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Opinions Nov. 20, 2012

November 20, 2012
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Lincoln Plowman
11-3781
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Larry J. McKinney.
Criminal. Affirms Plowman’s convictions of federal funds bribery and attempted extortion under color of official right. The District Court did not err when it precluded him from arguing entrapment to the jury.

Shane A. Holloway v. Delaware County Sheriff, in his official capacity, et al.
http://media.ibj.com/Lawyer/websites/opinions/index.php?pdf=2012/november/ND0NZ09G.pdf
12-2592
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Jane E. Magnus-Stinson.
Civil. Affirms summary judgment for the defendants on Holloway’s lawsuit alleging the sheriff violated his rights by detaining him without charges for nine days and that the jail physician and two of his attending nurses violated his constitutional rights by acting with deliberate indifference as to his serious medical condition. Based on the evidence, no reasonable jury could have concluded the doctor acted with deliberate indifference, the nurses could not prescribe medicine on their own, and Holloway can’t demonstrate that the sheriff’s actions violated due process or that the sheriff acted pursuant to an unconstitutional policy or custom.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Dennis Vermillion v. State of Indiana
13A01-1201-CR-17
Criminal. Affirmed in part, reversed in part and remanded for resentencing. The COA ruled Vermillion’s convictions do not violate double jeopardy and while the admission of prior-misconduct evidence was an error, it did not constitute a fundamental error. Also, the court concluded the trial court acted within its discretion in ordering Vermillion to serve consecutive sentences. However, it did find Vermillion’s total sentence exceeds the cap permitted by the Indiana Code section 35-50-1-2(c).

Cynthia L. Seleme v. JP Morgan Chase Bank, National Association, as successor by merger to Chase Home Finance
02A03-1205-MF-234
Mortgage foreclosure. Affirms trial court denial of relief from judgment on a residential mortgage, finding that the plaintiff did not demonstrate a meritorious defense as required under Trial Rule 60(B)(1), (3), or (7).

Richard Troy Dunno v. Ronalee Rasmussen
02A03-1207-PO-310
Protective order. Reverses trial court’s judgment ordering Dunno to pay Rasmussen’s attorney fees when she contested a protective order that Dunno had been granted against her on the allegation that she hit him with a vodka bottle, resulting in 18 stitches. The COA held that the trial court abused its discretion in awarding attorney fees to Rasmussen when she presented evidence at a hearing Dunno didn’t attend saying that she wasn’t the aggressor. The court held that awarding of fees was an abuse of discretion because the trial court cited no statutory authority under which the award could be made.

In the Matter of the Commitment of L.W. v. Wishard Health Services, Midtown Community Mental Health Center (NFP)
49A05-1202-MH-70
Mental Health. Affirms trial court’s order to involuntarily commit L.W. to Midtown Community Mental Health Center.

A.M. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
67A01-1205-JV-211
Juvenile Delinquency. Reverses trial court’s order adjudicating A.M. as a delinquent child.

Daniel R. Fuquay, Sr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
82A01-1110-PC-519
Post-Conviction Relief Petition. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Paulette Petkovich, et al. v. Prime Contractors Co., Inc. (NFP)
64A03-1203-MF-102
Mortgage Foreclosure. Affirms in part, reserves in part, and remands. The COA affirms the award of attorney’s fees to Prime Contractors; but reverses and remands the trial court’s judgment in setting the priority of the various liens on the home.

Jose Gonzalez v. State of Indiana (NFP)
48A02-1203-CR-182
Criminal. Affirms the trial court’s decision to sentence Gonzalez to 40 years.

Damian Ray Ramirez v. State of Indiana (NFP)
71A04-1205-CR-274
Criminal. Affirms conviction for battery with a deadly weapon, a Class C felony.

In the Matter of the Term. of the Parent-Child Rel. of B.T., C.K. and D.K.; D.K. v. Indiana Dept. of Child Services (NFP)
49A05-1202-JT-89
Juvenile Termination of Parental Rights. Affirms mother’s involuntary termination of her parental rights to her minor children, B.T., C.K. and D.K.

Gerald E. Smith v. Ronda K. (Smith) Busch (NFP)
67A01-1205-DR-241
Domestic Relation. Reverses the granting of the motion to correct error and remands this matter to the trial court with instructions to reinstate its order granting the Trial Rule 41(E) dismissal.

Carmel Lofts LLC and Keystone Construction Corp. v. Elbrecht Investments, LLC (NFP)
29A05-1205-PL-266
Civil Plenary. Affirms trial court’s granting of summary judgment for Elbrecht on its mechanic’s lien claim against Carmel Lofts for the full amount of its retainage.

Edward Graveline v. Melina (Graveline) Peyovich (NFP)
45A04-1201-DR-28
Domestic Relation. Affirms trial court’s denial of Graveline’s motion for relief from judgment and declines to award appellate attorney fees in this matter.

In the Matter of the Term. of the Parent-Child Rel. of J.R. and L.R.; and J.E. v. Indiana Dept. of Child Services (NFP)
09A05-1203-JT-152
Juvenile Termination of Parental Rights. Affirms the involuntary termination of father’s rights to his children, J.R. and L.R.

Dequincy Lopez v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A04-1204-PC-184
Post-Conviction Relief Petition. Affirms denial of Lopez’s request for post-conviction relief.

Ivan Calderon v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A04-1202-CR-88
Criminal. Affirms conviction of disarming a law enforcement officer as a Class C felony, pointing a firearm as a Class D felony, resisting law enforcement as a Class D felony, possession of marijuana as a Class A misdemeanor, and carrying a handgun without a license as a Class A misdemeanor. Finds trial court did not commit a fundamental error when it admitted the evidence seized from Calderon.  

John R. Northern v. State of Indiana (NFP)
56A03-1202-CR-62
Criminal. Affirms conviction of dealing in methamphetamine as a Class A felony and conspiracy to deal in methamphetamine as a Class A felony.

Dannie Engram v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1204-PC-309
Post-Conviction Relief Petition. Affirms denial of Engram’s petition for post-conviction relief.

Washaun Jones v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1204-CR-342
Criminal. Reverse and remands with instructions to vacate trial court’s order regarding the denial of Jones’s credit time for bad behavior and to correct the abstract of judgment so it reflects that Jones was convicted of dealing in cocaine as a Class B felony.

Todd Baker and Susan Baker v. Marathon Pipe Line, LLC (NFP)
87A01-1204-PL-156
Civil Plenary. Affirms denial of Bakers’ motion to correct error on the issue of whether their amended counterclaim for malicious prosecution was properly dismissed and of their motion to file a second amended counterclaim on the malicious prosecution and attorney fees issues.  
 

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  1. 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

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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