Opinions July 21, 2014

July 21, 2014
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Donella Locke
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Larry J. McKinney.
Criminal. Affirms Locke’s sentence of 57 months in prison, three years of supervised release and order she pay more than $340,000 in restitution to lenders for her role in a real estate fraud scheme. Locke argued the District Court erred when it failed to reduce the loss amount incurred as a result of her convicted conduct by the amounts the victims received when they sold the real estate that secured the fraudulently obtained loans, but she waived this issue.

Indiana Supreme Court
Camoplast Crocker, LLC, The Kelch Corporation, and Seats, Inc. v. Kris Schoolcraft, as Personal Representative of the Wrongful Death Estate of Rickie D. Schoolcraft, Deceased, et al.
Civil tort. Grants transfer and affirms denial of new defendants’ motion to dismiss or judgment on the pleadings, arguing the motion to amend the complaint to add them as defendants was filed too late. Expressly adopts and incorporates by reference pursuant to Ind. App. Rule 58(A)(1) the Court of Appeals opinion in this case.

Indiana Court of Appeals
James Giles, Individually and as Executor of the Estate of Ruth Giles, deceased v. Anonymous Physician I, Anonymous Corporation I, Anonymous Hospital I, Anonymous Physician II, et al.
Civil tort. Affirms summary judgment to Anonymous Physician I on Giles’ medical malpractice claim. Caselaw is clear that a physician who does not treat a patient or perform some affirmative act regarding the patient has no physician-patient relationship and thus owes no duty to that patient.

Hi-Tec Properties, LLC v. Brittany Murphy, Kendall Murphy, Lorie Murphy, and Jay Frazier
Civil tort. Reverses a portion of the compensatory damages awarded to the plaintiffs on their claims for negligence, breach of contract and fraud against Hi-Tec. Lorie Murphy cannot collect any damages because she is not a party on the lease and Kendall Murphy is only entitled to $2,360 for the rent he paid on adult daughter Brittany Murphy's apartment. Remands with instructions for revision. The trial court did not err when it concluded that the exculpatory clause in the rental lease was void as against public policy. Affirms $15,000 in punitive damages to Brittany Murphy.  

Alvino Pizano v. Indiana Attorney General Gregory Zoeller, et al.

Miscellaneous. Affirms dismissal of Pizano’s lawsuit claiming he was entitled to credit time for earning a bachelor’s degree from Ball State University while incarcerated. The case was correctly dismissed as moot because the state awarded Pizano the credit time and he has since been released from incarceration, so he has been granted all possible relief.

Glenn Hatmaker v. Betty Hatmaker (NFP)
Domestic relation. Affirms order restricting Glenn Hatmaker’s parenting time to supervised parenting time two hours per week.

In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of: Z.S. (Minor Child) and R.S. (Father) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)
Juvenile. Affirms involuntary termination of parental rights.

Timothy E. Strowmatt v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Post conviction. Affirms order dismissing petition for writ of state habeas corpus.

Charles Howlett v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B misdemeanor criminal mischief.

The Indiana Tax Court posted no opinions by IL deadline.


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  1. This is ridiculous. Most JDs not practicing law don't know squat to justify calling themselves a lawyer. Maybe they should try visiting the inside of a courtroom before they go around calling themselves lawyers. This kind of promotional BS just increases the volume of people with JDs that are underqualified thereby dragging all the rest of us down likewise.

  2. I think it is safe to say that those Hoosier's with the most confidence in the Indiana judicial system are those Hoosier's who have never had the displeasure of dealing with the Hoosier court system.

  3. I have an open CHINS case I failed a urine screen I have since got clean completed IOP classes now in after care passed home inspection my x sister in law has my children I still don't even have unsupervised when I have been clean for over 4 months my x sister wants to keep the lids for good n has my case working with her I just discovered n have proof that at one of my hearing dcs case worker stated in court to the judge that a screen was dirty which caused me not to have unsupervised this was at the beginning two weeks after my initial screen I thought the weed could have still been in my system was upset because they were suppose to check levels n see if it was going down since this was only a few weeks after initial instead they said dirty I recently requested all of my screens from redwood because I take prescriptions that will show up n I was having my doctor look at levels to verify that matched what I was prescripted because dcs case worker accused me of abuseing when I got my screens I found out that screen I took that dcs case worker stated in court to judge that caused me to not get granted unsupervised was actually negative what can I do about this this is a serious issue saying a parent failed a screen in court to judge when they didn't please advise

  4. I have a degree at law, recent MS in regulatory studies. Licensed in KS, admitted b4 S& 7th circuit, but not to Indiana bar due to political correctness. Blacklisted, nearly unemployable due to hostile state action. Big Idea: Headwinds can overcome, esp for those not within the contours of the bell curve, the Lego Movie happiness set forth above. That said, even without the blacklisting for holding ideas unacceptable to the Glorious State, I think the idea presented above that a law degree open many vistas other than being a galley slave to elitist lawyers is pretty much laughable. (Did the law professors of Indiana pay for this to be published?)

  5. Joe, you might want to do some reading on the fate of Hoosier whistleblowers before you get your expectations raised up.