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Opinions Feb. 4, 2014

February 4, 2014
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The following 7th Circuit Court of Appeals opinion was posted after IL deadline Monday:
United States of America v. Darnell Jackson
13-1496
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division, Judge Robert L. Miller Jr.
Criminal. Affirms conviction and sentence for unlawful possession of a weapon as a convicted felon. By selling the Ruger pistol to David Dircks, who like Jackson was prohibited from possessing a firearm, Jackson transferred the firearm in connection with a felony offense separate and distinct from the possession offense of which he was charged and convicted. Consequently, the District Court properly increased Jackson’s offense level pursuant to section 2K2.1(b)(6)(B).

Tuesday’s opinions
7th Circuit Court of Appeals

Eric Smith v. Executive Director of the Indiana War Memorials Commission, et al.
13-1939
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge William T. Lawrence.
Civil. Reverses denial of Smith’s motion for a preliminary injunction against the enforcement of a policy that requires a permit before gathering on commission properties. The new policy, revised shortly after the District Court denied the motion, retains the problematic features of the old policy. Also, Smith has met the requirements for obtaining a preliminary injunction. Remands with instructions to enter an appropriate preliminary injunction.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Ruben Gonzalez v. State of Indiana
52A02-1306-CR-526
Criminal. Reverses conviction for Class B felony aggravated battery because of a double jeopardy violation. Remands for trial court to reduce restitution award by $41,200, the amount of a permanent partial impairment settlement paid to Rodney Gahl, a correctional officer Gonzalez severely beat while incarcerated. A PPI payment is compensation for an injured employee’s permanent loss of physical function(s) rather than for an inability to work. Gahl, himself, could not have sought restitution at the criminal proceeding for loss of physical function, as it does not encompass already-incurred lost wages or medical expense. Accordingly, JWF Specialty Company, the third-party administrator for the state’s workers’ compensation benefits, cannot recover the PPI payment via its status as a surrogate victim.

In the Matter of C.U., A Child in Need of Services, C.U. and J.U. v. Indiana Department of Child Services
49A05-1307-JC-354
Juvenile. Affirms adjudication that child is a child in need of services. The evidence supports the designation under I.C. 31-34-1-1 that the parents abandoned the child. Rejects the parents’ claim that the boy should have been adjudicated under I.C. 31-34-1-6 because he substantially endangers his own health or the health of his family members.  

Jason A. Fishburn v. Indiana Public Retirement System
49A02-1305-MI-391
Miscellaneous. Affirms summary judgment for INPRS and the revised determination that Fishburn’s total monthly disability benefit payment from the 1977 fund is 79.85 percent of monthly salary of a first-class patrol officer. Although the statute is ambiguous, the court finds INPRS’ interpretation to be reasonable. Also, based upon the General Assembly’s inaction in the face of the INPRS’ interpretation of Ind. Code 36-8-8-13.5(f), the General Assembly is deemed to have acquiesced in INPRS’s interpretation of the disability benefit statutes.

In the Matter of Des.B. and Dem.B., Minor Children in Need of Services, E.B. v. Indiana Department of Child Services

49A02-1306-JC-487
Juvenile. Affirms determination the children are children in need of services. The evidence supports the trial court’s findings that, as of the fact-finding hearing, the mother continued to have extensive problems with drugs and violent relationships with the children’s fathers. The evidence also supports the trial court’s findings that these problems are harmful to the children. The trial court’s findings support its judgment that “there is a substantial risk of endangering the children” and that the children are in need of care, treatment, or rehabilitation that they are not receiving and that is unlikely to be provided or accepted without the coercive intervention of the court.

Jerry Cooper v. State of Indiana (NFP)
02A03-1309-CR-366
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B felony unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon and remands with instructions to correct a sentencing error.

James B.Wynne v. Review Board of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development and Thyssenkrupp Presta (NFP)
93A02-1306-EX-536
Agency action. Affirms finding that Wynne voluntarily left his employment without good cause.

Steven Smith v. State of Indiana (NFP)
22A05-1306-CR-317
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A felony attempted dealing in cocaine and adjudication as a habitual offender. Remands with instructions that the trial court clarify in its records that it did not enter a judgment of conviction on Class B felony possession of cocaine.

Paul Fletcher v. National Financial Services d/b/a Fidelity Investments and Mark Zupan (NFP)
45A03-1306-PL-211 
Civil plenary. The trial court did not err in considering the issue of the ownership of the 401(k) account because Fidelity filed a complaint for interpleader of the account and the parties filed a joint motion acknowledging that the account was at issue. The trial court erred in granting Zupan’s motion for summary judgment because Fletcher designated some evidence creating a genuine issue of material fact with regard to forgery. The trial court did not abuse its discretion when it closed discovery after the case had been pending for more than three years.

Ramon Santana, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
45A03-1306-CR-213
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class B felony rape and criminal deviate conduct.

Bradly Hornsby v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1306-CR-523
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class B misdemeanors public intoxication and disorderly conduct.

Brian Brough v. C. Richard Rush (NFP)
88A04-1304-PL-204
Civil plenary. Affirms summary judgment in favor of Rush on Brough’s legal malpractice complaint.

Junius U. Brooks v. State of Indiana (NFP)
02A04-1305-CR-266
Criminal. Affirms sentence for Class B felony robbery.

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

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  1. Am I the only one who sees that the City is essentially giving away the MSA site AND giving millions to build new buildings on the site when this site would be the perfect place for the Justice Complex? Across from City-County, check; keeping it centrally located, check, etc. It's my understanding that the GM site must be purchased by the City from Motors Liquidation Company. STOP WASTING WHAT WE ALREADY HAVE AND OUR TAX DOLLARS! The Ballard Administration has not been known for it's common sense...never voted for him and never will!

  2. This guy sounds like the classic molester/manipulator.

  3. Louis D. Brandeis was born in 1856. At 9 years of age it would have been 1865. The Brandeis family did not own slaves. My source Louis D. Brandeis: A Life, by Melvin L. Urofsky.

  4. My name is Matthew Lucas Major, I recently went through a jury trial in Bloomington , In. It was the week of Feb 19-21. Although I have been incarcerated since August 5, 2014. The reason I 'am writing to you sir is on the 21 of February the jury came in with a very excessive and wrongful verdict of guilty on 6 child molesting charges against my daughter who was 9 at the time I was accused. I also had 2 other Felonies one of Intimidation and 1 of Sexual Vicarious Gratification. Judge Marc Kellam on the second day of trial gave me a not guilty on those 2 felonies. The jury was sent out during that time and when brought back Judge Kellam told them to not concern themselves with the 2 Felonies that he ruled on them. They were told to not let evidence they had already heard influence there verdicts. I never in my life touched any child sexually and definitely not with my own daughter. When I was arrested Detective Shawn Karr told me I would be convicted guilty just on my daughters word even without evidence. That's just what happened. my public defender did me so wrong he never once proved to the court and jury all the lies the child told, and Jeremy Noel my public defender could of proven the lies easily. The stories in Serenity's depositions and Forensic interview changed and were not consistent as Prosecutor Darcie Fawcett claimed they were. Yet my attorney never mentioned that. The facts that the child accused me of full penetration in her vagina and rectum was proven lies. Doctor Roberta Hibbard of Riley hospital in Indianapolis confirmed Serenity's hymen intact, no scars, no tearing, no signs of rape to her. Yet my attorney didn't use that knowledge . the DNA was all in my favor. I tell you I will spend my entire life in prison going through rape and beatings etc. even Judge Kellam abused his authority by telling the jurors to listen and believe what the prosecutors side in evidence like my daughters testimony. In one interview with the detectives my daughter got flustered with her mom and said on camera " I'm saying what you told me to mom"!! Yet Mr. Noel said nor did anything to even resemble a defense attorney. Judge Kellam allowed edited version of a taped conversation between the child and her mother. Also Judge Kellam allowed the Prosecutor too bring in to my case a knife found under my seat, the knife wasn't part of my case. She was allowed by my attorney and the judge to put a huge picture of it on the screen and huge picture of my naked privates in a full courtroom and open court. Ms. Fawcett says to jury see how easy Mr. Major could reach the knife and cut his Childs throat. Even though I had no weapons charge against these cases. This gave the jurors prejudice thought against me thinking I threatened her with that knife and how scared she would of been knowing i could get it and kill her. On my sentencing court March 19, 2014 my public defender told Judge Kellam he wish to resign from being my attorney and wished for the court to give me outside council to file a error to trial or appeal. We were denied. Now after openly knowing my public defender don't want to represent me he has to. Well when as parents we make our kids clean a room when they really don't wish to, well the child will but don't mean she will do a good job, that's where I'm at with Mr. Noel. please dont ignore mine and my families pleas for your help . we have all the legal proof you could need to prove Im innocent. Please dont make my spend years in prison innocent when you can fix this wrong. Im not saying Im a perfect man or that I was a perfect dad to my 2 children none of us are. Ive made some bad choices in life and I paid for them. But I didnt ever touch or rape my daughter . I love my children with all my heart. And now through needing attention and a ex-wife who told my granny several times she wish she could put me in prison to get me out of their lives. Well my ex finally accomplished her goal. Sad part is she is destroying our daughter with all this horrific lies and things she taught my daughter to say. My daughter will need therapist to ever hope for a chance of a normal life after what she had done to her by her mom and their side of the family. My daughter told everyone even on stand she had a dream months before i supposedly molested her in this dream I was molesting her and when I finally did it matched her dream perfectly. She admitted to watching movies about little girls being molested and watching U-Tube videos about child molesting all before it happened supposedly to her. Doesn't that sound very unusual that a non molested 9 yr old would need to know so much about being molested? The only reason I could think a 9 year old would need so much information is to be prepared to know what to say and be able to say how it felt what took place etc.. So when questioned by authorities she would be prepared. And there again sir if a parent is pre grooming a 9 year old child she would need intimate details . Like telling her daughter about a couple moles on my private area. The child admitted to sneaking my cell and looking many many times at nudes of me and my girlfriend even one where my penis was entering my girlfriends vagina. In that picture my moles are obvious. Yet when prosecutor showed everyone in court my privates and pictures of the moles she said the only way the child would know about them is if she saw them for herself. My attorney once again said nothing about the pictures my child saw. Or could a ex-wife be able to describe my moles to help her case against getting rid of me? I beg you help me. This is my very existence. Ive lost everything , a good job, a wonderful girlfriend, my freedom, but worse thing Ive lost is my children. They were my reason to get up every morning and strive to be better. The wonderful bond I had with my Serenity is gone. After this I would be afraid to even hug her for fear of what next can they do to me. I'm not afraid to tell you I sit here in this cell and try to hold back my tears. Everyone knows you cant show weakness in prison. My life has already been threatened here at Wabash Valley Prison. After only 3 days of arrival. I was tricked into signing a waiver now Im in G Block General Population with 6 child molesting felony charges. Mrs. Hart as a 18 year old I almost died hooked to machines in hospital almost 1 month and now I know that fear was childish compared to this . I cant help but put emotions in this, after all Mrs. Hart Im human and God help Me I never been more afraid in my life. I didnt hurt my little girl I didnt touch her sexually. As much as it shreds me and fills my mind what Im facing I worry more about my mom and granny because of their great love for me mam they are suffering so deeply. I aint done this things but my loved ones suffering right along beside me and If you take my case you will be in essence freeing them also. I sent momma this letter and asked her to email it to you. I'm scared I have been done so unjustly by our legal system and I need you to fix this and give me freedom. I ask you please don't just ignore my pleas. Here in America its nice to be able to trust our legal justice system, well they destroyed my and my loved ones trust in our justice system . And I'm trusting in You !!! My entire family is suffering this nightmare with me. My 77 year old granny had a stroke and isn't doing so well. My single mother that raised 3 kids alone is dying from Lupus and since my arrest has stayed so sick and weary. Our lives torn to peices by a government I was taught I could trust in. my momma has tried so many innocent project and wrongfully accused and cant get anywhere. please please help me. A quote from the late Nelson Mandela: To be free is not merely to cast off ones chains, But to live in a way that respects and enhances The Freedom Of Others. I have Faith in you and your clinic to cast my chains off and give me freedom I do deserve as a wrongfully accused Man, son, brother, father, friend. Matthew Major DOC# 246179 Cause # : 53c02-1308-FA-000779 God Bless you. Please contact me with your decision so I know you made a life changing decision for me , just please at least write me so I know you care enough about your citizens to respond to cries for your help. You can speak openly with my mother Charlotte Spain (828) 476-0406: 71 Lakeview Dr. Canton, NC 28716 Thank You Matthew Major I know yall get thousands of request and inmates claiming innocence, and each person who are innocent deserve to have organizations like yours willing to fight for them and I give yall so much Thanks and I thank God everyday yall are out there caring enough to help free the innocents. Since discovering firsthand how easily lives and families can be destroyed by Poor Defense attorneys not doing their job . And Prosecutors allowed to do as they please in court

  5. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

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