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Opinions June 21, 2011

June 21, 2011
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of American v. Donella Locke
10-1351.
Criminal. Affirms convictions on five counts of wire fraud. Vacates Donella Locke’s 71-month sentence and restitution order and remands for resentencing proceedings, holding that the length of the sentence and amount of restitution were based in part on conduct not necessarily encompassed in the charges of conviction. Also holds that the court erred in ordering Locke to pay restitution to victims not clearly harmed by the conduct in Locke’s counts of conviction.

Indiana Supreme Court
Misty D. Davis v. Animal Control - City of Evansville, et al.
82S01-1102-CV-77
Civil. Affirms trial court’s finding that the city defendants were entitled to “law enforcement immunity” under the Indiana Tort Claims Act, and cannot be held liable for a dog attacking Misty Davis’ son.

Michael Ashby and Randy O'Brien v. The Bar Plan Mutual Insurance Co., and C. Bruce Davidson, Jr.
49S04-1011-CV-635
Civil. Reverses summary judgment in favor of an insurance company for claims brought against the company after the insured – C. Bruce Davidson Jr. – abandoned his law practice, was disbarred, and did not report the claims to the company.

Gibraltar Financial Corp. v. Prestige Equipment Corp., National Machinery Exchange, Inc., et al.
20S03-1010-CV-618
Civil. Reverses trial court’s summary judgment on behalf of the defendants, stating that a genuine issue of material fact exists regarding whether the equipment in question was leased. The court held that the language of an agreement between the now-defunct Vitco company and General Finance could be interpreted to be either a lease or a sale subject to security interest. Remands to court for proceedings consistent with opinion.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Victor J. DiMaggio, III v. Elias Rosario, et al.
64A03-1009-PL-500
Civil plenary. Affirms court’s order dismissing Victor DiMaggio’s complaint for usurpation of a corporate opportunity against Liberty Lake Estates, holding DiMaggio failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted and failed to prove that Elias Rosario, et al., knowingly or intentionally usurped corporate opportunity.

Darrell Farmer v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1007-CR-772
Criminal. Affirms trial court’s denial of motion for a mistrial, holding that Darrell Farmer failed to establish bias or prejudice.

Donnett Phillips v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1011-CR-1244
Criminal. Affirms convictions of battery and public intoxication, both Class B misdemeanors.

Andre White v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A04-1009-PC-616
Post-conviction relief petition. Affirms court’s denial of post-conviction relief petition.

Raymond Cain v. State of Indiana (NFP)
22A01-1011-CR-605
Criminal. Affirms six-year sentence with two years suspended to probation for Class C felony child exploitation.

Latoya Duncan v. State of Indiana (NFP)
22A01-1007-CR-365
Criminal. Reverses sentence of eight years with two years suspended to probation, following guilty plea to Class B felony dealing in cocaine, holding that Latoya Duncan’s lack of criminal background and character make her a good candidate for probation. Remands with instructions to vacate sentence and re-sentence consistent with appeals court’s opinion.

Demarcus Verse v. State of Indiana (NFP)
71A03-1012-CR-628
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class D felony strangulation and related charges.

Term. of Parent-Child Rel. of D.M.; E.M. v. I.D.C.S. (NFP)
46A03-1012-JT-676
Juvenile. Affirms involuntary termination of father’s parental rights.

James C. Ritenour, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
75A03-1009-CR-512
Criminal. Affirms conviction of and sentence for Class C felony attempted battery.

Eric M. Schuler v. State of Indiana (NFP)
48A02-1009-CR-1063
Criminal. Affirms court’s order revoking probation and imposing four years of previously suspended sentence.

Steven Connors v. State of Indiana (NFP)
71A05-1011-CR-776
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B felony arson.

Tommie Rivers v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1011-CR-763
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class A misdemeanor possession of marijuana, and Class A misdemeanor driving while suspended.

Phillip D. Laster v. State of Indiana (NFP)
02A05-1011-CR-727
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony domestic battery and remands with instructions to vacate “consecutive” sentence for habitual offender adjudication and to attach the enhanced sentence to the domestic battery sentence.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions as of IL deadline.
 

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  1. Applause, applause, applause ..... but, is this duty to serve the constitutional order not much more incumbent upon the State, whose only aim is to be pure and unadulterated justice, than defense counsel, who is also charged with gaining a result for a client? I agree both are responsible, but it seems to me that the government attorneys bear a burden much heavier than defense counsel .... "“I note, much as we did in Mechling v. State, 16 N.E.3d 1015 (Ind. Ct. App. 2014), trans. denied, that the attorneys representing the State and the defendant are both officers of the court and have a responsibility to correct any obvious errors at the time they are committed."

  2. Do I have to hire an attorney to get co-guardianship of my brother? My father has guardianship and my older sister was his co-guardian until this Dec 2014 when she passed and my father was me to go on as the co-guardian, but funds are limit and we need to get this process taken care of quickly as our fathers health isn't the greatest. So please advise me if there is anyway to do this our self or if it requires a lawyer? Thank you

  3. I have been on this program while on parole from 2011-2013. No person should be forced mentally to share private details of their personal life with total strangers. Also giving permission for a mental therapist to report to your parole agent that your not participating in group therapy because you don't have the financial mean to be in the group therapy. I was personally singled out and sent back three times for not having money and also sent back within the six month when you aren't to be sent according to state law. I will work to het this INSOMM's removed from this state. I also had twelve or thirteen parole agents with a fifteen month period. Thanks for your time.

  4. Our nation produces very few jurists of the caliber of Justice DOUGLAS and his peers these days. Here is that great civil libertarian, who recognized government as both a blessing and, when corrupted by ideological interests, a curse: "Once the investigator has only the conscience of government as a guide, the conscience can become ‘ravenous,’ as Cromwell, bent on destroying Thomas More, said in Bolt, A Man For All Seasons (1960), p. 120. The First Amendment mirrors many episodes where men, harried and harassed by government, sought refuge in their conscience, as these lines of Thomas More show: ‘MORE: And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Paradise for doing according to your conscience, *575 and I am damned for not doing according to mine, will you come with me, for fellowship? ‘CRANMER: So those of us whose names are there are damned, Sir Thomas? ‘MORE: I don't know, Your Grace. I have no window to look into another man's conscience. I condemn no one. ‘CRANMER: Then the matter is capable of question? ‘MORE: Certainly. ‘CRANMER: But that you owe obedience to your King is not capable of question. So weigh a doubt against a certainty—and sign. ‘MORE: Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But if it is flat, will the King's command make it round? And if it is round, will the King's command flatten it? No, I will not sign.’ Id., pp. 132—133. DOUGLAS THEN WROTE: Where government is the Big Brother,11 privacy gives way to surveillance. **909 But our commitment is otherwise. *576 By the First Amendment we have staked our security on freedom to promote a multiplicity of ideas, to associate at will with kindred spirits, and to defy governmental intrusion into these precincts" Gibson v. Florida Legislative Investigation Comm., 372 U.S. 539, 574-76, 83 S. Ct. 889, 908-09, 9 L. Ed. 2d 929 (1963) Mr. Justice DOUGLAS, concurring. I write: Happy Memorial Day to all -- God please bless our fallen who lived and died to preserve constitutional governance in our wonderful series of Republics. And God open the eyes of those government officials who denounce the constitutions of these Republics by arbitrary actions arising out capricious motives.

  5. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

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