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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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  1. 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

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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