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Opinions July 28, 2010

July 28, 2010
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Jamarkus Gorman
09-3010
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Sarah Evans Barker.
Criminal. Affirms conviction of perjury after testifying falsely before a grand jury. There is ample evidence to support the finding Gorman perjured himself with regard to the possession of a Bentley. The evidence was properly admitted, albeit as direct evidence rather than inextricable intertwinement evidence, and its probative value was not substantially outweighed by any risk of unfair prejudice.  

Indiana Supreme Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Adoption of H.L.W. Jr.; H.L.W. Sr. and IDCS v. L.M.D. and D.P.D.
71A03-0911-CV-516
Civil. Reverses grant of an adoption petition filed by L.M.D. and D.P.D. regarding H.L.W. Jr. The consent statutes of Indiana Code Chapter 31-19-9 enabled the trial court to consider the adoption proceeding despite the pending CHINS action. DCS met its burden of demonstrating by clear and convincing evidence that its withholding of consent to the adoption was in the child’s best interests.

Nelson Rios v. State of Indiana
49A02-0912-CR-1273
Criminal. Reverses order that Rios serve consecutive sentences for convictions of two counts of dealing in a lookalike substance as Class C felonies. The imposition of consecutive sentences based on incidents that were virtually identical and very close in time contravenes rulings in Beno and Gregory. Remands for a new sentencing determination.

Putnam County Sheriff v. Pamela Rice
60A01-0911-CV-551
Civil. Affirms order denying the sheriff’s motion to dismiss filed in the civil action brought by Price for damages resulting from a car accident. The sheriff, through its agent Deputy Wallace, owed a common law duty of ordinary and reasonable care to warn the traveling public of the known hazardous condition on the icy road.

Paul Komyatti, Jr. v. State of Indiana
52A04-1002-MI-74
Miscellaneous. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief that challenged the revocation of Komyatti’s parole. There are no genuine questions of fact with respect to Komyatti’s PCR petition and the state was entitled to judgment as a matter of law.

James Townsend v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A04-0912-CR-703
Criminal. Affirms conviction of and sentence for murder.

Gerardo Bensez v. State of Indiana (NFP)
03A01-0912-CR-611
Criminal. Dismisses appeal of conviction following guilty plea to Class B felony dealing in cocaine.

Marlinda Nunley v. State of Indiana (NFP)
48A02-0912-CR-1177
Criminal. Affirms finding Nunley violated the terms of her probation and that she serve two years of her previously suspended sentence in the Department of Correction.

Thomas Eugene Ferrell v. State of Indiana (NFP)
46A03-0910-CR-471
Criminal. Affirms conviction of and sentence for Class B felony dealing in cocaine.

In The Guardianship of John Joseph Bortka, II (NFP)
88A01-0907-CV-343
Civil. Affirms order that John Jerald Bortka, former guardian of John Joseph Bortka and his estate, reimburse the guardianship estate in the amount of $12,034 and award of attorney fees to Paula Bortka Wells. Remands with instructions to calculate the amount of appellate costs Paula is entitled to from John Jerald Bortka.

Jeremy Culp v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1001-CR-11
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony theft.

Bruce Hatfield, et al. v. Area Plan Commission of Evansville (NFP)
82A01-0910-CV-502
Civil. Reverses trial court’s decision limiting Hatfield and others’ damages for an alleged taking.

Term. of Parent-Child Rel. of T.H.C.; T.C. & C.P. v. I.D.C.S. (NFP)
71A04-1001-JT-104
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.
 

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  1. 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."

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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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