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Opinions Dec. 2, 2010

December 2, 2010
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Juan A. Corona-Gonzalez a/k/a Juan R. Ramirez
09-3993
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge David F. Hamilton.
Criminal. Reverses sentence for drug convictions and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. There is a substantial chance that the District Court’s misapprehension of whether Corona-Gonzalez was deported and returned to the country illegally played a significant role in the adjudication of his sentence. Remands to allow the District Court to reassess the sentence free of the factual misapprehension.

Indiana Supreme Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Paul J. Kocielko v. State of Indiana
20A03-1002-CR-218
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B felony sexual misconduct with a minor and habitual offender adjudication. Remands with instructions to set aside Class C felony conviction of and sentence for sexual misconduct with a minor because Kocielko committed acts against a single victim in one confrontation, so double jeopardy prohibitions prevented his being convicted of and sentenced for the Class C felony charge. Affirms in all other respects.

Kenneth Pope and Judie Pope v. Hancock County Rural Electric d/b/a Central Indiana Power
30A05-1001-CT-3
Civil tort. Affirms order granting Central Indiana Power’s motion for judgment on the evidence in the Popes’ suit alleging the company was negligent because its failure to timely restore power to their home caused Kenneth to injure himself in the dark. The Popes didn’t establish that a standard of care existed by which CIP should have worked to restore power to its customers after the storm and that there was a breach of that standard of care. CIP’s actions were not the proximate cause of Kenneth’s injuries.

James and Robert New v. Personal Representative of the Estate of Martha New
71A04-0912-CV-744
Civil. Affirms denial of Robert’s combined motion to correct error, motion for relief from judgment, and motion for reconsideration of the court’s approval of the estate of Martha New’s third amended final accounting. The probate court didn’t err when it approved the estate’s third amended accounting without affording time for notice and a hearing. Remands for a determination of appellate attorney fees for the estate.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.
 

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  3. I expressed my thought in the title, long as it was. I am shocked that there is ever immunity from accountability for ANY Government agency. That appears to violate every principle in the US Constitution, which exists to limit Government power and to ensure Government accountability. I don't know how many cases of legitimate child abuse exist, but in the few cases in which I knew the people involved, in every example an anonymous caller used DCS as their personal weapon to strike at innocent people over trivial disagreements that had no connection with any facts. Given that the system is vulnerable to abuse, and given the extreme harm any action by DCS causes to families, I would assume any degree of failure to comply with the smallest infraction of personal rights would result in mandatory review. Even one day of parent-child separation in the absence of reasonable cause for a felony arrest should result in severe penalties to those involved in the action. It appears to me, that like all bureaucracies, DCS is prone to interpret every case as legitimate. This is not an accusation against DCS. It is a statement about the nature of bureaucracies, and the need for ADDED scrutiny of all bureaucratic actions. Frankly, I question the constitutionality of bureaucracies in general, because their power is delegated, and therefore unaccountable. No Government action can be unaccountable if we want to avoid its eventual degeneration into irrelevance and lawlessness, and the law of the jungle. Our Constitution is the source of all Government power, and it is the contract that legitimizes all Government power. To the extent that its various protections against intrusion are set aside, so is the power afforded by that contract. Eventually overstepping the limits of power eliminates that power, as a law of nature. Even total tyranny eventually crumbles to nothing.

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