Opinions March 20, 2017

March 20, 2017
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The following 7th Circuit Court of Appeals opinion was posted after IL deadline Friday:
USA v. Jeffrey Rothbard
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division. Judge Richard L. Young.
Criminal. Affirms Jeffrey Rothbard’s sentence of 24 months in prison for one count of wire fraud, despite the fact that he is an older man suffering from serious health problems. Finds that the district court gave sound reasons for its chosen sentence. Also finds that the evidence in the record before the district court and supplemental information requested about the Bureau of Prisons’ ability to provide appropriate care shows that the nominal 24-month sentence will not “spell doom” for Rothbard. Judge Richard Posner dissents with separate opinion.

Indiana Court of Appeals
William Ryan v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms William Ryan’s conviction for Class B misdemeanor public intoxication. Finds that the evidence is sufficient to sustain Ryan’s conviction.

James Michael Cox v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms James Michael Cox’s convictions for Class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement, Class A misdemeanor possession of paraphernalia and Class B misdemeanor possession of marijuana. Finds that Cox’s constitutional arguments are waived for failure to make a cogent argument and that waiver notwithstanding, he did not present the same arguments to the trial court, thus leaving the Indiana Court of Appeals unable to address them. Also finds that the state presented sufficient evidence to support Cox’s convictions.

Kenneth Leon Wilson, Jr. v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Kenneth Wilson’s sentence to two years in the Bartholomew County Jail for Level 6 felony strangulation. Finds that the Bartholomew Circuit Court did not abuse its discretion when it sentenced Wilson. Also finds that Wilson’s sentence is not inappropriate.

Brandon L. Jones v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Brandon Jones’ convictions for dealing in cocaine as a Level 2 felony, possession of a narcotic as a Level 6 felony, possession of a controlled substance as a Class A misdemeanor and carrying a handgun without a license as a Class A misdemeanor. Finds that the Allen Superior Court did not err when it admitted evidence found on Jones after an officer conducted a pat-down search.

CHINS: Child Advocates, Inc., Guardian Ad Litem v. DT, et al. (mem. dec.)
Juvenile CHINS. Dismisses Child Advocates, Inc.’s appeal of the transfer of a guardianship case from probate court to juvenile court and an order in a child in need of services case changing the child’s permanency plan from adoption to reunification. Finds that as to the guardianship case, the transfer order is not a final and appealable order and that, further, Child Advocates requested that the transfer take place, so any error was invited. Also finds that as to the CHINS case, the permanency plan is not a final and appealable order. Finally, finds that as to both cases, the CHINS case has been closed and the guardianship case has been voluntarily dismissed by Child Advocates, so the Indiana Court of Appeals can offer no effective relief to the parties and the case is, therefore, moot.

RW v. GB (mem. dec.)
Adoption. Affirms the Vanderburgh Superior Court’s order granting the petition filed by G.B. to adopt R.W.’s biological son, L.W. Finds that R.W. has waived his argument that the trial court erred in finding that his consent to the adoption was not required based on a reason not alleged in the adoption petition because he did not object at trial.

Termination: RW, et al. v. Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
Juvenile termination of parental rights. Affirms the termination of R.W.’s parental rights to S.W. and the termination of E.R.W.’s parental rights to D.H. and S.W. Finds that the evidence is sufficient to support the termination of R.W. and E.R.W.’s parental rights.


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  1. From his recent appearance on WRTV to this story here, Frank is everywhere. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy, although he should stop using Eric Schnauffer for his 7th Circuit briefs. They're not THAT hard.

  2. They learn our language prior to coming here. My grandparents who came over on the boat, had to learn English and become familiarize with Americas customs and culture. They are in our land now, speak ENGLISH!!

  3. @ Rebecca D Fell, I am very sorry for your loss. I think it gives the family solace and a bit of closure to go to a road side memorial. Those that oppose them probably did not experience the loss of a child or a loved one.

  4. If it were your child that died maybe you'd be more understanding. Most of us don't have graves to visit. My son was killed on a state road and I will be putting up a memorial where he died. It gives us a sense of peace to be at the location he took his last breath. Some people should be more understanding of that.

  5. Can we please take notice of the connection between the declining state of families across the United States and the RISE OF CPS INVOLVEMENT??? They call themselves "advocates" for "children's rights", however, statistics show those children whom are taken from, even NEGLIGENT homes are LESS likely to become successful, independent adults!!! Not to mention the undeniable lack of respect and lack of responsibility of the children being raised today vs the way we were raised 20 years ago, when families still existed. I was born in 1981 and I didn't even ever hear the term "CPS", in fact, I didn't even know they existed until about ten years ago... Now our children have disagreements between friends and they actually THREATEN EACH OTHER WITH, "I'll call CPS" or "I'll have [my parent] (usually singular) call CPS"!!!! And the truth is, no parent is perfect and we all have flaws and make mistakes, but it is RIGHTFULLY OURS - BY THE CONSTITUTION OF THIS GREAT NATION - to be imperfect. Let's take a good look at what kind of parenting those that are stealing our children are doing, what kind of adults are they producing? WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENS TO THE CHILDREN THAT HAVE BEEN RIPPED FROM THEIR FAMILY AND THAT CHILD'S SUCCESS - or otherwise - AS AN ADULT.....