Opinions Nov. 23, 2011

November 23, 2011
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The following 7th Circuit Court of Appeals opinion was posted after IL deadline Tuesday:
Christopher Pavey v. Patrick Conley
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division, Judge Robert L. Miller.
Criminal. Affirms District Court’s dismissal of Pavey’s suit for failure to exhaust administrative remedies for an injury that occurred while incarcerated. Holds that Pavey was aware, based on his prior experience, of proper channels for filing grievances.

The following Indiana Supreme Court opinion was posted after IL deadline Tuesday:
Town of Avon v. West Central Conservancy District, Washington Township, and Ronnie Austin, in his capacity as Trustee and Park Governor
Civil plenary. Reverses trial court’s denial of Avon’s motion for summary judgment, holding underground aquifers are “watercourses” as defined by state law and therefore community officials have the ability to reasonably regulate how that water is withdrawn and used by other local governments. Remands for proceedings consistent with opinion.

Today’s opinions:

7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Monica Del Carmen Gonzalez-Servin, et. al. v. Fort Motor Company, et. al.
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Sarah Evans Barker.
Civil. In a consolidated appeal, the court affirmed decisions by District Courts in Indiana and Illinois granting forum non conveniens in multidistrict litigation. In the Indiana case, the court held that Judge Sarah Evans Barker was acting within her discretion in deciding that the courts of Mexico would be better suited to adjudication of a lawsuit by Mexican citizens arising from the death of another Mexican citizen in an accident in Mexico.

Fort Wayne Telsat Inc. v. JAS Partners, LTD.
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Fort Wayne Division, Judge Theresa L. Springmann.
Civil. Affirms District Court’s determination that the trustee had acted reasonably in settling the debtor’s claim against Indiana University for $100,000.

Indiana Court of Appeals
State of Indiana v. James D. Eichorst
Criminal. Reverses trial court’s determination that Eichorst did not meet the criteria for an enhanced sentence under Indiana Code Section 9-30-5-3, holding that the court erred in its interpretation of the statute. Remands for proceedings consistent with opinion.  

State of Indiana v. Kevin Lee Traver
Criminal. Reverses trial court’s determination that Traver did not meet the criteria for an enhanced sentence under Indiana Code Section 9-30-5-3, holding that the court erred in its interpretation of the statute. Remands for proceedings consistent with opinion.  

State of Indiana v. Donald Loren Wilson
Criminal. Reverses trial court’s determination that Wilson did not meet the criteria for an enhanced sentence under Indiana Code Section 9-30-5-3, holding that the court erred in its interpretation of the statute. Remands for proceedings consistent with opinion.  

Commitment of T.S. v. Logansport State Hospital
Mental health. Affirms trial court’s decision denying T.S.’s request to be removed from the Sexual Responsibility Program at Logansport State Hospital, holding that the state presented testimony from experts that T.S. was still in need of treatment offered by the program.

Gordon B. Dempsey and Gordon B. Dempsey, PC v. Todd H. Belanger
Civil tort. Affirms trial court’s denial of Dempsey’s motion to reinstate his complaint against attorney Todd H. Belanger. Holds that appellate attorney fees are warranted and remands for the limited purpose of determining Belanger’s appellate attorney fees.

Ronnie Sanders v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B misdemeanor battery.

L.E. v. Review Board of the Indiana Dept. of Workforce Development and F.W.C.S. (NFP)
Miscellaneous. Remands to Indiana Department of Workforce Development’s Review Board to correct calculation error in reduction of L.E.’s unemployment benefits.

Kay Kim and Charles Chuang v. Village at Eagle Creek Homeowners Association c/o Community Association Services of Indiana; and Chubb Custom Insurance Co. (NFP)
Civil tort. Affirms trial court’s summary judgment in favor of appellee-defendant and affirms trial court’s dismissal of appellants’ complaint against Chubb Custom Insurance.

Bryce D. Pope v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Taimeka Garnett v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B misdemeanor public intoxication.

David Gardner v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor domestic battery.

Christina Francis v. City of Indianapolis (NFP)
Local ordinance. Affirms trial court’s judgment finding Francis in violation of Indianapolis-Marion County Ordinance No. 531-102 for having a dog at large.

Robert and Heather Taylor v. Charles B. Caldwell (NFP)
Civil tort. Affirms trial court’s decision denying damages for Heather Taylor’s alleged permanent injuries.

In the Matter of J.M.R., Child in Need of Services, M.R. v. Indiana Dept. of Child Services (NFP)
Juvenile. Affirms juvenile court’s finding that J.M.R. is a child in need of services.

George Kotsopoulos v. Peters Broadcast Engineering, Inc. (NFP)
Civil plenary. Affirms trial court’s denial of Kotsopoulos’ motion to correct error and judgment in favor of Peters Broadcast Engineering (PBE). Per PBE’s concession that Kotsopoulos is not individually liable, remands to the court to amend judgment by removing his individual liability for the judgment.

The Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions by IL deadline.


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  1. I like the concept. Seems like a good idea and really inexpensive to manage.

  2. I don't agree that this is an extreme case. There are more of these people than you realize - people that are vindictive and/or with psychological issues have clogged the system with baseless suits that are costly to the defendant and to taxpayers. Restricting repeat offenders from further abusing the system is not akin to restricting their freedon, but to protecting their victims, and the court system, from allowing them unfettered access. From the Supreme Court opinion "he has burdened the opposing party and the courts of this state at every level with massive, confusing, disorganized, defective, repetitive, and often meritless filings."

  3. So, if you cry wolf one too many times courts may "restrict" your ability to pursue legal action? Also, why is document production equated with wealth? Anyone can "produce probably tens of thousands of pages of filings" if they have a public library card. I understand this is an extreme case, but our Supreme Court really got this one wrong.

  4. He called our nation a nation of cowards because we didn't want to talk about race. That was a cheap shot coming from the top cop. The man who decides who gets the federal government indicts. Wow. Not a gentleman if that is the measure. More importantly, this insult delivered as we all understand, to white people-- without him or anybody needing to explain that is precisely what he meant-- but this is an insult to timid white persons who fear the government and don't want to say anything about race for fear of being accused a racist. With all the legal heat that can come down on somebody if they say something which can be construed by a prosecutor like Mr Holder as racist, is it any wonder white people-- that's who he meant obviously-- is there any surprise that white people don't want to talk about race? And as lawyers we have even less freedom lest our remarks be considered violations of the rules. Mr Holder also demonstrated his bias by publically visiting with the family of the young man who was killed by a police offering in the line of duty, which was a very strong indicator of bias agains the offer who is under investigation, and was a failure to lead properly by letting his investigators do their job without him predetermining the proper outcome. He also has potentially biased the jury pool. All in all this worsens race relations by feeding into the perception shared by whites as well as blacks that justice will not be impartial. I will say this much, I do not blame Obama for all of HOlder's missteps. Obama has done a lot of things to stay above the fray and try and be a leader for all Americans. Maybe he should have reigned Holder in some but Obama's got his hands full with other problelms. Oh did I mention HOlder is a bank crony who will probably get a job in a silkstocking law firm working for millions of bucks a year defending bankers whom he didn't have the integrity or courage to hold to account for their acts of fraud on the United States, other financial institutions, and the people. His tenure will be regarded by history as a failure of leadership at one of the most important jobs in our nation. Finally and most importantly besides him insulting the public and letting off the big financial cheats, he has been at the forefront of over-prosecuting the secrecy laws to punish whistleblowers and chill free speech. What has Holder done to vindicate the rights of privacy of the American public against the illegal snooping of the NSA? He could have charged NSA personnel with violations of law for their warrantless wiretapping which has been done millions of times and instead he did not persecute a single soul. That is a defalcation of historical proportions and it signals to the public that the government DOJ under him was not willing to do a damn thing to protect the public against the rapid growth of the illegal surveillance state. Who else could have done this? Nobody. And for that omission Obama deserves the blame too. Here were are sliding into a police state and Eric Holder made it go all the faster.

  5. JOE CLAYPOOL candidate for Superior Court in Harrison County - Indiana This candidate is misleading voters to think he is a Judge by putting Elect Judge Joe Claypool on his campaign literature. paragraphs 2 and 9 below clearly indicate this injustice to voting public to gain employment. What can we do? Indiana Code - Section 35-43-5-3: Deception (a) A person who: (1) being an officer, manager, or other person participating in the direction of a credit institution, knowingly or intentionally receives or permits the receipt of a deposit or other investment, knowing that the institution is insolvent; (2) knowingly or intentionally makes a false or misleading written statement with intent to obtain property, employment, or an educational opportunity; (3) misapplies entrusted property, property of a governmental entity, or property of a credit institution in a manner that the person knows is unlawful or that the person knows involves substantial risk of loss or detriment to either the owner of the property or to a person for whose benefit the property was entrusted; (4) knowingly or intentionally, in the regular course of business, either: (A) uses or possesses for use a false weight or measure or other device for falsely determining or recording the quality or quantity of any commodity; or (B) sells, offers, or displays for sale or delivers less than the represented quality or quantity of any commodity; (5) with intent to defraud another person furnishing electricity, gas, water, telecommunication, or any other utility service, avoids a lawful charge for that service by scheme or device or by tampering with facilities or equipment of the person furnishing the service; (6) with intent to defraud, misrepresents the identity of the person or another person or the identity or quality of property; (7) with intent to defraud an owner of a coin machine, deposits a slug in that machine; (8) with intent to enable the person or another person to deposit a slug in a coin machine, makes, possesses, or disposes of a slug; (9) disseminates to the public an advertisement that the person knows is false, misleading, or deceptive, with intent to promote the purchase or sale of property or the acceptance of employment;