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Opinions Nov. 23, 2010

November 23, 2010
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Nightingale Home Healthcare, Inc. v. Anodyne Therapy, LLC
10-2327
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Sarah Evans Barker
Civil. Affirms the judgment of the District Court that granted Anodyne’s request for an award of attorneys’ fees in the amount of $72,747. The award was based on 15 U.S.C. § 1117(a), which allows attorneys’ fees to be awarded to prevailing parties in Lanham Act suits, but only in “exceptional cases.” Nightingale contended no award of attorneys’ fees was justified because the case was not “exceptional.” Also grants Anodyne’s motion for fees and costs pursuant to Rule 38 of the appellate rules. Dismisses as moot Anodyne’s motion to strike Nightingale’s brief and appendix.

June Kimmel v. Western Reserve Life Assurance Company of Ohio
10-1336
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division, Magistrate Judge Paul R. Cherry
Civil. Affirms District Court’s grant of summary judgment to Western Reserve Life Assurance Company of Ohio. The insurance company had neither accepted nor denied the life insurance application of June Kimmel’s late husband, Richard Kimmel, within a 60-day timeframe. Richard died in an automobile accident six weeks after the end of that 60-day period. The 7th Circuit concludes that  "although Western Reserve deserves criticism for its handling of Richard’s application for life insurance, its behavior is not actionable under Indiana tort law” because ”the relationship between an insured and an insurer is different enough from the relationship between an applicant and a prospective insurer.”

Indiana Supreme Court posted no opinions before IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals
 
Deidre Carter v. Grace Whitney Properties
82A04-1003-SC-177
Civil. Reverses and remands findings of small claims court. Concludes Vanderburgh County Local Rules 1.23(C) and 1.05(E), as applied here, violate Article 1, Section 22 of the Indiana Constitution because they contemplate the use of contempt to enforce an obligation to pay money even where, as here, the debt does not involve child support or fraud.
 
Larry Cox v. State of Indiana
79A04-0912-CR-741
Criminal. Reverses and remands Cox’s convictions of 10 counts of Class A felony child molesting and five counts of Class C felony child molesting. Concludes the trial court improperly permitted the state to introduce a videotaped statement in lieu of live direct examination, and that that error was not harmless.

Gregory Owens v. State of Indiana
29A02-1002-CR-390
Criminal. Affirms Owens’ conviction of child molesting. Concludes the state did not infringe upon his Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination by introducing evidence that he did not contact police. Also finds the prosecutor’s comment in closing argument was improper but did not rise to the level of fundamental error requiring reversal.
 
Erik E. Neal, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)

71A03-1003-CR-214
Criminal. Affirms conviction of and sentence for felony murder.
 
Steven Thrash v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1005-CR-483
Criminal. Affirms conviction of aggravated battery, a Class B felony. Revises 10-year sentence to eight years with six years executed and two years suspended.

Tara K. Mateyko v. State of Indiana (NFP)
29A02-1002-CR-226
Criminal. Affirms conviction of theft, a Class D felony.
 
Kyle Sheets v. Kandie Sheets (NFP)
48A02-1004-DR-419
Civil. Affirms trial court’s grant of mother’s request for permission to move with the parties’ children to Oklahoma.

Indiana Tax Court posted no opinions before IL deadline.
 

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  1. Excellent initiative on the part of the AG. Thankfully someone takes action against predators taking advantage of people who have already been through the wringer. Well done!

  2. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

  3. Pass Legislation to require guilty defendants to pay for the costs of lab work, etc as part of court costs...

  4. The fee increase would be livable except for the 11% increase in spending at the Disciplinary Commission. The Commission should be focused on true public harm rather than going on witch hunts against lawyers who dare to criticize judges.

  5. Marijuana is safer than alcohol. AT the time the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act was enacted all major pharmaceutical companies in the US sold marijuana products. 11 Presidents of the US have smoked marijuana. Smoking it does not increase the likelihood that you will get lung cancer. There are numerous reports of canabis oil killing many kinds of incurable cancer. (See Rick Simpson's Oil on the internet or facebook).

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