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Opinions July 31, 2014

July 31, 2014
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
The following opinion was issued after IL deadline Wednesday.

United States of America v. William J. Davidson
14-1158
Criminal. Reverses denial of Davidson’s motion for a reduction of his 30-year sentence under the revised federal guidelines for crack cocaine sentences. Remands for reconsideration of the motion, finding the court erred in equating jointly undertaken criminal activity with conspiracy.

Indiana Court of Appeals
William T. Calvert v. State of Indiana
32A01-1312-CR-535
Criminal. Reversed conviction of illegal consumption of alcohol by a minor, a Class C misdemeanor. Rules the trial court should have granted a continuance rather than try Calvert in absentia. Calvert, a private in the U.S. Army, was denied his constitutional right to be present at his trial because he was on deployment in Afghanistan when his hearing was held. Remands for a new trial.

Linda M. Turner v. Sally A. Kent and Stanley J. Kazlauski
64A05-1310-TR-510
Trust. Affirms summary judgment in favor of apellees-petitioners, concluding that the Indiana Trust Code prohibits incorporation by reference of specific gifts and real property, and therefore, the separate writing bequeathing real property to Kent and Kazlauski is invalid. The real property must be distributed under the equal shares provision of the trust.

State of Indiana v. Chase R. Downey
10A01-1310-CR-432
Criminal. Reverses order setting aside an order to transfer funds seized from a defendant in a felony marijuana possession case. The majority concluded Clark Division One Circuit Court abused its discretion by setting aside the order issued in Clark Division Three Circuit Court, a venue of equal jurisdiction. The majority also ruled Downey’s request that the funds be returned to him is moot because the money was turned over to federal authorities. Dissenting Judge Margret Robb would affirm the order to set aside, noting the motion to transfer funds was filed in Division Three and signed by the Division One judge. She also noted Downey had no notice of the motion before it was ordered, and she disagreed that his request was moot because the money still exists even if not in the state’s immediate possession.

Brookview Properties, LLC and First Merchants Bank of Central Indiana v. Plainfield Plan Commission

32A04-1312-PL-606
Civil plenary. Affirms judgment in favor of the Plainfield Plan Commission. Finds the plan commission’s denial of Brookview’s petition for development of 300-unit apartment complex was not arbitrary or capricious. Rules the plan commission’s findings are supported by substantial evidence and reject’s Brookview’s argument that the commission’s decision constitutes an uncompensated taking in violation of the U.S. and Indiana constitutions.

Marlon D. McKnight v. State of Indiana (NFP)
20A03-1308-PC-333
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Tobin Pettiet v. State of Indiana (NFP)
02A03-1312-CR-510
Criminal. Affirms three-year sentence for pleading guilty to domestic battery, a Class D felony.

Joshua W. Sanford v. State of Indiana (NFP)
82A01-1312-CR-552
Criminal. Affirms conviction of theft, as a Class D felony.

Ronald Williams v. State of Indiana (NFP)
02A03-1311-CR-451
Criminal. Affirms conviction of murder and executed sentence of 65 years.

Terry Lee Carr v. State of Indiana (NFP)
90A05-1311-CR-548
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony theft.

Robert Hubbard v. State of Indiana (NFP)
02A05-1312-CR-622
Criminal. Affirms six-year aggregate sentence for pleading guilty to Class D felony residential entry and Class D felony invasion of privacy and status as a habitual offender.

Justin Stephens v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1312-CR-598
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B misdemeanor public intoxication.  

Mark McCoy v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1310-CR-531
Criminal. Affirms convictions for three counts of child molesting, Class A felonies, and one count each for criminal confinement, intimidation, and child molesting, all Class C felonies.

The Indiana Supreme Court and Tax Court posted no opinions by IL deadline. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals issued no Indiana decisions by IL deadline.  
 

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  1. People have heard of Magna Carta, and not the Provisions of Oxford & Westminster. Not that anybody really cares. Today, it might be considered ethnic or racial bias to talk about the "Anglo Saxon common law." I don't even see the word English in the blurb above. Anyhow speaking of Edward I-- he was famously intolerant of diversity himself viz the Edict of Expulsion 1290. So all he did too like making parliament a permanent institution-- that all must be discredited. 100 years from now such commemorations will be in the dustbin of history.

  2. Oops, I meant discipline, not disciple. Interesting that those words share such a close relationship. We attorneys are to be disciples of the law, being disciplined to serve the law and its source, the constitutions. Do that, and the goals of Magna Carta are advanced. Do that not and Magna Carta is usurped. Do that not and you should be disciplined. Do that and you should be counted a good disciple. My experiences, once again, do not reveal a process that is adhering to the due process ideals of Magna Carta. Just the opposite, in fact. Braveheart's dying rebel (for a great cause) yell comes to mind.

  3. It is not a sign of the times that many Ind licensed attorneys (I am not) would fear writing what I wrote below, even if they had experiences to back it up. Let's take a minute to thank God for the brave Baron's who risked death by torture to tell the government that it was in the wrong. Today is a career ruination that whistleblowers risk. That is often brought on by denial of licenses or disciple for those who dare speak truth to power. Magna Carta says truth rules power, power too often claims that truth matters not, only Power. Fight such power for the good of our constitutional republics. If we lose them we have only bureaucratic tyranny to pass onto our children. Government attorneys, of all lawyers, should best realize this and work to see our patrimony preserved. I am now a government attorney (once again) in Kansas, and respecting the rule of law is my passion, first and foremost.

  4. I have dealt with more than a few I-465 moat-protected government attorneys and even judges who just cannot seem to wrap their heads around the core of this 800 year old document. I guess monarchial privileges and powers corrupt still ..... from an academic website on this fantastic "treaty" between the King and the people ... "Enduring Principles of Liberty Magna Carta was written by a group of 13th-century barons to protect their rights and property against a tyrannical king. There are two principles expressed in Magna Carta that resonate to this day: "No freeman shall be taken, imprisoned, disseised, outlawed, banished, or in any way destroyed, nor will We proceed against or prosecute him, except by the lawful judgment of his peers or by the law of the land." "To no one will We sell, to no one will We deny or delay, right or justice." Inspiration for Americans During the American Revolution, Magna Carta served to inspire and justify action in liberty’s defense. The colonists believed they were entitled to the same rights as Englishmen, rights guaranteed in Magna Carta. They embedded those rights into the laws of their states and later into the Constitution and Bill of Rights. The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution ("no person shall . . . be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.") is a direct descendent of Magna Carta's guarantee of proceedings according to the "law of the land." http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/featured_documents/magna_carta/

  5. I'm not sure what's more depressing: the fact that people would pay $35,000 per year to attend an unaccredited law school, or the fact that the same people "are hanging in there and willing to follow the dean’s lead in going forward" after the same school fails to gain accreditation, rendering their $70,000 and counting education worthless. Maybe it's a good thing these people can't sit for the bar.

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