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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. 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.

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

  3. This outbreak illustrates the absurdity of the extreme positions taken by today's liberalism, specifically individualism and the modern cult of endless personal "freedom." Ebola reminds us that at some point the person's own "freedom" to do this and that comes into contact with the needs of the common good and "freedom" must be curtailed. This is not rocket science, except, today there is nonstop propaganda elevating individual preferences over the common good, so some pundits have a hard time fathoming the obvious necessity of quarantine in some situations....or even NATIONAL BORDERS...propagandists have also amazingly used this as another chance to accuse Western nations of "racism" which is preposterous and offensive. So one the one hand the idolatry of individualism has to stop and on the other hand facts people don't like that intersect with race-- remain facts nonetheless. People who respond to facts over propaganda do better in the long run. We call it Truth. Sometimes it seems hard to find.

  4. It would be hard not to feel the Kramers' anguish. But Catholic Charities, by definition, performed due diligence and held to the statutory standard of care. No good can come from punishing them for doing their duty. Should Indiana wish to change its laws regarding adoption agreements and or putative fathers, the place for that is the legislature and can only apply to future cases. We do not apply new laws to past actions, as the Kramers seem intent on doing, to no helpful end.

  5. I am saddened to hear about the loss of Zeff Weiss. He was an outstanding member of the Indianapolis legal community. My thoughts are with his family.

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