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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. I grew up on a farm and live in the county and it's interesting that the big industrial farmers like Jeff Shoaf don't live next to their industrial operations...

  2. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  3. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  4. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  5. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

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