Opinions Dec. 22, 2011

December 22, 2011
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
M.B., by his parents and next friends, Damian Berns and Amy Berns v. Hamilton Southeastern Schools and Hamilton-Boone-Madison Special Services
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Tanya Walton Pratt.
Civil. Affirms summary judgment in favor of the schools on the Berns’ suit that the schools violated the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and the provisions relating to special education in the Indiana Administrative Code by failing to provide M.B. with a free appropriate public education. There was nothing unreasonable about the determination by the hearing officer, the Board of Special Education Appeals, and the District Court in finding that M.B. was making progress under his individualized education program. The Berns are also not entitled to reimbursement for the costs to place M.B. in a learning center or for attorney fees.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Carl A. Staples v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms trial court’s determination that Staples committed a crime of domestic violence and is now precluded from possessing a firearm in the future. It was reasonable to infer from the facts of the case that Staples and Tamica Burnett were, or had been, in a dating relationship.

James Lowery v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to manufacture of more than 10 pounds of marijuana as a Class C felony.

Gary J. Harrison v. Linda Turner and Deborah Hric (NFP)
Civil plenary. Affirms summary judgment in favor of nurses Turner and Hric.

Jeremy Dewayne Matheny v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C misdemeanor operating a vehicle while intoxicated.

In the Matter of the Term. of the Parent-Child Rel. of T.D.T., T.T.T., and M.T., and A.D.T. v. The Indiana Dept. of Child Services (NFP)
Juvenile. Affirms involuntary termination of father’s parental rights.

Senior Market Development, LLC and Ahren Baumgart v. Titan Financial Group, LLC (NFP)
Civil plenary. Affirms judgment awarding Titan Financial Group attorney fees and expenses on the company’s complaint for breach of contract. Remands for an assessment of appellate attorney fees against Senior Market Development and Ahren Baumgart.

Katie Herrera v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms revocation of probation.

Matthew P. Philbee v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class A felony child molesting, Class C felony child molesting, and Class D felony vicarious sexual gratification.

Stephen N. Kohlmeyer v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C misdemeanor operating a vehicle with ACE of 0.08 or more.

Dewayne A. Dunn v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of murder.

Mary Lou Duff v. Shawn D. Duff and Rebecca Duff (NFP)
Civil plenary. Affirms ruling that Mary Lou Duff’s complaint to recover possession of personal property is barred under the principles of res judicata.

George Parker v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to Class A felony dealing in cocaine.

R.S. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Juvenile. Affirms order committing R.S. to the Indiana Department of Correction.

Roy N. Viverette, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to three counts of Class B felony burglary.

Nathaniel Bobo v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to Class B felony aggravated battery.

Curtis W. Birner v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to Class C felonies carrying a handgun without a license and intimidation.

Valgene Royal v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Dismisses appeal of the trial court’s denial of Royal’s motion for sentence modification.

Term. of Parent-Child Rel. of T.C. and K.N.; A.N. (Mother) and J.C. (Father) v. Indiana Dept. of Child Services (NFP)
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.

Nicole Nelson v. Review Board of Workforce Development and Madison Center, Inc. (NFP)
Agency appeal. Affirms dismissal of Nelson’s appeal to the Review Board of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development on the grounds she didn’t timely file it.

Shawn Thomas v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms denial of motion for withdrawal of guilty plea.

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



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  1. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  2. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  3. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.

  4. rensselaer imdiana is doing same thing to children from the judge to attorney and dfs staff they need to be investigated as well

  5. Sex offenders are victims twice, once when they are molested as kids, and again when they repeat the behavior, you never see money spent on helping them do you. That's why this circle continues