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Opinions Jan. 14, 2011

January 14, 2011
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
John M. Stephenson v. Bill Wilson, Superintendent of Indiana State Prison
09-2924
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division, Judge Theresa L. Springmann.
Order. Petition for rehearing en banc is denied. Panel previously reversed District Court’s finding that Stephenson received ineffective assistance of counsel because the attorney didn’t object to Stephenson’s wearing a stun belt in court. Judges Rovner, Williams, and Hamilton dissent.

Indiana Supreme Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Indiana Spine Group, P.C. v. International Entertainment Consultants
93A02-1007-EX-764
Civil. Reverses dismissal of Indiana Spine Group’s application for adjustment of claim with the Worker’s Compensation Board. Indiana Code Section 22-3-3-3 doesn’t apply to Indiana Spine’s claim. Remands for further proceedings.

Orlando Quezare v. Byrider Finance, Inc.
29A02-1008-PL-944
Civil plenary. Affirms summary judgment for Byrider Finance on Quezare’s suit that his bonus payments were “wages” under the Wage Payment Statute and Byrider violated the statute by not paying him his bonuses within 10 days of the date they were earned. The bonuses were not wages for the purposes of the statute because they were not directly related to the amount of time Quezare worked, were not necessarily paid regularly, and the bonus program was discretionary.

Alexander Orta v. State of Indiana
71A05-1004-CR-210
Criminal. Affirms convictions of and sentence for felony murder, Class A misdemeanor operating a vehicle with a controlled substance in the blood, and Class C felony failure to stop at the scene of an accident resulting in death of another person. The trial court acted within its discretion with regard to each of Orta’s alleged errors, the trial court properly applied the Indiana Supreme Court’s opinion in Sanchez, and Orta’s sentence is appropriate.

Christopher Brian Neal v. State of Indiana (NFP)
07A01-1007-CR-331
Criminal. Affirms convictions of and aggregate 65-year sentence for felony murder and Class B felony robbery.

Nanci Lacy v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1005-OV-528
Local ordinance violation. Affirms permanent injunction order impounding any animal Lacy owned and prohibiting her from owning or keeping an animal in Marion County.

Gregory Withers, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
34A04-1006-CR-419
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to Class D felony nonsupport of a child.

Term. of Parent-Child Rel. of N.J.; J.J. and A.D. v. I.D.C.S., St. Joseph County office (NFP)
71A04-1004-JT-209
Juvenile. Affirms involuntary termination of parental rights.

Douglas P. Johnson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
92A03-1004-CR-222
Criminal. Affirms denial of motion to sever child molesting charges from sexual misconduct with a minor charges.

Jay F. Vermillion v. Indiana State Prison Disciplinary Body and Westville Control Unit (NFP)
46A03-1008-SC-409
Small claims. Affirms grant of motion to dismiss Vermillion’s complaint alleging his disciplinary sanction and the confiscation of his television were in violation of Department of Correction policy.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.
 

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  1. 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...

  2. 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

  3. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  4. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  5. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

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