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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. He TIL team,please zap this comment too since it was merely marking a scammer and not reflecting on the story. Thanks, happy Monday, keep up the fine work.

  2. You just need my social security number sent to your Gmail account to process then loan, right? Beware scammers indeed.

  3. The appellate court just said doctors can be sued for reporting child abuse. The most dangerous form of child abuse with the highest mortality rate of any form of child abuse (between 6% and 9% according to the below listed studies). Now doctors will be far less likely to report this form of dangerous child abuse in Indiana. If you want to know what this is, google the names Lacey Spears, Julie Conley (and look at what happened when uninformed judges returned that child against medical advice), Hope Ybarra, and Dixie Blanchard. Here is some really good reporting on what this allegation was: http://media.star-telegram.com/Munchausenmoms/ Here are the two research papers: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0145213487900810 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0145213403000309 25% of sibling are dead in that second study. 25%!!! Unbelievable ruling. Chilling. Wrong.

  4. Mr. Levin says that the BMV engaged in misconduct--that the BMV (or, rather, someone in the BMV) knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged fees but did nothing to correct the situation. Such misconduct, whether engaged in by one individual or by a group, is called theft (defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the other person of the property's value or use). Theft is a crime in Indiana (as it still is in most of the civilized world). One wonders, then, why there have been no criminal prosecutions of BMV officials for this theft? Government misconduct doesn't occur in a vacuum. An individual who works for or oversees a government agency is responsible for the misconduct. In this instance, somebody (or somebodies) with the BMV, at some time, knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged. What's more, this person (or these people), even after having the error of their ways pointed out to them, did nothing to fix the problem. Instead, the overcharges continued. Thus, the taxpayers of Indiana are also on the hook for the millions of dollars in attorneys fees (for both sides; the BMV didn't see fit to avail itself of the services of a lawyer employed by the state government) that had to be spent in order to finally convince the BMV that stealing money from Indiana motorists was a bad thing. Given that the BMV official(s) responsible for this crime continued their misconduct, covered it up, and never did anything until the agency reached an agreeable settlement, it seems the statute of limitations for prosecuting these folks has not yet run. I hope our Attorney General is paying attention to this fiasco and is seriously considering prosecution. Indiana, the state that works . . . for thieves.

  5. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.

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