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Opinions June 19, 2014

June 19, 2014
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Devon Groves v. United States of America
12-3253
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division, Judge Robert L. Miller Jr.
Civil. Affirms denial of Groves’ Section 2255 motion to vacate, set aside or correct his sentence of 240 months in prison for one count each of possession of a firearm by a felon and possession of ammunition by a felon. Finds Groves was provided with effective assistance of counsel.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Thomson Inc. n/k/a Technicolor USA, Inc. v. Insurance Company of North America n/k/a Century Indemnity Company, et al., and XL Insurance America, et al.
49A05-1109-PL-470
Civil plenary. Denies XL’s request to dismiss this appeal; affirms the Duty to Defend Order as finalized by the Allocation Order and the Defense Cost Orders, the trial court’s finding of two “occurrences” under the XL and Century policies and the ruling that Thomson must satisfy the deductible for each occurrence for XL’s 2000, 2001, and 2002 primary policies. Reverses and remands with instructions to apply the self-insured
retentions in XL’s 2003, 2004 and 2005 primary policies. Reverses the trial court’s ruling that the “personal injury” provisions in XL’s 2000 primary policy are inapplicable. Affirms the trial court’s application of a “continuous trigger” to XL’s policies but reverses and remands with instructions to use when the disease became reasonably capable of medical diagnosis as the trigger’s manifestation point. Reverses the trial court’s use of an “all sums” allocation method for XL’s and Century’s policies and remands with instructions to use an appropriate pro rata allocation method. Affirms the trial court’s ruling that TCETVT and Thomson SA are insureds under XL’s primary and umbrella policies. Affirms the trial court’s ruling regarding the reasonableness and necessity of Thomson’s defense costs as to XL and the trial court’s award of prejudgment interest on the defense costs as to XL. Chief Judge Vaidik concurs in part and dissents in part.

State of Indiana v. Randall Scott Stiverson (NFP)
76A03-1311-CR-421
Criminal. Reverses grant of Stiverson’s motion to dismiss charges of Class D felony operating a vehicle while intoxicated causing serious bodily injury and Class A misdemeanor operating a vehicle while intoxicated in a manner that endangered a person. Remands for further proceedings.

Raven N. Young v. State of Indiana (NFP)
62A01-1401-CR-29
Criminal. Affirms revocation of placement in community corrections day reporting program and order Young serve her suspended sentence in the Department of Correction.

Clifford J. Elswick v. State of Indiana (NFP)
20A05-1311-CR-553
Criminal. Affirms denial of motion to correct erroneous sentence.

The Indiana Supreme Court and Tax Court posted no opinions by IL deadline.
 

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  1. Whether you support "gay marriage" or not is not the issue. The issue is whether the SCOTUS can extract from an unmentionable somewhere the notion that the Constitution forbids government "interference" in the "right" to marry. Just imagine time-traveling to Philadelphia in 1787. Ask James Madison if the document he and his fellows just wrote allowed him- or forbade government to "interfere" with- his "right" to marry George Washington? He would have immediately- and justly- summoned the Sergeant-at-Arms to throw your sorry self out into the street. Far from being a day of liberation, this is a day of capitulation by the Rule of Law to the Rule of What's Happening Now.

  2. With today's ruling, AG Zoeller's arguments in the cases of Obamacare and Same-sex Marriage can be relegated to the ash heap of history. 0-fer

  3. She must be a great lawyer

  4. Ind. Courts - "Illinois ranks 49th for how court system serves disadvantaged" What about Indiana? A story today from Dave Collins of the AP, here published in the Benton Illinois Evening News, begins: Illinois' court system had the third-worst score in the nation among state judiciaries in serving poor, disabled and other disadvantaged members of the public, according to new rankings. Illinois' "Justice Index" score of 34.5 out of 100, determined by the nonprofit National Center for Access to Justice, is based on how states serve people with disabilities and limited English proficiency, how much free legal help is available and how states help increasing numbers of people representing themselves in court, among other issues. Connecticut led all states with a score of 73.4 and was followed by Hawaii, Minnesota, New York and Delaware, respectively. Local courts in Washington, D.C., had the highest overall score at 80.9. At the bottom was Oklahoma at 23.7, followed by Kentucky, Illinois, South Dakota and Indiana. ILB: That puts Indiana at 46th worse. More from the story: Connecticut, Hawaii, Minnesota, Colorado, Tennessee and Maine had perfect 100 scores in serving people with disabilities, while Indiana, Georgia, Wyoming, Missouri and Idaho had the lowest scores. Those rankings were based on issues such as whether interpretation services are offered free to the deaf and hearing-impaired and whether there are laws or rules allowing service animals in courthouses. The index also reviewed how many civil legal aid lawyers were available to provide free legal help. Washington, D.C., had nearly nine civil legal aid lawyers per 10,000 people in poverty, the highest rate in the country. Texas had the lowest rate, 0.43 legal aid lawyers per 10,000 people in poverty. http://indianalawblog.com/archives/2014/11/ind_courts_illi_1.html

  5. A very thorough opinion by the federal court. The Rooker-Feldman analysis, in particular, helps clear up muddy water as to the entanglement issue. Looks like the Seventh Circuit is willing to let its district courts cruise much closer to the Indiana Supreme Court's shorelines than most thought likely, at least when the ADA on the docket. Some could argue that this case and Praekel, taken together, paint a rather unflattering picture of how the lower courts are being advised as to their duties under the ADA. A read of the DOJ amicus in Praekel seems to demonstrate a less-than-congenial view toward the higher echelons in the bureaucracy.

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