Opinions June 20, 2014

June 20, 2014
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The following opinions were posted after IL deadline Thursday:
7th Circuit Court of Appeals

James Nichols v. Michigan City Plant Planning Department, Michigan City Area Schools
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division, Chief Judge Philip P. Simon.
Civil. Affirms summary judgment for Michigan City schools on Nichols’ allegations of Title VII violations. He did not provide sufficient evidence that demonstrates that the harassment he allegedly suffered while working as a temporary janitor was severe or pervasive. He also failed to provide sufficient evidence that his alleged harasser was a proximate cause of his firing because affidavits from his supervisors show that he would have been let go even if there was no feud between Nichols and the harasser.

Indiana Supreme Court
Ralph Andrews v. Mor/Ryde International, Inc.
Civil plenary. Grants transfer and reverses trial court holding that punitive damage restrictions apply under the Sales Representative Act. Holds that treble damages under the Act are not subject to the Punitive Damages Act.

Friday’s opinions
7th Circuit Court of Appeals

Fares Pawn LLC and William K. Saalwaechter v. Indiana Department of Financial Institutions, et al.
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Evansville Division, Chief Judge Richard L. Young.
Civil. Affirms summary judgment for the defendants on Saalwaechter’s lawsuit alleging the Department of Financial Institutions violated the equal protection clause when processing his application for a pawnbroking license. No reasonable jury could conclude that DFI treated Saalwaechter differently from similarly situated applicants without a rational reason.

Indiana Supreme Court
Nick McIlquham v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms admittance of contraband found in an apartment by police during a warrantless search.  McIlquham and the other resident of the apartment consented to a full search of the apartment after their young child was found unsupervised wandering near a pond in their apartment complex.

Indiana Court of Appeals
DECA Financial Services, LLC v. Tina Gray
Small claim. Affirms denial of attorney fees as part of DECA Financial Services’ small claims judgment against Gray. The attorney fees provision of the agreement Gray entered into with Dupont Hospital for payment of medical services at the hospital and Emergency Medicine of Indiana only applies to Dupont and not to DECA, the assignee of debt owed by Gray to Emergency Medicine.

George Odongo v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Patrick McDonald v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor criminal recklessness with use of a vehicle.

German Espichan v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B misdemeanor battery.

Jenni Hill v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Miscellaneous. Affirms determination of the Bureau of Motor Vehicles that Hill is a habitual traffic violator.

John F. VanDeVanter, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class A felony dealing in methamphetamine, Class D felony possession of methamphetamine and Class A misdemeanors possession of marijuana and resisting law enforcement.  

Jane Shamley v. Gordon Shamley (NFP)
Domestic relation. Affirms order awarding Jane Shamely a 55 percent division of the marital assets.

Denon Taylor v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Joseph B. Fowler v. Kathleen L. Fowler (NFP)
Domestic relation. Reverses denial of Joseph Fowler’s motion to correct error, which challenged an order for college expenses and child support arrearage.

Charles Coleman v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms revocation of probation and order Coleman serve 400 days of his previously suspended sentence in the Department of Correction.

OneWest Bank, FSB v. Jason Jarvis, Natalie Jarvis, Mortgage Electronic Systems, Inc., as Nominees for American Mortgage Network, Inc., GE Money Bank, et. al. (NFP)
Mortgage foreclosure. Reverses sanction imposed by the trial court upon finding OneWest in contempt and remands with instructions to remove that language from the September 2013 order.

Harry White, II v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms convictions and sentence for attempted murder, Class C felony intimidation, Class D felony strangulation, Class D felony auto theft and Class A misdemeanor interference with the reporting of a crime.

The Indiana Tax Court posted no opinions by IL deadline.



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  1. I think the cops are doing a great job locking up criminals. The Murder rates in the inner cities are skyrocketing and you think that too any people are being incarcerated. Maybe we need to lock up more of them. We have the ACLU, BLM, NAACP, Civil right Division of the DOJ, the innocent Project etc. We have court system with an appeal process that can go on for years, with attorneys supplied by the government. I'm confused as to how that translates into the idea that the defendants are not being represented properly. Maybe the attorneys need to do more Pro-Bono work

  2. We do not have 10% of our population (which would mean about 32 million) incarcerated. It's closer to 2%.

  3. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  4. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  5. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.