Opinions Jan. 28, 2014

January 28, 2014
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
The following opinion was issued after IL deadline Monday.

Bitler Investment Venture II, LLC, et al. v. Marathon Petroleum Company LP, et al.
Civil. Affirms in part, reverses in part a $269,000 judgment in favor of Bitler. Remands with instructions to double damages awarded under Michigan’s laws regarding doctrine of waste for properties that Marathon failed to maintain and were ultimately condemned. Reverses dismissal of certain contract claims and remands to the District Court for the Northern District of Indiana for trial on those issues.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Tammy Lou Kelly v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Reverses trial court’s ruling that Tammy Lou Kelley is guilty but mentally ill after she attacked her boyfriend’s young daughter. Finds the lower court did not have sufficient probative evidence to disregard two psychiatrists’ conclusions that Young was unable to appreciate the wrongfulness of her actions at the time of the attack. Remands with instructions for the trial court to enter a finding of not guilty by reason of insanity.  

Wayne Campbell v. State of Indiana
Post conviction. Affirms denial of relief from a conviction of Class B felony burglary, holding that Campbell failed to establish that he received ineffective assistance of counsel. Campbell unsuccessfully argued that his trial counsel should have objected to an Indiana Pattern Jury Instruction regarding the definition of intent. Tension exists as to whether part of the instruction is a correct statement of law, and the Supreme Court has yet to resolve the issue.

Audie Wilson v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class B felony and Class C felony counts of sexual misconduct with a minor and Class B felony attempted sexual misconduct with a minor. The court rejected appellate arguments that nicknames or aliases used by Wilson were improperly admitted and that the jury was improperly instructed with regard to Wilson’s defense that he had a reasonable belief that the victim was older than 16.

Jeremy Schath v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Reverses Class C misdemeanor conviction of chasing wildlife on private property without the consent of the owner, finding that the undisputed evidence showed Schath entered the property only for the purpose of retrieving a dog that had wandered from property where Schath had permission to hunt.

Allen County Public Library v. Shambaugh & Son, L.P., Hamilton Hunter Builders, Inc., W.A. Sheets & Sons, Inc., and MSKTD & Associates, Inc.
Civil plenary. On rehearing, reaffirms opinion in all respects that the library was entitled to pursue damages from defendants for diesel pollution that affected surrounding properties during a construction project, rejecting arguments raised for the first time on rehearing that there was no contamination outside the project area and that caselaw on which the defense relied was wrongly decided.

Michael Johnson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms convictions of seven counts of Class A felony and three counts of Class C felony child molesting and habitual offender finding.

Jesse Imel v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction and 18-year sentence for Class B felony incest.

John Collins v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony auto theft.

Thomas A. Christopher v. Mike Raisor Imports (NFP)
Small claims. Affirms judgment in favor of Mike Raisor Imports.

In the Matter of the Involunatary Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of K.B., Minor Child, and Her Mother, M.B., M.B. v. Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)

Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.

Raul Fuentes v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of three counts of Class A felony and four counts of Class C felony child molesting.

Eleanor L. Mitchell v. RIH Acquisitions IN, LLC, d/b/a Resorts East Chicago (NFP)
Civil tort. Affirms jury verdict that defendants were not at fault for Mitchell’s injuries sustained in a fall in a casino parking lot.

Charles A. DePree v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Post conviction. Affirms post-conviction court’s grant in part and denial in part of a petition for relief from a conviction of Class B felony dealing in methamphetamine.

Reginal Exson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor domestic battery.

Indiana Supreme Court  and Indiana Tax Court issued no opinions by IL deadline. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals issued no Indiana opinions by IL deadline Tuesday.



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  1. We do not have 10% of our population (which would mean about 32 million) incarcerated. It's closer to 2%.

  2. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  3. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  4. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.

  5. rensselaer imdiana is doing same thing to children from the judge to attorney and dfs staff they need to be investigated as well