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Opinions Feb. 7, 2013

February 7, 2013
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Jurijus Kadamovas v. Michael Stevens, et al.
12-2669
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Terre Haute Division, Judge William T. Lawrence.
Civil. Reverses dismissal of prisoner Kadamovas’ lawsuit against prison officials and other inmates for unintelligibility. The suit is actually written clearly and not 99 pages as the judge believed, but just 28 pages. Remands for further consideration.

United States of America v. Adolfo Wren and Anthony Moton
12-1565, 12-1580
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division, Judge Rudy Lozano, Judge James T. Moody.
Criminal. Vacates denial of Wren’s and Moton’s request for a sentence reduction for previous crack offenses and remands to the District Court so the judges may exercise the discretion they possess.

United States of America v. Ronald Love
11-2547
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division, Judge Joseph S. Van Bokkelen.
Criminal. Affirms Love’s convictions of distributing crack cocaine and conspiring to distribute crack cocaine. Vacates his sentence and remands for resentencing under the Fair Sentencing Act. Finds evidence was enough to support the jury verdict and to support a two-level sentencing enhancement for being an organizer, leader, manager or supervisor of the conspiracy.

Bernard Hawkins v. United States of America
11-1245
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division, Judge James T. Moody.
Civil. Affirms judgment denying the Section 2255 motion authorizing post-conviction alteration of a sentence filed by Hawkins. An erroneous computation of an advisory guidelines sentence is reversible (unless harmless) on direct appeal; it doesn’t follow that it’s reversible years later in a post-conviction proceeding. Judge Rovner dissents.

Indiana Court of Appeals
State of Indiana v. William Coats
49A02-1206-CR-526
Criminal. Affirms denial of state’s motion to commit Coats to the Indiana Division of Mental Health and Addiction. It is clear that Coats’ dementia will progress and there is simply no hope or medical reason to believe that competency will be restored. Judge Riley dissents.

Christina M. Kovats v. State of Indiana
15A01-1205-CR-224
Criminal. Orders the trial court to vacate Kovats’ convictions for Class D felony criminal recklessness and Class D felony OWI and enter a judgment of conviction and concurrent sentence on the lesser-included offense of Class A misdemeanor OWI because those convictions were based on or elevated by the same serious bodily injury. Orders her sentence revised to 15 years on the Class B felony conviction of neglect of a dependent.

Terry Smith v. State of Indiana
49A05-1202-CR-88
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class B felony robbery, Class B felony possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon, Class D felony auto theft, and Class D felony resisting law enforcement. The trial court did not abuse its discretion in granting the state’s motion to continue so that the state could procure the testimony of a necessary witness. The trial court also did not abuse its discretion in the admission of the evidence regarding the shots fired and casings found, the evidence obtained during the execution of the search warrant, or the DNA evidence obtained from the buccal swab. Lastly, the state presented evidence sufficient to support the trial court’s determination that Smith was a habitual offender.

Christopher Estridge v. State of Indiana (NFP)

15A01-1205-CR-209
Criminal. Affirms revocation of probation.

Kenneth L. Robinson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1206-CR-514
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C felony possession of cocaine.

Charles Day v. State of Indiana (NFP)
79A04-1206-CR-303
Criminal. Affirms convictions of three counts of Class A felony child molesting and two counts as Class C felonies, Class A felony attempted child molesting and Class D felony child solicitation; and affirms sentence of 44 years in the Department of Correction.

Kenny L. Futch v. State of Indiana (NFP)
02A03-1209-CR-381
Criminal. Affirms two convictions of Class B felony dealing in cocaine and two concurrent 17-year sentences with two years suspended to probation on each count.

James Kerner v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1205-CR-271
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor trespass.

Jamie Masterson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1206-CR-485
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony identity deception.

In Re: The Adoption of T.W.: T.J. v. J.B. (NFP)
02A05-1108-AD-451
Adoption. Affirms that consent of father T.J. is not required for adoption of T.W.

Prince Harris v. State of Indiana (NFP)
45A03-1205-CR-232
Criminal. Affirms convictions of murder and robbery.

Larry R. Dean, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
27A04-1204-PC-174
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Anthony Paul Banks v. State of Indiana (NFP)
50A05-1207-CR-343
Criminal. Affirms revocation of probation and order Banks serve his entire previously suspended sentence in the Department of Correction.

In Re: The Paternity of B.H.: S.H. v. B.B. (NFP)
54A01-1208-JP-340
Juvenile. Affirms order modifying father S.H.’s child support obligation based on a determination hearing that the child is incapacitated.

Neff Family Fertilizer, Inc. v. John Jones Chevrolet Buick Cadillac of Salem, Inc. (NFP)
88A05-1207-PL-381
Civil plenary. Affirms entry of summary judgment in favor of John Jones dealership on Neff Family Fertilizer’s suit for damages after Neff canceled its order for a new truck.  

Gregory D. Sutton v. State of Indiana (NFP)
01A02-1210-CR-876
Criminal. Affirms sentence for Class C felony nonsupport of a dependent child.

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

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  2. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  3. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  4. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  5. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

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