Opinions June 22, 2010

Keywords neglect / Opinions

The following opinion was posted Monday after IL deadline.
7th Circuit Court of Appeals

Assurance Co., Inc. v. Amy Hellman, et al.

U. S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division, Judge Allen Sharp.
Civil. Medical Assurance appealed the District Court’s stay on the company’s declaratory judgment action. The
company asked the court to declare that Dr. Mark Weinberger breached his contract obligations when he disappeared while on
vacation and hasn’t been participating in his defense in more than 350 medical malpractice claims. As an insurer, it
must show that the breach resulted in actual prejudice by showing that the outcome of the underlying case would have been
altered by the insured’s cooperation. The District Court had noted it would be impossible for Medical Assurance to show
actual prejudice without interfering with the state court processes, but the Circuit Court disagrees. The Circuit Court wrote
that summary judgment is a good tool to examine not only whether Medical Assurance can succeed as a matter of law but also
whether this case is a suitable candidate for declaratory relief by allowing the company to go forward with its challenge
to its duty to defend. Vacates and remands the case for further proceedings.

Today’s opinions
7th Circuit Court of Appeals

States of America v. Vertran Wheaton

U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Fort Wayne Division, Judge Theresa L. Springmann.
Criminal. Dismisses appeal of 36-month sentence for violating terms of supervised release. Wheaton admitted having violated
the terms, and his counsel filed an Anders brief. The court notes Wheaton didn’t ask to withdraw his admissions but
objects only to the sentence and not the revocation of supervised released based on his admissions. Using United States
v. Knox
, 287 F.3d 667, 670-72 (7th Cir. 2002), the court holds the challenge cannot stand. Grants counsel’s motion
to withdraw.

Indiana Supreme Court
the Matter of Mandate of Funds; St. Joseph County Commissioners and St. Joseph County Council v. The Hon. Peter J. Nemeth
and the St. Joseph Probate Court

Civil. On automatic review pursuant to Trial Rule 60.5(B) and Appellate Rule 61, this is the first case utilizing the 2009
amended procedures of T.R. 60.5. Reverses the dismissal of Mandate 1 directing that the commissioners “shall not sell,
assign, or otherwise transfer any interest in the land without the court’s consent” and remands it for trial.
Affirms in part and reverses in part Mandate 2 about renovations to the Juvenile Justice Center and Mandate 3 regarding raises
in salaries. Affirms the award of attorney fees and remands for a determination and award of the court’s appellate attorney
fees. Chief Justice Shepard and Justice Rucker concur with author Justice Sullivan. Justice Dickson concurs in part and dissents
in part with a separate opinion, with which Justice Boehm concurs.
Indiana Court of Appeals
Starr v. State of Indiana

Criminal. Reverses conviction of refusal to identify self, a Class C misdemeanor because Starr did not fall within the purview
of the refusal to identify statute.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions and IL deadline.

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