Opinions April 25, 2011

April 25, 2011
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Marcus Curlin
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Sarah Evans Barker.
Criminal. Affirms District Court’s decision to deny motion to suppress, without an evidentiary hearing, stating Marcus Curlin failed to identify any disputed issues of fact that affect the outcome of the motion.

Indiana Supreme Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Melissa Kay Sneed v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms denial of motion to reduce bail. Affirms amount of bail, but reverses court’s decision to require cash-only payment of bail, ruling court abused its discretion. Remands for further proceedings.

BP Products North America, et al. v. Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor, et al.
Civil. Affirms Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission’s order, as it pertains to the contract with the City of Whiting. Reverses commission’s order as it applies to contracts with U.S. Steel, Ineos, Praxair, and Marsulex, stating the commission erred in its interpretation of the controlling statutes and case law. Remands with instructions that the commission vacate this portion of the order.

Richard Sigo, Jr. v. Prudential Property and Casualty Insurance Co.
Civil plenary. Affirms trial court’s finding that the probative value of Richard Sigo’s criminal trial for arson and acquittal was substantially outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice to insurer.

Anthony Price, Jr. v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms convictions of and sentences for two counts of Class A felony dealing in cocaine, and Class A felony conspiracy to commit dealing in cocaine. States that the 40-year sentence is appropriate, given Price’s past felony record.

Sharon S. York, et al. v. Donald Fredrick, et al.
Civil plenary. Affirms dismissal of the Yorks’ claim of negligent infliction of emotional distress and grant of summary judgment in favor of defendants. The trial court did not err in granting summary judgment for the defendants as to the Yorks’ claims of breach of fiduciary relationship, gross negligence, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Affirms trial court’s decision to deny the Yorks’ motion to strike the supplement to fact and reply brief filed by Robert Evans and Sexton Wilbert and the Yorks’ motion to reconsider granting leave to the defendants to file supplement to facts and reply brief.

Barry T. Owens v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms sentence for two counts of Class B felony dealing in cocaine and one count of Class D felony maintaining a common nuisance, stating trial court did not abuse its discretion when it failed to hold a hearing to determine ability to reimburse the Public Defender Fund at the time of initial sentencing.

Allan B. Zukerman, et al. v. Robert L. Montgomery, et al.
Civil collection. Reverses trial court’s order granting motions to enforce a mediated settlement agreement on the basis that the settlement agreement is not sufficiently definite and certain so that the intention of the parties may be ascertained. Remands for further proceedings.

Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co. v. Gloria D. Tussey (NFP)
Civil tort. Affirms award of $100,000 in damages for underinsured motorist benefits claim.

Jerry Williams v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Vacates order of restitution and remands for determination of appropriate restitution amount.

Dametrick M. Gray v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B felony robbery.

Eric Nevels v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms convictions of and sentences for two counts of Class A felony dealing in cocaine, Class A felony conspiracy to commit dealing in cocaine, and Class D felony maintaining a common nuisance.

Kurtis Shorter v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms sentences for Class D felony resisting law enforcement, Class A misdemeanor operating while license is suspended, and Class B misdemeanor of failure to stop after property damage accident.

Malcolm Armour v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Reverses trial court’s denial of demand for trial setting and motion to transport defendant to Marion County Jail for purpose of trial preparation and competency evaluation. Remands for further proceedings.

Term. of Parent-Child Rel. of K.V.; P.V. v. IDCS (NFP)
Juvenile termination of parental rights. Affirms trial court’s determination that the mother freely and voluntarily relinquished her parental rights.

Calvert Byrd v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class A misdemeanor battery and Class A misdemeanor interference with the reporting of a crime.

Zuryzaday J. Flores v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms sentence for Class A felony criminal deviate conduct and Class B felony burglary.

Margaret Roupp, et al. v. Robert Roupp (NFP)
Miscellaneous. Reverses trial court’s denial of Family and Social Services Administration’s motion to correct error, and remands with instructions to vacate spousal support order.

Renee Wilson v. Indiana Horse Racing Commission (NFP)
Miscellaneous. Affirms order dismissing with prejudice the petition for judicial review of a decision of the Indiana Horse Racing Commission granting Wilson only a conditional horse racing trainer’s license containing the restriction that the horses she trained be stabled in Indiana.

Marlonda Tigner v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms sentence following conviction of Class D felony theft and adjudication as an habitual offender.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.


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  1. I think the cops are doing a great job locking up criminals. The Murder rates in the inner cities are skyrocketing and you think that too any people are being incarcerated. Maybe we need to lock up more of them. We have the ACLU, BLM, NAACP, Civil right Division of the DOJ, the innocent Project etc. We have court system with an appeal process that can go on for years, with attorneys supplied by the government. I'm confused as to how that translates into the idea that the defendants are not being represented properly. Maybe the attorneys need to do more Pro-Bono work

  2. We do not have 10% of our population (which would mean about 32 million) incarcerated. It's closer to 2%.

  3. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  4. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  5. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.