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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. Falk said “At this point, at this minute, we’ll savor this particular victory.” “It certainly is a historic week on this front,” Cockrum said. “What a delight ... “Happy Independence Day to the women of the state of Indiana,” WOW. So we broke with England for the right to "off" our preborn progeny at will, and allow the processing plant doing the dirty deeds (dirt cheap) to profit on the marketing of those "products of conception." I was completely maleducated on our nation's founding, it would seem. (But I know the ACLU is hard at work to remedy that, too.)

  2. congratulations on such balanced journalism; I also love how fetus disposal affects women's health protection, as covered by Roe...

  3. It truly sickens me every time a case is compared to mine. The Indiana Supreme Court upheld my convictions based on a finding of “hidden threats.” The term “hidden threat” never appeared until the opinion in Brewington so I had no way of knowing I was on trial for making hidden threats because Dearborn County Prosecutor F Aaron Negangard argued the First Amendment didn't protect lies. Negangard convened a grand jury to investigate me for making “over the top” and “unsubstantiated” statements about court officials, not hidden threats of violence. My indictments and convictions were so vague, the Indiana Court of Appeals made no mention of hidden threats when they upheld my convictions. Despite my public defender’s closing arguments stating he was unsure of exactly what conduct the prosecution deemed to be unlawful, Rush found that my lawyer’s trial strategy waived my right to the fundamental error of being tried for criminal defamation because my lawyer employed a strategy that attempted to take advantage of Negangard's unconstitutional criminal defamation prosecution against me. Rush’s opinion stated the prosecution argued two grounds for conviction one constitutional and one not, however the constitutional true threat “argument” consistently of only a blanket reading of subsection 1 of the intimidation statute during closing arguments, making it impossible to build any kind of defense. Of course intent was impossible for my attorney to argue because my attorney, Rush County Chief Public Defender Bryan Barrett refused to meet with me prior to trial. The record is littered with examples of where I made my concerns known to the trial judge that I didn’t know the charges against me, I did not have access to evidence, all while my public defender refused to meet with me. Special Judge Brian Hill, from Rush Superior Court, refused to address the issue with my public defender and marched me to trial without access to evidence or an understanding of the indictments against me. Just recently the Indiana Public Access Counselor found that four over four years Judge Hill has erroneously denied access to the grand jury audio from my case, the most likely reason being the transcription of the grand jury proceedings omitted portions of the official audio record. The bottom line is any intimidation case involves an action or statement that is debatably a threat of physical violence. There were no such statements in my case. The Indiana Supreme Court took partial statements I made over a period of 41 months and literally connected them with dots… to give the appearance that the statements were made within the same timeframe and then claimed a person similarly situated would find the statements intimidating while intentionally leaving out surrounding contextual factors. Even holding the similarly situated test was to be used in my case, the prosecution argued that the only intent of my public writings was to subject the “victims” to ridicule and hatred so a similarly situated jury instruction wouldn't even have applied in my case. Chief Justice Rush wrote the opinion while Rush continued to sit on a committee with one of the alleged victims in my trial and one of the judges in my divorce, just as she'd done for the previous 7+ years. All of this information, including the recent PAC opinion against the Dearborn Superior Court II can be found on my blog www.danbrewington.blogspot.com.

  4. On a related note, I offered the ICLU my cases against the BLE repeatedly, and sought their amici aid repeatedly as well. Crickets. Usually not even a response. I am guessing they do not do allegations of anti-Christian bias? No matter how glaring? I have posted on other links the amicus brief that did get filed (search this ezine, e.g., Kansas attorney), read the Thomas More Society brief to note what the ACLU ran from like vampires from garlic. An Examiner pledged to advance diversity and inclusion came right out on the record and demanded that I choose Man's law or God's law. I wonder, had I been asked to swear off Allah ... what result then, ICLU? Had I been found of bad character and fitness for advocating sexual deviance, what result then ICLU? Had I been lifetime banned for posting left of center statements denigrating the US Constitution, what result ICLU? Hey, we all know don't we? Rather Biased.

  5. It was mentioned in the article that there have been numerous CLE events to train attorneys on e-filing. I would like someone to provide a list of those events, because I have not seen any such events in east central Indiana, and since Hamilton County is one of the counties where e-filing is mandatory, one would expect some instruction in this area. Come on, people, give some instruction, not just applause!

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