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Opinions April 7, 2014

April 7, 2014
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Stephanie L. Donelli
13-2548
Criminal. Affirms 60-month sentence for convictions of wire fraud and tax evasion. Donelli’s claim that the trial court erred by failing to consider her mental illness, bipolar II disorder, as a principal argument in mitigation was rejected because she failed to present the diagnosis as a principal argument in mitigation, and because she waived the argument by failing to object to her sentence apart from the fact that it was above the guidleline range.


Indiana Court of Appeals
Kevin J. Mamon v. State of Indiana
30A01-1301-CR-47
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class D felony resisting law enforcement, Class A misdemeanor criminal recklessness, Class B misdemeanor reckless driving and an enhancement for being a habitual offender. The panel found no grounds for reversal on Mamon’s claim that admitting evidence from a traffic stop for following too closely in a construction zone was fundamental error. Mamon failed to preserve an objection at the trial court, and there is no claim of evidence fabrication or willful malfeasance on the part of law enforcement.

In the Matter of: L.P., a Child Alleged to be a Child in Need of Services, K.K., Mother v. The Indiana Department of Child Services
77A01-1310-JC-427
Juvenile. Reverses determination that L.P. was a child in need of services, holding that a factual finding of an isolated use of methamphetamine, without more, does not support the conclusion of law that L.P. was a CHINS.  

Sheaff Brock Investment Advisors, LLC v. David Morton
29A02-1306-CC-553
Civil collection. Affirms trial court ruling that Sheaff Brock Investment Advisors breached its contract with adviser David Morton and was liable for additional compensation under the Wage Claims Act. Because the trial court did not err in granting summary judgment on those claims, Morton is entitled to appellate attorney fees. The trial court also did not err in entering summary judgment in favor of Sheaff Brock on Morton’s claim on constructive fraud.

Umbrella Family Waiver Services, LLC v. Indiana Family and Social Services Administration
49A02-1306-PL-525
Civil plenary. Affirms denial of Umbrella’s Verified Petition for Judicial Review. Rules the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration followed the terms of the contract by giving a 60-day notice of termination and did not exceed its statutory authority by not providing a reason for the termination.  

Christian Dailey v. David Building Group (NFP)
49A02-1310-CT-906
Civil tort. Affirms trial court order granting summary judgment in favor of Davis Building Group on Christian Dailey’s negligence claim.

North Central Cooperative, Inc. v. John R. Garrison (NFP)
08A02-1304-CT-345
Civil tort. Affirms trial court order granting Garrison’s motion to amend his negligence complaint.

Andre Botley v. Dilmar Sanchez (NFP)
49A05-1311-CT-567
Civil tort. Reverses trial court dismissal of Botley’s negligence claim, remanding with instructions to reinstate the claim.

Trena Marie Gagliardo v. State of Indiana (NFP)
76A03-1306-CR-209
Criminal. Affirms Class C felony conviction of nonsupport of a dependant child.

Lakila Gill v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1307-CR-633
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A felony attempted murder and reverses sua sponte conviction of Class B felony aggravated battery on double-jeopardy grounds. Remands with instructions to vacate the battery conviction. Gill’s 20-year aggregate sentence is unchanged.

The Indiana Supreme Court and Indiana Tax Court posted no opinions by 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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