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Opinions July 20, 2010

July 20, 2010
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Brenda Chaney v. Plainfield Healthcare Center
09-3661
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
49A02-0908-CV-728
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
29A02-0911-CV-1097
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
29A04-1001-CR-24
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)

70A01-0911-CR-529
Criminal. Affirms trial court’s order resentencing Shepherd after he successfully pursued post-conviction relief.
 
Kayla Johnson v. Timothy J. Reinhardt (NFP)
92A03-0912-CV-586
Civil. Affirms trial court order for Johnson to pay a portion of Reinhardt’s attorney fees.
 
Daniel Brewington v. Melissa Brewington (NFP)
69A05-0909-CV-542
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)
71A04-0912-JV-729
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)
02A03-1002-DR-55
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)
82A01-1002-JT-76
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.

Zachary McCloud v. State of Indiana (NFP)
82A05-0911-CR-656
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)
49A04-0912-CR-701
Criminal. Affirms conviction of resisting law enforcement, a Class A misdemeanor.
 
Christopher W. Turner v. State of Indiana (NFP)
29A02-0905-CR-479
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)
32A01-1002-CR-48
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)
49A02-0912-JV-1280
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)
49A04-0912-JV-728
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
49T10-0906-TA-31
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. California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) End of Year Report 2014. (page 13) Under the current system many local registering agencies are challenged just keeping up with registration paperwork. It takes an hour or more to process each registrant, the majority of whom are low risk offenders. As a result law enforcement cannot monitor higher risk offenders more intensively in the community due to the sheer numbers on the registry. Some of the consequences of lengthy and unnecessary registration requirements actually destabilize the life’s of registrants and those -such as families- whose lives are often substantially impacted. Such consequences are thought to raise levels of known risk factors while providing no discernible benefit in terms of community safety. The full report is available online at. http://www.casomb.org/index.cfm?pid=231 National Institute of Justice (NIJ) US Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs United States of America. The overall conclusion is that Megan’s law has had no demonstrated effect on sexual offenses in New Jersey, calling into question the justification for start-up and operational costs. Megan’s Law has had no effect on time to first rearrest for known sex offenders and has not reduced sexual reoffending. Neither has it had an impact on the type of sexual reoffense or first-time sexual offense. The study also found that the law had not reduced the number of victims of sexual offenses. The full report is available online at. https://www.ncjrs.gov/app/publications/abstract.aspx? ID=247350 The University of Chicago Press for The Booth School of Business of the University of Chicago and The University of Chicago Law School Article DOI: 10.1086/658483 Conclusion. The data in these three data sets do not strongly support the effectiveness of sex offender registries. The national panel data do not show a significant decrease in the rate of rape or the arrest rate for sexual abuse after implementation of a registry via the Internet. The BJS data that tracked individual sex offenders after their release in 1994 did not show that registration had a significantly negative effect on recidivism. And the D.C. crime data do not show that knowing the location of sex offenders by census block can help protect the locations of sexual abuse. This pattern of noneffectiveness across the data sets does not support the conclusion that sex offender registries are successful in meeting their objectives of increasing public safety and lowering recidivism rates. The full report is available online at. http://www.jstor.org/stable/full/10.1086/658483 These are not isolated conclusions but are the same outcomes in the majority of conclusions and reports on this subject from multiple government agencies and throughout the academic community. People, including the media and other organizations should not rely on and reiterate the statements and opinions of the legislators or other people as to the need for these laws because of the high recidivism rates and the high risk offenders pose to the public which simply is not true and is pure hyperbole and fiction. They should rely on facts and data collected and submitted in reports from the leading authorities and credible experts in the fields such as the following. California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) Sex offender recidivism rate for a new sex offense is 0.8% (page 30) The full report is available online at http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Adult_Research_Branch/Research_Documents/2014_Outcome_Evaluation_Report_7-6-2015.pdf California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) (page 38) Sex offender recidivism rate for a new sex offense is 1.8% The full report is available online at. http://www.google.com/url?sa= t&source=web&cd=1&ved= 0CCEQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F% 2Fwww.cdcr.ca.gov%2FAdult_ Research_Branch%2FResearch_ documents%2FOutcome_ evaluation_Report_2013.pdf&ei= C9dSVePNF8HfoATX-IBo&usg=AFQjCNE9I6ueHz-o2mZUnuxLPTyiRdjDsQ Bureau of Justice Statistics 5 PERCENT OF SEX OFFENDERS REARRESTED FOR ANOTHER SEX CRIME WITHIN 3 YEARS OF PRISON RELEASE WASHINGTON, D.C. Within 3 years following their 1994 state prison release, 5.3 percent of sex offenders (men who had committed rape or sexual assault) were rearrested for another sex crime, the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced today. The full report is available online at. http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/press/rsorp94pr.cfm Document title; A Model of Static and Dynamic Sex Offender Risk Assessment Author: Robert J. McGrath, Michael P. Lasher, Georgia F. Cumming Document No.: 236217 Date Received: October 2011 Award Number: 2008-DD-BX-0013 Findings: Study of 759 adult male offenders under community supervision Re-arrest rate: 4.6% after 3-year follow-up The sexual re-offense rates for the 746 released in 2005 are much lower than what many in the public have been led to expect or believe. These low re-offense rates appear to contradict a conventional wisdom that sex offenders have very high sexual re-offense rates. The full report is available online at. https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/236217.pdf Document Title: SEX OFFENDER SENTENCING IN WASHINGTON STATE: RECIDIVISM RATES BY: Washington State Institute For Public Policy. A study of 4,091 sex offenders either released from prison or community supervision form 1994 to 1998 and examined for 5 years Findings: Sex Crime Recidivism Rate: 2.7% Link to Report: http://www.oncefallen.com/files/Washington_SO_Recid_2005.pdf Document Title: Indiana’s Recidivism Rates Decline for Third Consecutive Year BY: Indiana Department of Correction 2009. The recidivism rate for sex offenders returning on a new sex offense was 1.05%, one of the lowest in the nation. In a time when sex offenders continue to face additional post-release requirements that often result in their return to prison for violating technical rules such as registration and residency restrictions, the instances of sex offenders returning to prison due to the commitment of a new sex crime is extremely low. Findings: sex offenders returning on a new sex offense was 1.05% Link to Report: http://www.in.gov/idoc/files/RecidivismRelease.pdf Once again, These are not isolated conclusions but are the same outcomes in the majority of reports on this subject from multiple government agencies and throughout the academic community. No one can doubt that child sexual abuse is traumatic and devastating. The question is not whether the state has an interest in preventing such harm, but whether current laws are effective in doing so. Megan’s law is a failure and is destroying families and their children’s lives and is costing tax payers millions upon millions of dollars. The following is just one example of the estimated cost just to implement SORNA which many states refused to do. From Justice Policy Institute. Estimated cost to implement SORNA Here are some of the estimates made in 2009 expressed in 2014 current dollars: California, $66M; Florida, $34M; Illinois, $24M; New York, $35M; Pennsylvania, $22M; Texas, $44M. In 2014 dollars, Virginia’s estimate for implementation was $14M, and the annual operating cost after that would be $10M. For the US, the total is $547M. That’s over half a billion dollars – every year – for something that doesn’t work. http://www.justicepolicy.org/images/upload/08-08_FAC_SORNACosts_JJ.pdf. Attempting to use under-reporting to justify the existence of the registry is another myth, or a lie. This is another form of misinformation perpetrated by those who either have a fiduciary interest in continuing the unconstitutional treatment of a disfavored group or are seeking to justify their need for punishment for people who have already paid for their crime by loss of their freedom through incarceration and are now attempting to reenter society as honest citizens. When this information is placed into the public’s attention by naive media then you have to wonder if the media also falls into one of these two groups that are not truly interested in reporting the truth. Both of these groups of people that have that type of mentality can be classified as vigilantes, bullies, or sociopaths, and are responsible for the destruction of our constitutional values and the erosion of personal freedoms in this country. I think the media or other organizations need to do a in depth investigation into the false assumptions and false data that has been used to further these laws and to research all the collateral damages being caused by these laws and the unconstitutional injustices that are occurring across the country. They should include these injustices in their report so the public can be better informed on what is truly happening in this country on this subject. Thank you for your time.

  2. Freedom as granted in the Constitution cannot be summarily disallowed without Due Process. Unable to to to the gym, church, bowling alley? What is this 1984 level nonsense? Congrats to Brian for having the courage to say that this was enough! and Congrats to the ACLU on the win!

  3. America's hyper-phobia about convicted sex offenders must end! Politicians must stop pandering to knee-jerk public hysteria. And the public needs to learn the facts. Research by the California Sex Offender Management Board as shown a recidivism rate for convicted sex offenders of less than 1%. Less than 1%! Furthermore, research shows that by year 17 after their conviction, a convicted sex offender is no more likely to commit a new sex offense than any other member of the public. Put away your torches and pitchforks. Get the facts. Stop hysteria.

  4. He was convicted 23 years ago. How old was he then? He probably was a juvenile. People do stupid things, especially before their brain is fully developed. Why are we continuing to punish him in 2016? If he hasn't re-offended by now, it's very, very unlikely he ever will. He paid for his mistake sufficiently. Let him live his life in peace.

  5. This year, Notre Dame actually enrolled an equal amount of male and female students.

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