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Opinions July 27, 2010

July 27, 2010
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Marion County Coroner’s Office v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and John Linehan
09-3595
Petition for review of an order of the EEOC. Upholds the EEOC determination that Coroner Ackles’ stated reason for taking action against Linehan was pretextual and that the EEOC had jurisdiction over Linehan’s retaliation claim. Reduces the compensatory damage award from $200,000 to a suggested $20,000. If the respondents do not consent to the remittitur, there will be a new hearing on the issue.

Prime Eagle Group Ltd., as assignee of the claims of Nakornthai Strip Mill Public Co. Ltd. v. Steel Dynamics Inc.
09-1663
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Fort Wayne Division, Judge James T. Moody.
Civil. Affirms judgment for Steel Dynamics in Prime Eagle’s suit that Steel Dynamics must pay damages in tort for withdrawing from a steel mill venture in Asia. Nakornthai’s injury began no later than July 1999 and the company had knowledge of the injury then, so its suit is beyond the statute of limitations.

Indiana Supreme Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals

Steven Spangler and Heidi Brown v. Barbara Bechtel, Expectations Women's Health & Child Bearing Center, et al.
49A05-0908-CV-482
Civil. Reverses summary judgment in favor of the defendants in Spangler and Brown’s suit for wrongful death and emotional distress after their child was stillborn. The parents have a valid claim for negligent infliction of emotional distress based on Brown’s direct involvement in the stillbirth. Holds that a mother who suffers a stillbirth due to medical malpractice qualifies as an injured patient and satisfies the actual victim requirement under the Medical Malpractice Act regardless of whether the malpractice resulted in injuries to the mother, the fetus, or both, and the parents may assert a claim for negligent infliction of emotional distress under Shuamber’s modified impact rule.

David A. Calvert v. State of Indiana
40A05-0911-CR-659
Criminal. Reverses conviction of Class B felony attempted robbery with a deadly weapon because the state failed to prove a substantial step. Calvert’s conviction of possession of a sawed-off shotgun as a Class D felony violates double jeopardy. Affirms convictions of Class B felony possession of a firearm as a serious violent felon. Affirms sentence and remands with instructions. Judge Kirsch dissents in part.

E.W. Revocable Trust
29A02-0910-CV-1004
Civil. Affirms order that the trustee pay the beneficiaries’ attorney fees, the reduction of the requested trustee fees, and the reduction of the amount of trustee’s attorney fees to be borne by the trust. The trustee breached duties owed to the objecting beneficiaries. Reverses order that the trustee bear the remaining portion of his attorney fees personally.

Cornelius Tyrone Lacey, Sr. v. State of Indiana
02A05-0910-CR-562
Criminal. Reverses denial of motion to suppress evidence obtained during the execution of a search warrant. There was probable cause for the issuance of the search warrant but the unilateral decision to dispense with the knock-and-announce rule was unreasonable under the Indiana Constitution. Judge Barnes concurs in result.

Damion Wilkins v. State of Indiana
02A03-0910-CR-451
Criminal. Reverses denial of motion to suppress evidence obtained during the execution of a search warrant. There was probable cause for the issuance of the search warrant but the unilateral decision to dispense with the knock-and-announce rule was unreasonable under the Indiana Constitution. Judge Barnes concurs in result.

Cedric Lewis v. State of Indiana
49A02-0908-CR-736
Criminal. Reverses conviction of Class B felony possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon. The state failed to satisfy its burden of showing that the warrantless search of the vehicle and the seizure of the gun were satisfied. Judge Kirsch concurs in result; Judge Mathias dissents.

Bradford Drake v. State of Indiana (NFP)
55A01-0912-CR-577
Criminal. Affirms sentence for two convictions of attempted murder as Class A felonies.

Term. of Parent-Child Rel. of M.D.; M.C. v. I.D.C.S. (NFP)
34A02-1001-JT-156
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.

Dionte-Daymone Jones v. State of Indiana (NFP)
45A05-1001-CR-4
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to Class D felony auto theft.

Daniel Brownlee v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-0912-CR-1259
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C felony burglary and Class D felony attempted theft.

James Eiteljorg, et al. v. Ralph E. Lean (NFP)
49A05-0912-CV-679
Civil. Reverses denial of Eiteljorg and Bharti’s motion for summary judgment in an action brought by Lean seeking contribution from them for violations of the Indiana Securities Law. Remands with instructions.

Daniel J. Emery v. State of Indiana (NFP)
52A04-0910-PC-583
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Associated Builders & Contractors Indiana Chapter, Inc., et al. v. Lori A. Torres (NFP)
49A02-0910-CV-995
Civil. Grants rehearing but affirms original opinion in all respects regarding the dismissal of the builders’ complaint for lack of standing.

Robert Emerson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
71A03-1001-CR-26
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C felony battery.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.
 

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  2. Hail to our Constitutional Law Expert in the Executive Office! “What you’re not paying attention to is the fact that I just took an action to change the law,” Obama said.

  3. What is this, the Ind Supreme Court thinking that there is a separation of powers and limited enumerated powers as delegated by a dusty old document? Such eighteen century thinking, so rare and unwanted by the elites in this modern age. Dictate to us, dictate over us, the massess are chanting! George Soros agrees. Time to change with times Ind Supreme Court, says all President Snows. Rule by executive decree is the new black.

  4. I made the same argument before a commission of the Indiana Supreme Court and then to the fedeal district and federal appellate courts. Fell flat. So very glad to read that some judges still beleive that evidentiary foundations matter.

  5. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

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