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Opinions Oct. 18, 2011

October 18, 2011
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Bruce Barton v. Zimmer Inc.
10-2212
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Fort Wayne Division, Judge Theresa L. Springmann.
Civil. Affirms summary judgment for Zimmer Inc. on Barton’s claims for discrimination and retaliation in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act and for interference with his right to reinstatement under the Family Medical Leave Act. Barton’s ADEA claims fail for lack of causation and any available remedy. There is also no evidence of retaliation, and he has no claim under FMLA because when Barton returned to work after his medical leave, the company assigned him equivalent duties without regard to his medical leave.

Indiana Supreme Court
Nathan Brock v. State of Indiana
38S02-1101-CR-8
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C felony operating a motor vehicle after forfeiture of driving privileges for life. Although Brock did not consent to a mistrial, his second trial didn’t violate the Double Jeopardy Clause of the Fifth Amendment because the trial court did not abuse its discretion in concluding that a mistrial was justified by manifest necessity.

Jeffery W. Cain v. State of Indiana
17S00-1008-CR-684
Criminal. Affirms convictions of murder and armed robbery and Cain’s sentence of life without parole. The trial court was within its discretion to deny Cain’s motion to exclude a witness’ testimony. A statement made by the prosecutor during her closing argument was not fundamental error.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Espiridion Estudillo v. Maria E. Estudillo
91A02-1102-DR-97
Domestic relation. Affirms property division following dissolution proceedings. The trial court did not abuse its discretion in considering the husband’s interest in property he titled to his adult daughter when dividing the marital estate nor when it determined two cars were not marital property. The trial court didn’t err by determining the extensive evidence of dissipation justified an unequal distribution of the marital property.

Gregg Miller v. America's Directories Inc. and Studio A Advertising and Marketing (NFP)
71A04-1011-CT-738
Civil tort. Affirms summary judgment for America’s Directories Inc. and Studio A Advertising and Marketing on Miller’s wrongful termination claim.

Joaquin Starks v. State of Indiana (NFP)
82A01-1006-CR-266
Criminal. Affirms conviction of felony murder.

Justin A. Van Brunt v. State of Indiana (NFP)
59A01-1104-CR-177
Criminal. Reverses sentence following guilty plea to three counts of Class B felony burglary and three counts of Class D felony theft. Reduces sentence to 10 years.

Timothy Platt v. Indianapolis Public Transportation Corporation (NFP)
49A02-1105-CT-417
Civil tort. Affirms order dismissing Platt’s petition for “declaration of rights & status” regarding a contract.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.
 
 

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  1. Hail to our Constitutional Law Expert in the Executive Office! “What you’re not paying attention to is the fact that I just took an action to change the law,” Obama said.

  2. What is this, the Ind Supreme Court thinking that there is a separation of powers and limited enumerated powers as delegated by a dusty old document? Such eighteen century thinking, so rare and unwanted by the elites in this modern age. Dictate to us, dictate over us, the massess are chanting! George Soros agrees. Time to change with times Ind Supreme Court, says all President Snows. Rule by executive decree is the new black.

  3. I made the same argument before a commission of the Indiana Supreme Court and then to the fedeal district and federal appellate courts. Fell flat. So very glad to read that some judges still beleive that evidentiary foundations matter.

  4. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  5. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

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