Opinions Oct. 7, 2014

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The following 7th Circuit Court of Appeals opinion was posted after IL deadline Oct. 6:
Robert Lodholtz v. Granite State Insurance Company
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division, Judge Rudy Lozano.
Civil. Reverses judgment in favor of Granite State Insurance Co. on its seeking a declaratory judgment that it has no duty to indemnify its insured, Pulliam Enterprises. The issue was already litigated in state court, which ruled in favor of Lodholtz, a worker injured at the plant. The jurisdictional issue on which the federal suit is based was resolved against Granite State by the Indiana courts, and there is no ground for a collateral attack by another judicial system on that determination.

Indiana Supreme Court
Evansville Courier & Press and Rita Ward v. Vanderburgh County Health Department
Civil plenary. Reverses determination by trial court and finds death certificates which include the cause of death are public records. Holds a plain reading of the state statute denies public viewing of death information at the Indiana State Department of Health but gives private citizens access to death records at the local county health department. Remands for summary judgment in plaintiffs’ favor and to determine award of attorney fees.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Justin J. Clark v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms 45-year sentence for conviction of Class A felony robbery resulting in serious bodily injury. The sentence was not inappropriate based on the nature of the offense or on Clark’s character.

In re the Paternity of: J.G. (Minor Child), H.G. v. T.C. III
Juvenile paternity. Affirms trial court’s order to modify the child custody and child support orders and award custody to the father, T.C. Finds the lower court had subject matter jurisdiction because the parents entered into an agreement regarding custody and parenting time and the court approved it. Rules that the evidence support the trial court’s conclusion that modification was in the child’s best interests.  

Shawn L. Moore v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms concurrent sentences of 16 years for Class B felony unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon and eight years for Class C felony corrupt business influence.

Jo Ann Hacker v. Bank of America, N.A., successor by merger to BAC Home Loans Servicing, LP, f/k/a Countrywide (NFP)
Mortgage foreclosure. Affirms summary judgment in favor of Bank of America, N.A. Finds Hacker is directly liable as a matter of law for her breach of the promissory note as a maker and borrower.

Larry W. Dudley v. Review Board of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development and TC Heartland, LLC (NFP)
Civil. Affirms decision by the Review Board of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development that Dudley is disqualified from receiving unemployment insurance benefits because he was discharged for just cause.

Eric D. Smith v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Infraction. Affirms denial of Smith’s Indiana Trial Rule 60(B) motion for relief from judgment. Finds Smith did not present a meritorious defense that he was not the person who was caught speeding and who appeared in court to admit the infraction.


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