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Opinions Dec. 20, 2013

December 20, 2013
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Michael E. Garcia v. Carolyn W. Colvin
13-2120
Civil. Reverses the Social Security Administration’s denial of disability benefits for Michael E. Garcia, finding that the denial was riddled with error and that the record shows Garcia is among the most seriously disabled applicants for disability the Circuit Court has encountered. Remands to the Social Security Administration for proceedings consistent with the opinion.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Richard E. Simmons v. State of Indiana
55A01-1209-CR-444
Criminal. Affirms convictions of four counts of Class A felony attempted murder, two counts of Class D felony criminal recklessness while armed with a deadly weapon and one count each of Class D felony unlawful use of body armor and Class A misdemeanor possession of marijuana. There was ample evidence to convict Simmons of attempted murder, his jury was adequately instructed on the presumption he was innocent and his consecutive sentences were appropriate. Senior Judge Shepherd concurs in separate opinion.

Stephen Brakie v. State of Indiana
65A05-1304-CR-172
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A felony child molesting. There is sufficient evidence to sustain the conviction, and the trial court did not abuse its discretion by rejecting Brakie’s proposed jury instruction regarding the presumption of innocence.

In Re the Marriage of Melanie Davis and Angela Summers
53A01-1305-DR-221
Domestic relation. Reverses dismissal of Davis’ petition to dissolve her marriage with Summers. The parties’ marriage was not automatically voided when the trial court granted Davis’ petition to change her name and birth certificate and be identified as a female instead of a male. Remands for further proceedings.

Ronald Gaines v. State of Indiana
49A04-1303-CR-123
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor invasion of privacy. Concludes that the return of service was not testimonial, and its admission did not violate Gaines’s rights under the Confrontation Clause.

Michael E. Zanussi v. State of Indiana
29A05-1304-CR-173
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor criminal recklessness. The trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying Zanussi’s continuance nor in admitting letters Zanussi wrote from jail.

Shubham Chopra v. Shena Pendyala (NFP)
03A01-1305-SC-191
Small claim. Affirms judgment in favor of Pendyala on Chopra’s action seeking damages for the diminished value of Chopra’s car following a collision with the car driven by Pendyala.

James Mira v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A04-1305-CR-245
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony theft.

Marcus R. Carter v. State of Indiana (NFP)
02A03-1304-CR-126
Criminal. Affirms eight-year sentence for Class C felony forgery.

Usman Alim Khan v. State of Indiana (NFP)
29A02-1306-CR-470
Criminal. Affirms denial of petition for alternative misdemeanor sentencing.

Timothy G. White v. State of Indiana (NFP)
09A04-1203-CR-140
Criminal. Affirms denial of petition for jail time credit.

In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of: S.T., Minor Child, T.T., Father v. Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)
57A03-1304-JT-150
Juvenile. Affirms involuntary termination of parental rights.

Eugene L. Small v. Brandi L. Foster (NFP)
34A04-1306-JP-274
Juvenile. Affirms denial of father’s petition to modify custody.

In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of: Q.M. and E.M., Minor Children, B.M., Father v. Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)
15A04-1303-JT-142
Juvenile. Affirms involuntary termination of parental rights.

Hervey Clanton v. State of Indiana (NFP)
20A05-1304-CR-194
Criminal. Affirms convictions and sentence for two counts of Class A felony dealing cocaine within 1,000 feet of a family housing complex, one count of Class B felony possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon, and three counts of Class C felony neglect of a dependent.

The Indiana Supreme Court and Tax Court posted no opinions by IL deadline.

 

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  2. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  3. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  4. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  5. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

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