Opinions May 20, 2015

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The following opinions were posted after IL deadline Tuesday:
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
University of Notre Dame v. Sylvia Mathews Burwell, Secretary of U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, et al., and Jane Doe 3
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Chief Judge Philip P. Simon.
Civil. Affirms denial of preliminary relief requested by Notre Dame against having to comply with the Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate pending a trial. Notre Dame has not yet established its right to the injunctive relief it is seeking before trial and majority believes a trial on the merits is necessary. Judge Hamilton concurs in separate opinion; Judge Flaum dissents in separate opinion.

Indiana Supreme Court
Cornelius Hines v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Reverses Class D felony conviction of battery based on double jeopardy grounds and remands for it to be vacated. Based on the charging information, jury instructions, and arguments of counsel, we find a reasonable possibility that the same evidence used by the jury to establish the essential elements of battery was also included among the evidence used by the jury to establish the essential elements of criminal confinement. Affirms eight-year sentence for Class C felony criminal confinement.

Wednesday’s opinions
7th Circuit Court of Appeals

Adrian C. Duncan Sr. v. United States Railroad Retirement Board
Agency. Petition for review of an order of the Railroad Retirement Board. Affirms the board’s denial of disability benefits for a man’s back injuries and pain as supported by substantial evidence.

Indiana Supreme Court
Kevin Charles Isom v. State of Indiana
Death penalty. Affirms Isom’s convictions of murder and imposition of the death penalty.  While a statement by prosecutors during the penalty phase stepped over the line, it did not constitute denying Isom fundamental due process. Remands with instructions to issue a new sentencing order consistent with this opinion. The trial court exceeded its authority by ordering Isom’s three death sentences to be served consecutively.

Roy Bell v. State of Indiana
Life without parole. Finds Bell’s statement to police was not unreliable as a matter of law and declines to reweigh the evidence regarding whether a witness’ statement regarding what Bell told her about the murder and robbery was reliable.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Erica L. Jackson v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms convictions of two counts of Class D felony theft and six counts of Class A misdemeanor check deception. Jackson did not establish that the trial court abused its discretion in refusing her proffered jury instruction, nor did she establish that the trial court abused its discretion in the admission of pretrial identification evidence.

Tiras D. Johnson v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms revocation of probation and order denying Johnson’s motion to suppress. The trial court acted within its discretion when it admitted evidence that the officers discovered a large quantity of marijuana in Johnson’s backpack when they executed the search warrant.

Michael Whittaker v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms sentence for Class D felony theft and adjudication as a habitual offender. The savings clause of the 2014 criminal code revision does not violate the Equal Privileges and Immunities Clause of the Indiana Constitution.

Jonte Twan Crawford v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms 61-year sentence for felony murder and Class B felony robbery.

Jessica Cundari v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B misdemeanor disorderly conduct.

Tony R. Johnson, Jr. v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class D felonies criminal gang activity and criminal recklessness.

Tyler Michael Cottrell v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms revocation of probation and order that Cottrell serve three of his previously suspended five years in the Department of Correction.

Cleverly P. Lockhart v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms 53-year sentence imposed following a re-sentencing in 1998 for Class C felony child molesting and three counts of Class B felony child molesting.

In re: The Adoption of A.S.B., S.B. v. K.E. (mem. dec.)
Adoption. Affirms adoption of child A.S.B. by K.E.

Elyse S. Barnfield v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to Class D felony resisting law enforcement using a motor vehicle; two counts each of Class D felony possession of a controlled substance and possession of cocaine; and Class B misdemeanors false informing and failure to stop after an accident resulting in property damage.

Roy G. Dinwiddie v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Vacates Class D felony nonsupport of a dependent conviction and remands to the trial court for entry of judgment on the Class C felony conviction of nonsupport only. Affirms six-year sentence.

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