Opinions

Opinions July 26, 2012

July 26, 2012
Indiana Supreme Court
Michael J. Lock v. State of Indiana
35S04-1110-CR-622
Criminal. Affirms Lock’s conviction and sentence for Class D felony operating a motor vehicle as a habitual traffic violator and the revocation of his driving privileges for life. I.C. 9-30-10-16 is not unconstitutionally vague and based on the stipulation that Lock’s Zuma was traveling 43 MPH, a reasonable fact-finder could find beyond a reasonable doubt that the Zuma had a maximum design speed in excess of 25 MPH. Justice Rucker dissents.
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Opinions July 25, 2012

July 25, 2012
Indiana Supreme Court
Kenneth Dwayne Vaughn v. State of Indiana
45S05-1112-CR-684
Criminal. Affirms decision not to grant a mistrial. Vaughn did not suffer actual harm from the bailiff restraining him by covering Vaughn’s mouth in front of the jury so he would stop taking.
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Opinions July 24, 2012

July 24, 2012
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Jeffrey D. Kirkland v. United States of America
11-2507
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division, Judge Jon E. DeGuilio.
Civil. Reverses District Court’s conclusion that an enhancement of Kirkland’s sentence under the Armed Criminal Career Act was still appropriate based on his remaining three convictions for violent felonies. Court may only consider Shepard-approved sources in determining whether prior offenses occurred on separate occasions under 18 U.S.C. Section 924(e)(1). Based on the record, the appellate court can’t conclude that Kirkland’s robbery and burglary offenses – which were on the same day – occurred on separate occasions. Remands for resentencing.
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Opinions July 23, 2012

July 23, 2012
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Mark McCleskey, trustee, et al. v. DLF Construction Inc., an Indiana corporation
11-1826
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge William T. Lawrence.
Civil. Affirms finding that the construction company, as employer, had to contribute to the funds for all hours worked by members of the union, not just bargaining unit work. The collective bargaining agreements are clear that DLF is required to make contributions to the pension and health and welfare funds for each hour worked by a covered employee.
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Opinions July 20, 2012

July 20, 2012
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Bradley M. Shideler v. Michael J. Astrue, commissioner of Social Security
11-3284
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division, Judge Robert L.
Miller Jr.
Civil. Affirms denial of application for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. The administrative law judge adequately evaluated Shideler’s credibility. Whatever his current condition is, the ALJ’s decision finding that he was not disabled as of March 31, 2000, is supported by substantial evidence.
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Opinions July 19, 2012

July 19, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Bobby A. Harlan v. State of Indiana
84A01-1110-CR-474
Criminal. Affirms sentence imposed for two convictions of Class B felony child molesting and order that Harlan register as a sexually violent predator. The order requiring Harlan register as a SVP does not violate the ex post facto clause of the Indiana Constitution, the trial court did not abuse its discretion in the course of identifying aggravating and mitigating factors at sentencing, and his sentence is reasonable.
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Opinions July 18, 2012

July 18, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Annette Pittman v. State of Indiana
49A02-1112-CR-1132
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B misdemeanor public intoxication. I.C. 12-23-15-2 did not require the arresting officer, or other law enforcement personnel elsewhere, to perform an evaluation so thorough as to eliminate all other possible causes for each of the symptoms of alcoholic intoxication that Pittman exhibited.
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Indiana Court Decisions June 28 - July 11, 2012

July 18, 2012
IL Staff
Read appellate court opinions from June 28 to Julyd 11, 2012.
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Opinions July 17, 2012

July 17, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Darrell Larue Brown v. State of Indiana
10A04-1109-CR-551
Criminal. Affirms Brown’s sentence following guilty plea to two counts of Class B felony child molesting. Brown waived his right to appeal.
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Opinions July 16, 2012

July 16, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
M & M Investment Group, LLC v. Ahlemeyer Farms, Inc. and Monroe Bank
03A04-1112-CC-639
Civil collection. Affirms trial court order denying M&M’s petition for a tax deed for property of which Monroe Bank was the mortgagee, holding that the court properly denied the petition. Finds that the Indiana pre-tax-sale notice statute violates the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment.
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Opinions July 13, 2012

July 13, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
John W. Schoettmer and Karen Schoettmer v. Jolene C. Wright and South Central Community Action Program, Inc.
49A04-1108-CT-406
Civil tort. Affirms summary judgment in favor of Wright and South Central Community Action Program Inc., finding that the plaintiffs did not timely file notice as governed by the Indiana Tort Claims Act.
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Opinions July 12, 2012

July 12, 2012
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Carlene M. Craig, et al. v. FedEx Ground Package System Inc.
10-3115
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division, Judge Robert L. Miller Jr.
Multidistrict litigation. Certifies two questions to the Kansas Supreme Court in a suit that was based on the Employee Retirement Income Security act and Kansas law regarding whether FedEx drivers are employees or independent contractors. Craig is the “lead” case in a nationwide class action.
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Opinions July 11, 2012

July 11, 2012
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Michael Dean Overstreet v. Bill Wilson, superintendent, Indiana State Prison
11-2276
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division, Chief Judge Philip P. Simon.
Civil. Finds Overstreet, who is sentenced to death, did not receive constitutionally ineffective assistance of counsel relating to the handling of an alleged plea bargain, the handling of spectators in the courtroom, and relating to the sentencing proceeding. Judge Wood dissents regarding the attorneys’ handling of the sentencing proceeding and would grant the petition for writ of habeas corpus limited to the sentence imposed.
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Opinions July 10, 2012

July 10, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
In the Matter of the Adoption of N.W.R.; M.R. v. R.B. and R.B., and Indiana Dept. of Child Services
36A01-1109-AD-407
Adoption. Reverses the trial court’s grant of a petition to adopt to foster parents R.B. and R.B., and remands to the trial court with instructions to reconsider evidence after DCS completes investigation of aunt M.R. as a potential adoptive replacement. The court held that the trial court erred in denying DCS’ motion to withdraw consent for the petition after discovering it failed to conduct a complete adoptive placement investigation.
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Opinions July 9, 2012

July 9, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Derrick Baker v. State of Indiana (NFP)
48A02-1110-CR-929
Criminal. Affirms trial court conviction of dealing cocaine as a Class B felony.

 
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Opinions July 6, 2012

July 6, 2012
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
U.S. v. Justin Cephus, Jovan Stewart, and Stanton L. Cephus
10-3838, 10-3840, 11-1098
Criminal. Affirms in a case involving conspiracy to entice underage girls to engage in prostitution and transport them across state lines the life sentences without parole of multiple convictions for Justin and Stanton Cephus. The order remands to the trial court to enable the judge to reconcile a discrepancy in Stewart’s sentence of 324 months in federal prison. The judge said Stewart’s sentences were to be served consecutively; the written order indicates the sentences are concurrent.
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Opinions July 5, 2012

July 5, 2012
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Nipponkoa Insurance Company, Ltd. v. Atlas Van Lines Inc.
3:09-CV-168
Civil plenary/contract. Reverses the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana’s summary judgment for defendant and remands for further proceedings, finding summary judgment inappropriate pending further determination of the relationship between plaintiffs, defendant and ancillary parties involved in a shipping loss.  
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Opinions July 3, 2012

July 3, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
In Re: The Matter of the Paternity of S.C.: K.C. (Appellant), and C.C. (Appellee), and B.H. (Appellee-Intervenor)
30A01-1107-JP-322
Juvenile paternity. Reaffirms original opinion affirming Hancock Circuit Court’s ruling vacating a finding of paternity for C.C. because another paternity action on behalf of B.H. was pending in Fayette Circuit. The decision grants rehearing in Hancock Circuit, finding that mother, S.C., did not inform the Hancock court of B.H’s pending paternity proceeding.
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Opinions July 2, 2012

July 2, 2012
Indiana Supreme Court
Annette (Oliver) Hirsch v. Roger Lee Oliver
29S02-1109-DR-530
Domestic relations/emancipation. Affirms the trial court ruling that father Roger Lee Oliver is not obligated to contribute to his daughter’s post-secondary expenses and remands to the trial court to determine the correct date of the daughter’s emancipation.
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Opinions June 29, 2012

June 29, 2012
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Zachary Medlock v. Trustees of Indiana University, et al.
11-3288
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Tanya Walton Pratt.
Civil. Dismisses Medlock’s appeal of the denial of his request for a preliminary injunction to prevent the enforcement of a one-year suspension from the school. The appeal is moot because the 7th Circuit cannot grant any effectual relief.

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Opinions June 28, 2012

June 28, 2012
7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals
Robert Jones v. C&D Technologies, Inc.
1:10-cv-696
Civil plenary. Affirms summary judgment for C&D Technologies, Inc. granted by U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, upholding that Jones was not entitled to benefits from the Family and Medical Leave Act because he did not receive treatment during his absence.
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Opinions June 27, 2012

June 27, 2012
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
A.B., a child by his next friend, Linda Kehoe v. Housing Authority of South Bend
11-2581
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division, Chief Judge Philip P. Simon.
Civil. Dismisses appeal of the order denying A.B.’s motion for a preliminary injunction to prevent the housing authority from pursuing the eviction in state court. Since A.B. has already been evicted, the appeal is moot.
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Opinions June 26, 2012

June 26, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Gwen E. Morgal-Henrich v. David Brian Henrich
46A05-1111-DR-645
Domestic relation. Affirms the trial court did not abuse its discretion by applying the equal division presumption in dividing the marital assets. Reverses trial court’s use of $390 per week as David Henrich’s weekly gross income for purposes of calculating child support. Remands for a recalculation and recommends the trial court uses an income averaging calculation due to his fluctuating income.
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Opinions June 25, 2012

June 25, 2012
Indiana Supreme Court
Sharon Gill, on her own behalf and on behalf of the Estate of Gale Gill v. Evansville Sheet Metal Works, Inc.

49S05-1111-CV-672
Civil. Reverses trial court ruling for defendant that Gill did not bring her claim within the time Indiana law requires for a claim arising from the construction of an “improvement to real property.” There is a genuine issue of material fact as to whether Evansville Sheet Metal Works’ work constituted an “improvement to real property” as that phrase is commonly understood.
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Opinions June 22, 2012

June 22, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Rafael Bocanegra v. State of Indiana
20A03-1108-CR-361
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C felony forgery. Holds that potential injury remains a sufficient basis for a finding of criminal intent in a forgery prosecution. Remands for vacation of his identity deception conviction. Senior Judge Sullivan dissents.
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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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