Opinions June 10, 2015

June 10, 2015

The following opinions were posted after IL deadline Tuesday:
7th Circuit Court of Appeals

Michael A. Miller v. St. Joseph County, et al.

U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division. Judge Rudy Lozano.
Civil. Affirms dismissal of Miller’s lawsuit claiming he had been discriminated against because he’s African-American. There is no evidence that the denial of his requests to fill two spots considered promotions were based on his race and he always retained his status as sergeant and same pay and benefits when he began working in the property room.

Indiana Supreme Court
State of Indiana v. Brishen R. Vanderkolk
Criminal. Reverses partial denial of Vanderkolk’s motion to suppress evidence found after a routine warrantless search of the home he shared with his roommate, who was on probation. The roommate never consented to routine warrantless searches and thus all evidence found and seized was a result of an improper entry. Remands with instructions to grant the motion to suppress in its entirety.

Wednesday’s opinions
Indiana Court of Appeals

Indiana Department of Transportation, and Ricardo Bustos v. Paula Sadler, as the Personal Representative of the Estate of Roger D. Sadler
Civil tort. Affirms denial of INDOT’s motion for summary judgment on the estate’s claim for wrongful death after Roger Sadler, while performing road work on an interstate, was struck by a car and killed. INDOT failed to carry its burden to show that it is entitled to immunity from liability pursuant to the Indiana Tort Claims Act.

Jovon R. Richardson v. Joshua M. Richardson
Domestic relation. Affirms grant of sole legal and physical custody of the parties’ minor child to the husband and grant of visitation to the husband with stepdaughter. Also affirms finding wife is in contempt for willful interference with husband’s parenting time and visitation. The evidence supports the finding that the stepdaughter’s visitation with husband is in her best interest, the trial court did not abuse its discretion in finding wife in contempt or in entering a custody arrangement not requested by the parties.

Jamar Minor v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms convictions of murder and Class A felony attempted murder. The trial court did not abuse its discretion in excluding certain hearsay evidence, it was a harmless error when the jury was erroneously instructed regarding accomplice liability, and the trial court did not abuse its discretion when it refused to tender Minor’s jury instruction on criminal recklessness as an inherently lesser-included offense of attempted murder.

Northlake Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, L.L.C. d/b/a Northlake Nursing and Rehabilitation Center v. State of Indiana Department of Health
Civil plenary. Affirms denial of Northlake’s petition for judicial review of a decision by the state Department of Health to not renew the center’s license. The petition was barred by res judicata.

Gerald R. Mauch v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Reverses revocation of Mauch’s probation after he did not pay in full the $102,444.84 in restitution as ordered by the end of his probation. The trial court erred in finding he knowingly, intentionally and willfully failed to pay the restitution because he failed to apply for and obtain a reverse mortgage on his home. Mauch’s wife refused to consent to the reverse mortgage and his health issues affect his ability to get a job.

State of Indiana v. Brian J. Taylor
Criminal. Affirms the portions of the trial court’s suppression order not challenged by the state. Disagrees with the trial court’s automatic exclusion of the officers that asserted their Fifth Amendment right during depositions and at the suppression hearing. Based on Taylor’s Sixth Amendment right to confrontation, the trial court must determine whether each officer’s unanswered questions are collateral to matters that he testifies to on direct examination. The trial court’s exclusion of the officers’ testimony is also not sustainable at this time based on Taylor’s Sixth Amendment right to counsel, the Fourth Amendment, or the principles of prosecutorial misconduct. Remands for the trial court to conduct an analysis of each officer’s testimony as discussed in this opinion. Judge May dissents with separate opinion.

David Williamson v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B misdemeanor public intoxication.

Jesse Jesus Pineda, Sr. v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms aggregate 15-year sentence for two counts of Class C felony child molesting.

David Burnett v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms 60-year sentence for murder and Class A misdemeanor carrying a handgun without a license.

Sharla C. Williams v. TradeWinds Services, Inc., Board of Directors of TradeWinds Services, Inc., Jon Gold in his individual capacity and official capacity (mem. dec.)
Civil tort. Dismisses Williams’ appeal finding she forfeited her right to appeal by not adhering to Indiana Appellate Rule 9.

Wayne Bell and Linda Bell v. Ice River Springs Kentland, LLC (mem. dec.)
Civil plenary. Reverses summary judgment for Ice River on the Bells’ complaint that the company breached its duty of care to Wayne Bell when he fell on ice in its parking lot. Remands for further proceedings.

Gary Wright v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class B felony burglary and Class D felony theft.

Michael Sidelinger v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms revocation of probation.

John Lane-El v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Miscellaneous. Affirms denial of petition for writ of habeas corpus.