Opinions April 8, 2015

April 8, 2015
KEYWORDS Opinions / neglect

The following 7th Circuit Court of Appeals opinion was posted after IL deadline Tuesday:
United States of America v. Mark Bozovich
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division, Judge Rudy Lozano.
Criminal. Affirms conviction of conspiracy to distribute heroin and 235-month prison sentence. The District judge made a clear credibility finding and otherwise carefully scrutinized the drug quantity evidence. Finds that by testifying on direct about his heroin purchasing habits and motives for his purchases, Bozovich opened himself up for cross-examination as to those topics.

Wednesday’s opinions
Indiana Court of Appeals

Steven Matthies v. The First Presbyterian Church of Greensburg Indiana, Inc.
Civil plenary. Affirms summary judgment in favor of First Presbyterian on Matthies’ breach of contract complaint alleging violations of the Indiana Wage Claims Statute and Indiana common law. The issues presented in his claim would require the court to interpret and apply religious doctrine or ecclesiastical law, which is prohibited under the First Amendment. Judge Crone affirms in part and dissents in part in separate opinion.

Bruce Schaadt v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms 40-year sentence for two counts of Class A felony dealing in methamphetamine within 1,000 feet of a family housing complex and one count of Class D felony maintaining a common nuisance. The revised criminal code does not apply to Schaadt and the sentence is not inappropriate based on his prior criminal history and the nature of the offense.

NIPSCO Industrial Group, and, Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor v. Northern Indiana Public Service Company, et al.
Agency action. Affirms in part and reverses in part decision to allow NIPSCO to establish increased rates under I.C. 8-1-39. The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission erred by approving NIPSCO’s seven-year plan given its lack of detail regarding the projects for years two through seven. Concludes that the commission’s order did establish a presumption of eligibility regarding the undefined projects for years two through seven. There does not appear to be any statutory support for establishing such a presumption and such a presumption inappropriately shifts the burden of showing a project’s eligibility for TDSIC treatment from NIPSCO to other intervening parties. On remand, the commission may not establish such a presumption. The commission also exceeded its statutory authority by allowing the adjustment of the allocation factors based on transmission and distribution considerations. Affirms in all other respects. Remands for further proceedings.

5200 Keystone Limited Realty, LLC v. Netherlands Insurance Comp., Consolidated Insurance Comp., and Indiana Insurance Comp
Civil plenary. Affirms summary judgment in favor of the insurers. Any claim by KLR against the insurers related to the IDEM remediation action is conclusively barred by the known loss doctrine.

Cody Silvers v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to Class C felony leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death.

In Re: The Marriage of: Regina A. Niccum v. Matthew B. Niccum (mem. dec.)
Domestic relation. Affirms denial of Regina Niccum’s motion to continue, the trial court’s modification of custody and child support, and the award of attorney fees to Matthew Niccum.

Samuel Trahan IV v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms 9-month sentence in the Department of Correction for Class A misdemeanor invasion of privacy.

Katyun Marsh v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of felony murder.

C.R. v. V.R. (mem. dec.)
Domestic relation. Affirms order modifying child custody.

Anthony C. Martin v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms convictions and 50-year sentence for Class B felony robbery, Class D felony resisting law enforcement and finding Martin is a habitual offender.

Andrew J. Lessing v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class B felony criminal confinement and Class C felony battery.

Michael W. Hawkins v. Julie M. Hedge (mem. dec.)
Domestic relation. Affirms grant of mother’s petition to modify agreed entry regarding what school system their child would attend. Affirms order father pay mother $2,500 in attorney fees.

In the Matter of the Term. of the Parent-Child Relationship of W.P., Jr., and W.P., SR. and S.D.: S.D. and W.P. v. Ind. Dept. of Child Services (mem. dec.)
Juvenile. Affirms order terminating parental rights.