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Opinions July 22, 2014

July 22, 2014
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The following 7th Circuit Court of Appeals opinion was posted after IL deadline Monday:

Connie J. Orton-Bell v. State of Indiana
13-1235
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge William T. Lawrence.
Civil. Reverses summary judgment for the state on Orton-Bell’s lawsuit alleging sex discriminating and hostile work environment claims after she was fired for having an affair with the major in charge of custody at the prison where they worked. There is evidence that she was similarly situated to the major, who was allowed to resign, keep his benefits, and return to work at the DOC through a contractor. Affirms judgment for the state on her retaliation claims.


Tuesday’s opinions
Indiana Supreme Court
Kenyatta Erkins v. State of Indiana
58S01-1309-CR-586
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A felony conspiracy to commit robbery resulting in serious bodily injury. Presents first impression issue of whether the state must establish the existence of serious bodily injury for Erkins’ conviction to stand. Because conspiracy is a crime consisting of intent to commit an underlying crime, an agreement between or among conspirators to commit the underlying crime, and an overt act by one of the conspirators in furtherance of the agreement, the state needed only to prove these elements beyond a reasonable doubt to support his conviction. Justice Rucker concurs in part and dissents in part to which Chief Justice Dickson joins.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Mark Rolley v. Melissa Rolley
87A01-1307-DR-330
Domestic relation. Affirms grant of Melissa Rolley’s petition to modify child support from $350 per week to $1,419 per week. Finds the trial court did not err in based on the appeals court’s analysis of the plain language of the child support modification statute, its recognition that the law governing child support agreements differs from that governing other contractual agreements, and its recognition that the ultimate concern is the child’s well-being.

City of Gary v. Review Board of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development and Guadalupe T. Franco
93A02-1312-EX-1016
Agency appeal. Affirms decision that Franco had been discharged but not for just cause and is entitled to unemployment benefits. The paperwork documenting the chain of custody of a urine sample of Franco was not completed properly, and the city could have produced more information to prove Franco’s sample did arrive at the facility intact.

Steven R. Perry v. State of Indiana
39A01-1312-CR-517
Criminal. Affirms denial of Perry’s motion for credit time for time spent on electronic monitoring as a drug court program participant. A participant in drug court is not awaiting trial or awaiting sentencing under I.C. 35-50-6-3, and the statutes governing electronic monitoring as a condition of probation are inapplicable to a person who voluntarily participates in a drug court program.

James K. Melton, Perdue Foods, LLC f/k/a Perdue Farms Incorporated and FPP Business Services, Inc., et al. v. Chad Stephens, Guardian of the Person and Estate of Stacy S. Stephens and Chad Stephens
14A01-1308-CT-356
Civil tort. Affirms findings of fact and conclusions thereon determining that the substantive laws of the state of Illinois apply to a motor vehicle collision which occurred in that state between residents of Indiana. The place of the tort is significant to the action.

Tender Loving Care Management, Inc., d/b/a TLC Management LLC, et al. v. Randall Sherls, as Personal Representative of the Estate of Birdie Sherls, Deceased
45A05-1311-CT-562
Civil tort. Reverses trial court finding that an arbitration agreement was unenforceable because of ambiguity because the extrinsic evidence resolves the ambiguity surrounding the identity of the parties to the agreement. Concludes Birdie Sherls’ son had the authority to enter the agreement and therefore had the authority to waive her right to a jury trial. Remands for further proceedings.

Robert L. Dixon v. State of Indiana
84A01-1307-CR-339
Criminal. Reverses denial of motion to suppress certain evidence which was discovered through a pat-down search following a traffic infraction. The trial court abused its discretion when it denied Dixon’s motion to suppress evidence located in violation of Dixon’s Fourth Amendment rights. Judge Bradford dissents.

Scott Greenier v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A04-1312-CR-602
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B misdemeanor battery.

Jacob A. Phillips v. State of Indiana (NFP)
65A01-1312-CR-529
Criminal. Affirms sentence for three counts of Class B felony sexual misconduct with a minor.

In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of K.T., Minor Child, and K.S., Mother, K.S. v. Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)
49A05-1312-JT-580
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.

The Indiana Tax Court posted no opinions by IL deadline.
 

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  1. I like the concept. Seems like a good idea and really inexpensive to manage.

  2. I don't agree that this is an extreme case. There are more of these people than you realize - people that are vindictive and/or with psychological issues have clogged the system with baseless suits that are costly to the defendant and to taxpayers. Restricting repeat offenders from further abusing the system is not akin to restricting their freedon, but to protecting their victims, and the court system, from allowing them unfettered access. From the Supreme Court opinion "he has burdened the opposing party and the courts of this state at every level with massive, confusing, disorganized, defective, repetitive, and often meritless filings."

  3. So, if you cry wolf one too many times courts may "restrict" your ability to pursue legal action? Also, why is document production equated with wealth? Anyone can "produce probably tens of thousands of pages of filings" if they have a public library card. I understand this is an extreme case, but our Supreme Court really got this one wrong.

  4. He called our nation a nation of cowards because we didn't want to talk about race. That was a cheap shot coming from the top cop. The man who decides who gets the federal government indicts. Wow. Not a gentleman if that is the measure. More importantly, this insult delivered as we all understand, to white people-- without him or anybody needing to explain that is precisely what he meant-- but this is an insult to timid white persons who fear the government and don't want to say anything about race for fear of being accused a racist. With all the legal heat that can come down on somebody if they say something which can be construed by a prosecutor like Mr Holder as racist, is it any wonder white people-- that's who he meant obviously-- is there any surprise that white people don't want to talk about race? And as lawyers we have even less freedom lest our remarks be considered violations of the rules. Mr Holder also demonstrated his bias by publically visiting with the family of the young man who was killed by a police offering in the line of duty, which was a very strong indicator of bias agains the offer who is under investigation, and was a failure to lead properly by letting his investigators do their job without him predetermining the proper outcome. He also has potentially biased the jury pool. All in all this worsens race relations by feeding into the perception shared by whites as well as blacks that justice will not be impartial. I will say this much, I do not blame Obama for all of HOlder's missteps. Obama has done a lot of things to stay above the fray and try and be a leader for all Americans. Maybe he should have reigned Holder in some but Obama's got his hands full with other problelms. Oh did I mention HOlder is a bank crony who will probably get a job in a silkstocking law firm working for millions of bucks a year defending bankers whom he didn't have the integrity or courage to hold to account for their acts of fraud on the United States, other financial institutions, and the people. His tenure will be regarded by history as a failure of leadership at one of the most important jobs in our nation. Finally and most importantly besides him insulting the public and letting off the big financial cheats, he has been at the forefront of over-prosecuting the secrecy laws to punish whistleblowers and chill free speech. What has Holder done to vindicate the rights of privacy of the American public against the illegal snooping of the NSA? He could have charged NSA personnel with violations of law for their warrantless wiretapping which has been done millions of times and instead he did not persecute a single soul. That is a defalcation of historical proportions and it signals to the public that the government DOJ under him was not willing to do a damn thing to protect the public against the rapid growth of the illegal surveillance state. Who else could have done this? Nobody. And for that omission Obama deserves the blame too. Here were are sliding into a police state and Eric Holder made it go all the faster.

  5. JOE CLAYPOOL candidate for Superior Court in Harrison County - Indiana This candidate is misleading voters to think he is a Judge by putting Elect Judge Joe Claypool on his campaign literature. paragraphs 2 and 9 below clearly indicate this injustice to voting public to gain employment. What can we do? Indiana Code - Section 35-43-5-3: Deception (a) A person who: (1) being an officer, manager, or other person participating in the direction of a credit institution, knowingly or intentionally receives or permits the receipt of a deposit or other investment, knowing that the institution is insolvent; (2) knowingly or intentionally makes a false or misleading written statement with intent to obtain property, employment, or an educational opportunity; (3) misapplies entrusted property, property of a governmental entity, or property of a credit institution in a manner that the person knows is unlawful or that the person knows involves substantial risk of loss or detriment to either the owner of the property or to a person for whose benefit the property was entrusted; (4) knowingly or intentionally, in the regular course of business, either: (A) uses or possesses for use a false weight or measure or other device for falsely determining or recording the quality or quantity of any commodity; or (B) sells, offers, or displays for sale or delivers less than the represented quality or quantity of any commodity; (5) with intent to defraud another person furnishing electricity, gas, water, telecommunication, or any other utility service, avoids a lawful charge for that service by scheme or device or by tampering with facilities or equipment of the person furnishing the service; (6) with intent to defraud, misrepresents the identity of the person or another person or the identity or quality of property; (7) with intent to defraud an owner of a coin machine, deposits a slug in that machine; (8) with intent to enable the person or another person to deposit a slug in a coin machine, makes, possesses, or disposes of a slug; (9) disseminates to the public an advertisement that the person knows is false, misleading, or deceptive, with intent to promote the purchase or sale of property or the acceptance of employment;

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