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Opinions April 9, 2013

April 9, 2013
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Nancie Cloe v. City of Indianapolis
12-1713
Civil/discrimination. Affirms District Court grant of summary judgment to Indianapolis on Nancy Cloe’s argument that the city failed to reasonably accommodate her injury, but reversed and remanded the District Court’s summary judgment against Cloe’s claims that she was discriminated against and faced retaliation for requesting a work accommodation be made because of her disability.

United States of America v. Tristan Davis

12-3552
Criminal. Affirmed the 18-month sentence for Tristan Davis on two counts of lying to gun dealers. However, the court pointed to confusion over how much discretion a prosecutor has in deciding to file a motion for a sentence reduction under U.S.S.G. 3E1.1(b). In this case, the prosecutor only filed a motion for a two-level reduction because Davis would not waive his right to appeal. Although the 7th Circuit acknowledged its decision in United States v. Deberry holds that section 3E1.1(b) confers an entitlement on the prosecutor, it also noted the courts of appeals have been split with some reaching a conclusion different from Deberry. Consequently, the 7th Circuit called upon the U.S. Supreme Court or the U.S. Sentencing Commission to resolve the conflict.

The following 7th Circuit opinion was released Monday after IL deadline.
NES Rentals Holdings, Inc., et al., v. Steine Cold Storage, Inc.
12-1401
Civil. Affirms District Court grant of summary judgment in favor of Steine Cold Storage, holding that the indemnification clause in an equipment-rental agreement does not expressly state, in clear and unequivocal terms as Indiana law requires, that Steine agreed to indemnify NES for NES’s own negligence.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Virgil D. Cornelious v. State of Indiana
49A04-1206-CR-335
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B felony aggravated battery and habitual offender determination resulting in a sentence of 30 years in prison, finding that the victim of a stabbing suffered serious permanent disfigurement and that applying the habitual offender statute was not an abuse of discretion.

Danielle Helms v. Max H. Rudicel, M.D., Open Door/BMH Health Clinic (a division of Cardinal Health Systems), Cardinal Health Systems, d/b/a Ball Memorial Hospital, et al.
18A04-1202-CT-70
Civil tort. Affirms in part, reverses in part and remands to the trial court. The federal decision is not res judicata as to BMH’s potential liability as the doctor and clinic’s apparent principal and there is a fact question as to such apparent agency; summary judgment for BMH was error. The trial court correctly found BMH might be vicariously liable for any act of Dr. Max Rudicel or a nurse practitioner at BMH.

Adam Morris v. State of Indiana
14A05-1209-CR-495
Criminal. Affirms the one-year, fully executed sentence of Adam Morris but reverses the trial court’s order that Morris pay $14,972.45 restitution. The Court of Appeals found his sentence to be appropriate, given his character and his offense, and it held although the terms of probation were included in the plea agreement, the lower court was not required to grant probation. However the COA ruled the trial court could not order Morris to pay restitution since the plea agreement made no mention of restitution.

Jorge L. Gonzalez v. State of Indiana (NFP)
20A05-1206-CR-335
Criminal. Affirms three convictions of Class A felony dealing in cocaine and 50-year sentence.

Jeffrey L. Jones v. State of Indiana (NFP)
87A05-1210-CR-546
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B misdemeanor battery.

Antonio L. Freeling v. State of Indiana (NFP)

02A05-1210-CR-556
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C felony robbery.

In Re: The Paternity of J.M., Jo.M. v. M.J. (NFP)
55A01-1210-JP-477
Juvenile paternity. Remands trial court order that father Jo.M. pay educational support for his daughter, ordering clarification of the order and father’s obligations to pay toward educational support and child support arrearage.

Darnell Chivers v. State of Indiana (NFP)

24A01-1205-PC-206
Post conviction. Affirms denial of relief from his 20-year sentence for convictions of Class B felony counts of armed robbery and two counts of Class B felony criminal confinement.

Stanley Short v. State of Indiana (NFP)
69A01-1204-CR-154
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C felony escape.

Darnell Tinker v. State of Indiana (NFP)
02A03-1112-CR-587
Criminal. Reaffirms on rehearing conviction for unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon and his sentence as a habitual offender.

Tori R. Driver v. Todd W.A. Driver (NFP)
20A04-1208-DR-437
Domestic relations. Reverses and remands modification of child support, instructing the trial court  to include father’s bonuses as part of weekly gross income for calculation purposes.

William Gordon v. Toyota Motor Manufacturing of Indiana (NFP)
93A02-1211-EX-910
Executive administration/workers compensation. Vacates the board’s decision adopting and affirming the decision of the single hearing member and remands to the board with instructions to issue findings of fact and conclusions which comport with the Indiana Administrative Orders and Procedures Act such that the court can conduct, if necessary, appellate review of the board’s determination.

Termaine T. Fields v. State of Indiana (NFP)

02A03-1206-CR-278
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony residential entry, Class A misdemeanor domestic battery and determination as a habitual offender.

In Re The Marriage of Laura R. Chickadaunce and Mark A. Chickadaunce; Laura R. Chickadaunce v. Mark A. Chickadaunce (NFP)
77A01-1206-DR-287
Divorce. Affirms dissolution of marriage order.

John T. Haub, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
88A01-1206-CR-297
Criminal. Affirms in part, reverses in part and remands convictions of two Class C felony counts of burglary, three Class C felony counts of auto theft, a Class C felony count of receiving stolen auto parts, a Class A misdemeanor count of driving while suspended and an adjudication as a habitual offender. Remanded with instructions to vacate the second burglary conviction and to correct the sentencing order to provide that the habitual offender enhancement applies to a particular offense.

Justin M. Lewis v. State of Indiana (NFP)
12A04-1210-CR-556
http://media.ibj.com/Lawyer/websites/opinions/index.php?pdf=2013/april/04091302tac.pdf
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class D felony counts of criminal confinement and domestic battery; Class A misdemeanor counts of possession of marijuana and possession of paraphernalia; a Class B misdemeanor count of criminal mischief and adjudication as an habitual offender.

Dennis Fahlsing v. Shannon Fahlsing and Angela Taylor (NFP)
57A05-1211-CC-584
http://media.ibj.com/Lawyer/websites/opinions/index.php?pdf=2013/april/04091302par.pdf
Collections. Affirms denial of summary judgment in favor of defendants and order staying the action and compelling arbitration.

Robert Hamilton v. Jerry Ablitar (NFP)

07A04-1209-SC-496
Small claims. Affirms judgment in favor of Ablitar.

Enri Franklin v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1209-CR-464
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B misdemeanor public intoxication. 

Martize Sevion v. State of Indiana (NFP)
18A04-1207-CR-384
Criminal. Affirms in part and reverses in part convictions on two counts of Class B felony criminal confinement, two counts of Class C felony intimidation and one count of Class D felony pointing a firearm, and adjudication as a habitual offender. The pointing a firearm conviction must be reversed as double-jeopardy.

Indiana Supreme Court and Indiana Tax Court issued no opinions Tuesday by IL deadline.
 

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  1. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  2. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

  3. Diversity is important, but with some limitations. For instance, diversity of experience is a great thing that can be very helpful in certain jobs or roles. Diversity of skin color is never important, ever, under any circumstance. To think that skin color changes one single thing about a person is patently racist and offensive. Likewise, diversity of values is useless. Some values are better than others. In the case of a supreme court justice, I actually think diversity is unimportant. The justices are not to impose their own beliefs on rulings, but need to apply the law to the facts in an objective manner.

  4. Have been seeing this wonderful physician for a few years and was one of his patients who told him about what we were being told at CVS. Multiple ones. This was a witch hunt and they shold be ashamed of how patients were treated. Most of all, CVS should be ashamed for what they put this physician through. So thankful he fought back. His office is no "pill mill'. He does drug testing multiple times a year and sees patients a minimum of four times a year.

  5. Brian W, I fear I have not been sufficiently entertaining to bring you back. Here is a real laugh track that just might do it. When one is grabbed by the scruff of his worldview and made to choose between his Confession and his profession ... it is a not a hard choice, given the Confession affects eternity. But then comes the hardship in this world. Imagine how often I hear taunts like yours ... "what, you could not even pass character and fitness after they let you sit and pass their bar exam ... dude, there must really be something wrong with you!" Even one of the Bishop's foremost courtiers said that, when explaining why the RCC refused to stand with me. You want entertaining? How about watching your personal economy crash while you have a wife and five kids to clothe and feed. And you can't because you cannot work, because those demanding you cast off your Confession to be allowed into "their" profession have all the control. And you know that they are wrong, dead wrong, and that even the professional code itself allows your Faithful stand, to wit: "A lawyer may refuse to comply with an obligation imposed by law upon a good faith belief that no valid obligation exists. The provisions of Rule 1.2(d) concerning a good faith challenge to the validity, scope, meaning or application of the law apply to challenges of legal regulation of the practice of law." YET YOU ARE A NONPERSON before the BLE, and will not be heard on your rights or their duties to the law -- you are under tyranny, not law. And so they win in this world, you lose, and you lose even your belief in the rule of law, and demoralization joins poverty, and very troubling thoughts impeaching self worth rush in to fill the void where your career once lived. Thoughts you did not think possible. You find yourself a failure ... in your profession, in your support of your family, in the mirror. And there is little to keep hope alive, because tyranny rules so firmly and none, not the church, not the NGO's, none truly give a damn. Not even a new court, who pay such lip service to justice and ancient role models. You want entertainment? Well if you are on the side of the courtiers running the system that has crushed me, as I suspect you are, then Orwell must be a real riot: "There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always — do not forget this, Winston — always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever." I never thought they would win, I always thought that at the end of the day the rule of law would prevail. Yes, the rule of man's law. Instead power prevailed, so many rules broken by the system to break me. It took years, but, finally, the end that Dr Bowman predicted is upon me, the end that she advised the BLE to take to break me. Ironically, that is the one thing in her far left of center report that the BLE (after stamping, in red ink, on Jan 22) is uninterested in, as that the BLE and ADA office that used the federal statute as a sword now refuses to even dialogue on her dire prediction as to my fate. "C'est la vie" Entertaining enough for you, status quo defender?

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