Opinions Dec. 29, 2010

December 29, 2010
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
USA v. James K. Taylor
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division, Judge Robert L. Miller Jr.
Criminal. Affirms sentenced for 64 months’ imprisonment following a guilty plea to possession of a firearm in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1). The sentence was based in part on the District Court’s conclusion that his prior Indiana conviction for Class C felony battery qualified as a “crime of violence” under § 4B1.2(a) of the federal sentencing guidelines, enhancing his recommended base offense level. Taylor argued his battery conviction was not a crime of violence for the purposes of the federal sentencing guidelines.

USA v. Dewayne Cartwright
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge William T. Lawrence
Criminal. Affirms District Court’s denial of Cartwright’s motion to suppress evidence of a firearm in his car. Cartwright was charged with possessing a firearm as a felon under 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1). After he entered a conditional guilty plea, he was sentenced to 84 months in prison. Cartwright argued the District Court erred in applying the inevitable discovery doctrine after the District Court determined the firearm would have been inevitably discovered pursuant to an inventory search of the car.

Indiana Supreme Court
National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, et al. v. Standard Fusee Corporation
Civil. Reverses trial court and remands the case for application of Maryland law to be applied to the entire dispute regarding whether the insurance company had a duty to defend Standard Fusee Corporation following discovery of perchlorate contamination at factories that made flares. Concludes that Maryland is the state with the most intimate contacts to the facts and that its law should therefore be applied in this case.

Indiana Court of Appeals
State of Indiana v. Richard J. Laker, Jr.
Criminal. Affirms trial court’s dismissal of the charge that Laker operated a farm tractor while his driver’s license was suspended. Reverses and remands three other charges that relate to Laker’s operation of the farm tractor while intoxicated after a breath test determined his blood alcohol concentration was 0.10. An officer observed Laker hitching the tractor to a car that was in a ditch when Laker told him he planned to use the tractor to tow the car for a friend.

Anthony Mark Sewell v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Dismisses appeal of Sewell’s conviction of Class A misdemeanor battery and Class B misdemeanor criminal mischief. Finds that a handwritten letter from Sewell, received within 30 days of his conviction, was not sufficient because it did not comply with the content requirements for a notice of appeal.

Paternity of P.R. and A.R.; H.B. v. J.R.
Juvenile. Concludes the trial court properly took judicial notice of a protective order that H.B. (mother) obtained against an ex-boyfriend and then considered it in the custody modification proceedings with J.R. (father). H.B. did not request an opportunity to be heard pursuant to Rule 201(e) after the trial court took judicial notice of “records of a court in this state,” which is allowed pursuant to a 2010 amendment to Indiana Evidence Rule 201(b).

State of Indiana v. Robert J. Seidl
Criminal. Reverses and remands trial court’s order granting Seidl’s motion to suppress the state’s evidence against him. In his motion to suppress, Seidl argued that his consent for officers to search his barn was involuntary.

Jeffrey L. Gavin v. Calcars AB, Inc., and Astra Financial, Inc.
Civil. Affirms trial court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of Calcars AB Inc. and Astra Financial Services Inc. on Gavin’s complaint seeking damages under the Wage Payment Statute. The parties dispute whether the Wage Payment Statute or the Wage Claims Statute applied to this wage dispute. Gavin presented a single dispositive issue: whether the trial court erred when it concluded that Gavin’s claims were governed by the Wage Claims Statute and were barred as a matter of law because he did not first file his claims with the Indiana Department of Labor.

Brian J. Woods v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms trial court’s determination that Woods is a habitual offender.

J.B. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Juvenile. Affirms J.B.’s adjudication as a delinquent child for committing aggravated battery, a Class B felony when committed by an adult.

E-Z Construction Company, Inc. v. Sellersburg Stone Co., Inc. (NFP)
Civil. Affirms award of service charges to the plaintiff in a contract dispute between a plaintiff supplier and defendant prime contractor.

In the Matter of M.M.; S.H. v. Indiana Dept. of Child Services (NFP)
Juvenile. Affirms trial court’s determination that M.M. is a child in need of services.

Leslie J. Edwards v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Vacates Edwards’ convictions of felony possession of marijuana and paraphernalia and remands with instructions that the court retry him on those two counts.

Diven Williams v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms sentence imposed following convictions of burglary, a Class C felony, and theft, a Class D felony.

William Roberts v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms trial court’s denial of Roberts’ motion to set aside his guilty plea.

Kendall Bradbury v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms Bradbury’s conviction of invasion of privacy following his arrest for violating a protective order his wife had filed in June 2007 when the couple lived in Kentucky.

Vilma (Struss) Papa v. Nicholas Struss (NFP)
Civil. Reverses and remands trial court’s denial of notice of intent to relocate.

Edward Weaver v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms revocation of home detention and probation. Remands for court to clarify its sentencing order due to a conflict between written and oral statements.

Joseph R. Fabre v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms aggregate sentence of 11 years following convictions of possession of cocaine, a Class C felony; two counts of possession of cocaine, Class D felonies; and one count of possession of marijuana, a Class A misdemeanor.

Termination of Parent-Child Relationship of N.B.; N.B. v. Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights. .

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.


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  1. This is ridiculous. Most JDs not practicing law don't know squat to justify calling themselves a lawyer. Maybe they should try visiting the inside of a courtroom before they go around calling themselves lawyers. This kind of promotional BS just increases the volume of people with JDs that are underqualified thereby dragging all the rest of us down likewise.

  2. I think it is safe to say that those Hoosier's with the most confidence in the Indiana judicial system are those Hoosier's who have never had the displeasure of dealing with the Hoosier court system.

  3. I have an open CHINS case I failed a urine screen I have since got clean completed IOP classes now in after care passed home inspection my x sister in law has my children I still don't even have unsupervised when I have been clean for over 4 months my x sister wants to keep the lids for good n has my case working with her I just discovered n have proof that at one of my hearing dcs case worker stated in court to the judge that a screen was dirty which caused me not to have unsupervised this was at the beginning two weeks after my initial screen I thought the weed could have still been in my system was upset because they were suppose to check levels n see if it was going down since this was only a few weeks after initial instead they said dirty I recently requested all of my screens from redwood because I take prescriptions that will show up n I was having my doctor look at levels to verify that matched what I was prescripted because dcs case worker accused me of abuseing when I got my screens I found out that screen I took that dcs case worker stated in court to judge that caused me to not get granted unsupervised was actually negative what can I do about this this is a serious issue saying a parent failed a screen in court to judge when they didn't please advise

  4. I have a degree at law, recent MS in regulatory studies. Licensed in KS, admitted b4 S& 7th circuit, but not to Indiana bar due to political correctness. Blacklisted, nearly unemployable due to hostile state action. Big Idea: Headwinds can overcome, esp for those not within the contours of the bell curve, the Lego Movie happiness set forth above. That said, even without the blacklisting for holding ideas unacceptable to the Glorious State, I think the idea presented above that a law degree open many vistas other than being a galley slave to elitist lawyers is pretty much laughable. (Did the law professors of Indiana pay for this to be published?)

  5. Joe, you might want to do some reading on the fate of Hoosier whistleblowers before you get your expectations raised up.