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Opinions April 4, 2013

April 4, 2013
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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.

United States of America v. Geoffrie Allen Lee Dill
12-1733
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Tanya Walton Pratt.
Criminal. Affirms Dill’s convictions for various drug and firearm offenses. Though the parties agree that the Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 24(c)(3) prohibits alternates from deliberating with the regular jury, Dill has offered no evidence to suggest that the alternate juror in the room during deliberations participated in deliberations. There is no plain error.

United States of America v. Steven Dotson

12-2945
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge William T. Lawrence.
Criminal. Affirms conviction of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Even though the gun was not in working order when it was pointed at a woman during an alleged assault, it was designed to be a gun, never redesigned to be something else, and was not so dilapidated as to be beyond repair, so it fits the statutory definition of a firearm.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Robert Lawrence Albores, Jr. v. State of Indiana
45A03-1207-CR-327
Criminal. Affirms conviction of murder. The trial court did not abuse its discretion by refusing to give Albores’ proposed jury instruction regarding the presumption of innocence.

Welty Building Co., LTD. and, Ohio Farmers Insurance Company v. Indy Fedreau Company, LLC, et al.
49A02-1206-PL-493
Civil plenary. Reverses denial of Welty’s motions to stay proceedings and compel arbitration. Welty did not waive its right to insist upon arbitration of its disputes with the subcontractors. Remands for arbitration between Welty and the subcontractors, and for the trial court to assess whether the litigation between Ohio Farmers and the subcontractors should be stayed pending that arbitration.

Edward W. Clemons v. State of Indiana
73A01-1207-CR-327
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class D felonies possession of an animal for purposes of an animal fighting contest and promoting an animal fighting contest, and Class B misdemeanor possession of animal fighting paraphernalia. The state presented sufficient evidence to support the convictions.

John V. Sebring v. Air Equipment and Engineering, Inc., Donaldson Co., Inc., William W. Meyer and Sons, Inc., Newton Conveyors, Inc. and Emerson Power Transmission Corp.
02A05-1211-PL-566
Civil plenary. Affirms grant of Newton Conveyors Inc.’s motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction a lawsuit brought by Sebring after he was injured at work while using a dust collector with a component manufactured by NCI. NCI’s role in the manufacturing process took place entirely within Texas, and the manufacturer of the final product unilaterally decided to ship the product to Indiana. Under these circumstances, NCI’s contact with Indiana is too attenuated to support jurisdiction.

Deutsche Bank National Trust Co., as Trustee under the pooling and servicing agreement dated as of Nov. 1, 2002, Morgan Stanley ABS Capital I Inc. Trust 2002-HE3 v. Patricia Harris and Shawn Harris
34A02-1206-MF-467
Mortgage foreclosure. Reverses dismissal of Deutsche’s cause of action against the Harrises and denial of its motion for relief from the court’s quiet title decree. The trial court did not have authority to enter the quiet title decree to the extent that it ruled or order that the bank no longer held any interest in the property under the mortgage or that the note was cancelled, and the court erred or abused its discretion in denying the bank’s motion for relief from judgment on that basis. Remands with instructions to reinstate the cause of action and for further proceedings.

Thomas Porter v. State of Indiana
49A02-1205-CR-398
Criminal. Affirms conviction of operating a vehicle after a lifetime suspension as a Class C felony, reverses suspension of Porter’s driving privileges for life and remands for further proceedings. The police officer had a reasonable basis for stopping Porter’s car when he couldn’t read the license plate from 50 feet away. The trial court exceeded statutory authority and improperly suspended his driving privileges for life.

Sterlen Shane Keller v. State of Indiana

59A01-1206-CR-271
Criminal. Keller waived his right to challenge the state’s amendment of the charging information. He has not shown that his right to a speedy trial was violated, that the admission of his statements to police was improper, or that the trial court abused its discretion in instructing the jury. Pursuant to the single larceny rule, the convictions for theft of the Social Security check and for theft of the two rings must be vacated. Although there is sufficient evidence to support the auto theft, theft, and burglary convictions, there is insufficient evidence to support the failure to report a dead body conviction as charged by the state. Keller’s modified sentence of 29 years does not violate the statutory limit on consecutive sentences, and he has not shown that his sentence is inappropriate.

Jordan Heimansohn v. State of Indiana (NFP)
32A01-1209-CR-399
Criminal. Reverses conviction of driving while suspended as a Class A misdemeanor.

Brian G. Sachs v. State of Indiana (NFP)
32A01-1209-CR-421
Criminal. Affirms revocation of probation.

R.D. v. A.W. & M.W. (NFP)
26A01-1208-JP-372
Juvenile. Affirms award of custody of minor A.W. to the step-grandparents.

State of Indiana v. Bobby Walden (NFP)
49A04-1211-CR-566
Criminal. Reverses grant of Walden’s motion to dismiss.

Rodney Juan Willis v. State of Indiana (NFP)
29A02-1208-CR-695
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to Class C felony receiving stolen property.

Aaron Lee Anderson, III v. State of Indiana (NFP)

29A02-1208-CR-694
Criminal. Affirms conviction and sentence for Class B felony unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon.

James Rice v. State of Indiana (NFP)
80A02-1208-CR-693
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to Class A felony battery.

Justin Deon Coates v. State of Indiana (NFP)
82A04-1207-CR-359
Criminal. Reverses conviction and sentence for Class B felony possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon.

In Re: The Paternity of B.L.E.; M.T.R. and M.J.R. v. A.E. (NFP)

92A03-1210-JP-419
Juvenile. Remands to the trial court to enter an order containing findings and conclusions in case in which the trial court denied the grandparents’ petition for visitation.

The Indiana Supreme Court and Tax Court posted no opinions by IL deadline.
 

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  1. The $320,000 is the amount the school spent in litigating two lawsuits: One to release the report involving John Trimble (as noted in the story above) and one defending the discrimination lawsuit. The story above does not mention the amount spent to defend the discrimination suit, that's why the numbers don't match. Thanks for reading.

  2. $160k? Yesterday the figure was $320k. Which is it Indiana Lawyer. And even more interesting, which well connected law firm got the (I am guessing) $320k, six time was the fired chancellor received. LOL. (From yesterday's story, which I guess we were expected to forget overnight ... "According to records obtained by the Journal & Courier, Purdue spent $161,812, beginning in July 2012, in a state open records lawsuit and $168,312, beginning in April 2013, for defense in a federal lawsuit. Much of those fees were spent battling court orders to release an independent investigation by attorney John Trimble that found Purdue could have handled the forced retirement better")

  3. The numbers are harsh; 66 - 24 in the House, 40 - 10 in the Senate. And it is an idea pushed by the Democrats. Dead end? Ummm not necessarily. Just need to go big rather than go home. Nuclear option. Give it to the federal courts, the federal courts will ram this down our throats. Like that other invented right of the modern age, feticide. Rights too precious to be held up by 2000 years of civilization hang in the balance. Onward!

  4. I'm currently seeing someone who has a charge of child pornography possession, he didn't know he had it because it was attached to a music video file he downloaded when he was 19/20 yrs old and fought it for years until he couldn't handle it and plead guilty of possession. He's been convicted in Illinois and now lives in Indiana. Wouldn't it be better to give them a chance to prove to the community and their families that they pose no threat? He's so young and now because he was being a kid and downloaded music at a younger age, he has to pay for it the rest of his life? It's unfair, he can't live a normal life, and has to live in fear of what people can say and do to him because of something that happened 10 years ago? No one deserves that, and no one deserves to be labeled for one mistake, he got labeled even though there was no intent to obtain and use the said content. It makes me so sad to see someone I love go through this and it makes me holds me back a lot because I don't know how people around me will accept him...second chances should be given to those under the age of 21 at least so they can be given a chance to live a normal life as a productive member of society.

  5. It's just an ill considered remark. The Sup Ct is inherently political, as it is a core part of government, and Marbury V Madison guaranteed that it would become ever more so Supremely thus. So her remark is meaningless and she just should have not made it.... what she could have said is that Congress is a bunch of lazys and cowards who wont do their jobs so the hard work of making laws clear, oftentimes stops with the Sups sorting things out that could have been resolved by more competent legislation. That would have been a more worthwhile remark and maybe would have had some relevance to what voters do, since voters cant affect who gets appointed to the supremely un-democratic art III courts.

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