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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
13-2893
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.
20S04-1406-PL-399
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.
13-3240
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
49S05-1401-CR-28
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
02A04-1311-SC-595
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)
79A04-1308-PC-377
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Patrick McDonald v. State of Indiana (NFP)
02A05-1311-CR-557
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor criminal recklessness with use of a vehicle.

German Espichan v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1310-CR-515
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B misdemeanor battery.

Jenni Hill v. State of Indiana (NFP)
29A02-1311-MI-942
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)
59A01-1311-CR-484
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)
29A05-1401-DR-17
Domestic relation. Affirms order awarding Jane Shamely a 55 percent division of the marital assets.

Denon Taylor v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A04-1305-PC-265
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Joseph B. Fowler v. Kathleen L. Fowler (NFP)
42A05-1402-DR-54
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)
32A04-1310-CR-507
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)
45A05-1312-MF-615
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)
02A03-1312-CR-498
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. Mr. Levin says that the BMV engaged in misconduct--that the BMV (or, rather, someone in the BMV) knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged fees but did nothing to correct the situation. Such misconduct, whether engaged in by one individual or by a group, is called theft (defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the other person of the property's value or use). Theft is a crime in Indiana (as it still is in most of the civilized world). One wonders, then, why there have been no criminal prosecutions of BMV officials for this theft? Government misconduct doesn't occur in a vacuum. An individual who works for or oversees a government agency is responsible for the misconduct. In this instance, somebody (or somebodies) with the BMV, at some time, knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged. What's more, this person (or these people), even after having the error of their ways pointed out to them, did nothing to fix the problem. Instead, the overcharges continued. Thus, the taxpayers of Indiana are also on the hook for the millions of dollars in attorneys fees (for both sides; the BMV didn't see fit to avail itself of the services of a lawyer employed by the state government) that had to be spent in order to finally convince the BMV that stealing money from Indiana motorists was a bad thing. Given that the BMV official(s) responsible for this crime continued their misconduct, covered it up, and never did anything until the agency reached an agreeable settlement, it seems the statute of limitations for prosecuting these folks has not yet run. I hope our Attorney General is paying attention to this fiasco and is seriously considering prosecution. Indiana, the state that works . . . for thieves.

  2. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.

  3. From the article's fourth paragraph: "Her work underscores the blurry lines in Russia between the government and businesses . . ." Obviously, the author of this piece doesn't pay much attention to the "blurry lines" between government and businesses that exist in the United States. And I'm not talking only about Trump's alleged conflicts of interest. When lobbyists for major industries (pharmaceutical, petroleum, insurance, etc) have greater access to this country's elected representatives than do everyday individuals (i.e., voters), then I would say that the lines between government and business in the United States are just as blurry, if not more so, than in Russia.

  4. For some strange reason this story, like many on this ezine that question the powerful, seems to have been released in two formats. Prior format here: http://www.theindianalawyer.com/nominees-selected-for-us-attorney-in-indiana/PARAMS/article/44263 That observed, I must note that it is quite refreshing that denizens of the great unwashed (like me) can be allowed to openly question powerful elitists at ICE MILLER who are on the public dole like Selby. Kudos to those at this ezine who understand that they cannot be mere lapdogs to the powerful and corrupt, lest freedom bleed out. If you wonder why the Senator resisted Selby, consider reading the comments here for a theory: http://www.theindianalawyer.com/nominees-selected-for-us-attorney-in-indiana/PARAMS/article/44263

  5. Why is it a crisis that people want to protect their rights themselves? The courts have a huge bias against people appearing on their own behalf and these judges and lawyers will face their maker one day and answer for their actions.

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