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Opinions Feb. 24, 2012

February 24, 2012
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The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, Indiana Supreme Court and Indiana Tax Court had no opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals
CFS, LLC and Charles Blackwelder v. Bank of America, Successor in Interest to LaSalle Bank Midwest National Association

29A02-1105-MF-436
Mortgage foreclosure.  Affirms trial court’s granting of summary judgment in favor of Bank of America, finding that the bank established no genuine issue of material fact existed about whether a successor bank surviving after a merger could enforce the note and mortgage of the predecessor.

Undray D. Wilson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
34A02-1012-PC-1389
Post-conviction. Affirms denial of post-conviction relief in murder case on grounds that trial and appellate counsel were not ineffective.

Sasha Slater v. Ridinger Enterprises, Inc., d/b/a Shakamak IGA (NFP)
28A05-1104-CT-207
Civil tort. Reverses and remands slip-and-fall injury case where a store had obtained summary judgment on grounds that the plaintiff didn’t provide evidence as to what caused her fall. Finds the plaintiff created a genuine issue of material fact about the floor where the injury occurred and ruled the trial court’s summary judgment ruling was an error.

In Re: Levi Jacob Loucks Testimonial Trust and James M. Loucks, Trustee; Angel M. Lepley v. Levi J. Loucks (NFP)
17A04-1107-TR-386
Trust. Affirms judgment of trial court that denied a woman’s request to access principal trust funds to pay child support and also denied her request for attorney fees incurred while trying to collect the child support.

Jeremy D. Stone v. State of Indiana (NFP)
02A04-1007-CR-464
Criminal. Affirms a three-year executed sentence for strangulation, finding that defendant-appellant didn’t demonstrate the trial court abused its discretion in failing to mention the man’s guilty plea as a mitigating factor. Nothing is inappropriate about the sentence based on the offender’s character and nature of the crime.
 
Danny W. Ramsey v. State of Indiana (NFP)
14A01-1102-PC-84
Post-conviction. Affirms trial court’s partial denial of a post-conviction relief petition regarding an evidentiary hearing request, whether trial counsel provided ineffective assistance, and whether appellate counsel’s failure to challenge the sentence constituted ineffective assistance.
 
Antoine L. Skinner v. State of Indiana (NFP)
48A02-1105-CR-514
Criminal. Affirms a probation revocation, finding that the trial court didn’t abuse its discretion in revoking all four years of a suspended sentence because of the man’s single sale of cocaine to a police informant which the defendant-appellant claimed was “a trivial violation.”
 
T.W.O. f/k/a T.L.W. v. G.A.W. (NFP)
64A03-1106-DR-289
Domestic relations. Affirms trial court’s decision in favor of the father on grounds that the trial court didn’t abuse its discretion in denying mother’s request to modify custody, didn’t abuse its discretion in dividing marital property, and didn’t abuse its discretion in declining to modify the mother’s child support obligation to an earlier date.
 
Zachery Lewis v. State of Indiana (NFP)
35A02-1108-CR-796
Criminal. Affirms one-year jail sentence for two counts of Class A misdemeanor battery resulting in bodily injury, finding that the nature of the offense and offender’s character didn’t make the sentence inappropriate.

Henry A. Booker v. State of Indiana (NFP)
03A01-1105-CR-221
 Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A felony dealing in a Schedule II controlled substance, finding the 40-year sentence is appropriate, that the evidence was sufficient and the trial court didn’t abuse its discretion in jury instruction regarding the defendant’s defense to the crime.
 

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  1. 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.

  2. 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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  4. I grew up on a farm and live in the county and it's interesting that the big industrial farmers like Jeff Shoaf don't live next to their industrial operations...

  5. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

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