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Opinions April 17, 2012

April 17, 2012
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Kimani Lanier Fleming
11-1404
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division, Judge Robert L. Miller Jr.
Criminal. Affirms Fleming’s revised sentence of 480 months imprisonment for convictions of several serious drug and firearm charges. There was no clear error in the District Court’s decision to include routine drug purchases as relevant conduct when it computed his revised sentencing guideline range. Denies Fleming’s implicit request for an expanded certificate of appealability.  

Indiana Tax Court
Utilimaster Corporation v. Indiana Dept. of State Revenue
71T10-1008-TA-43
Tax. Rules Utilimaster’s attorneys are not necessary witnesses pursuant to Professional Conduct Rule 3.7, as information they could testify about can be obtained from Utilimaster employees. The Department of State Revenue has invoked Professional Conduct Rule 3.7 in an attempt to conceal its failure to timely pursue discovery as well as to remove Utilimaster’s attorneys from the case, calling their professionalism into question. The court will not countenance the rule’s abuse as a procedural weapon by invading Utilimaster’s right to counsel of its choice.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Charles Westmoreland v. State of Indiana
49A04-1107-CR-356
Criminal. Reverses denial of motion to suppress marijuana, finding the trial court erred in denying the motion because the officers did not reasonably believe Westmoreland was armed and dangerous. Remands with instructions for the trial court to dismiss the possession of marijuana charge.

Barbara (Rosario) Bessolo v. William I. Rosario
29A02-1108-DR-789
Domestic relation. Affirms finding that Bessolo failed to dismiss the protective order against Rosario as required by the dissolution decree, that she was in contempt, and the award of compensatory damages and attorney fees to Rosario. Reverses the 10-day suspended sentence imposed on Bessolo for future violations of any of the court’s orders. Because Bessolo was aware that she was required to dismiss the protective order but failed to do so and later relied upon it in her dealing with police, the trial court did not err in finding her in contempt.

Trust No. 6011, Lake County Trust Company, Trustee, Simon Beemsterboer, and Victoria J. Beemsterboer v. Heil's Haven Condominiums Homeowners Assn.
43A05-1108-PL-433
Civil plenary. Reverses the portion of paragraph 1 of the judgment that permanently enjoins the Beemsterboers from obstructing the homeowners association’s use of the walkway easement and placing a fence that blocks access to that area, paragraph 2 of the judgment ordering the couple to remove the staircase and repair the sidewalk, and paragraph 3 of the judgment prohibiting the couple from interfering with the reconstructed sidewalk. Affirms paragraph 4 in which the couple was permanently enjoined “from in any fashion interfering with the (association’s) deck.”

Gerald Mayberry v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1109-CR-879
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor interference with reporting a crime and Class B misdemeanor battery.

Jamie E. Green v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1106-CR-316
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B misdemeanor disorderly conduct.

Robbie S. McCain-Ficklin v. State of Indiana (NFP)

27A02-1108-CR-767
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony battery on McCain-Ficklin’s minor stepson.

Charles Frederick Miller v. State of Indiana (NFP)

41A01-1106-CR-250
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony auto theft.

John Brooke v. State of Indiana (NFP)
75A05-1106-CR-297
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B felony conspiracy to commit armed robbery and 22-year sentence.

The Law Office of Deborah Agard v. Unemployment Insurance Appeals of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (NFP)
93A02-1107-EX-672
Agency appeal. Affirms finding that the law office owed unemployment insurance tax contributions for an individual the office paid to perform cleaning services at its office and at Kids’ Voice, a nonprofit center where Deborah Agard, the sole proprietor of the law office, serves on the board of directors.

Sterling B. Nelson v. Michelle L. Nelson (NFP)
29A05-1110-DR-533
Domestic relation. Affirms post-dissolution order, in which the trial court imputed $415 in gross weekly income to father during his 12-week period of unemployment and refused to deviate from the Child Support Guidelines.

Manuel Martinez v. State of Indiana (NFP)
57A03-1109-CR-554
Criminal. Affirms restitution order following guilty plea to battery.

Michael M. and Lana S. Ashley, et al. v. Jeffrey and Holly Spaw, et al. (NFP)
02A03-1108-MI-340
Miscellaneous. Affirms trial court’s affirmation of the Indiana Natural Resources Commission’s decision to rule in favor of several back-lot owners in the Long Lake Park subdivision regarding riparian rights.

Indiana Supreme Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.
 

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  1. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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