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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. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  2. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

  3. I will agree with that as soon as law schools stop lying to prospective students about salaries and employment opportunities in the legal profession. There is no defense to the fraudulent numbers first year salaries they post to mislead people into going to law school.

  4. The sad thing is that no fish were thrown overboard The "greenhorn" who had never fished before those 5 days was interrogated for over 4 hours by 5 officers until his statement was illicited, "I don't want to go to prison....." The truth is that these fish were measured frozen off shore and thawed on shore. The FWC (state) officer did not know fish shrink, so the only reason that these fish could be bigger was a swap. There is no difference between a 19 1/2 fish or 19 3/4 fish, short fish is short fish, the ticket was written. In addition the FWC officer testified at trial, he does not measure fish in accordance with federal law. There was a document prepared by the FWC expert that said yes, fish shrink and if these had been measured correctly they averaged over 20 inches (offshore frozen). This was a smoke and mirror prosecution.

  5. I love this, Dave! Many congrats to you! We've come a long way from studying for the bar together! :)

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