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Opinions Jan. 31, 2014

January 31, 2014
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The following 7th Circuit Court of Appeals opinion was posted after IL deadline Thursday.

United States of America v. Scott Adkins 
12-3738, 12-3739
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division. Chief Judge Philip P. Simon.
Criminal. Affirms conviction of attempting to possess heroin with intent to distribute and being a felon in possession of a firearm. Rejects Adkins’ claim he is entitled to a new trial on these charges due to alleged errors regarding evidentiary decisions, jury instructions and improper statements by the government. Vacates guilty plea to receipt of child pornography because one special condition of his supervised release – that he “shall not view or listen to any pornography or sexually stimulating material or sexually oriented material or patronize locations where such material is available” – is unconstitutionally vague and overbroad. Remands on this ground alone.  

Friday’s opinions
7th Circuit Court of Appeals

United States of America v. Timothy L. Richards
12-3763
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Fort Wayne Division, Judge Theresa L. Springmann.
Criminal. Affirms convictions of possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, maintaining a residence or place for the purpose of using and distributing controlled substances, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and being a felon in possession of a firearm. There was no error in allowing the government to introduce seized evidence, finding Richards’ 86-year-old uncle had authority to consent to a search of the bedroom where Richards stayed.

Indiana Court of Appeals
T.G. v. State of Indiana
49A05-1305-JV-238
Juvenile. Affirms adjudication that T.G. committed what would be Class C felony child molesting if committed by an adult. The evidence is sufficient and the statute is not unconstitutionally vague as applied to him.

William E. Boehringer, Cleo A. Boehringer, and the Cleo A. Boehringer Trust v. Gregory J. Weber and Susan M. Weber
29A05-1303-PL-154
Civil plenary. Affirms denial of the Boehringers’ summary judgment claim and $425,000 jury award to the Webers. The Boehringers sued the Webers after discovering mold in the house they purchased from the Webers. The Webers counterclaimed for costs and reasonable attorney fees for defending the complaint. The designated evidence does not establish that the Webers actually knew of the presence of hazardous mold in the house when they executed the sales disclosure.

Rashard Ranson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A04-1307-CR-329
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement.

Christopher Wood v. State of Indiana (NFP)
33A01-1310-MI-430
Miscellaneous. Affirms denial of habeas corpus petition alleging that Wood was erroneously denied 49 days of presentencing credit time.

Rolando Guzman v. State of Indiana (NFP)
02A04-1309-CR-474
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to Class D felony domestic battery.

Joshua Gillespie v. State of Indiana (NFP)
27A02-1304-CR-374
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class B felony burglary and Class C felony robbery.

Matthew Dante Bennett v. State of Indiana (NFP)
18A02-1306-CR-515
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class B felony aggravated battery, Class B felony armed robbery and Class D felony auto theft.

Donald A. Wood v. State of Indiana (NFP)
15A01-1306-CR-288
Criminal. Affirms order revoking probation and order that Wood serve six years of his previously suspended sentence.

Sharniece Crump v. Claystone at the Crossing (NFP)
79A02-1308-SC-674
Small claim. Affirms small claims court’s decision to uphold the eviction of Crump.

Christian D. Reyes v. State of Indiana (NFP)
57A03-1305-CR-176
Criminal. Affirms sentence for Class B felony burglary.

Juan Q. Beamon v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1307-CR-599
Crimimal. Affirms sentence for Class C felony sexual misconduct with a minor and adjudication as a habitual offender.

Cameron Mayfield v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1306-CR-500
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C felony battery on a pregnant woman.

A.S.B. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
29A02-1307-JV-665
Juvenile. Affirms modification of dispositional decree.

Marcus Jones v. State of Indiana (NFP)
48A04-1305-CR-251
Criminal. Affirms revocation of probation.  

T.G. v. State of Indiana
49A05-1305-JV-238
Juvenile. Affirms adjudication that T.G. committed what would be Class C felony child molesting if committed by an adult. The evidence is sufficient and the statute is not unconstitutionally vague as applied to him.

Marcus Minor v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1306-CR-301
Criminal. Vacates conviction for Class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement.

Nathan Allen Kline v. State of Indiana (NFP)
35A02-1307-CR-573
Criminal. Vacates conviction and sentence for Class D felony operating an illegal drug lab. Affirms Kline was not denied effective assistance of trial counsel and affirms conviction and sentence for Class B felony dealing in methamphetamine.

In Re: The Marriage of Mikiko Hige v. Christopher L. Glick (NFP)
79A02-1303-DR-274
Domestic relation. Affirms dissolution of marriage.

In the Matter of the Term. of the Parent-Child Rel. of Mi.S. & M.W. (Minor Children), and M.S. (Mother) v. The Indiana Dept. of Child Services (NFP)
49A05-1306-JT-282
Juvenile tort. Affirms termination of parental rights to two of mother’s six children.

Allan Kirkley v. State of Indiana (NFP)
28A04-1307-CR-362
Criminal. Affirms conviction and sentence for two counts of Class C felony child molesting.

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

 

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  2. If the end result is to simply record the spoke word, then perhaps some day digital recording may eventually be the status quo. However, it is a shallow view to believe the professional court reporter's function is to simply report the spoken word and nothing else. There are many aspects to being a professional court reporter, and many aspects involved in producing a professional and accurate transcript. A properly trained professional steno court reporter has achieved a skill set in a field where the average dropout rate in court reporting schools across the nation is 80% due to the difficulty of mastering the necessary skills. To name just a few "extras" that a court reporter with proper training brings into a courtroom or a deposition suite; an understanding of legal procedure, technology specific to the legal profession, and an understanding of what is being said by the attorneys and litigants (which makes a huge difference in the quality of the transcript). As to contracting, or anti-contracting the argument is simple. The court reporter as governed by our ethical standards is to be the independent, unbiased individual in a deposition or courtroom setting. When one has entered into a contract with any party, insurance carrier, etc., then that reporter is no longer unbiased. I have been a court reporter for over 30 years and I echo Mr. Richardson's remarks that I too am here to serve.

  3. A competitive bid process is ethical and appropriate especially when dealing with government agencies and large corporations, but an ethical line is crossed when court reporters in Pittsburgh start charging exorbitant fees on opposing counsel. This fee shifting isn't just financially biased, it undermines the entire justice system, giving advantages to those that can afford litigation the most. It makes no sense.

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