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Opinions July 26, 2010

July 26, 2010
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Mark Ciesiolka
09-2787
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division, Judge Rudy Lozano.
Criminal. Reverses conviction of knowingly attempting to persuade, induce, entice, and coerce a minor to engage in sexual activity. Because the District Court failed to explain its ruling that the four-factor test for introducing evidence of prior acts under Rule 404(b) was satisfied, and since the evidence introduced in unconstrained fashion is perhaps excessively prejudicial in light of its probative value, reverses and remands for a new trial. Judge Ripple dissents.

Indiana Supreme Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Green Tree Servicing, LLC v. Brian D. Brough
88A01-0911-CV-550
Civil. Reverses trial court order granting Brough’s request to vacate order for arbitration. Brough’s contractual obligation to arbitrate his Fair Credit Reporting Act claim against Green Tree was not invalidated by his bankruptcy discharge. Brough’s bankruptcy proceeding has ended, so arbitration of his FCRA claim will not jeopardize the bankruptcy case or affect Brough’s bankruptcy discharge. The contract’s arbitration clause was not terminated by Brough’s bankruptcy discharge. Remands with instructions to order the parties to arbitrate Brough’s FCRA claim.

Leonard Townsend Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
45A03-1004-PC-251
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

B.H. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
34A05-1002-JV-58
Juvenile. Affirms B.H.’s placement at the Department of Correction.

A.T.J. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
71A03-0912-JV-582
Juvenile. Affirms order A.T.J. be placed in the custody of the Department of Correction.

Frank W. Jackson III v. State of Indiana (NFP)
45A03-0907-CR-303
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B felony burglary.

A.B., Alleged to be C.H.I.N.S.; K.J. v. I.D.C.S. and Child Advocates (NFP)
49A02-1001-JC-35
Juvenile CHINS. Affirms finding A.B. is a child in need of services.


Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

The Indiana Supreme Court didn’t grant any transfers for the week ending July 23.

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  1. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.

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  4. From the article's fourth paragraph: "Her work underscores the blurry lines in Russia between the government and businesses . . ." Obviously, the author of this piece doesn't pay much attention to the "blurry lines" between government and businesses that exist in the United States. And I'm not talking only about Trump's alleged conflicts of interest. When lobbyists for major industries (pharmaceutical, petroleum, insurance, etc) have greater access to this country's elected representatives than do everyday individuals (i.e., voters), then I would say that the lines between government and business in the United States are just as blurry, if not more so, than in Russia.

  5. For some strange reason this story, like many on this ezine that question the powerful, seems to have been released in two formats. Prior format here: http://www.theindianalawyer.com/nominees-selected-for-us-attorney-in-indiana/PARAMS/article/44263 That observed, I must note that it is quite refreshing that denizens of the great unwashed (like me) can be allowed to openly question powerful elitists at ICE MILLER who are on the public dole like Selby. Kudos to those at this ezine who understand that they cannot be mere lapdogs to the powerful and corrupt, lest freedom bleed out. If you wonder why the Senator resisted Selby, consider reading the comments here for a theory: http://www.theindianalawyer.com/nominees-selected-for-us-attorney-in-indiana/PARAMS/article/44263

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