Opinions Dec. 18, 2014

December 18, 2014

The following 7th Circuit Court of Appeals opinion was posted after IL deadline Wednesday:
Kurt Stuhlmacher and Kelly Stuhlmacher v. Home Depot USA, Incorporated and Tricam Industries
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division, Magistrate Judge Andrew P. Dodovich.
Civil. Reverses judgment as a matter of law for the defendants on the Stuhlmachers’ product liability claim. The magistrate judge abused his discretion in striking the testimony of the Stuhlmachers’ expert witness. Remands for a new trial.

Thursday’s opinions
Indiana Supreme Court

Rodregus Morgan v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Vacates conviction of Class B misdemeanor public intoxication as the requirements for conviction under Indiana’s public intoxication statute have not been met. An objective reasonable person standard should be read into Indiana’s public intoxication statute when applying the term “annoys.” Under that reading, the statute is not unconstitutionally vague.

Indiana Court of Appeals
In Re: the Guardianship of M.N.S.; J.L.M. v. M.S.S
Guardianship. Affirms order granting the natural parent’s motion to terminate a guardianship held by a third-party over the parent’s child. The guardian did not meet her burden of showing that the best interests of the child were substantially and significantly served by placement with her.

Thomas Mack v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class B felony possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon, Class C felony forgery, Class D felony maintaining a common nuisance, and Class A misdemeanor possession of marijuana. In light of the facts and circumstances of this case, a lapse of at least “a few minutes” between a declarant’s perception of an event and his statement describing that event was too long to qualify the statement as a present sense impression under Indiana Evidence Rule 803(1). The admission of this hearsay violated Mack’s right to confront the declarant. Nonetheless, these errors were harmless beyond a reasonable doubt.

Gilda Orange, et al., Members of the Common Council of the City of East Chicago, Ind. v. Hon. Sonya A. Morris
Civil plenary. Affirms judgment that the common council must appropriate an additional $65,000 to fund the city court. Judge Morris carried her burden to establish that the requested funds were reasonably necessary. She used the proper procedure to prosecute her mandate action. Remands for a calculation of the city court’s appellate attorney fees and expenses.

Dawn Duty v. Boys and Girls Club of Porter County and Chuck Leer
Civil plenary. Affirms dismissal of Duty’s claim against the Boys and Girls Club alleging wrongful discharge. Reverses dismissal of her claim against Leer alleging tortious interference with a contractual relationship. She may proceed with that claim on remand.

T.H. and C.H. v. R.J. and K.J.

Miscellaneous. Affirms order granting sole physical and legal custody of B.J. to mother and stepfather. The evidence supported the juvenile court’s factual findings, the grandparents failed to rebut the presumption of awarding custody of B.J. to the parents, and there was no error in discontinuing court-ordered visitation with grandparents.

Ind. Automobile Wholesalers Assoc., Inc., National Dealer Licence, Llc., et. al. v. Carol Mihalik, Comm. of the Ind. Securities Div. of the Ind. Sec. of State, et. al. (NFP)
Civil plenary. Affirms dismissal of complaint for declaratory judgment and injunctive relief against the state actors.

In Re the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of V.A. and A.A. v. Ind. Dept. of Child Services (NFP)

Juvenile.  Affirms termination of parental rights.

James D. Harral, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms 11-year sentence for two counts of Class D felony operating a vehicle while intoxicated with a prior conviction and one count of Class B misdemeanor battery, with a sentencing enhancement for Harral’s admission he is a habitual substance offender.

Landon Harbert v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony domestic battery.

Bennie Truth v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony failure to register as a sex offender.

William Temple, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Miscellaneous. Affirms dismissal of complaint due to failure to comply with I.C. 33-37-3-3.

Glenn A. Eads, Jr. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms revocation of probation.

In Re the Adoption of K.M., Y.P. v. H.M. (NFP)
Adoption.  Affirms order granting stepmother’s petition to adopt K.M.

Timothy L. Hall v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class B and Class C felony sexual misconduct with a minor.

Michael Coleman v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms convictions of two counts of Class D felony intimidation, and one count of Class B misdemeanor disorderly conduct.

Brian Pierce v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms revocation of probation.

Daniel Camacho v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor criminal conversion.

Oluwaseyi Ojo v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B misdemeanor criminal mischief and reverses conviction of Class B misdemeanor criminal recklessness. Remands for further proceedings.

Roger Berghs, Karen Berghs, and Rex Harris v. Planet Antares, Inc., Purco Corp., and Dana M. Bashor (NFP)
Civil plenary. Affirms finding for the franchisor on the Berghses’ lawsuit alleging breach of contract, breach of warranty and criminal deception and decision to not enter default judgment against the franchisor.

Terrance Greenwood, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to Class D felony check fraud.

Brook McKee v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to Class D felony intimidation.

Charles S. Komyanek v. Sodexho Services of Indiana (NFP)
Civil tort. Affirms grant of summary judgment in favor of Sodexho Services.

Michael Vicars-Goings v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms sentence imposed following revocation of probation.

Larry White v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor invasion of privacy.

Ron Petty v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to Class D felony domestic battery.

Phillip Gray v. The Palace, et al. (NFP)
Miscellaneous.  Affirms default judgment in favor of Gray and against the Palace and determination that damages were $103,069.58 plus interest.