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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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)
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)
Juvenile. Affirms trial court determination of child in need of services.

Donald E. Wrobel v. State of Indiana (NFP)
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)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony theft.
David D. West v. State of Indiana (NFP)
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)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B misdemeanor public intoxication.

Londale D. Madison v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms Class C felony conviction of burglary.

William Bruce v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms two Class A felony convictions of child molesting.

Steven Wayne Minor v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D domestic battery.

Gerald W. Town v. State of Indiana (NFP)
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)
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)
Adoption. Affirms trial court grant of J.T.C. and S.L.C.’s adoption petition.


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  1. I think the cops are doing a great job locking up criminals. The Murder rates in the inner cities are skyrocketing and you think that too any people are being incarcerated. Maybe we need to lock up more of them. We have the ACLU, BLM, NAACP, Civil right Division of the DOJ, the innocent Project etc. We have court system with an appeal process that can go on for years, with attorneys supplied by the government. I'm confused as to how that translates into the idea that the defendants are not being represented properly. Maybe the attorneys need to do more Pro-Bono work

  2. We do not have 10% of our population (which would mean about 32 million) incarcerated. It's closer to 2%.

  3. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  4. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  5. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.