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Opinions Dec. 20, 2012

December 20, 2012
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Joshua Beller, a minor, by his next friend and mother, Melissa Welch, et al. v. Health and Hospital Corp. of Marion County Ind., d/b/a Wishard Memorial Hospital d/b/a Wishard Ambulance Service
11-3691
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Tanya Walton Pratt.
Civil. Affirms summary judgment for the defendants on the plaintiffs lawsuit alleging violation of the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act by failing to stabilize Welch and her son during an emergency medical situation. Because the Wishard ambulance was operating under the EMS protocol at the time the plaintiffs were in it, the plaintiffs had not come to the Wishard emergency department under the EMTALA, and the plaintiffs’ claim cannot succeed.

United States of America v. James Elliott
11-2766
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division, Chief Judge Philip P. Simon.
Criminal. Finds the District Court committed no error in finding that Elliott’s burglaries occurred on different occasions for purposes of the ACCA. The burglaries occurred on different days and involved different residences and victims. Under any plausible construction of the statute’s different-occasions language, the burglaries constituted distinct criminal episodes. Reconsideration of the approach that this court adopted in Hudspeth would not lead to a different result on the facts of this case. To the extent that the statute produces results that are perceived as unjust, the problem is one for Congress to fix rather than this court.

Christopher Parish v. City of Elkhart, Indiana, et al.
11-1669
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division, Judge Rudy Lozano.
Civil. Because the District Court’s rulings improperly limited the introduction of evidence relating to Parish’s innocence, and that evidence was critical to the damages issue, the award of damages cannot stand. The excluded evidence did not impact the jury’s consideration of the liability issue and that issue is not before us on appeal, and therefore a new trial is required only as to the damages issue. See Cobige v. City of Chicago, IL, 651 F.3d 780, 785 (7th Cir. 2011).  Accordingly, the jury’s determination of liability is affirmed, the award of damages is vacated, and the case remanded for a new trial as to the issue of damages only. Circuit Rule 36 shall apply on remand. Costs on appeal are to be taxed against appellees.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Jeffrey Higgenbottom v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1203-CR-108
Criminal. Affirms conviction of burglary, finding Higgenbottom is a habitual offender, and his 14-year sentence.

M.C.-G. v. M.G. (NFP)
29A02-1110-DR-978
Domestic relation. Dismisses wife’s appeal of the child custody and property division orders for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Wife’s appeal of the modification order is timely, but the issues raised aren’t supported by a cogent argument. Denies husband’s request for appellate attorney fees.

Otto McGee v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1205-CR-376
Criminal. Affirms revocation of placement on home detention.

Michael B. Buckner v. State of Indiana (NFP)
36A05-1203-CR-166
Criminal. Affirms sentence for two counts of Class C felony incest.

In Re The Matter of the Adoption of A.S.P.: R.S.P. v. J.C.S. (NFP)

82A04-1205-AD-227
Adoption. Affirms denial of grandfather’s motion to intervene in a proceeding involving the adoption of his grandson.

Ronald Edward Madison v. State of Indiana (NFP)
71A04-1206-CR-332
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class D felony resisting law enforcement and Class C misdemeanor operator never licensed.

John Chupp v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1206-CR-328
Criminal. Affirms denial of motion to correct erroneous sentence.

Anthony Anderson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1205-CR-429
Criminal. Remands with instructions to rectify clerical errors in Anderson’s abstract of judgment and chronological case summary.

Kevin W. Black v. State of Indiana (NFP)
02A03-1205-CR-209
Criminal. Affirms sentence for Class D felony battery and Class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement.

The Marion County Sheriff's Department v. Gwendolyn Y. Davis, individually and as Administratrix of the Estate of Anthony J. Robinson, Jr. (NFP)
49A04-1201-CT-14
Civil tort. Affirms denial of summary judgment for the sheriff’s department regarding the estate’s claims, but reverses denial of summary judgment regarding Davis’ individual claims.

Term. of the Parent-Child Rel. of J.M., M.M., A.M., and S.M.: R.M. & H.M. v. The Indiana Dept. of Child Services (NFP)
04A03-1204-JT-184
Juvenile. Affirms involuntary termination of parental rights.

Netiko Jones v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1205-CR-222
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class A felony dealing in cocaine within 1,000 feet of a public park, Class B felony possession of cocaine, Class A felony possession of three or more grams of cocaine with intent to deliver and Class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement.

Joseph B. O'Brien v. State of Indiana (NFP)
08A02-1204-CR-330
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony operating a vehicle as a habitual traffic violator.
 

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  1. Why in the world would someone need a person to correct a transcript when a realtime court reporter could provide them with a transcript (rough draft) immediately?

  2. If the end result is to simply record the spoke word, then perhaps some day digital recording may eventually be the status quo. However, it is a shallow view to believe the professional court reporter's function is to simply report the spoken word and nothing else. There are many aspects to being a professional court reporter, and many aspects involved in producing a professional and accurate transcript. A properly trained professional steno court reporter has achieved a skill set in a field where the average dropout rate in court reporting schools across the nation is 80% due to the difficulty of mastering the necessary skills. To name just a few "extras" that a court reporter with proper training brings into a courtroom or a deposition suite; an understanding of legal procedure, technology specific to the legal profession, and an understanding of what is being said by the attorneys and litigants (which makes a huge difference in the quality of the transcript). As to contracting, or anti-contracting the argument is simple. The court reporter as governed by our ethical standards is to be the independent, unbiased individual in a deposition or courtroom setting. When one has entered into a contract with any party, insurance carrier, etc., then that reporter is no longer unbiased. I have been a court reporter for over 30 years and I echo Mr. Richardson's remarks that I too am here to serve.

  3. A competitive bid process is ethical and appropriate especially when dealing with government agencies and large corporations, but an ethical line is crossed when court reporters in Pittsburgh start charging exorbitant fees on opposing counsel. This fee shifting isn't just financially biased, it undermines the entire justice system, giving advantages to those that can afford litigation the most. It makes no sense.

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