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Opinions Sept. 9, 2011

September 9, 2011
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Autumn Eaton v. Indiana Department of Corrections, Pendleton Juvenile Corrections Facility

10-3214
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson.
Civil. Reverses judgment of the District Court, finding that sufficient evidence exists to preclude summary judgment in favor of Eaton’s employer, the Indiana Department of Corrections, in her Title VII discrimination claim. Remands to the court for proceedings consistent with the opinion.

In re: Vikram Buddhi
10-3802
U.S. District Court, Northern, District of Indiana, Hammond Division, Judge James T. Moody.
Civil. Denies petition for a writ of mandamus requesting the 7th Circuit Court rescind the District Court’s order requiring money in Buddhi’s prison trust account to be applied to his filing fee and special assessment against him that was part of his sentence. Holds that Buddhi’s appeal from the denial of his motion to reconsider his sentence is being affirmed in a separate order.

Indiana Supreme Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Shawnee Construction and Engineering, Inc. v. Don C. Stanley, Jr.
02A04-1010-CT-610
Civil tort. Reverses trial court’s grant of partial summary judgment in favor of Stanley and denial of Shawnee’s summary judgment motion, holding that Shawnee did not contractually assume a duty to Stanley. Remands to the trial court with instructions to grant Shawnee’s summary judgment motion.

Matthew Conder v. State of Indiana
49A02-1012-PC-1404
Post-conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief, holding Conder failed to prove his claims of his counsel’s deficient performance or prejudice.

Martha Sienkowski v. Frederick E. Verschuure
46A03-1101-CT-5
Civil tort. Affirms trial court’s refusal to consider an affidavit from a juror to impeach the jury’s verdict post-trial, holding that regardless of whether the jury verdict was unanimous, it may not be impeached by the testimony or affidavit of the jurors who return it.

Michael Smith v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1011-CR-1268
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony resisting law enforcement.

Frances Collins v. Jean Ann Elsfelder (NFP)
82A01-1009-PL-456
Civil plenary. Affirms trial court’s denial of motion to correct error. Reverses allocation of credit card debt and remands to the court to modify distribution of debt amount.

Melvin Bishop v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A04-1101-CR-1
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B felony rape. Reverses conviction of and sentence for Class C felony sexual misconduct with a minor on double jeopardy grounds and remands to the trial court to vacate that conviction and sentence.

James Mason v. State of Indiana (NFP)
71A05-1101-CR-18
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A felony dealing in cocaine.

Doris Autry, et al. v. Central Soya Company, Inc., et al. (NFP)
49A02-1102-CT-193
Civil tort. Affirms trial court’s denial of Autry’s request for attorney fees.

Joseph Fairrow v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1012-CR-765
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class B misdemeanor disorderly conduct and Class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement.

Joseph Gardner v. State of Indiana (NFP)
79A02-1011-CR-1286
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A felony dealing in a narcotic and associated charges.

Cyrus C. Turpin v. State of Indiana (NFP)
22A01-1012-CR-626
Criminal. Affirms revocation of probation.

Richard K. Orem v. State of Indiana (NFP)
34A02-1106-CR-531
Criminal. Affirms trial court’s order that Orem serve the remainder of his previously suspended sentence for Class D felony strangulation in the Indiana Department of Correction.

Beverly Jinkins v. Cumis Insurance Society, Inc. (NFP)
49A04-1006-PL-371
Civil plenary. Affirms trial court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of Cumis.

In Re the Term. of the Parent-Child Rel. of J.B.and L.B.: T. B. and R.B. v. Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)
15A04-1103-JT-130
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights for mother and father.

Kara Day v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1102-CR-104
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B misdemeanor battery.

Manuel Rosas v. State of Indiana (NFP)
45A03-1011-CR-607
Criminal. Affirms conviction of and sentence for Class C felony child molesting.

Jose Rodriguez v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1006-CR-410
Criminal. Affirms conviction of attempted murder and sentence enhancement for acting at the direction of or in affiliation with a gang.

Courtney Arseneau v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1012-CR-1393
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class A misdemeanor domestic battery and Class A misdemeanor criminal mischief.

Shyreeta R. Members v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1101-CR-12
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony theft.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.
 

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  1. Where may I find an attorney working Pro Bono? Many issues with divorce, my Disability, distribution of IRA's, property, money's and pressured into agreement by my attorney. Leaving me far less than 5% of all after 15 years of marriage. No money to appeal, disabled living on disability income. Attorney's decision brought forward to judge, no evidence ever to finalize divorce. Just 2 weeks ago. Please help.

  2. For the record no one could answer the equal protection / substantive due process challenge I issued in the first post below. The lawless and accountable only to power bureaucrats never did either. All who interface with the Indiana law examiners or JLAP be warned.

  3. Hi there I really need help with getting my old divorce case back into court - I am still paying support on a 24 year old who has not been in school since age 16 - now living independent. My visitation with my 14 year old has never been modified; however, when convenient for her I can have him... I am paying past balance from over due support, yet earn several thousand dollars less. I would contact my original attorney but he basically molest me multiple times in Indy when I would visit.. Todd Woodmansee - I had just came out and had know idea what to do... I have heard he no longer practices. Please help1

  4. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  5. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

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