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. Especially I would like to see all the republican voting patriotic good ole boys to stop and understand that the wars they have been volunteering for all along (especially the past decade at least) have not been for God & Jesus etc no far from it unless you think George Washington's face on the US dollar is god (and we know many do). When I saw the movie about Chris Kyle, I thought wow how many Hoosiers are just like this guy, out there taking orders to do the nasty on the designated bad guys, sometimes bleeding and dying, sometimes just serving and coming home to defend a system that really just views them as reliable cannon fodder. Maybe if the Christians of the red states would stop volunteering for the imperial legions and begin collecting welfare instead of working their butts off, there would be a change in attitude from the haughty professorial overlords that tell us when democracy is allowed and when it isn't. To come home from guarding the borders of the sandbox just to hear if they want the government to protect this country's borders then they are racists and bigots. Well maybe the professorial overlords should gird their own loins for war and fight their own battles in the sandbox. We can see what kind of system this really is from lawsuits like this and we can understand who it really serves. NOT US.... I mean what are all you Hoosiers waving the flag for, the right of the president to start wars of aggression to benefit the Saudis, the right of gay marriage, the right for illegal immigrants to invade our country, and the right of the ACLU to sue over displays of Baby Jesus? The right of the 1 percenters to get richer, the right of zombie banks to use taxpayer money to stay out of bankruptcy? The right of Congress to start a pissing match that could end in WWIII in Ukraine? None of that crud benefits us. We should be like the Amish. You don't have to go far from this farcical lawsuit to find the wise ones, they're in the buggies in the streets not far away....

  2. Moreover, we all know that the well heeled ACLU has a litigation strategy of outspending their adversaries. And, with the help of the legal system well trained in secularism, on top of the genuinely and admittedly secular 1st amendment, they have the strategic high ground. Maybe Christians should begin like the Amish to withdraw their services from the state and the public and become themselves a "people who shall dwell alone" and foster their own kind and let the other individuals and money interests fight it out endlessly in court. I mean, if "the people" don't see how little the state serves their interests, putting Mammon first at nearly every turn, then maybe it is time they wake up and smell the coffee. Maybe all the displays of religiosity by American poohbahs on down the decades have been a mask of piety that concealed their own materialistic inclinations. I know a lot of patriotic Christians don't like that notion but I entertain it more and more all the time.

  3. If I were a judge (and I am not just a humble citizen) I would be inclined to make a finding that there was no real controversy and dismiss them. Do we allow a lawsuit every time someone's feelings are hurt now? It's preposterous. The 1st amendment has become a sword in the hands of those who actually want to suppress religious liberty according to their own backers' conception of how it will serve their own private interests. The state has a duty of impartiality to all citizens to spend its judicial resources wisely and flush these idiotic suits over Nativity Scenes down the toilet where they belong... however as Christians we should welcome them as they are the very sort of persecution that separates the sheep from the wolves.

  4. What about the single mothers trying to protect their children from mentally abusive grandparents who hide who they truly are behind mounds and years of medication and have mentally abused their own children to the point of one being in jail and the other was on drugs. What about trying to keep those children from being subjected to the same abuse they were as a child? I can understand in the instance about the parent losing their right and the grandparent having raised the child previously! But not all circumstances grant this being OKAY! some of us parents are trying to protect our children and yes it is our God given right to make those decisions for our children as adults!! This is not just black and white and I will fight every ounce of this to get denied

  5. Mr Smith the theory of Christian persecution in Indiana has been run by the Indiana Supreme Court and soundly rejected there is no such thing according to those who rule over us. it is a thought crime to think otherwise.