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Opinions July 17, 2014

July 17, 2014
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The following 7th Circuit Court of Appeals opinion was posted after IL deadline Wednesday:
United States of America v. Lorenzo Mosley
13-3184
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division, Judge James T. Moody.
Criminal. Affirms revocation of Mosley’s supervised release after judge found Mosley had committed the alleged violations, which included dealing cocaine, and sentence to 21 months in prison. The District Court erred in admitting a hearsay statement without finding there was “good cause,” but the error was harmless.

Thursday’s opinions
Indiana Supreme Court

Gayle Fischer v. Michael and Noel Heymann
49S02-1309-PL-620
Civil plenary. Affirms the award of damages and attorney fees to Fischer after the Heymanns broke their contract to purchase her condo. Affirms the trial court’s refusal to find that Fischer’s only reasonable option to mitigate her damages was to respond to the Heymanns’ demands. The trial court did not err in finding that Fischer should have mitigated her damages by selling the condo for $240,000 in February 2007.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Todd DeWayne Kelly v. State of Indiana
41A01-1311-CR-519
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor invasion of privacy. The state presented clear evidence that Kelly indirectly communicated with his ex-wife, who had a protective order against Kelly, when he sent a text to their daughter, who showed it to her mother.

Clyde Davis v. State of Indiana
49A02-1311-CR-938
Criminal. Reverses conviction of Class B misdemeanor public intoxication. There is no evidence Davis was in danger – past or present – at the time of his arrest and the state’s argument that he was in danger of being struck by a car was speculative.

Moran Electric Service, Inc., and Threaded Rod Company, Inc. v. Commissioner, Indiana Department of Environmental Management, City of Indianapolis, Ertel Manufacturing Corp.
49A02-1305-MI-432
Miscellaneous/Rehearing. Affirms original opinion in all respects. The original opinion did not misinterpret the trial court’s role in the environmental action involving Moran, Threaded Rod and Ertel with regard to disbursement of escrowed funds. IDEM cannot perform remedial actions and obtain damages from a party through an administrative order – it must go to court to obtain those.

Carlin Graffenread v. State of Indiana
49A05-1310-CR-499
Criminal. Affirms denial of motion to defer dealing in marijuana charge. The language of Indiana Code Section 35-48-4-12 is clear and unambiguous on its face and does not run afoul of double jeopardy or collateral estoppels protections.

Joseph M. Bell v. State of Indiana (NFP)
20A03-1311-CR-464
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A felony attempted dealing in methamphetamine.

Phyllis Roy v. Jerry Gidrewicz (NFP)
45A03-1306-PO-263
Protective order. Affirms trial court’s denial of Roy’s motion to correct error.

Kenneth Ferrell v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A04-1311-CR-567
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony residential entry.

The Indiana Tax Court posted no opinions by IL deadline. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals posted no Indiana decisions Thursday by IL deadline.

 

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  1. The appellate court just said doctors can be sued for reporting child abuse. The most dangerous form of child abuse with the highest mortality rate of any form of child abuse (between 6% and 9% according to the below listed studies). Now doctors will be far less likely to report this form of dangerous child abuse in Indiana. If you want to know what this is, google the names Lacey Spears, Julie Conley (and look at what happened when uninformed judges returned that child against medical advice), Hope Ybarra, and Dixie Blanchard. Here is some really good reporting on what this allegation was: http://media.star-telegram.com/Munchausenmoms/ Here are the two research papers: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0145213487900810 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0145213403000309 25% of sibling are dead in that second study. 25%!!! Unbelievable ruling. Chilling. Wrong.

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  3. Mr. Levin says that the BMV engaged in misconduct--that the BMV (or, rather, someone in the BMV) knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged fees but did nothing to correct the situation. Such misconduct, whether engaged in by one individual or by a group, is called theft (defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the other person of the property's value or use). Theft is a crime in Indiana (as it still is in most of the civilized world). One wonders, then, why there have been no criminal prosecutions of BMV officials for this theft? Government misconduct doesn't occur in a vacuum. An individual who works for or oversees a government agency is responsible for the misconduct. In this instance, somebody (or somebodies) with the BMV, at some time, knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged. What's more, this person (or these people), even after having the error of their ways pointed out to them, did nothing to fix the problem. Instead, the overcharges continued. Thus, the taxpayers of Indiana are also on the hook for the millions of dollars in attorneys fees (for both sides; the BMV didn't see fit to avail itself of the services of a lawyer employed by the state government) that had to be spent in order to finally convince the BMV that stealing money from Indiana motorists was a bad thing. Given that the BMV official(s) responsible for this crime continued their misconduct, covered it up, and never did anything until the agency reached an agreeable settlement, it seems the statute of limitations for prosecuting these folks has not yet run. I hope our Attorney General is paying attention to this fiasco and is seriously considering prosecution. Indiana, the state that works . . . for thieves.

  4. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.

  5. From the article's fourth paragraph: "Her work underscores the blurry lines in Russia between the government and businesses . . ." Obviously, the author of this piece doesn't pay much attention to the "blurry lines" between government and businesses that exist in the United States. And I'm not talking only about Trump's alleged conflicts of interest. When lobbyists for major industries (pharmaceutical, petroleum, insurance, etc) have greater access to this country's elected representatives than do everyday individuals (i.e., voters), then I would say that the lines between government and business in the United States are just as blurry, if not more so, than in Russia.

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