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Opinions Oct. 13, 2010

October 13, 2010
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Cruz Saenz
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Sarah Evans Barker.
Criminal. Affirms conviction of conspiring to distribute more than 5 kilograms of cocaine but vacates his 293-month sentence. Rejects Saenz’s speedy trial challenge because nearly all of the delay is attributable to requests by Saenz or his co-defendants and the court didn’t error in imposing an obstruction of justice enhancement by concluding Saenz willfully lied about whether he knew the money he was transporting was drug money. Remands for the District Court to reconsider whether Saenz should receive the minor role adjustment as there is no evidence in the record of his involvement in a conspiracy beyond the single transport of money.


Indiana Supreme Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals
State of Indiana v. Eric Booher, et al.
18A04-0910-CV-599
Civil. Reverses award of pre-judgment and post-judgment interest to the Boohers and Nortra Inc. Based on the language in the settlement agreements, the agreements didn’t contemplate any pre-judgment interest other than that accrued on the amounts previously deposited by the state. Remands for a calculation of post-judgment interest because the record doesn’t reveal when or if the state paid the Boohers the remaining principal payment or when the state paid the remaining principal payment under the Nortra judgment.  

Fabian Morgan v. State of Indiana
49A04-1001-CR-43
Criminal. Affirms conviction of and sentence for unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon as a Class B felony. Morgan waived his claim that there wasn’t sufficient evidence to prove he qualified as a serious violent felon. Concludes there is persuasive authority for the proposition that a stipulation may be presented to the jury in the form of a preliminary instruction, where it may be challenged by a defendant who preserves the issue for appellate review. The trial court didn’t commit fundamental error when it stated to the jury that the defense attorney’s characterization of certain evidence was “misleading” and “not the evidence.”

Larry E. Hyatt v. State of Indiana (NFP)
48A04-0912-CR-735
Criminal. Affirms convictions of four counts of dealing in cocaine as Class B felonies and one count of maintaining a common nuisance as a Class D felony.

Clarence T. Hunt v. State of Indiana (NFP)
73A04-1001-CR-39
Criminal. Affirms convictions of two counts of Class A felony dealing in a narcotic drug.

Jason Akemon v. State of Indiana (NFP)
38A02-1003-CR-307
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B felony rape.

Shavaughn C. Wilson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1002-PC-326
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Ronald B. Blake v. State of Indiana (NFP)
73A01-1002-CR-123
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to operating a vehicle after forfeiture for life as a Class C felony.

Christopher James Hovious v. State of Indiana (NFP)
79A02-1003-CR-354
Criminal. Affirms revocation of probation.

Kevin Andrew Kohler v. State of Indiana (NFP)
35A02-1002-CR-175
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class A felony child molesting and two counts of Class C felony child molesting.

Sabrina Wright v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A04-1002-CR-57
Criminal. Affirms conviction of battery on a law enforcement officer as a Class A misdemeanor.

Willard Bolton v. Nanette Bolton (NFP)
34A05-1002-DR-59
Domestic relation. Reverses the valuation of certain marital assets and finding Willard in contempt of the court’s Dec. 7, 2009, order. Affirms denial of his request for permanent spousal maintenance, ordering of an unequal division of marital assets, and not awarding Willard attorney’s fees.

M.B. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1002-JV-241
Juvenile. Reverses modification of probation to the Department of Correction and remands for an evidentiary hearing.

Jessica Haylett v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A04-1002-CR-64
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor criminal mischief.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.
 

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  1. Indiana's seatbelt law is not punishable as a crime. It is an infraction. Apparently some of our Circuit judges have deemed settled law inapplicable if it fails to fit their litmus test of political correctness. Extrapolating to redefine terms of behavior in a violation of immigration law to the entire body of criminal law leaves a smorgasbord of opportunity for judicial mischief.

  2. I wonder if $10 diversions for failure to wear seat belts are considered moral turpitude in federal immigration law like they are under Indiana law? Anyone know?

  3. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

  4. Justice has finally been served. So glad that Dr. Ley can finally sleep peacefully at night knowing the truth has finally come to the surface.

  5. While this right is guaranteed by our Constitution, it has in recent years been hampered by insurance companies, i.e.; the practice of the plaintiff's own insurance company intervening in an action and filing a lien against any proceeds paid to their insured. In essence, causing an additional financial hurdle for a plaintiff to overcome at trial in terms of overall award. In a very real sense an injured party in exercise of their right to trial by jury may be the only party in a cause that would end up with zero compensation.

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