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Opinions June 22, 2011

June 22, 2011
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Michael Lee Mokol Jr.
10-2334
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division, Judge Joseph Van Bokkelen.
Criminal. Affirms two convictions of being a felon in possession of a firearm. The District Court did not abuse its discretion in admitting bad acts testimony through Lori Miller’s testimony as to Mokol’s statement that he would put anyone who told on him “in the ground;” or in admitting bad acts evidence involving his daughter’s testimony about the gun “prank” in the Rising Sun parking lot. The District Court did not err in restricting cross-examination of his daughter and the District Court didn’t abuse its discretion by instructing the jury as to constructive possession.

Indiana Supreme Court
D.M. v. State of Indiana
49S02-1101-JV-11
Juvenile. Affirms admission of D.M.’s confession in a delinquency proceeding, in which D.M. claims he wasn’t afforded an opportunity for meaningful consultation with his mother and the waiver of his rights wasn’t knowing and voluntary. There was substantial evidence of probative value to support the decision to admit the confession. Also concludes the juvenile waiver form used by police in this case should be clarified.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Jerrme Cartwright v. State of Indiana
82A01-1005-CR-214
Criminal. Reverses Cartwright’s convictions of two counts of Class C felony attempted battery with a deadly weapon, two counts of Class B felony attempted aggravated battery, and one count of Class B felony possession of a handgun by a serious violent felon because the state’s proffered explanations for striking the only African-American juror from the jury panel were pretextual and the result of purposeful discrimination. Remands for a new trial. There is sufficient evidence to retry him on the attempted battery with a deadly weapon convictions. Judge Vaidik dissents.

Perry O. Jones v. State of Indiana (NFP)

34A02-1010-CR-1104
Criminal. Affirms calculation of pretrial and credit time.

Carl Andre Coleman v. State of Indiana (NFP)
20A05-1008-CR-553
Criminal. Grants petition for rehearing and remands with instructions that the trial court reinstate Coleman’s conviction of attempted rape and for sentencing on that offense. Affirms in all other respects.

Latoyia Tuggles v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1012-CR-1366
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class C felony forgery and Class D felony theft.

D.H. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1010-JV-1257
Juvenile. Dismisses appeal of order requiring D.H. to pay restitution.

Zachard D.A. Edwards v. State of Indiana (NFP)
48A02-1010-CR-1222
Criminal. Affirms order revoking home detention and probation.

Commitment of A.R. (NFP)
49A05-1011-MH-665
Mental health. Affirms order for temporary involuntary commitment.

Arden Balmer, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
71A05-1007-CR-570
Criminal. Affirms convictions of and sentence for felony murder and Class B felony criminal confinement.

Pete Burgmeier v. Robert Akin (NFP)
36A01-1009-SC-480
Small claim. Affirms award of $2,348.09 to Akin and denial of Burgmeier’s counterclaim seeking $5,020 in damages.

David B. Tyra v. State of Indiana (NFP)
05A04-1012-CR-762
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C felony operating a motor vehicle while privileges are forfeited for life.

Todd A. Harmon v. State of Indiana (NFP)
03A01-1011-CR-630
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony operating a vehicle while intoxicated.

Michael O. Branch v. State of Indiana (NFP)
84A01-1008-CR-458
Criminal. Affirms conviction of and sentence for Class D felony operating a vehicle as a habitual traffic violator.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

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  1. He called our nation a nation of cowards because we didn't want to talk about race. That was a cheap shot coming from the top cop. The man who decides who gets the federal government indicts. Wow. Not a gentleman if that is the measure. More importantly, this insult delivered as we all understand, to white people-- without him or anybody needing to explain that is precisely what he meant-- but this is an insult to timid white persons who fear the government and don't want to say anything about race for fear of being accused a racist. With all the legal heat that can come down on somebody if they say something which can be construed by a prosecutor like Mr Holder as racist, is it any wonder white people-- that's who he meant obviously-- is there any surprise that white people don't want to talk about race? And as lawyers we have even less freedom lest our remarks be considered violations of the rules. Mr Holder also demonstrated his bias by publically visiting with the family of the young man who was killed by a police offering in the line of duty, which was a very strong indicator of bias agains the offer who is under investigation, and was a failure to lead properly by letting his investigators do their job without him predetermining the proper outcome. He also has potentially biased the jury pool. All in all this worsens race relations by feeding into the perception shared by whites as well as blacks that justice will not be impartial. I will say this much, I do not blame Obama for all of HOlder's missteps. Obama has done a lot of things to stay above the fray and try and be a leader for all Americans. Maybe he should have reigned Holder in some but Obama's got his hands full with other problelms. Oh did I mention HOlder is a bank crony who will probably get a job in a silkstocking law firm working for millions of bucks a year defending bankers whom he didn't have the integrity or courage to hold to account for their acts of fraud on the United States, other financial institutions, and the people. His tenure will be regarded by history as a failure of leadership at one of the most important jobs in our nation. Finally and most importantly besides him insulting the public and letting off the big financial cheats, he has been at the forefront of over-prosecuting the secrecy laws to punish whistleblowers and chill free speech. What has Holder done to vindicate the rights of privacy of the American public against the illegal snooping of the NSA? He could have charged NSA personnel with violations of law for their warrantless wiretapping which has been done millions of times and instead he did not persecute a single soul. That is a defalcation of historical proportions and it signals to the public that the government DOJ under him was not willing to do a damn thing to protect the public against the rapid growth of the illegal surveillance state. Who else could have done this? Nobody. And for that omission Obama deserves the blame too. Here were are sliding into a police state and Eric Holder made it go all the faster.

  2. JOE CLAYPOOL candidate for Superior Court in Harrison County - Indiana This candidate is misleading voters to think he is a Judge by putting Elect Judge Joe Claypool on his campaign literature. paragraphs 2 and 9 below clearly indicate this injustice to voting public to gain employment. What can we do? Indiana Code - Section 35-43-5-3: Deception (a) A person who: (1) being an officer, manager, or other person participating in the direction of a credit institution, knowingly or intentionally receives or permits the receipt of a deposit or other investment, knowing that the institution is insolvent; (2) knowingly or intentionally makes a false or misleading written statement with intent to obtain property, employment, or an educational opportunity; (3) misapplies entrusted property, property of a governmental entity, or property of a credit institution in a manner that the person knows is unlawful or that the person knows involves substantial risk of loss or detriment to either the owner of the property or to a person for whose benefit the property was entrusted; (4) knowingly or intentionally, in the regular course of business, either: (A) uses or possesses for use a false weight or measure or other device for falsely determining or recording the quality or quantity of any commodity; or (B) sells, offers, or displays for sale or delivers less than the represented quality or quantity of any commodity; (5) with intent to defraud another person furnishing electricity, gas, water, telecommunication, or any other utility service, avoids a lawful charge for that service by scheme or device or by tampering with facilities or equipment of the person furnishing the service; (6) with intent to defraud, misrepresents the identity of the person or another person or the identity or quality of property; (7) with intent to defraud an owner of a coin machine, deposits a slug in that machine; (8) with intent to enable the person or another person to deposit a slug in a coin machine, makes, possesses, or disposes of a slug; (9) disseminates to the public an advertisement that the person knows is false, misleading, or deceptive, with intent to promote the purchase or sale of property or the acceptance of employment;

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  4. I grew up on a farm and live in the county and it's interesting that the big industrial farmers like Jeff Shoaf don't live next to their industrial operations...

  5. 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

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