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Opinions Aug. 28, 2012

August 28, 2012
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Angela M. Farrell v. Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security
11-3589
Civil. Reverses District Court’s affirmation of the decision to deny disability insurance benefits. The Social Security Administration Appeals Council did not follow its own regulations which require it to consider “new and material evidence.” Also finds the administrative law judge’s residual functional capacity determination is based on an incomplete assessment of the record. Remands for further proceedings.

David Schepers, et al. v. Commissioner, Indiana Department of Correction
11-3834
Criminal/sex offender registry. Reverses and remands to the District Court a grant of summary judgment in favor of the DOC, holding that its new procedures to allow current prisoners to challenge information in their pending listing in the Sex and Violent Offender Registry failed to provide any process for registrants who are not incarcerated.

Indiana Supreme Court and Indiana Tax Court posted no opinions prior to IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals

James T. Mitchell v. 10th and The Bypass, LLC, and Elway, Inc.
53A01-1112-PL-593
Civil plenary. Affirms trial court’s vacation of partial summary judgment in favor of Mitchell, holding that the court properly exercised its discretion when new evidence was tendered during an interlocutory appeal.

Anthony Mark Sewell v. State of Indiana
73A01-1112-CR-609
Criminal. Affirms trial court’s conviction of a Class D felony sex offender residency offense, rejecting ex post facto arguments.

Gunther Kranz and Carol Kranz v. Meyers Subdivision Property Owners Association, Inc.,Christopher Bartoszek, and Indiana Dept. of Natural Resources
75A03-1112-PL-577
Civil plenary/rehearing. Reaffirms its prior ruling, that the Natural Resources Commission has jurisdiction to make property-rights decisions necessary to issue permits; that the NRC properly interpreted its rule; that the evidence supports the NRC’s ruling; and there was no unconstitutional taking of the Kranzes’ property.

FLM, LLC, and Daimler Chrysler Corp., n/k/a Chrysler LLC v. The Cincinnati Insurance Company
49A02-0902-CV-127
Civil Plenary. Reverses and remands the trial court’s entry of summary judgment in favor of the insurance company, finding language in an insurance policy to be ambiguous.
 
Ann Rachelle Johnson v. Dr. A., Dr. B., and Medical Provider
90A05-1109-PL-487
Civil plenary. Dismisses Johnson’s appeal of a trial court order that required a physician retained as her expert witness to execute a release indemnifying one of his prior employers from liability that may arise for the inadvertent disclosure of confidential information. The court held that Johnson does not yet face actual prejudice from the trial court’s order.

Jamar Washington v. State of Indiana
49A02-1202-CR-79
Criminal. Affirms and remands convictions of Class D felony battery, Class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement and Class B misdemeanor disorderly conduct, ordering the court to correct the abstract of judgment to accurately reflect the conviction of resisting law enforcement as a Class A misdemeanor rather than a Class D felony.

Terrell Hawkins v. State of Indiana
49A04-1201-CR-12
Criminal. Affirms denial of request for educational credit time. The 2011 amendment that ended state funding for educational expenses of inmates convicted of a felony and confined in a penal facility is not an ex post facto law nor did it violate Hawkins’ federal or state constitutional rights.

K.W. v. State of Indiana
49A02-1201-JV-9
Juvenile. Reverses juvenile court’s adjudication as a delinquent child, holding that a student who pulled away from a school resource officer attempting to handcuff him did not commit the equivalent of Class D felony resisting law enforcement because the officer was not acting as a law enforcement officer at the time and the elements of resisting law enforcement had not been met.

Term. of Parent-Child Rel.: T.V. (Minor child) and M.M. (Father) v. The Indiana Dept. of Child Services (NFP)
48A02-1112-JT-1178
Juvenile termination. Affirms termination of parental rights.

In the Matter of M.S. (Minor Child), Child in Need of Services; M.S. (Mother) v. The Indiana Dept. of Child Services (NFP)
49A02-1201-JC-26
Juvenile. Affirms trial court determination of child in need of services.

Donald E. Wrobel v. State of Indiana (NFP)
71A05-1204-CR-180
Criminal. Affirms 30-year sentence for conviction of two counts of Class B felony sexual misconduct with a minor and being a habitual offender.

Kenneth Johnson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1112-CR-1110
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony theft.
 
David D. West v. State of Indiana (NFP)
18A02-1202-CR-146
Criminal. Affirms convictions of two counts of Class C felony child exploitation and two counts of Class D felony possession of child pornography.

Bradley Berry v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1201-CR-40
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B misdemeanor public intoxication.

Londale D. Madison v. State of Indiana (NFP)
71A03-1203-CR-109
Criminal. Affirms Class C felony conviction of burglary.

William Bruce v. State of Indiana (NFP)
79A05-1112-CR-671
Criminal. Affirms two Class A felony convictions of child molesting.

Steven Wayne Minor v. State of Indiana (NFP)
03A05-1111-CR-586
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D domestic battery.

Gerald W. Town v. State of Indiana (NFP)
35A04-1112-CR-675
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class C felony sexual misconduct with a minor and Class D felony battery.

Gregory C. Walbridge v. JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A. (NFP)
02A03-1112-CC-589
Collections. Affirms trial court’s judgment for Morgan Chase Bank.

In the Matter of the Adoption of C.E.H., minor; W.S. and E.H. v. J.T.C. and S.L.C. (NFP)
29A05-1111-AD-683
Adoption. Affirms trial court grant of J.T.C. and S.L.C.’s adoption petition.
 

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  1. Where may I find an attorney working Pro Bono? Many issues with divorce, my Disability, distribution of IRA's, property, money's and pressured into agreement by my attorney. Leaving me far less than 5% of all after 15 years of marriage. No money to appeal, disabled living on disability income. Attorney's decision brought forward to judge, no evidence ever to finalize divorce. Just 2 weeks ago. Please help.

  2. For the record no one could answer the equal protection / substantive due process challenge I issued in the first post below. The lawless and accountable only to power bureaucrats never did either. All who interface with the Indiana law examiners or JLAP be warned.

  3. Hi there I really need help with getting my old divorce case back into court - I am still paying support on a 24 year old who has not been in school since age 16 - now living independent. My visitation with my 14 year old has never been modified; however, when convenient for her I can have him... I am paying past balance from over due support, yet earn several thousand dollars less. I would contact my original attorney but he basically molest me multiple times in Indy when I would visit.. Todd Woodmansee - I had just came out and had know idea what to do... I have heard he no longer practices. Please help1

  4. 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!!!

  5. 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.

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