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Opinions Feb. 22, 2011

February 22, 2011
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Roger D. Slone
09-4089
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division, Judge Rudy Lozano.
Criminal. Affirms conviction of conspiracy to distribute marijuana and sentence of 120 months in prison. The search incident to his arrest was reasonable and the vehicle evidence was properly admitted against him.

United States of America v. James Guyton

09-3866
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division, Judge Rudy Lozano.
Criminal. Affirms denial of Guyton’s motion for a sentence reduction. He was sentenced for a crack-cocaine offense before the U.S. Supreme Court held that the sentencing guidelines were advisory, and his applicable guideline range was established on the basis of his career-offender status before he received a substantial assistance departure. Thus, Amendment 706, which left the career-offender guideline unchanged, did not affect his applicable guideline range and he didn’t qualify for a sentence reduction under 18 U.S.C. Section 3582(c)(2).


Indiana Supreme Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Allstate Insurance Company v. Gary R. Love
32A01-1005-CT-239
Civil tort. Affirms the trial court properly denied Allstate’s request to set aside default judgment entered in favor of Love. Love’s counsel did not commit misconduct when he failed to notify Dietrick before seeking default judgment against Allstate because he didn’t know Dietrick represented Allstate on this claim. The trial court’s award of $255,000 to Love was interlocutory and therefore Allstate may still appear and be heard as to the amount of damages resulting from the judgment. Remands for a hearing on the damages award.

Craig Dennis v. Board of Public Safety of Fort Wayne, Indiana
02A03-1007-PL-379
Civil plenary. Reverses order of dismissal of Fort Wayne police officer Dennis’ complaint for judicial review after the Board of Public Safety denied his request for back pay. His indefinite unpaid leave pending the outcome of the criminal charge was a suspension of greater than five days, thus subject to judicial review. The board’s decision became final when it denied Dennis’ request for back pay, such that his complaint for judicial review was timely filed. Remands for further proceedings.

James C. Taylor v. State of Indiana
02A03-1003-CR-194
Criminal. Affirms convictions of and sentence for Class A felony burglary; Class B felony criminal deviate conduct; Class B felony attempted rape; jury verdict he is guilty but mentally ill of a second charge of criminal deviate conduct and of Class D felony sexual battery; and jury determination that he is a habitual offender. The trial court did not abuse its discretion in refusing to give the tendered instruction on residential entry. The state established a foundation for the admission of a letter Taylor wrote to an Allen County judge pursuant to Indiana Rule of Evidence 901 and the court did not abuse its discretion by admitting it.

Keith Hoglund v. State of Indiana
90A02-1005-CR-591
Criminal. Affirms conviction of and sentence for Class A felony child molesting. The trial court did not abuse its discretion in admitting testimony that indirectly vouched for A.H.’s credibility and he was properly sentenced. Judge Darden concurs in result.

State of Indiana v. Andy J. Velasquez, II
53A05-1003-CR-194
Criminal. Affirms there was no abuse of discretion in the giving of a preliminary instruction pursuant to Evidence Rules 105 and 404(b). The trial court erred in excluding the testimony of witnesses under Evidence Rules 802 and 704(b). Double jeopardy principles bar a second trial as Velasquez was acquitted of Class A felony child molesting and Class C felony child molesting.

Paul J. Kocielko v. State of Indiana
20A03-1002-CR-218
Criminal. Grants rehearing and affirms the decision of the trial court in all respects, except the 30-year habitual offender enhancement imposed upon the Class C felony conviction of sexual misconduct with a minor. Instructs the trial court to vacate this enhancement because Kocielko’s Class B felony sentence was so enhanced.

Jamie Escobedo v. State of Indiana (NFP)
71A04-1004-CR-300
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor criminal trespass.

Robert D. Neal, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
60A05-1009-CR-596
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to Class D felony receiving stolen property and Class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement.

Naugle Gibson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1007-CR-404
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor domestic battery.

Term. of Parent-Child Rel. of L.S.; A.S. v. IDCS (NFP)
02A03-1007-JT-385
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parent-child relationship.

Gregory Preyer v. State of Indiana (NFP)

49A05-1007-CR-397
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor criminal trespass.

Larry Burdette (deceased) v. Perlman-Rocque Company (NFP)
93A02-1007-EX-770
Civil. Affirms denial of application for adjustment of claim.

Elizabeth S. Mathias v. State of Indiana (NFP)
35A02-1009-CR-1079
Criminal. Affirms revocation of probation.

Leo Machine & Tool, Inc., et al. v. Gary M. Gerardot (NFP)

02A03-1006-PL-365
Civil plenary. Affirms summary judgment that Geradot had no notice of a defect in the electrical wiring of the premises he owned, and thus did not owe Leo Machine and other appellants a duty to maintain and repair the premises’ electrical system. Affirms denial of the appellants’ motions for sanctions for spoliation of evidence against Geradot.

Anthony McCoy v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1007-CR-746
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class B felony robbery, Class A misdemeanor criminal recklessness and Class A misdemeanor intimidation.

In the Matter of T.R., Alleged to be CHINS; S.S. & R.R. v. IDCS (NFP)
52A05-1008-JC-544
Juvenile. Affirms determination T.R. is a child in need of services. Remands with instructions for the court to issue an amended dispositional order which includes written reasons and findings for the disposition based upon the evidence presented at the fact-finding and dispositional hearings in accordance with Indiana Code Section 31-34-19-10.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.
 

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  1. I like the concept. Seems like a good idea and really inexpensive to manage.

  2. I don't agree that this is an extreme case. There are more of these people than you realize - people that are vindictive and/or with psychological issues have clogged the system with baseless suits that are costly to the defendant and to taxpayers. Restricting repeat offenders from further abusing the system is not akin to restricting their freedon, but to protecting their victims, and the court system, from allowing them unfettered access. From the Supreme Court opinion "he has burdened the opposing party and the courts of this state at every level with massive, confusing, disorganized, defective, repetitive, and often meritless filings."

  3. So, if you cry wolf one too many times courts may "restrict" your ability to pursue legal action? Also, why is document production equated with wealth? Anyone can "produce probably tens of thousands of pages of filings" if they have a public library card. I understand this is an extreme case, but our Supreme Court really got this one wrong.

  4. He called our nation a nation of cowards because we didn't want to talk about race. That was a cheap shot coming from the top cop. The man who decides who gets the federal government indicts. Wow. Not a gentleman if that is the measure. More importantly, this insult delivered as we all understand, to white people-- without him or anybody needing to explain that is precisely what he meant-- but this is an insult to timid white persons who fear the government and don't want to say anything about race for fear of being accused a racist. With all the legal heat that can come down on somebody if they say something which can be construed by a prosecutor like Mr Holder as racist, is it any wonder white people-- that's who he meant obviously-- is there any surprise that white people don't want to talk about race? And as lawyers we have even less freedom lest our remarks be considered violations of the rules. Mr Holder also demonstrated his bias by publically visiting with the family of the young man who was killed by a police offering in the line of duty, which was a very strong indicator of bias agains the offer who is under investigation, and was a failure to lead properly by letting his investigators do their job without him predetermining the proper outcome. He also has potentially biased the jury pool. All in all this worsens race relations by feeding into the perception shared by whites as well as blacks that justice will not be impartial. I will say this much, I do not blame Obama for all of HOlder's missteps. Obama has done a lot of things to stay above the fray and try and be a leader for all Americans. Maybe he should have reigned Holder in some but Obama's got his hands full with other problelms. Oh did I mention HOlder is a bank crony who will probably get a job in a silkstocking law firm working for millions of bucks a year defending bankers whom he didn't have the integrity or courage to hold to account for their acts of fraud on the United States, other financial institutions, and the people. His tenure will be regarded by history as a failure of leadership at one of the most important jobs in our nation. Finally and most importantly besides him insulting the public and letting off the big financial cheats, he has been at the forefront of over-prosecuting the secrecy laws to punish whistleblowers and chill free speech. What has Holder done to vindicate the rights of privacy of the American public against the illegal snooping of the NSA? He could have charged NSA personnel with violations of law for their warrantless wiretapping which has been done millions of times and instead he did not persecute a single soul. That is a defalcation of historical proportions and it signals to the public that the government DOJ under him was not willing to do a damn thing to protect the public against the rapid growth of the illegal surveillance state. Who else could have done this? Nobody. And for that omission Obama deserves the blame too. Here were are sliding into a police state and Eric Holder made it go all the faster.

  5. JOE CLAYPOOL candidate for Superior Court in Harrison County - Indiana This candidate is misleading voters to think he is a Judge by putting Elect Judge Joe Claypool on his campaign literature. paragraphs 2 and 9 below clearly indicate this injustice to voting public to gain employment. What can we do? Indiana Code - Section 35-43-5-3: Deception (a) A person who: (1) being an officer, manager, or other person participating in the direction of a credit institution, knowingly or intentionally receives or permits the receipt of a deposit or other investment, knowing that the institution is insolvent; (2) knowingly or intentionally makes a false or misleading written statement with intent to obtain property, employment, or an educational opportunity; (3) misapplies entrusted property, property of a governmental entity, or property of a credit institution in a manner that the person knows is unlawful or that the person knows involves substantial risk of loss or detriment to either the owner of the property or to a person for whose benefit the property was entrusted; (4) knowingly or intentionally, in the regular course of business, either: (A) uses or possesses for use a false weight or measure or other device for falsely determining or recording the quality or quantity of any commodity; or (B) sells, offers, or displays for sale or delivers less than the represented quality or quantity of any commodity; (5) with intent to defraud another person furnishing electricity, gas, water, telecommunication, or any other utility service, avoids a lawful charge for that service by scheme or device or by tampering with facilities or equipment of the person furnishing the service; (6) with intent to defraud, misrepresents the identity of the person or another person or the identity or quality of property; (7) with intent to defraud an owner of a coin machine, deposits a slug in that machine; (8) with intent to enable the person or another person to deposit a slug in a coin machine, makes, possesses, or disposes of a slug; (9) disseminates to the public an advertisement that the person knows is false, misleading, or deceptive, with intent to promote the purchase or sale of property or the acceptance of employment;

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