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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. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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