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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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  1. Applause, applause, applause ..... but, is this duty to serve the constitutional order not much more incumbent upon the State, whose only aim is to be pure and unadulterated justice, than defense counsel, who is also charged with gaining a result for a client? I agree both are responsible, but it seems to me that the government attorneys bear a burden much heavier than defense counsel .... "“I note, much as we did in Mechling v. State, 16 N.E.3d 1015 (Ind. Ct. App. 2014), trans. denied, that the attorneys representing the State and the defendant are both officers of the court and have a responsibility to correct any obvious errors at the time they are committed."

  2. Do I have to hire an attorney to get co-guardianship of my brother? My father has guardianship and my older sister was his co-guardian until this Dec 2014 when she passed and my father was me to go on as the co-guardian, but funds are limit and we need to get this process taken care of quickly as our fathers health isn't the greatest. So please advise me if there is anyway to do this our self or if it requires a lawyer? Thank you

  3. I have been on this program while on parole from 2011-2013. No person should be forced mentally to share private details of their personal life with total strangers. Also giving permission for a mental therapist to report to your parole agent that your not participating in group therapy because you don't have the financial mean to be in the group therapy. I was personally singled out and sent back three times for not having money and also sent back within the six month when you aren't to be sent according to state law. I will work to het this INSOMM's removed from this state. I also had twelve or thirteen parole agents with a fifteen month period. Thanks for your time.

  4. Our nation produces very few jurists of the caliber of Justice DOUGLAS and his peers these days. Here is that great civil libertarian, who recognized government as both a blessing and, when corrupted by ideological interests, a curse: "Once the investigator has only the conscience of government as a guide, the conscience can become ‘ravenous,’ as Cromwell, bent on destroying Thomas More, said in Bolt, A Man For All Seasons (1960), p. 120. The First Amendment mirrors many episodes where men, harried and harassed by government, sought refuge in their conscience, as these lines of Thomas More show: ‘MORE: And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Paradise for doing according to your conscience, *575 and I am damned for not doing according to mine, will you come with me, for fellowship? ‘CRANMER: So those of us whose names are there are damned, Sir Thomas? ‘MORE: I don't know, Your Grace. I have no window to look into another man's conscience. I condemn no one. ‘CRANMER: Then the matter is capable of question? ‘MORE: Certainly. ‘CRANMER: But that you owe obedience to your King is not capable of question. So weigh a doubt against a certainty—and sign. ‘MORE: Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But if it is flat, will the King's command make it round? And if it is round, will the King's command flatten it? No, I will not sign.’ Id., pp. 132—133. DOUGLAS THEN WROTE: Where government is the Big Brother,11 privacy gives way to surveillance. **909 But our commitment is otherwise. *576 By the First Amendment we have staked our security on freedom to promote a multiplicity of ideas, to associate at will with kindred spirits, and to defy governmental intrusion into these precincts" Gibson v. Florida Legislative Investigation Comm., 372 U.S. 539, 574-76, 83 S. Ct. 889, 908-09, 9 L. Ed. 2d 929 (1963) Mr. Justice DOUGLAS, concurring. I write: Happy Memorial Day to all -- God please bless our fallen who lived and died to preserve constitutional governance in our wonderful series of Republics. And God open the eyes of those government officials who denounce the constitutions of these Republics by arbitrary actions arising out capricious motives.

  5. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

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