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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. Well, maybe it's because they are unelected, and, they have a tendency to strike down laws by elected officials from all over the country. When you have been taught that "Democracy" is something almost sacred, then, you will have a tendency to frown on such imperious conduct. Lawyers get acculturated in law school into thinking that this is the very essence of high minded government, but to people who are more heavily than King George ever did, they may not like it. Thanks for the information.

  2. I pd for a bankruptcy years ago with Mr Stiles and just this week received a garnishment from my pay! He never filed it even though he told me he would! Don't let this guy practice law ever again!!!

  3. Excellent initiative on the part of the AG. Thankfully someone takes action against predators taking advantage of people who have already been through the wringer. Well done!

  4. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

  5. Pass Legislation to require guilty defendants to pay for the costs of lab work, etc as part of court costs...

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