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Opinions March 8, 2012

March 8, 2012
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
U.S.A v. Marlon K. Spears
No. 10-3338
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division, Chief Judge Philip P. Simon.
Criminal. Affirms denial of motion to suppress evidence, finding that enough probable cause existed to justify a search warrant that led to a man’s convictions on drug charges.

Indiana Supreme Court
Keith Hoglund v. State of Indiana
No. 90S02-1105-CR-294
Criminal. Affirms trial court judgment that found sufficient evidence to support two Class A felony child molesting convictions and a 50-year sentence. Holds that the Indiana Rules of Evidence do not allow for “vouching testimony” in child sex abuse cases and that past caselaw does not create an exception.


Indiana Court of Appeals
Term. of the Parent-Child Rel. of K.E., and T.E. and J.E., T.E. and J.E. v. Indiana Dept. of Child Services
No. 20A05-1104-JT-206
Parental termination. Reverses and remands parental termination case, finding that trial court didn’t comply with Indiana Code 31-35-2-4(b)(2)(A) before involuntary terminating the parental rights.

United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, Local Union No. 2371, Official Bargaining Agent, et al. v. Merchandising Equipment Group, Div. of MEG Manufacturing Corp., et al.
33A05-1107-CP-345
Civil plenary. Affirms trial court’s decision to grant defendant’s Trial Rule 41(E) motion to dismiss for failure to prosecute after 18 years, finding the court didn’t abuse its discretion.

Pamela J. Hensley v. State of Indiana
63A01-1105-CR-195
Criminal. Reverses trial court’s judgment denying motion to suppress evidence seized during a home search, finding that the probation search was not justified under the Fourth Amendment because it wasn’t a valid probation search but more resembled an investigatory search.

Gladys E. Curry and Thomas Curry v. D.A.L.L. Anointed, Inc.
45A04-1106-CT-290
Civil tort. Affirms trial court’s judgment dismissing complaint for injuries and loss of consortium against D.A.L.L. Anointed, finding the lower court did not err in holding it lacked subject matter jurisdiction based on the Indiana Worker’s Compensation Act.

Guardianship of M.A.M.: D.L.M. v. J.G. (NFP)
71A03-1108-GU-365
Guardianship. Reverses trial court’s order denying father’s petition to terminate maternal grandfather’s guardianship, finding prima facie error because of an existing power of attorney the father had in place while he was deployed.

Donnell Caldwell v. State of Indiana (NFP)
45A05-1108-CR-405
Criminal. Affirms six-year sentence imposed by trial court following a Class C felony criminal recklessness conviction, finding the trial court didn’t abuse its discretion in sentencing him and the sentence is not inappropriate.
    
Lynnette A. Wire v. State of Indiana (NFP)
87A05-1106-CR-410
Criminal. Affirms in part and reverses in part a drunken driving case, finding the evidence is sufficient to sustain a Class C infraction for driving left of center and a Class C misdemeanor conviction of operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol content between 0.08 and 0.15. Remands to vacate conviction of Class C misdemeanor operating while intoxicated.

Term. of the Parent-Child Rel. of R.H. and D.H., D.H. v. Indiana Dept. of Child Svcs. and Lake County CASA (NFP)
45A03-1107-JT-339
Parental termination. Affirms trial court’s involuntary termination of mother’s parental rights, finding evidence supported the juvenile court’s judgment.

Jeffery Haugh v. State of Indiana (NFP)
45A03-1106-CR-276
Criminal. Affirms denial of a motion to withdraw Haugh’s guilty plea in a case involving his conviction of Class D felony failure to notify authorities and moving a body from the scene. Finds the trial court didn’t err and that the sentence is appropriate.

William Estell v. State of Indiana (NFP)
20A03-1109-CR-423
Criminal. Affirms man’s three-year sentence following a conviction of Class D felony escape, finding trial court properly denied motion for a continuance before the sentencing.

Russell A. Prosser, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
59A01-1107-CR-346
Criminal. Reverses trial court on permitting state to elicit testimony from child-molesting victim’s case manager substantiating the molestation claim. Remands for a new trial.

Richard J. Charlton v. State of Indiana (NFP)
02A03-1108-CR-397
Criminal. Affirms Class B felony rape conviction, finding evidence was sufficient and trial court didn’t abuse its discretion by limiting evidence of sexual history between Richard Charlton and victim.
 
David S. Stover v. State of Indiana (NFP)
03A01-1109-CR-398
Criminal. Affirms Class A misdemeanor conviction of criminal conversation and one-year sentence suspended to probation, finding evidence was sufficient.

James R. Lockhart, Jr. v. Lisa (Lockhart) Guyer (NFP)
29A02-1103-DR-208
Domestic relation. On petition for rehearing, appellate court revises its Dec. 11, 2011, opinion in same case and removes the citation to Indiana Code 34-52-1-1(b) and instead inserts citation to Indiana Code 31-15-10-1. Affirms previous decision in all other regards.

The Indiana Tax Court had no opinions at IL deadline.
 

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  1. He called our nation a nation of cowards because we didn't want to talk about race. That was a cheap shot coming from the top cop. The man who decides who gets the federal government indicts. Wow. Not a gentleman if that is the measure. More importantly, this insult delivered as we all understand, to white people-- without him or anybody needing to explain that is precisely what he meant-- but this is an insult to timid white persons who fear the government and don't want to say anything about race for fear of being accused a racist. With all the legal heat that can come down on somebody if they say something which can be construed by a prosecutor like Mr Holder as racist, is it any wonder white people-- that's who he meant obviously-- is there any surprise that white people don't want to talk about race? And as lawyers we have even less freedom lest our remarks be considered violations of the rules. Mr Holder also demonstrated his bias by publically visiting with the family of the young man who was killed by a police offering in the line of duty, which was a very strong indicator of bias agains the offer who is under investigation, and was a failure to lead properly by letting his investigators do their job without him predetermining the proper outcome. He also has potentially biased the jury pool. All in all this worsens race relations by feeding into the perception shared by whites as well as blacks that justice will not be impartial. I will say this much, I do not blame Obama for all of HOlder's missteps. Obama has done a lot of things to stay above the fray and try and be a leader for all Americans. Maybe he should have reigned Holder in some but Obama's got his hands full with other problelms. Oh did I mention HOlder is a bank crony who will probably get a job in a silkstocking law firm working for millions of bucks a year defending bankers whom he didn't have the integrity or courage to hold to account for their acts of fraud on the United States, other financial institutions, and the people. His tenure will be regarded by history as a failure of leadership at one of the most important jobs in our nation. Finally and most importantly besides him insulting the public and letting off the big financial cheats, he has been at the forefront of over-prosecuting the secrecy laws to punish whistleblowers and chill free speech. What has Holder done to vindicate the rights of privacy of the American public against the illegal snooping of the NSA? He could have charged NSA personnel with violations of law for their warrantless wiretapping which has been done millions of times and instead he did not persecute a single soul. That is a defalcation of historical proportions and it signals to the public that the government DOJ under him was not willing to do a damn thing to protect the public against the rapid growth of the illegal surveillance state. Who else could have done this? Nobody. And for that omission Obama deserves the blame too. Here were are sliding into a police state and Eric Holder made it go all the faster.

  2. JOE CLAYPOOL candidate for Superior Court in Harrison County - Indiana This candidate is misleading voters to think he is a Judge by putting Elect Judge Joe Claypool on his campaign literature. paragraphs 2 and 9 below clearly indicate this injustice to voting public to gain employment. What can we do? Indiana Code - Section 35-43-5-3: Deception (a) A person who: (1) being an officer, manager, or other person participating in the direction of a credit institution, knowingly or intentionally receives or permits the receipt of a deposit or other investment, knowing that the institution is insolvent; (2) knowingly or intentionally makes a false or misleading written statement with intent to obtain property, employment, or an educational opportunity; (3) misapplies entrusted property, property of a governmental entity, or property of a credit institution in a manner that the person knows is unlawful or that the person knows involves substantial risk of loss or detriment to either the owner of the property or to a person for whose benefit the property was entrusted; (4) knowingly or intentionally, in the regular course of business, either: (A) uses or possesses for use a false weight or measure or other device for falsely determining or recording the quality or quantity of any commodity; or (B) sells, offers, or displays for sale or delivers less than the represented quality or quantity of any commodity; (5) with intent to defraud another person furnishing electricity, gas, water, telecommunication, or any other utility service, avoids a lawful charge for that service by scheme or device or by tampering with facilities or equipment of the person furnishing the service; (6) with intent to defraud, misrepresents the identity of the person or another person or the identity or quality of property; (7) with intent to defraud an owner of a coin machine, deposits a slug in that machine; (8) with intent to enable the person or another person to deposit a slug in a coin machine, makes, possesses, or disposes of a slug; (9) disseminates to the public an advertisement that the person knows is false, misleading, or deceptive, with intent to promote the purchase or sale of property or the acceptance of employment;

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  4. I grew up on a farm and live in the county and it's interesting that the big industrial farmers like Jeff Shoaf don't live next to their industrial operations...

  5. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

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