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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. For the record no one could answer the equal protection / substantive due process challenge I issued in the first post below. The lawless and accountable only to power bureaucrats never did either. All who interface with the Indiana law examiners or JLAP be warned.

  2. Hi there I really need help with getting my old divorce case back into court - I am still paying support on a 24 year old who has not been in school since age 16 - now living independent. My visitation with my 14 year old has never been modified; however, when convenient for her I can have him... I am paying past balance from over due support, yet earn several thousand dollars less. I would contact my original attorney but he basically molest me multiple times in Indy when I would visit.. Todd Woodmansee - I had just came out and had know idea what to do... I have heard he no longer practices. Please help1

  3. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  4. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

  5. Diversity is important, but with some limitations. For instance, diversity of experience is a great thing that can be very helpful in certain jobs or roles. Diversity of skin color is never important, ever, under any circumstance. To think that skin color changes one single thing about a person is patently racist and offensive. Likewise, diversity of values is useless. Some values are better than others. In the case of a supreme court justice, I actually think diversity is unimportant. The justices are not to impose their own beliefs on rulings, but need to apply the law to the facts in an objective manner.

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