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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.
10-2947
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
10-1879
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
49S04-1006-CV-318
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.
24A04-0912-CR-736
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
73A01-1005-CR-194
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.
36A01-1005-JP-255
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
19A01-1006-CR-309
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.
49A05-1007-PL-501
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
79A02-1004-CR-418
Criminal. Affirms trial court’s determination that Woods is a habitual offender.

J.B. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1005-JV-323
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)
10A01-1002-PL-110
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)
85A02-1006-JC-776
Juvenile. Affirms trial court’s determination that M.M. is a child in need of services.

Leslie J. Edwards v. State of Indiana (NFP)
79A02-1006-CR-758
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)
82A01-1006-CR-286
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)
22A05-1002-CR-119
Criminal. Affirms trial court’s denial of Roberts’ motion to set aside his guilty plea.

Kendall Bradbury v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1004-CR-212
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)
64A03-1008-DR-428
Civil. Reverses and remands trial court’s denial of notice of intent to relocate.

Edward Weaver v. State of Indiana (NFP)
48A02-1004-CR-460
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)
48A04-1005-CR-378
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)
32A01-1007-JT-321
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights. .

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.
 

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  1. Your article is a good intro the recent amendments to Fed.R.Civ.P. For a much longer - though not necessarily better -- summary, counsel might want to read THE CHIEF UMPIRE IS CHANGING THE STRIKE ZONE, which I co-authored and which was just published in the January issue of THE VERDICT (the monthly publication of the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association).

  2. Thank you, John Smith, for pointing out a needed correction. The article has been revised.

  3. The "National institute for Justice" is an agency for the Dept of Justice. That is not the law firm you are talking about in this article. The "institute for justice" is a public interest law firm. http://ij.org/ thanks for interesting article however

  4. I would like to try to find a lawyer as soon possible I've had my money stolen off of my bank card driver pressed charges and I try to get the information they need it and a Social Security board is just give me a hold up a run around for no reason and now it think it might be too late cuz its been over a year I believe and I can't get the right information they need because they keep giving me the runaroundwhat should I do about that

  5. It is wonderful that Indiana DOC is making some truly admirable and positive changes. People with serious mental illness, intellectual disability or developmental disability will benefit from these changes. It will be much better if people can get some help and resources that promote their health and growth than if they suffer alone. If people experience positive growth or healing of their health issues, they may be less likely to do the things that caused them to come to prison in the first place. This will be of benefit for everyone. I am also so happy that Indiana DOC added correctional personnel and mental health staffing. These are tough issues to work with. There should be adequate staffing in prisons so correctional officers and other staff are able to do the kind of work they really want to do-helping people grow and change-rather than just trying to manage chaos. Correctional officers and other staff deserve this. It would be great to see increased mental health services and services for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities in the community so that fewer people will have to receive help and support in prisons. Community services would like be less expensive, inherently less demeaning and just a whole lot better for everyone.

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