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Opinions Aug. 13, 2014

August 13, 2014
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The following opinions were posted after IL deadline Tuesday:
Indiana Supreme Court

Joshua Gomillia v. State of Indiana
49S02-1408-CR-521
Criminal. Affirms total executed sentence of 40 years imposed following a plea agreement to one count of Class A felony criminal deviate conduct and one count of Class B felony robbery. The nature and circumstances of the crime included the trial court’s discussion of the leadership role Gomillia played in the commission of the offenses, as well as the terror the victim suffered. Both are appropriate reasons justifying a sentence greater than the advisory term.

7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Peabody Midwest Mining LLC, formerly doing business as Black Beauty Coal Co. v. Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission, and Secretary of Labor, Mine Safety and Health Administration
13-1659
Review of order. Denies Peabody’s petition for review of the administrative law judge’s decision to uphold a citation for not having a protective mound along the outer bank of elevated roadways. Substantial evidence supports the commission’s determination that a bench – a ledged cut into the side of the pit – to and from the dragline constitutes a roadway, even during the dragline move, thus requiring the berms, or protective mounds; and the ALJ’s decision that the company violated regulations by failing to maintain a berm on two-tenths of a mile of the bench.

Wednesday’s opinions
Indiana Supreme Court

Douglas A. Guilmette v. State of Indiana
71S04-1310-CR-705
Criminal. Affirms denial of Guilmette’s motion to suppress DNA evidence found in blood on his shoe. Evidence properly seized by police may be examined and subjected to scientific testing without further warrant.

Indiana Court of Appeals
SCI Propane, LLC; South Central Indiana Rural Electric Membership Corporation; et al v. Courtney Frederick, as Personal Representative of the Estate of Stephen Frederick, deceased
55A04-1211-PL-586
Civil plenary. Affirms award of attorney fees to the estate because, although the General Wrongful Death Statute does not explicitly provide for the recovery of attorney fees, it does specify that damages are not limited to those enumerated in the statute. Finds the trial court abused its discretion in calculating the amount of the fees. Remands with the trial court to revise its award so that it is consistent with the contingency fee agreement between the estate and its counsel. Also finds the trial court did not err when it reduced its award of attorney fees according to fault allocation because its award was compensatory in nature and subject to the state’s Comparative Fault Act.

Joshua Frierson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
45A05-1312-CR-596
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class C felony carrying a handgun without a license and Class D felony resisting law enforcement.

Maurice Hamler v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1312-CR-609
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement and Class B misdemeanor disorderly conduct.

 

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  1. The sad thing is that no fish were thrown overboard The "greenhorn" who had never fished before those 5 days was interrogated for over 4 hours by 5 officers until his statement was illicited, "I don't want to go to prison....." The truth is that these fish were measured frozen off shore and thawed on shore. The FWC (state) officer did not know fish shrink, so the only reason that these fish could be bigger was a swap. There is no difference between a 19 1/2 fish or 19 3/4 fish, short fish is short fish, the ticket was written. In addition the FWC officer testified at trial, he does not measure fish in accordance with federal law. There was a document prepared by the FWC expert that said yes, fish shrink and if these had been measured correctly they averaged over 20 inches (offshore frozen). This was a smoke and mirror prosecution.

  2. I love this, Dave! Many congrats to you! We've come a long way from studying for the bar together! :)

  3. This outbreak illustrates the absurdity of the extreme positions taken by today's liberalism, specifically individualism and the modern cult of endless personal "freedom." Ebola reminds us that at some point the person's own "freedom" to do this and that comes into contact with the needs of the common good and "freedom" must be curtailed. This is not rocket science, except, today there is nonstop propaganda elevating individual preferences over the common good, so some pundits have a hard time fathoming the obvious necessity of quarantine in some situations....or even NATIONAL BORDERS...propagandists have also amazingly used this as another chance to accuse Western nations of "racism" which is preposterous and offensive. So one the one hand the idolatry of individualism has to stop and on the other hand facts people don't like that intersect with race-- remain facts nonetheless. People who respond to facts over propaganda do better in the long run. We call it Truth. Sometimes it seems hard to find.

  4. It would be hard not to feel the Kramers' anguish. But Catholic Charities, by definition, performed due diligence and held to the statutory standard of care. No good can come from punishing them for doing their duty. Should Indiana wish to change its laws regarding adoption agreements and or putative fathers, the place for that is the legislature and can only apply to future cases. We do not apply new laws to past actions, as the Kramers seem intent on doing, to no helpful end.

  5. I am saddened to hear about the loss of Zeff Weiss. He was an outstanding member of the Indianapolis legal community. My thoughts are with his family.

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