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Opinions May 10, 2013

May 10, 2013
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Royce Brown v. John F. Caraway, Warden
12-1439
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Terre Haute Division, Judge William T. Lawrence.
Civil. Reverses denial of Brown’s petition for habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. Section 2241 in which he argued under Begay v. United States, 553 U.S. 137 (2008), his prior Delaware conviction for arson in the third degree did not qualify as a crime of violence. Brown is entitled to relief, and under Begay, his prior conviction doesn’t qualify as “generic” arson under the enumerated crimes clause of the career offender guideline, nor is it covered by the residual clause. Remands with instructions to reduce his drug and firearm sentence to reflect that he is not a career offender under Section U.S.S.G. Section 4B1.1. Chief Judge Easterbrook issued a statement concerning the circulation under Circuit Rule 40(e).

Indiana Court of Appeals
Dwight L. Cobbs v. State of Indiana
49A05-1207-CR-380
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B felony dealing in cocaine. The trial court properly admitted the confidential informant’s testimony. Even if the court erred by admitting it, any error was harmless.

Roberto Barajas v. State of Indiana
10A01-1208-PC-387
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief. Barajas failed to demonstrate prejudice by his trial counsel’s performance in light of the court’s advisements at his guilty plea hearing.

Bobby Alexander v. State of Indiana

49A04-1207-CR-351
Criminal. Dismisses appeal of conviction of Class B felony aggravated battery and remands with instructions for the trial court to enter a restitution order within 30 days of this opinion. The trial court never entered a restitution order, so the case is in procedural limbo.

Karina Wilson v. State of Indiana (NFP)

49A02-1207-CR-602
Criminal. Affirms sentence for Class A misdemeanor battery.

Term. of the Parent-Child Rel. of C.T. and D.T., minor children, and C.T., biological father, and K.P., biological mother: C.T. and K.P. v. Indiana Dept. of Child Services (NFP)
79A02-1210-JT-837
Juvenile. Affirms involuntary termination of parental rights.

Mr. Bults, Inc. D/B/A MBI v. Nathan Orlando (NFP)

56A04-1210-CT-515
Civil tort. Affirms negligence finding against Mr. Bults Inc. and $650,000 jury award.

In Re: The Paternity of V.A.; R.A. v. B.Y. (NFP)
39A01-1209-JP-413
Juvenile. Affirms order addressing custody, parenting time, child support and personal property issues. Remands for the court to rule on the issue of legal custody, father’s contempt petition, to clarify the factual basis for its child support order and to enter findings supporting the conclusion.

Daon L. Bellamy v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A04-1210-CR-500
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony theft.

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

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  1. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.

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  4. From the article's fourth paragraph: "Her work underscores the blurry lines in Russia between the government and businesses . . ." Obviously, the author of this piece doesn't pay much attention to the "blurry lines" between government and businesses that exist in the United States. And I'm not talking only about Trump's alleged conflicts of interest. When lobbyists for major industries (pharmaceutical, petroleum, insurance, etc) have greater access to this country's elected representatives than do everyday individuals (i.e., voters), then I would say that the lines between government and business in the United States are just as blurry, if not more so, than in Russia.

  5. For some strange reason this story, like many on this ezine that question the powerful, seems to have been released in two formats. Prior format here: http://www.theindianalawyer.com/nominees-selected-for-us-attorney-in-indiana/PARAMS/article/44263 That observed, I must note that it is quite refreshing that denizens of the great unwashed (like me) can be allowed to openly question powerful elitists at ICE MILLER who are on the public dole like Selby. Kudos to those at this ezine who understand that they cannot be mere lapdogs to the powerful and corrupt, lest freedom bleed out. If you wonder why the Senator resisted Selby, consider reading the comments here for a theory: http://www.theindianalawyer.com/nominees-selected-for-us-attorney-in-indiana/PARAMS/article/44263

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