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Opinions June 9, 2011

June 9, 2011
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Harriett Ellis, et al. v. CCA of Tennessee LLC d/b/a Corrections Corporation of America
10-2768
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Sarah Evans Barker.
Civil. Affirms summary judgment in favor of CCA of Tennessee on the former jail nurses’ claims of racial discrimination, hostile work environment, and violations of the state whistleblower law. Although the District Court correctly determined there was no genuine issue of material fact related to the plaintiffs’ legal claims, the District Court erred with respect to its claim preclusion ruling. That was a harmless error.

Indiana Supreme Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Brian Smith v. Brendonwood Common, Inc.
49A02-1006-PL-785
Civil plenary. Affirms summary judgment for Brendonwood Common Inc. in Smith’s complaint alleging Brendonwood had violated its bylaws. Smith had no standing to bring his claim.

Josh Gold, Mitch Gold and Andrea Gold v. Cedarview Management Corp.
53A04-1007-PL-451
Civil plenary. Affirms the $48,520.44 plus interest summary judgment for Cedarview Management Corp. The trial court did not err by considering the lease agreement when determining Josh Gold was personally liable as guarantor of the lease for the payment of the settlement agreement; or by including the nonpayment of December 2008 rent in the amount owed for unpaid lease obligations outside the settlement agreement. Cedarview’s re-entry of the premises in February 2009 was not a breach of the lease.

Patrick J. Trainor v. State of Indiana
71A03-1010-CR-561
Criminal. Affirms convictions of and sentence for five counts of Class D felony counterfeiting. The state presented sufficient evidence to support the convictions and under the facts and circumstances of the case, Trainor’s aggregate sentence of seven and one-half years, suspended subject to five years probation, is appropriate.

United States Steel Corp., et al. v. Northern Indiana Public Service Co.
93A02-1006-EX-632
Agency action. The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission erred when it determined that U.S. Steel’s delivery of electricity to ArcelorMittal made it a public utility for the purposes of I.C. 8-1-2-1(a). It also erred in determining that the steel provider was an “electricity supplier.” Remands with instructions to vacate these portions of the commission’s order. The commission correctly determined that U.S. Steel acted as a public utility regarding its delivery of natural gas to ArcelorMittal pursuant to I.C. 8-1-2-87.5(b) and that its resale of natural gas purchased from NIPSCO violated NIPSCO’s tariff ban on resale.

Ronald Williams v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1011-CR-1209
Criminal. Affirms murder conviction.

Term. of Parent-Child Rel. of B.M. and S.M.; J.B. v. IDCS (NFP)
28A01-1101-JT-18
Juvenile. Affirms involuntary termination of parental rights.

Asset Acceptance LLC v. Phillip Metz (NFP)
17A05-1011-CC-729
Civil corrections. Reverses order releasing the judgment as paid in full by the debtor and remands for further opinions.

Paternity of J.T.L.; J.D. v. L.L. (NFP)
45A04-1004-JP-287
Juvenile. Affirms denial of father’s motion to vacate, motion for change in magistrate, and motion for contempt and sanctions against the attorney who represented the mother.

Atashia Poe v. State of Indiana (NFP)
35A02-1008-CR-966
Criminal. Affirms sentence for Class A misdemeanor driving while suspended with a prior conviction.

William Lawhorn v. State of Indiana (NFP)
05A04-1009-CR-725
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to Class B felony dealing in methamphetamine.

Rodney Simmons v. State of Indiana (NFP)
82A05-1006-CR-353
Criminal. Affirms sentence for Class C felony stalking.

Term. of Parent-Child Rel. of A.C., et al.; S.F. v. I.D.C.S. (NFP)
82A01-1010-JT-578
Juvenile. Affirms involuntary termination of parental rights.

William D. Harmon, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
79A05-1007-CR-473
Criminal. Vacates convictions of possession of a narcotic drug and for possession of cocaine, Counts IV, VI, VIII, and X. Vacates conviction of Count I, conspiracy to commit dealing in a narcotic drug.  Affirms habitual offender conviction and remands for the trial court to attach the habitual offender enhancement to a single conviction. Affirms admittance of evidence of Harmon’s prior conviction.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.
 

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  1. Your article is a good intro the recent amendments to Fed.R.Civ.P. For a much longer - though not necessarily better -- summary, counsel might want to read THE CHIEF UMPIRE IS CHANGING THE STRIKE ZONE, which I co-authored and which was just published in the January issue of THE VERDICT (the monthly publication of the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association).

  2. Thank you, John Smith, for pointing out a needed correction. The article has been revised.

  3. The "National institute for Justice" is an agency for the Dept of Justice. That is not the law firm you are talking about in this article. The "institute for justice" is a public interest law firm. http://ij.org/ thanks for interesting article however

  4. I would like to try to find a lawyer as soon possible I've had my money stolen off of my bank card driver pressed charges and I try to get the information they need it and a Social Security board is just give me a hold up a run around for no reason and now it think it might be too late cuz its been over a year I believe and I can't get the right information they need because they keep giving me the runaroundwhat should I do about that

  5. It is wonderful that Indiana DOC is making some truly admirable and positive changes. People with serious mental illness, intellectual disability or developmental disability will benefit from these changes. It will be much better if people can get some help and resources that promote their health and growth than if they suffer alone. If people experience positive growth or healing of their health issues, they may be less likely to do the things that caused them to come to prison in the first place. This will be of benefit for everyone. I am also so happy that Indiana DOC added correctional personnel and mental health staffing. These are tough issues to work with. There should be adequate staffing in prisons so correctional officers and other staff are able to do the kind of work they really want to do-helping people grow and change-rather than just trying to manage chaos. Correctional officers and other staff deserve this. It would be great to see increased mental health services and services for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities in the community so that fewer people will have to receive help and support in prisons. Community services would like be less expensive, inherently less demeaning and just a whole lot better for everyone.

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