Opinions

Opinions March 2, 2016

March 2, 2016
Indiana Supreme Court
Ashonta Kenya Jackson v. State of Indiana
48S02-1509-CR-554
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C felony corrupt business influence, holding that Indiana’s Racketeer Influenced and Criminal Organizations Act does not contain a continuity element, but rather a requirement that the pattern of crimes are “not isolated.” The evidence was sufficient to show the underlying robberies Jackson was convicted of were not isolated. Remands for revision of the sentencing order to indicate which offense was enhanced by the habitual offender adjudication.
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Opinions March 1, 2016

March 1, 2016
Indiana Supreme Court
Austin Blaize v State of Indiana
26S00-14-10-LW-771
Life without parole. Affirms convictions of murder, burglary and other charges and Austin Blaize’s sentence of life without parole and a term of years. Comments made by the judge to the jury do not require reversal and a new trial.
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Opinions Feb. 29, 2016

February 29, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Edward Skillman v. Ivy Tech Community College
49A04-1509-PL-1279
Civil plenary. Affirms summary judgment for Ivy Tech on Skillman’s claim under the Indiana Wage Payment Act. Ivy Tech is not an “employer” for purposes of the Indiana Minimum Wage Law because it is “subject to” federal Fair Labor Standards Ac requirements, even if Skillman cannot personally enforce FLSA requirements against Ivy Tech.
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Opinions Feb. 26, 2016

February 26, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Timothy L. Coats v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
02A03-1510-CR-1657
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Level 6 felony resisting law enforcement.
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Opinions Feb. 25, 2016

February 25, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
John H. Hill v. State of Indiana
20A03-1507-CR-907
Criminal. Affirms John Hill’s convictions of criminal confinement, a Class C felony, domestic battery, a Class D felony, domestic battery, a Class A misdemeanor and interference with the reporting of a crime, a Class A misdemeanor.  The state did not interfere with his defense by moving to exclude the testimony of a witness.
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Opinions Feb. 24, 2016

February 24, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Billy Luke v. State of Indiana
15A01-1409-CR-407
Criminal. Affirms Billy Luke’s convictions for invasion of privacy as Class D felonies and the revocation of his probation. Remands with instructions to vacate Luke’s conviction for stalking as a Class C felony because of a double jeopardy violation.
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Opinions Feb. 23, 2016

February 23, 2016
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Kathy Ann Stark v. Carolyn W. Colvin

15-2352
US District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Fort Wayne Division
Joseph S. Van Bokkelen, Judge.
Civil. Remands denial of disability insurance benefits to Social Security Administration, finding the administrative law judge applied flawed analyses to deny Stark’s claim.
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Opinions Feb. 22, 2016

February 22, 2016
The following 7th Circuit Court of Appeals opinion was issued after IL deadline Friday.

USA vs. Lon Campbell
15-1188
US District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division
Tonya Walton Pratt, Judge.
Criminal. Dismisses appeal of Campbell’s sentence of 21 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release because he waived his right to appeal in district court.

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Opinions Feb. 18, 2016

February 18, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
David W. Gerth v. State of Indiana
29A02-1506-CR-693
Criminal. Reverses David Gerth’s convictions for Class C felony dealing in marijuana and Class D felony maintaining a common nuisance.

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Opinions Feb. 17, 2016

February 17, 2016
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
In Re: Biglari Holdings Inc. Shareholder Derivative Litigation. Chad Taylor and Edward Donahue v. Sardar Biglari
15-1828
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division. Judge Sarah Evans Barker.
Civil. Affirms ruling there was no demand futility in three transactions which sold holdings to Biglari Holdings CEO Sardar Biglari.
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Opinions Feb. 16, 2016

February 16, 2016
Indiana Supreme Court
Tom Bonnell v. Ruby A. Cotner, Douglas Wayne Cotner, Arthur J. Johnson, Jimmy J. Johnson, and Jerry L. Johnson
66S03-1509-PL-530
Civil plenary. Affirms denial of the Cotners’ adverse possession claim and reverses the grant of a prescriptive easement, finding that the sale of the 35-foot-wide strip of land by tax deed extinguished any and all interest the Cotners previously possessed.
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Opinions Feb. 15, 2016

February 15, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Takesha Lashawn Sanders v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
45A04-1506-CR-648
Criminal. Affirms conviction of guilty but mentally ill of murder after a jury trial.

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Opinions Feb. 12, 2016

February 12, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
David J. and Susan L. MacFadyen v. City of Angola, City of Angola Plan Commission, and Trine University, Inc.

17A03-1506-CT-556
Civil tort. Affirms decision by the Angola Plan Commission to vacate a portion of an alley on Trine University property near the MacFadyens’ property. The MacFadyens did not show they were aggrieved by the vacation.
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Opinions Feb. 10, 2016

February 10, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Thomas A. Ambrose II v. Dalton Construction, Inc.

29A02-1407-CC-479
Civil collection. Clarifies on rehearing that there is a statutory requirement that modifications to a home improvement contract must be in writing, notwithstanding the language in Sees v. Bank One, Ind., N.A., 839, N.E.2d 154, 161 (Ind. 2005). But this does not change the result of the case and affirms denial of Ambrose’s motion for summary judgment and the entry of final judgment in favor of Dalton Construction on its complaint to foreclose a mechanic’s lien.
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Opinions Feb. 9, 2016

February 9, 2016
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Debbie A. Stage v. Carolyn W. Colvin, Acting Commissioner of Social Security
15-1837
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division. Judge Joseph Van Bokklelen.
Civil. Vacates the denial of Stage’s application for supplemental security income, disability insurance benefits and disabled widow’s benefits. Finds the medical evidence does not support the administrative law judge’s decision that Stage could stand or walk for six hours a day; stoop, crouch, occasionally climb ramps or stairs; and lift or carry up to 20 pounds. Remands for further consideration.
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Opinions Feb. 8, 2016

February 8, 2016
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Opinions Feb. 5, 2016

February 5, 2016
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Opinions Feb. 4, 2016

February 4, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
State of Indiana v. Chad T. Mooney, Brittany McCool
82A04-1505-CR-266
Criminal. Affirms denial of the state’s motions for relief from judgment regarding the trial court’s orders permitting Mooney and McCool’s driving privileges to be reinstated without proof of future financial responsibility. The state has not established prima facie error in the trial court’s denial of its motions for relief from judgment. 
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Opinions Feb. 3, 2016

February 3, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Brenda Hall v. Dallman Contractors, LLC, Shook LLC, and AT&T Services, Inc.
49A02-1502-CT-67
Civil tort. Affirms summary judgment in favor of AT&T Services Inc. on Hall’s negligence action against the company. It is barred by the exclusive remedies provision of the Worker’s Compensation Act because Hall has already received a workers’ compensation settlement from Ameritech, her employer, which, like AT&T Services Inc., is a subsidiary of AT&T Inc.
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Opinions Feb. 2, 2016

February 2, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
State of Indiana and Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles v. Nicholas Hargrave
82A01-1504-CR-137
Criminal. Reverses denial of state’s motion to correct error after the trial court granted Hargrave’s petition asking it to order the BMV to reinstate his driving privileges without requiring him to provide proof of SR22 insurance. The BMV properly interpreted federal regulations adopted by Indiana statutes to mean that a person who holds a CDL at the time he commits a traffic violation may not participate in a diversion program. And because Hargrave’s driving privileges were suspended under I.C. 9-30-6-9, he is required to file proof of financial responsibility for three years following the termination of his suspension under I.C. 9-30-6-12.
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Opinions Feb. 1, 2016

February 1, 2016

The following Indiana Tax Court opinion was posted after IL deadline Friday:
DeKalb County Assessor v. Paul L. and Joan E. Chavez
49T10-1502-TA-6
Tax. Affirms the final determination by the Indiana Board of Tax Review to reclassify 2.72 acres of the Chavezes’ land from excess residential to agricultural for the 2013 tax year. The guidelines provide several factors to consider when determining whether land is woodland and is therefore devoted to an agricultural use under Indiana Code § 6-1.1-4-13(a). The Indiana Board did not act contrary to law when it analyzed these very factors to determine that the Chavezes’ 2.72 acres were devoted to an agricultural use.

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Opinions Jan. 29, 2016

January 29, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Kimberly Y. Morgan v. State of Indiana
34A05-1509-CR-1323
Criminal. Affirms in part and reverses in part restitution order. The trial court properly concluded Morgan must pay restitution to Selective Insurance, but to the extent the order provides for the amount to the Visitors Commission in excess of its $250 deductible is an abuse of discretion. Remands with instructions for the court to enter a restitution order for the payment of $11,455.48 to Selective Insurance and $250 to the commission.

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Opinions Jan. 28, 2016

January 28, 2016
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Terry Joe Smith
14-3744, 14-3721
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Terre Haute Division. Judge William Lawrence.
Criminal. Affirms two convictions of excessive force against two individuals who were in police custody. Vacates 14-month sentence followed by two years of supervised release after finding the sentence to be light in comparison to similar cases. The judge was also required to give the entire sentence orally. Remands for full resentencing.
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Opinions Jan. 27, 2016

January 27, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
In Re the Marriage of: Courtney Carr v. Beth E. Carr
03A01-1505-DR-436
Domestic relation. Affirms in part and reverses in part dissolution order. The survivor benefit plan feature of Courtney Carr’s military pension should have been counted as a marital asset. Remands with instructions to count the survivor benefit plan as a marital asset and either make findings justifying a 65/35 split in favor of wife or reallocate the marital assets in accordance with the 60/40 split previously determined by the trial court.
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Opinions Jan. 26, 2016

January 26, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Jerry E. Johnson v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
27A02-1507-CR-793
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony theft.  
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