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Opinions May 8, 2013

May 8, 2013
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Terri Basden v. Professional Transportation Inc.
11-2880
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Evansville Division, Judge William T. Lawrence.
Civil. Affirms summary judgment for Professional Transportation on Basden’s claim she was terminated in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act or the Family and Medical Leave Act. Basden failed to present evidence sufficient to establish a prima facie right to the protection of the ADA or FMLA.

United States of America v. Tyrone Reynolds
12-1206
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division, Judge Rudy Lozano.
Criminal. Affirms a four-level leadership adjustment in the sentencing guidelines calculations for Reynold’s role in a kidnapping because sufficient evidence supports the adjustment. Holds the “ransom demand” provision requires, at a minimum, that the ransom demand be “made” to a third party. Reverses six-level increase for the ransom demand. Because nothing in the record suggests such a demand was made, the judges vacate Reynold’s life sentence and remands for resentencing.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Stacy Smith and Robert Smith, Individually and as Co-Personal Representatives of the Estate of Johnny Dupree Smith, Deceased v. Delta Tau Delta, Beta Psi Chapter of Delta Tau Delta, Wabash Col., et al
54A01-1204-CT-169
Civil tort. Holds that the trial court abused its discretion by admitting certain paragraphs of Delta Tau Delta’s executive vice president James Russell’s affidavit and by admitting two unsworn, unverified and uncertified statements. Finds that the trial court erred in granting Delta Tau Delta’s motion for summary judgment as there is a genuine issue of material fact that an agency relationship existed between the national fraternity and its local chapter, and the national fraternity assumed a duty to protect its freshmen pledges. Remands for further proceedings. Judge Baker concurs in parts and dissents in part.

Michael E. Lyons, Denita L. Lyons, individually and as Co-Personal Representatives of the Estate of Megan Renee Lyons, Deceased v. Richmond Community School Corp. d/b/a Richmond High School; Joe Spicer; et al.
89A04-1204-PL-159
Civil plenary. Holds summary judgment for the school was inappropriate on the Lyonses’ claims under the Indiana Tort Claims Act because when their cause of action accrued remains a question of fact, as does the issue of contributory negligence. Affirms there are no genuine issues of material fact on the couple’s claims of fraudulent concealment and on their Section 1983 claims. Affirms grant of motion to quash the Lyonses’ third-party discovery requests against RCSC’s insurer. Chief Judge Robb concurs in part and dissents in part.

Robert Graber, Jr. and Barbara Graber v. Allen County, Indiana Building Department (NFP)

02A05-1209-MI-485
Miscellaneous. Reverses grant of the building department’s motion to dismiss a verified complaint and remands for further proceedings.

In the Matter of the Term. of the Parent-Child Rel. of: E.M. & El.M. and E.M. v. The Indiana Dept. of Child Services (NFP)
45A03-1208-JT-370
Juvenile. Reverses termination of parental rights.

John A. Schmidt v. Karen Elaine Schmidt Denton (NFP)
34A02-1207-DR-579
Domestic relation. Reverses the trial court to the extent that it failed to make father’s child support modification retroactive to the filing of the petition and concluded that father would be responsible for 17 weeks of child support. Remands with instructions to credit a total of $2,814 against father’s college expense obligation. In all other respects, we affirm the trial court.

Robert Bowen v. State of Indiana (NFP)
08A04-1206-CR-305
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class D felony possession of a controlled substance and Class A misdemeanor possession of paraphernalia.

Michael Edward Groves v. State of Indiana (NFP)

82A01-1208-CR-386
Criminal. Affirms convictions of two counts of Class A felony dealing in methamphetamine and aggregate sentence of 20 years.

Ashley N. Lawrence v. State of Indiana (NFP)
92A04-1211-CR-597
Criminal. Reverses revocation of probation and sentence imposed. Remands for further proceedings.

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

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  1. Hi there I really need help with getting my old divorce case back into court - I am still paying support on a 24 year old who has not been in school since age 16 - now living independent. My visitation with my 14 year old has never been modified; however, when convenient for her I can have him... I am paying past balance from over due support, yet earn several thousand dollars less. I would contact my original attorney but he basically molest me multiple times in Indy when I would visit.. Todd Woodmansee - I had just came out and had know idea what to do... I have heard he no longer practices. Please help1

  2. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  3. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

  4. Diversity is important, but with some limitations. For instance, diversity of experience is a great thing that can be very helpful in certain jobs or roles. Diversity of skin color is never important, ever, under any circumstance. To think that skin color changes one single thing about a person is patently racist and offensive. Likewise, diversity of values is useless. Some values are better than others. In the case of a supreme court justice, I actually think diversity is unimportant. The justices are not to impose their own beliefs on rulings, but need to apply the law to the facts in an objective manner.

  5. Have been seeing this wonderful physician for a few years and was one of his patients who told him about what we were being told at CVS. Multiple ones. This was a witch hunt and they shold be ashamed of how patients were treated. Most of all, CVS should be ashamed for what they put this physician through. So thankful he fought back. His office is no "pill mill'. He does drug testing multiple times a year and sees patients a minimum of four times a year.

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