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Opinions Jan. 26, 2011

January 26, 2011
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Ty Brock
10-2385
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
09-2756
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
48S00-0709-PD-362
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
93A02-1006-EX-738
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
10A05-1002-CT-114
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
10A05-1003-CR-256
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)
29A05-1008-JT-475
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parent-child relationship.

Gene Hooks v. State of Indiana (NFP)
82A01-1005-CR-220
Criminal. Affirms convictions of two counts of Class C felony child molesting.

Jonathan R. Dye v. State of Indiana (NFP)
21A01-1004-CR-168
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)
21A04-1004-CR-303
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)
87A05-1008-DR-500
Domestic relation. Affirms judgment granting father physical custody of the children.

Tevin Reaves v. State of Indiana (NFP)
71A04-1005-CR-332
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)
28A01-1007-JP-387
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)
02A04-1006-CR-383
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C felony burglary.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.
 

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  1. Indiana's seatbelt law is not punishable as a crime. It is an infraction. Apparently some of our Circuit judges have deemed settled law inapplicable if it fails to fit their litmus test of political correctness. Extrapolating to redefine terms of behavior in a violation of immigration law to the entire body of criminal law leaves a smorgasbord of opportunity for judicial mischief.

  2. I wonder if $10 diversions for failure to wear seat belts are considered moral turpitude in federal immigration law like they are under Indiana law? Anyone know?

  3. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

  4. Justice has finally been served. So glad that Dr. Ley can finally sleep peacefully at night knowing the truth has finally come to the surface.

  5. While this right is guaranteed by our Constitution, it has in recent years been hampered by insurance companies, i.e.; the practice of the plaintiff's own insurance company intervening in an action and filing a lien against any proceeds paid to their insured. In essence, causing an additional financial hurdle for a plaintiff to overcome at trial in terms of overall award. In a very real sense an injured party in exercise of their right to trial by jury may be the only party in a cause that would end up with zero compensation.

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