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Opinions Sept. 3, 2013

September 3, 2013
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
USA v. Farshad Ghiassi
12-3596
Criminal. Affirms 70-month sentence for Ghiassi’s guilty plea to being a felon in possession of a firearm, in violation of 18 U.S. Code 922(g)(1). Finds the District Court was uniquely and well-situated to assess the credibility of Ghiassi’s co-defendant and her statements that she purchased eight firearms on his behalf. Also rejects Ghiassi’s alternative argument that the District Court deprived him of due process. Rules Ghiassi knew the court was going to rely on his co-defendant’s statements and he had opportunity to challenge those statements.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Peru City Police Department and City of Peru v. Gregory Martin
52A02-1304-PL-350
Civil plenary. Reverses a trial court ruling that overturned a city board’s firing of a police officer for use of excessive force against a 64-year-old nursing home patient hit with five Taser deployments in one minute. The panel held that the trial court erroneously substituted its judgment for that of the city board, impermissibly reweighed evidence, disregarded evidence favorable to the board’s decision, credited the testimony of witnesses that the trial court did not personally hear, and misstated evidence regarding the scope of the officer’s training.

Peter F. Amaya v. D. Craig Brater, M.D., In his Capacity as Dean and Director of Indiana University School of Medicine; The Board of Trustees of Indiana University; et al.
49A04-1212-PL-620
Civil plenary. Affirms trial court grant of summary judgment in favor of Indiana University School of Medicine and related co-defendants for the dismissal of third-year medical student Peter Amaya on allegations of cheating on an exam. The panel held that Amaya was not denied due process and that it could not conclude that the decision to dismiss Amaya was not based on substantial evidence or was arbitrary or capricious.

Marion Turner v. State of Indiana
49A05-1302-CR-59
Criminal. Affirms conviction for dealing in cocaine as a Class A felony. Finds no reversible error in the trial court’s exclusion of a confidential informant’s offer to pay more money for cocaine. The jury could “reasonably interpret” from Turner’s testimony saying “the intensity was basically up the ante,” that the purchase price was being increased. Also rules the evidence is sufficient to prove Turner’s predisposition to deal cocaine. Turner’s interaction with an undercover detective indicated he was familiar with drug jargon and was soliciting a future transaction.  

TP Orthodontics, Inc., Christopher K. Kesling, DDS, MS, Adam Kesling, and Emily Kesling, Individually and derivatively on behalf of TP Orthodontics, Inc. v. Andrew C. Kesling, et al.
46A03-1207-MI-324
Miscellaneous. Affirms trial court’s order compelling TP Orthodontics to file a copy of the special litigation committee’s entire report under seal and to produce a copy for the siblings and their counsel. Rules the heavily redacted report gives a partial picture at best. It does not provide any information on what the committee may have failed to do or may have done incorrectly. Consequently, the derivative plaintiffs must have access to the complete unredacted report in order to determine if the committee was disinterested or conducted its investigation in good faith.

Kem Duerson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
82A01-1301-CR-23
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A felony dealing in cocaine and adjudication as a habitual offender.

Yulanda C. Petty v. John T. Petty (NFP)
71A03-1301-DR-11
Domestic relation. Affirms in part, reverses in part and remands a trial court order in favor of John Petty. Remands for a hearing to determine the balance in a trust account and a corresponding recalculation of Yulanda Petty’s share of support for a daughter’s college expenses.

Ruben Mancillas, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
55A04-1208-CR-444
Criminal. Affirms aggregate sentence of seven-and-a-half years for conviction of Class D felony resisting law enforcement with a motor vehicle, misdemeanor counts of failure to stop at an accident resulting in damage to a vehicle and operating a vehicle while intoxicated enhanced by a habitual offender finding.

Dwight McPherson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
48A05-1302-CR-64
Criminal. Remands to the trial court for proceedings, finding error in imposing a $200 public defender fee and in leaving a determination of restitution for the probation department.

Guy Ivester v. State of Indiana (NFP)
33A04-1209-PC-491
Post conviction. Affirms denial of post-conviction relief from 18-year executed sentence for conviction of Class A felony dealing in a Schedule II controlled substance.

In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of E.M., L.M., & G.M., and S.M. (Mother) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)
29A02-1301-JT-89
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.

Robert J. Winings v. State of Indiana (NFP)
20A03-1301-PC-26
Post conviction. Affirms denial of post-conviction relief from 40-year executed sentence for convictions of Class A felony dealing methamphetamine within 1,000 feet of a school and Class B felony dealing methamphetamine.

Robert Small v. State of Indiana (NFP)
48A04-1301-CR-38
Criminal. Affirms revocation of probation.

The Indiana Supreme Court and Tax Court issued no opinions prior to IL deadline.

 

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  3. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  4. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  5. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

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