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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. Whether you support "gay marriage" or not is not the issue. The issue is whether the SCOTUS can extract from an unmentionable somewhere the notion that the Constitution forbids government "interference" in the "right" to marry. Just imagine time-traveling to Philadelphia in 1787. Ask James Madison if the document he and his fellows just wrote allowed him- or forbade government to "interfere" with- his "right" to marry George Washington? He would have immediately- and justly- summoned the Sergeant-at-Arms to throw your sorry self out into the street. Far from being a day of liberation, this is a day of capitulation by the Rule of Law to the Rule of What's Happening Now.

  2. With today's ruling, AG Zoeller's arguments in the cases of Obamacare and Same-sex Marriage can be relegated to the ash heap of history. 0-fer

  3. She must be a great lawyer

  4. Ind. Courts - "Illinois ranks 49th for how court system serves disadvantaged" What about Indiana? A story today from Dave Collins of the AP, here published in the Benton Illinois Evening News, begins: Illinois' court system had the third-worst score in the nation among state judiciaries in serving poor, disabled and other disadvantaged members of the public, according to new rankings. Illinois' "Justice Index" score of 34.5 out of 100, determined by the nonprofit National Center for Access to Justice, is based on how states serve people with disabilities and limited English proficiency, how much free legal help is available and how states help increasing numbers of people representing themselves in court, among other issues. Connecticut led all states with a score of 73.4 and was followed by Hawaii, Minnesota, New York and Delaware, respectively. Local courts in Washington, D.C., had the highest overall score at 80.9. At the bottom was Oklahoma at 23.7, followed by Kentucky, Illinois, South Dakota and Indiana. ILB: That puts Indiana at 46th worse. More from the story: Connecticut, Hawaii, Minnesota, Colorado, Tennessee and Maine had perfect 100 scores in serving people with disabilities, while Indiana, Georgia, Wyoming, Missouri and Idaho had the lowest scores. Those rankings were based on issues such as whether interpretation services are offered free to the deaf and hearing-impaired and whether there are laws or rules allowing service animals in courthouses. The index also reviewed how many civil legal aid lawyers were available to provide free legal help. Washington, D.C., had nearly nine civil legal aid lawyers per 10,000 people in poverty, the highest rate in the country. Texas had the lowest rate, 0.43 legal aid lawyers per 10,000 people in poverty. http://indianalawblog.com/archives/2014/11/ind_courts_illi_1.html

  5. A very thorough opinion by the federal court. The Rooker-Feldman analysis, in particular, helps clear up muddy water as to the entanglement issue. Looks like the Seventh Circuit is willing to let its district courts cruise much closer to the Indiana Supreme Court's shorelines than most thought likely, at least when the ADA on the docket. Some could argue that this case and Praekel, taken together, paint a rather unflattering picture of how the lower courts are being advised as to their duties under the ADA. A read of the DOJ amicus in Praekel seems to demonstrate a less-than-congenial view toward the higher echelons in the bureaucracy.

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