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
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.
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.
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
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.
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)
Criminal. Affirms murder conviction.

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

Asset Acceptance LLC v. Phillip Metz (NFP)
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)
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)
Criminal. Affirms sentence for Class A misdemeanor driving while suspended with a prior conviction.

William Lawhorn v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to Class B felony dealing in methamphetamine.

Rodney Simmons v. State of Indiana (NFP)
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)
Juvenile. Affirms involuntary termination of parental rights.

William D. Harmon, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
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. Lori, you must really love wedding cake stories like this one ... happy enuf ending for you?

  2. This new language about a warning has not been discussed at previous meetings. It's not available online. Since it must be made public knowledge before the vote, does anyone know exactly what it says? Further, this proposal was held up for 5 weeks because members Carol and Lucy insisted that all terms used be defined. So now, definitions are unnecessary and have not been inserted? Beyond these requirements, what is the logic behind giving one free pass to discriminators? Is that how laws work - break it once and that's ok? Just don't do it again? Three members of Carmel's council have done just about everything they can think of to prohibit an anti-discrimination ordinance in Carmel, much to Brainard's consternation, I'm told. These three 'want to be so careful' that they have failed to do what at least 13 other communities, including Martinsville, have already done. It's not being careful. It's standing in the way of what 60% of Carmel residents want. It's hurting CArmel in thT businesses have refused to locate because the council has not gotten with the program. And now they want to give discriminatory one free shot to do so. Unacceptable. Once three members leave the council because they lost their races, the Carmel council will have unanimous approval of the ordinance as originally drafted, not with a one free shot to discriminate freebie. That happens in January 2016. Why give a freebie when all we have to do is wait 3 months and get an ordinance with teeth from Day 1? If nothing else, can you please get s copy from Carmel and post it so we can see what else has changed in the proposal?

  3. Here is an interesting 2012 law review article for any who wish to dive deeper into this subject matter: Excerpt: "Judicial interpretation of the ADA has extended public entity liability to licensing agencies in the licensure and certification of attorneys.49 State bar examiners have the authority to conduct fitness investigations for the purpose of determining whether an applicant is a direct threat to the public.50 A “direct threat” is defined as “a significant risk to the health or safety of others that cannot be eliminated by a modification of policies, practices or procedures, or by the provision of auxiliary aids or services as provided by § 35.139.”51 However, bar examiners may not utilize generalizations or stereotypes about the applicant’s disability in concluding that an applicant is a direct threat.52"

  4. We have been on the waiting list since 2009, i was notified almost 4 months ago that we were going to start receiving payments and we still have received nothing. Every time I call I'm told I just have to wait it's in the lawyers hands. Is everyone else still waiting?

  5. I hope you dont mind but to answer my question. What amendment does this case pretain to?