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Opinions June 3, 2013

June 3, 2013
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Jeffrey Weaver
12-3324
Criminal. Vacates judgment of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana and remands for resentencing. Weaver was sentenced to 235 months imprisonment after the District Court determined his sentence should be enhanced because he was functioning as a manager/supervisor in supplying methamphetamine to two buyers and pressuring them to sell the drugs. The Circuit Court found his actions did not rise to the 3-level enhancement because he did not have the control necessary to coerce the buyers. Instead Weaver was encouraging behavior that would protect his investment and insure payment of the debt owed to him.  

The following opinion was issued after IL deadline Friday.
SAMS Hotel Group, LLC v. Environs, Inc.
12-2979
Civil. Affirms judgment of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana that SAMS Hotel Group’s damages were limited to $70,000. The hotel group sued Environs for breach of contract after the hotel that Environs designed was found to have serious structural flaws and had to be demolished before being opened. SAMS argued its damages should exceed the limitation of liability provision in the contract because the language of the contract did not refer explicitly to Environs’ own negligence. Finding no indication in Indiana case law that the Indiana Supreme Court would extend the specificity rule to a limitation of liability clause that was knowingly negotiated by two sophisticated commercial entities, the Circuit Court concluded the district court properly held SAMS to the terms of its contract.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Bryant E. Wilson v. State of Indiana
27A02-1212-CR-1012
Criminal. Affirms in a divided opinion trial court denial of motion to correct erroneous sentence for convictions of Class A felony rape and criminal deviate conduct and Class B felony robbery. Judges Terry Crone and Ezra Friedlander affirmed the trial court’s denial, holding the aggregate sentence of 50 years in prison that included a partial consecutive sentence on the lesser count was not erroneous on its face. Chief Judge Margret Robb would reverse the denial, writing in dissent that she believed the sentence was erroneous because the partial consecutive sentence was not explicitly permitted by statute.

Indiana Supreme Court and Indiana Tax Court issued no opinions by IL deadline Monday.

 

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  1. Indiana's seatbelt law is not punishable as a crime. It is an infraction. Apparently some of our Circuit judges have deemed settled law inapplicable if it fails to fit their litmus test of political correctness. Extrapolating to redefine terms of behavior in a violation of immigration law to the entire body of criminal law leaves a smorgasbord of opportunity for judicial mischief.

  2. I wonder if $10 diversions for failure to wear seat belts are considered moral turpitude in federal immigration law like they are under Indiana law? Anyone know?

  3. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

  4. Justice has finally been served. So glad that Dr. Ley can finally sleep peacefully at night knowing the truth has finally come to the surface.

  5. While this right is guaranteed by our Constitution, it has in recent years been hampered by insurance companies, i.e.; the practice of the plaintiff's own insurance company intervening in an action and filing a lien against any proceeds paid to their insured. In essence, causing an additional financial hurdle for a plaintiff to overcome at trial in terms of overall award. In a very real sense an injured party in exercise of their right to trial by jury may be the only party in a cause that would end up with zero compensation.

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