Opinions July 20, 2010

July 20, 2010
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Brenda Chaney v. Plainfield Healthcare Center
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division. Judge Sarah Evans Barker.
Civil. Reverses the District Court’s order of summary judgment in favor of Plainfield Healthcare Center. Finds that Plainfield’s racial preference policy for patients violates Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. That policy, along with other incidents that occurred before Plainfield fired Chaney, contributed to a hostile work environment, and should be considered in determining whether Chaney was fired because of her race.

United States of America v. John Doe a/k/a Adaberto Guzman a/k/a Juaquin Tapia, Andres Cuellar-Chavez, and Enedeo Rodriguez Jr.
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Fort Wayne Division. Judge Theresa L. Springmann
09-1658, 09-1756, 09-2242
Criminal. Affirms convictions of and sentences for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than 100 kilograms of marijuana following a jury trial. Appellants were conspirators in a drug distribution ring whose scheme was infiltrated by an undercover officer. During sentencing hearings, the District Court overruled each defendant’s sentencing objections and imposed a sentence on each defendant.

Indiana Supreme Court had posted no opinions before IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Jeffery H. McCabe, as Representative of the Estate of Jean Francis McCabe (deceased) v. Commissioner, Indiana Dept. of Insurance
Civil. Affirms trial court’s grant of partial summary judgment in favor of commissioner of the Indiana Department of Insurance as administrator of the Indiana Patient’s Compensation Fund, in which the trial court found that attorney fees and expenses incurred by the attorney representing the personal representative of a wrongful death estate are not recoverable damages under Indiana’s Adult Wrongful Death Statute.
Steven M. Rosenbaum v. State of Indiana
Civil. Affirms trial court’s ruling Rosenbaum committed a Class A infraction even though he claimed he did not know the insurance had lapsed on the borrowed vehicle he was driving. According to Indiana Code Section 9-25-4-4, a person who knowingly operates a motor vehicle on a public highway, et al., commits a Class A infraction unless financial responsibility is in effect with respect to the motor vehicle.

John Thomas Pontius v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms convictions of five counts of possession of child pornography, a Class D felony, for which Pontius received an aggregate sentence of three years in the Department of Correction, with 545 days executed and 550 days suspended to probation, following a bench trial. On appeal, Pontius claimed two of his convictions violated double jeopardy and that he received ineffective assistance of trial counsel.

Michael J. Shepherd v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Criminal. Affirms trial court’s order resentencing Shepherd after he successfully pursued post-conviction relief.
Kayla Johnson v. Timothy J. Reinhardt (NFP)
Civil. Affirms trial court order for Johnson to pay a portion of Reinhardt’s attorney fees.
Daniel Brewington v. Melissa Brewington (NFP)
Civil. Affirms trial court’s judgment and final order on marriage dissolution decree, division of the marital estate, and award of sole custody of the parties’ two minor children to mother.
S.T.P. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Juvenile. Affirms juvenile court’s reinstatement of jurisdiction over S.T.P. for the purpose of establishing restitution after adjudicating him as a delinquent child and entering a dispositional order awarding him to the Department of Correction.

Andrew Hirsty v. Kathy Hirsty (NFP)
Civil. Affirms trial court’s determination of the child support to be paid by Andrew Hirsty’s ex-wife Kathy Hirsty.
Termination of Parent-Child Relationship of K.S; B.S. v. Indiana Dept. of Child Services (NFP)
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.

Zachary McCloud v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms convictions of an eight-year sentence for battery, a Class C felony, and resisting law enforcement, a Class A misdemeanor.
Kevin Early v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of resisting law enforcement, a Class A misdemeanor.
Christopher W. Turner v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms sentence of eight years for five counts of operating a vehicle while intoxicated following a guilty plea.
William Michael Lacy v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of strangulation; remands with instructions to vacate convictions of criminal confinement and battery.
Termination of Parent-Child Relationship of D.W. and T.W.; N.W. v. Indiana Dept. of Child Services, et al. (NFP)
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.
Termination of Parent-Child Relationship of J.C.; M.C. v. Marion County Dept. of Child Services, et al. (NFP)
Juvenile. Reverses the involuntary termination of M.C.’s parental rights to her child, J.C., and remands with instructions.

Indiana Tax Court
Dekalb Co. Eastern Community School District v. Dept. of Local Government Finance
Tax. Reverses final determination of the Department of Local Government Finance. Given the actual language used in Indiana Code Section 6-1.1-18-12, the phrase “actual percentage increase” means increase only. If there is no increase, however, a zero value should be used in steps 2 and 4 of Indiana Code Section 6-1.1-18-12(e). Remands for further proceedings.


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  1. I think the cops are doing a great job locking up criminals. The Murder rates in the inner cities are skyrocketing and you think that too any people are being incarcerated. Maybe we need to lock up more of them. We have the ACLU, BLM, NAACP, Civil right Division of the DOJ, the innocent Project etc. We have court system with an appeal process that can go on for years, with attorneys supplied by the government. I'm confused as to how that translates into the idea that the defendants are not being represented properly. Maybe the attorneys need to do more Pro-Bono work

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.