Opinions Oct. 9, 2019

7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Alejandro Yeatts v. Zimmer Biomet Holdings, Inc.
19-1269
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division. Magistrate Judge Michael Gotsch, Sr.
Civil. Affirms the Northern District Court’s denial of Alejandro Yeatts’ motion for partial summary judgment against Zimmer Biomet Holdings, Inc. Finds statements provided by Biomet that Yeatts was suspended in connection with a corruption investigation against Biomet is not actionable defamation. Also finds Yeatts’ inability to prove the statement false demonstrates that it is a statement of opinion, beyond the reach of defamation law.

USA v. Darin Kaufmann
18-2742
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, Fort Wayne Division. Chief Judge Theresa Springmann.
Criminal. Affirms Darin Kaufmann’s aggregate 15-year sentence for conviction of two counts of federal crimes involving sexual exploitation of a minor. Finds based on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision in United States v. Kraemer, Kaufmann’s prior Indiana state convictions for possession of child pornography trigger the sentencing enhancements of § 2252(b).

Indiana Court of Appeals
Michael J Mannion v. Wilmington Savings Fund Society FSB
19A-MF-00446
Mortgage foreclosure. Reverses the Howard Superior Court’s award of summary judgment, in rem judgment, default judgment and decree of foreclosure in favor of Wilmington Savings Fund Society FSB against Michael Mannion. Finds the trial court erred by entering summary judgment in favor of Wilmington. Remands with instructions to enter judgment for Mannion.

M C v. State of Indiana
19A-JV-00703
Juvenile. Affirms the Rush Superior Court’s declaration of juvenile M.C. as a ward of the Indiana Department of Correction. Finds the grant of wardship was not an abuse of discretion. Finds no violation of the Equal Protection Clause under the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution or the Privileges and Immunities Clause of the Indiana Constitution. Concludes neither the cruel and unusual punishment clause under the United States Constitution nor the proportionate penalties clause under the Indiana Constitution was implicated.

In re the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of C.Q. (Minor Child) and K.Q. (Mother) v. Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
19A-JT-666
Juvenile termination. Affirms the termination of K.Q.’s parental rights to her minor child, C.Q. Finds the Daviess Circuit Court did not clearly err in concluding that the conditions that resulted in C.Q.’s removal from K.Q.’s care, or the reasons for C.Q.’s continued placement outside K.Q.’s  home, would not be remedied. Nor did the trial court clearly err in determining that termination of K.Q.’s parental rights was in C.Q.’s best interest. Lastly, K.Q.’s arguments regarding DCS’s failure to continue to provide services to her are without merit.

Kevin T. Jones v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
19A-CR-427
Criminal. Affirms Kevin Jones’ aggregate seven-year sentence for conviction of Level 4 felony unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon and Class B misdemeanor possession of marijuana. Finds the sentence is not inappropriate in light of the nature of his offense or character.

In re the Paternity of C.D. Courtney Barber v. Mitchell Dorsey (mem. dec.)
19A-JP-665
Juvenile paternity. Affirms the Benton Circuit Court’s order awarding primary physical custody of C.D. to his father, Mitchell Dorsey. Finds the trial court did not abuse its discretion in granting Dorsey primary physical custody of C.D.

In re the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of J.L. (Minor Child) and J.R. (Mother) v. Indiana Department of Child Services, and Child Advocates, Inc. (mem. dec.)
19A-JT-764
Juvenile termination. Affirms the termination of J.R.’s parental rights to her minor child, J.L. Finds J.R. has not established reversible error in Marion Superior Court’s failure to hold and complete the evidentiary hearings on the termination petitions within the statutory timeframe. Finds she only challenged the statutory findings required by Indiana Code Section 31-35-2-4(b)(2). Concludes that clear and convincing evidence supports the trial court’s finding under Section 31-35-2-4(b)(2)(B)(i).

In re the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of L.L. (Minor Child) and J.L. (Mother) v. Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
19A-JT-891
Juvenile termination. Affirms the termination of J.L.’s parental rights to her minor child. L.L. Finds J.L.’s due process rights were not violated when the Department of Child Services failed to provide her with a referral for individual therapy. Finds clear and convincing evidence supports the Vanderburgh Superior Court’s order terminating her parental rights.

Troy R. Ashley v. Janet Christie (mem. dec.)
19A-SC-479
Small claims. Affirms the Henry Circuit Court’s judgment in Janet Christie’s favor against Troy Ashley. Finds the trial court did not err in refusing to admit vehicle maintenance records submitted to show that Ashley had maintained a truck. Also finds no error in the trial court’s acceptance of evidence submitted by Christie. Finally, finds the trial court did not err when it gave controlling weight to that evidence instead of the evidence Ashley preferred.

Avante L. Robinson v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
19A-CR-825
Criminal. Affirms Avante Robinson’s conviction of Class A misdemeanor invasion of privacy. Finds the Marion Superior Court did not abuse its discretion by admitting into evidence two screenshot pictures of Robinson’s attempts to contact his ex-girlfriend through social media.

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