Opinions Jan. 26, 2011

January 26, 2011
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Ty Brock
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division, Chief Judge Philip P. Simon.
Criminal. Affirms denial of motion to suppress items found in Brock’s car during a checkpoint stop. Because the checkpoint was neither objectively nor subjectively intrusive in any way that would outweigh the government’s interest in operating it, the checkpoint stop didn’t violate his Fourth Amendment rights.

Maurice Gipson v. United States of America
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Terre Haute Division, Judge Larry J. McKinney.
Civil. Reverses summary judgment for the government in Gipson’s suit under the Federal Tort Claims Act complaining about complications of neck surgery because the prison’s medical staff didn’t tell him that he needed to stop taking blood thinners at least five days before the surgery. The medical staff should have told Gipson to stop taking the aspirin, and there is conflicting evidence as to whether he ran out of aspirin more than five days before his operation as the government argues. Remands for further proceedings.

Indiana Supreme Court
Fredrick Michael Baer v. State of Indiana
Death penalty. Affirms denial of post-conviction relief following previous affirmation of Baer’s death sentence for two counts of murder. He did not receive ineffective assistance of trial or appellate counsel, his death sentence doesn’t violate the Eighth Amendment, and the trial judge didn’t error in rejecting his guilty but mentally ill plea.

Indiana Court of Appeals
S.S. v. Review Board
Civil. Affirms dismissal of S.S.’s appeal following the denial of unemployment benefits and the denial of her request for reinstatement of her appeal. S.S. was afforded due process and a reasonable opportunity for a hearing, and there was no error in the review board’s consideration of evidence or in its denial of her request to reinstate her appeal. Judge Brown dissents.

Dan Cristiani Excavating Co. Inc. v. Jeremy Money and Kerri Money
Civil tort. Affirms verdict in favor of the Moneys for injuries sustained by Jeremy in a bulldozer accident. The trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying bifurcation of the trial or in declining to allow the jury to view actual or photographic evidence of the bulldozer involved. Cristiani waived the issue of whether Jeremy’s life-care planner was qualified to testify as an expert and that the weight to be given to her testimony was properly conceded by the jury. Cristiani failed to establish actual personal bias by the trial judge.

A.H. v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Reverses one count of Class B felony incest. The evidence, which included A.H.’s stipulated polygraph, was insufficient to prove this conviction beyond a reasonable doubt. Remands for the trial court to vacate this conviction and accompanying sentence and for further proceedings.

Term. of Parent-Child Rel. of T.T., et al.; A.T. v. I.D.C.S. (NFP)
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parent-child relationship.

Gene Hooks v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms convictions of two counts of Class C felony child molesting.

Jonathan R. Dye v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Revises sentence following guilty plea to two counts of dealing in a controlled substance, one as a Class B and one as a Class C felony, and remands for a sentence of 10 years with two years suspended.

Christopher West v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms West’s convictions of two counts of dealing in cocaine as class B felonies and one count of possession of cocaine as a Class D felony. Reverses the trial court’s imposition of consecutive sentences as to the two dealing convictions. Remands for further proceedings.

Melissa A. (Scales) Crupper v. Charles D. Scales, Jr. (NFP)
Domestic relation. Affirms judgment granting father physical custody of the children.

Tevin Reaves v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of murder but sua sponte vacates the conviction of conspiracy to commit murder and sentence on double jeopardy grounds.

Paternity of T.A.; J.M. v. A.A. (NFP)
Juvenile. Affirms order that J.M.’s minor child should assume the surname of A.A., the child’s mother.

Arthur E. Lott, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C felony burglary.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.


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