Opinions

Opinions Sept. 17, 2012

September 17, 2012
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Fred E. Dowell v. United States of America
10-2912
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Evansville Division, Chief Judge Richard L. Young.
Civil. Remands with instructions for the District Court to make a determination as to whether Dowell told his attorney to file an appeal to contest whether he was a career offender. Dowell claimed his plea agreement specifically reserved his right to appeal the career offender designation, but his attorney did not file the appeal.
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Opinions Sept. 14, 2012

September 14, 2012
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Alan Kress and Randy Carr v. CCA of Tennessee LLC, doing business as Corrections Corporation of America, et al.
11-2950
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Larry J. McKinney.
Civil. Affirms order denying class certification regarding the reduction of daily pill calls for inmates and granting summary judgment in favor of Corrections Corporation of America, et al., owner and operator of the Marion County Correctional Center. There was lack of evidence of any ongoing constitutional violations.
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Opinions Sept. 13, 2012

September 13, 2012
Indiana Supreme Court
An-Hung Yao and Yu-Ting Lin v. State of Indiana
35S02-1112-CR-704
Criminal. Cannot conclude that as a matter of law the defendants engaged in no conduct nor effected any result in Indiana that was an element of either the theft or the counterfeiting charge. The trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying sub silentio Lin’s motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction. The defendants’ airsoft gun is a written instrument within the meaning of the statute and therefore reverses the trial court’s dismissal of the counterfeiting charges. The trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying the defendants’ motions to dismiss the theft and corrupt business influence charges.
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Opinions Sept. 12, 2012

September 12, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Dezmon Gaines v. State of Indiana
34A05-1201-CR-21
Criminal. Affirms denial of motion to suppress evidence. Indiana Code 9-19-19-4 is not void for vagueness and the officer’s search of Gaines was reasonable. Judge Crone concurs in result.
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Opinions Sept. 11, 2012

September 11, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Phillip A. Collins v. HSBC Bank USA, National Association, as Trustee for Home Equity Loan Trust Series Act 2004-HE3
45A03-1111-MF-600
Mortgage foreclosure. Affirms summary judgment in favor of HSBC, holding that Collins is estopped from asserting claims previously lost and litigated.
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Opinions Sept. 7, 2012

September 7, 2012
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Robert S. Filus v. Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security
No. 12-1164
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Fort Wayne Division. Magistrate Judge Roger B. Cosbey.
Civil/Social Security. Affirms denial of disability benefits, holding that substantial evidence supports the decision of the administrative law judge. 
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Opinions Sept. 5, 2012

September 5, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Cody B. Honeycutt v. State of Indiana
92A04-1203-CR-149
Criminal. Reverses denial of motion to dismiss charges on grounds that they were barred by the Successive Prosecution Statute. Because the four charges were supported by probable cause and based on a series of acts so connected that they constituted parts of a single scheme or plan, they should have been charged in a single prosecution.
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Opinions Sept. 4, 2012

September 4, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Nathan S. Berkman v. State of Indiana
45A04-1111-CR-583
Criminal. Affirms conviction of and sentence for murder. The trial court did not abuse its discretion in declaring a witness unavailable or in admitting the deposition testimony of another unavailable witness. Berkman’s sentence is not inappropriate as he had argued.
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Opinions Aug. 31, 2012

August 31, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Seabrook, Dieckmann & Naville, Inc. v. Review Board of the Indiana Dept. of Workforce Development and Monica Hilbert
93A02-1202-EX-100
Agency action. Reverses board’s conclusion that Hilbert’s employment was not terminated for just cause. Based on the evidence and testimony, Seabrook Dieckmann & Naville showed that Hilbert breached a duty in connection with work which was reasonably owed to her employer and her conduct was of such a nature that a reasonable employee would understand that the conduct was a violation of a duty owed to the funeral home. Remands for further proceedings.
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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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  1. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  2. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  3. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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