Opinions April 22, 2013

April 22, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
Douglas A. Guilmette v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms conviction for murder. The court found although the trial court did err by admitting DNA from a bloody shoe into evidence, the error was harmless because other substantial and independent evidence supported the conviction. It also ruled the trial court did not abuse its discretion by instructing the jury on accomplice liability, and it ruled the evidence was ample to sustain the murder conviction. 

Opinions April 19, 2013

April 19, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
Razien McCullough v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms two murder convictions and a 115-year aggregate sentence, holding that the state presented sufficient evidence to disprove McCullough’s claim of self-defense and that the sentence was not inappropriate given the nature of the crimes and McCullough’s character.

Opinions April 18, 2013

April 18, 2013
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Johnnie C. Collins
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Fort Wayne Division, Judge Theresa L. Springmann.
Criminal. Affirms denial of motion to suppress evidence in drug case in which Collins entered a conditional plea of guilty to possession of crack with intent to distribute and possession of powder cocaine with intent to distribute.


Opinions April 17, 2013

April 17, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
Earlie B. Berry, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C felony burglary.

Opinions April 16, 2013

April 16, 2013
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Renee S. Majors v. General Electric Co.
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Larry J. McKinney.
Civil. Affirms grant of summary judgment on Majors’ claims that GE violated the Americans with Disabilities Act when it denied her positions and that GE retaliated against her for filing EEOC charges of discrimination.

Opinions April 15, 2013

April 15, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
Jose Guzman v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms eight-year sentence following guilty plea to Class C felony reckless homicide and the order Guzman pay restitution to the accident victims. The trial court acted within its discretion in ordering the restitution and in sentencing Guzman, and his sentence is not inappropriate.

Opinions April 12, 2013

April 12, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
David R. Mertz v. City of Greenwood, Indiana
Miscellaneous. Affirms order denying Mertz’s petition to reverse the disciplinary action taken against him by the Greenwood Police Merit Commission following an evidentiary hearing. Mertz has not met his burden to show that the trial court determination, upholding the commission’s interpretation of the relevant ordinances, is arbitrary and capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise contrary to law.

Opinions April 11, 2013

April 11, 2013
Indiana Supreme Court
Utility Center, Inc. d/b/a Aqua Indiana, Inc. v. City of Fort Wayne, Indiana
Civil plenary. Reverses the judgment of the trial court granting the city’s motion to strike a jury request by Aqua Indiana and remands this cause for further proceedings. Concludes that “rehear the matter of the assessment de novo” within the meaning of Indiana Code 32-24-2-11(a) contemplates a new hearing with trial and judgment as in all other civil actions. And where a party so requests, a trial by jury.

Opinions April 10, 2013

April 10, 2013
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Kevin B. McCarthy, et al., and Langsenkamp Family Apostolate, et al. v. Patricia Ann Fuller, et al.
12-2157, 12-2257, 12-2262
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge William T. Lawrence.
Civil. The District Court’s denial of McCarthy’s motion that the court take judicial notice of the Holy See’s rulings on Fuller’s status in the Roman Catholic Church is reversed, with a reminder to the district court that federal courts are not empowered to decide (or to allow juries to decide) religious questions. The other two appeals are dismissed.

Opinions April 9, 2013

April 9, 2013
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Nancie Cloe v. City of Indianapolis
Civil/discrimination. Affirms District Court grant of summary judgment to Indianapolis on Nancy Cloe’s argument that the city failed to reasonably accommodate her injury, but reversed and remanded the District Court’s summary judgment against Cloe’s claims that she was discriminated against and faced retaliation for requesting a work accommodation be made because of her disability.


Opinions April 8, 2013

April 8, 2013
Halden Martin v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Reverses and remands a conviction of Class A misdemeanor operating a vehicle while intoxicated. A toxicology department witness’s repeated failure to appear for scheduled depositions was a delay attributable to the state, the court ruled, finding that the delay caused a trial 476 days after Martin’s arrest, in violation of Criminal Rule 4(C).

Opinions April 5, 2013

April 5, 2013
Indiana Supreme Court
Daniel Ray Wilkes v. State of Indiana
Post Conviction. Affirms denial of post-conviction relief from a sentence of life without parole for conviction of three murders, concluding that Wilkes did not meet his burden of proof on arguments that he was deprived of his rights to an impartial jury and effective assistance of counsel.

Opinions April 4, 2013

April 4, 2013
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Betty M. Jordan and Theodore R. Jordan v. Kelly D. Binns and U.S. Xpress Inc.
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge William T. Lawrence.
Civil. Affirms jury verdict in favor of Binns and his employer U.S. Xpress on the Jordans’ lawsuit filed after Betty Jordan lost both of her legs while riding a motorcycle and being hit by the tractor-trailer driven by Binns. Rejects claims on appeal that improperly admitted hearsay evidence warrants a new trial. The court found that some hearsay evidence regarding Betty Jordan’s statement that she was at fault in a motorcycle accident was improperly admitted, but it was cumulative, and other evidence presented at trial strongly favored the defendants’ position.

Opinions April 3, 2013

April 3, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
Albert Lee Baker v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to Class B felony dealing in a narcotic drug.

Opinions April 2, 2013

April 2, 2013
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Koransky, Bouwer & Poracky P.C. v. The Bar Plan Mutual Insurance Co.
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Judge William C. Lee.
Civil. Affirms summary judgment for The Bar Plan and the denial of Koransky Bower & Poracky’s motion for summary judgment on whether The Bar Plan had to represent the law firm or indemnify it on a client’s malpractice claim. The law firm’s knowledge of the email exchange with the seller’s counsel in February and the Alabama declaratory judgment action filed March 14 constituted knowledge of “any circumstance, act or omission that might reasonably be expected to be the basis of” a malpractice claim by the firm’s client. The firm did not notify The Bar Plan in a timely manner.

Opinions April 1, 2013

April 1, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
Roche Diagnostics Operations, Inc. v. Marsh Supermarkets, LLC
Civil plenary. Affirms judgment in favor of Marsh Supermarkets. The trial court did not abuse its discretion in awarding Marsh damages based on Roche’s rental obligation under the 18-year term of the sublease after Roche terminated it over a subordination non-disturbance and attornment agreement. Judge Crone dissents.

Opinions March 29, 2013

March 29, 2013
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Phillip Jackson and Deborah Jackson v. Bank of America Corp., et al.
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge William T. Lawrence.
Civil. Affirms dismissal of the Jacksons’ action to quiet title and claims that all or some of the defendants negligently evaluated the Jacksons’ ability to repay the loan and that the loan contract was substantively and procedurally unconscionable. The Jacksons can’t show that the institutions actually owed them a duty, and they failed to allege facts that would support any unconscionability determination in Indiana.


Opinions March 28, 2013

March 28, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
In the Matter of the Involuntary Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of G.P., and J.A. v. The Indiana Department of Child Services

Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights. Mother J.A.’s due process rights were not violated, and there was sufficient evidence to support the termination.

Opinions March 27, 2013

March 27, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
Terrence J. Fuqua v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class A felony dealing in cocaine, Class B felony unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon, Class D felonies possession of a controlled substance and dealing in marijuana, and Class A misdemeanor possession of paraphernalia. The investigating detectives had reasonable suspicion to search Fuqua’s trash, and the subsequent search warrant was supported by probable cause. The trial court acted within its discretion when it admitted evidence seized during the execution of the search warrant.

Opinions March 26, 2013

March 26, 2013
Indiana Supreme Court
Teresa Meredith, et al. v. Mike Pence, et al.
Civil plenary/school vouchers. Affirms constitutionality of Indiana’s Choice Scholarship program, affirming a trial court’s grant of summary judgment for state defendants in a suit in which plaintiffs claimed the voucher program violated state Constitution provisions on education and religious liberties. The court held that the voucher plan is within the Legislature’s power under Article 8, Section 1, and that the enacted program does not violate either Section 4 or Section 6 of Article 1 of the Indiana Constitution.

Opinions March 25, 2013

March 25, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
Maria Upham, as Surviving Spouse and Personal Rep. of the Estate of Wilbur A. Upham, Deceased v. Morgan County Hospital, Richard J. Eisenhut, M.D., Unity Physicians, Kendrick Family Practice, et al.
Civil tort/malpractice. Affirms jury verdict in favor of the hospital, holding that Upham’s counsel failed to request an admonishment and therefore waived the argument that the court should have declared a mistrial because of a prospective juror’s comments that plaintiff’s counsel was motivated by money. There was no abuse of discretion in jury instructions or in the court’s limiting of discovery. 

Opinions March 22, 2013

March 22, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
F.G. v. B.G. (NFP)
Domestic relation. Affirms trial court’s denial of father F.G.’s motion to set aside decree establishing paternity and for DNA testing regarding paternity of one of his children.

Opinions March 21, 2013

March 21, 2013
Todd J. Crider v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Reverses in part the sentencing order that Crider’s habitual offender enhancement in a White County case be served consecutively to the habitual offender enhancement in a case from Tippecanoe County. Concludes that the waiver of the right to appeal contained in the plea agreement is unenforceable where the sentence imposed is contrary to law and the defendant did not bargain for the sentence.

Opinions March 20, 2013

March 20, 2013
Indiana Court of Appeals
State of Indiana v. I.T.
Juvenile. Dismisses state’s appeal from the juvenile court’s order rescinding its prior approval of a delinquency petition filed against I.T. Concludes sua sponte that the state is without authority to appeal a juvenile court’s order withdrawing its approval of the filing of a delinquency petition.

Opinions March 19, 2013

March 19, 2013
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Frontier Insurance Company v. J. Roe Hitchcock, Timothy S. Durham and Terry G. Whitesell
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Tanya Walton Pratt.
Civil. Affirms order the guarantors Hitchcock, Durham and Whitesell deposit with the clerk more than $1.5 million regarding a surety bond issued by Frontier Insurance. The guarantors must keep their promise to post collateral on Frontier’s demand.
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