Opinions March 20, 2014

March 20, 2014
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The following 7th Circuit Court of Appeals opinion was posted after IL deadline Wednesday:
United States of America v. Yulia Yurevna Abair
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division, Judge Jon E. DeGuilio
Criminal. Reverses conviction of violating a federal criminal statute that prohibits structuring currency transactions in order to evade federal reporting requirements for transactions involving more than $10,000 in currency. The government lacked a good-faith basis for believing that Bair lied on a tax return and financial aid forms, so the District Court erred by allowing the prosecutor to ask a series of accusatory and prejudicial questions about them under Fed. Rule of Ev. 608(b). Remands for a new trial. Judge Sykes dissents.

Thursday’s opinions
7th Circuit Court of Appeals

Zachary Mulholland v. Marion County Election Board
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Sarah Evans Barker.
Civil. Reverses dismissal of Mulholland’s lawsuit to enjoin Marion County Election Board proceedings relating to a slating violation and to enjoin the future enforcement of I.C. 3-14-1-2(a), the anti-slating law. The election board’s investigation is too preliminary a proceeding to warrant Younger abstention, at least in the wake of Sprint Communications, Inc. v. Jacobs, 134 S. Ct. 584 (2013). Even if Younger abstention were theoretically available after Sprint, the previous final federal judgment against the defendant Election Board holding the same statute facially unconstitutional would still amount to an extraordinary circumstance making Younger abstention inappropriate.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Kevin Moss v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Reverses denial of Moss’ motion to dismiss the enhancement to a Class C felony his charge of Class A misdemeanor possession of a handgun without a license due to a prior felony conviction that was later modified to a misdemeanor. Moss carried his burden of proving error because he had the prior felony reduced to a misdemeanor, so it could not support the enhancement.

Heritage Acceptance Corporation v. Chris L. Romine
Small claim. Affirms small claims court judgment in favor of Romine on Heritage Acceptance Corps.’ complaint to recover unpaid money owed on a car Romine financed. Under I.C. 26-1-2-102, the contract for payment of money is for a transaction of goods, so it is subject to the four-year statute of limitations. As such, Heritage’s complaint was not filed within that time frame.

In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of: A.H. & J.H. (Minor Children), and D.T. (Father) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)
Juvenile. Affirms order terminating father’s parental rights.

Dominique McClendon v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms convictions of two counts of Class C felony possession of a narcotic drug while in possession of a firearm.

Michael W. Gilliland v. Fifth Third Mortgage Company (NFP)
Mortgage foreclosure. Affirms summary judgment for Fifth Third Mortgage Co. on its foreclosure complaint.

Charles Washington v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony pointing a firearm, but reverses conviction of Class D felony criminal mischief. Remands for trial court to enter judgment of conviction and sentence for criminal mischief as a Class B misdemeanor.

The Indiana Supreme Court and Tax Court posted no opinions by IL deadline.


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  1. I think the cops are doing a great job locking up criminals. The Murder rates in the inner cities are skyrocketing and you think that too any people are being incarcerated. Maybe we need to lock up more of them. We have the ACLU, BLM, NAACP, Civil right Division of the DOJ, the innocent Project etc. We have court system with an appeal process that can go on for years, with attorneys supplied by the government. I'm confused as to how that translates into the idea that the defendants are not being represented properly. Maybe the attorneys need to do more Pro-Bono work

  2. We do not have 10% of our population (which would mean about 32 million) incarcerated. It's closer to 2%.

  3. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  4. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  5. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.