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Opinions July 16, 2014

July 16, 2014
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Martin J. Jonassen
13-1410
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division, Judge James T. Mood.
Criminal. Affirms convictions and sentence for kidnapping and obstruction of justice. The District Court properly declined to conduct a competency hearing. Although Jonassen asserted bizarre legal theories based on his claim of “sovereign citizenship,” that alone does not provide a reason to doubt his competence to stand trial, and the record does not otherwise suggest that he lacked the ability to understand the proceedings. The court’s evidentiary ruling was also sound. The government laid an ample foundation for admission of the hearsay statements under Rule 804(b)(6); the evidence established that Jonassen used bribery, guilt and various forms of psychological intimidation to procure his daughter’s unavailability. Finally, because he did not request Jencks Act material before the close of trial, his claim for relief under the Act necessarily fails.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Serenity Springs, Inc. and Laura Ostergren v. The LaPorte County Convention and Visitors Bureau, by and through its Board of Managers
46A04-1309-MI-470
Miscellaneous. Reverses judgment in favor of LaPorte County Convention and Visitors Bureau that permanently enjoined Serenity Springs from using the Internet domain name visitmichigancitylaporte.com and transferred the domain name to the visitors bureau. “Visit Michigan City LaPorte” is not a protectable trade name and Serenity Springs’ use of it was not unfair competition.

John M. Abbott, LLC, Class Representative and All Others Similarly Situated v. Lake City Bank
02A05-1402-PL-53
Civil plenary. Affirms summary judgment in favor of the bank on John M. Abbott LLC’s class action, alleging the bank breached the terms of its promissory note executed in conjunction with certain commercial real estate loans. The note makes clear that the term being defined – the 365/360 method – is the method of computing regular interest payments, not the annual interest rate.

Larry D. Knox v. State of Indiana
02A03-1312-CR-491
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony torturing or mutilating a vertebrate animal. The evidence most favorable to the judgment demonstrates that Knox knowingly or intentionally mutilated the cat when he kicked it so hard it knocked out a tooth.

M.G. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A04-1311-JV-535
Juvenile. Affirms adjudication for committing what would be Class A misdemeanor possession of marijuana if committed by an adult.

Hubert Cook Mayhugh III v. State of Indiana (NFP)
82A01-1312-CR-531
Criminal.  Affirms conviction of felony murder and reverses Mayhugh’s Class D felony theft conviction. Affirms 60-year sentence.  

In the Matter of K.L., K.L., and K.G., C.L. v. Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)
49A02-1310-JC-894
Juvenile. Affirms order adjudicating the three children as children in need of services.

Randell Lee v. State of Indiana (NFP)
31A01-1401-CR-10
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class C felony neglect of a dependent and four counts of Class A misdemeanor cruelty to an animal.

Connie Hinsenkamp, Town of Seelyville Clerk-Treasurer v. Seelyville Town Council; Jerry Jones, Council President; Jerry Reynolds, Council Member; and John Wade, Council Member (NFP)
84A01-1309-CC-408
Civil collection. Affirms partial denial of Hinsenkamp’s motion for summary judgment on the issues of compensation, her authority to discharge a town employee and the forfeiture of town council positions.

Marvin Strong v. State of Indiana (NFP)
84A04-1401-CR-9
Criminal. Affirms revocation of placement in community corrections.

Ashley N. Lemon v. State of Indiana (NFP)
92A03-1310-CR-419
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class B felony burglary and Class D felony theft.

Maurice Amos, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
27A02-1309-CR-840
Criminal. Affirms convictions of felony murder, Class A felony attempted murder and Class D felony receiving stolen auto parts, and finding Amos is a habitual offender.

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

 

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  1. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  2. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

  3. I will agree with that as soon as law schools stop lying to prospective students about salaries and employment opportunities in the legal profession. There is no defense to the fraudulent numbers first year salaries they post to mislead people into going to law school.

  4. The sad thing is that no fish were thrown overboard The "greenhorn" who had never fished before those 5 days was interrogated for over 4 hours by 5 officers until his statement was illicited, "I don't want to go to prison....." The truth is that these fish were measured frozen off shore and thawed on shore. The FWC (state) officer did not know fish shrink, so the only reason that these fish could be bigger was a swap. There is no difference between a 19 1/2 fish or 19 3/4 fish, short fish is short fish, the ticket was written. In addition the FWC officer testified at trial, he does not measure fish in accordance with federal law. There was a document prepared by the FWC expert that said yes, fish shrink and if these had been measured correctly they averaged over 20 inches (offshore frozen). This was a smoke and mirror prosecution.

  5. I love this, Dave! Many congrats to you! We've come a long way from studying for the bar together! :)

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