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. Don't we have bigger issues to concern ourselves with?

  2. Anyone who takes the time to study disciplinary and bar admission cases in Indiana ... much of which is, as a matter of course and by intent, off the record, would have a very difficult time drawing lines that did not take into account things which are not supposed to matter, such as affiliations, associations, associates and the like. Justice Hoosier style is a far departure than what issues in most other parts of North America. (More like Central America, in fact.) See, e.g., When while the Indiana court system end the cruel practice of killing prophets of due process and those advocating for blind justice?

  3. Wouldn't this call for an investigation of Government corruption? Chief Justice Loretta Rush, wrote that the case warranted the high court’s review because the method the Indiana Court of Appeals used to reach its decision was “a significant departure from the law.” Specifically, David wrote that the appellate panel ruled after reweighing of the evidence, which is NOT permissible at the appellate level. **But yet, they look the other way while an innocent child was taken by a loving mother who did nothing wrong"

  4. Different rules for different folks....

  5. I would strongly suggest anyone seeking mediation check the experience of the mediator. There are retired judges who decide to become mediators. Their training and experience is in making rulings which is not the point of mediation.