries, Inc., et al.
10-3178
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Sarah Evans Barker.
Civil. Affirms trial court judgment for defendants, agreeing that the parties had never entered into a final, enforceable contract.
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Opinions July 27, 201

July 27, 2012
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Leonard Lapsley, et al. v. Xtek Inc.
11-3313
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division. Judge Joseph S. Van Bokkelen.
Civil. Affirms denial of Xtek’s Daubert motion that sought to bar Dr. Gary Hutter from offering his expert opinions, which were essential to Lapsley’s case that a design defect in Xtek’s equipment was the cause of his accident. In this case, the District Court’s stated analysis of the proposed testimony was brief, but it was also directly to the point and was sufficient to trigger deferential review on appeal. The District Court did not misapply Daubert.
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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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