Opinions Aug. 14, 2015

August 14, 2015
KEYWORDS Opinions / neglect

7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Robert E. Spierer, et al. v. Corey E. Rossman, et al.
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division
Judge Tanya Walton Pratt
Civil. Affirms summary judgment in favor of defendants sued by the family of missing Indiana University student Lauren Spierer. Plaintiffs failed to state a plausible claim under Indiana common law for negligence.

The following opinions were issued after IL deadline Thursday.
Estate of William E. Williams et al. v. Indiana State Police Department et al.
Appeal from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Terre Haute Division
Judge Jane E. Magnus-Stinson
Civil. Affirms summary judgment in favor of Indiana State Police defendants in an excessive force claim brought by the estate of a suicidal man who died after he was shot by police. The undisputed evidence established that Williams had engaged in behavior that endangered his life and necessitated actions by the officers.

Chontel M. Miller v. Polaris Laboratories, LLC
Appeal from the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division
Judge Tanya Walton Pratt.
Civil. Reverses granting of summary judgment in favor of Polaris on the discrimination and retaliation claims. Finds Miller presents a genuine issue of material fact to merit further proceedings. Acknowledges that proving her claims of racial animus may be difficult but rules Miller has produced evidence that raises an inference that supervisors purposefully torpedoed her efforts to do her job.

Aug. 14, 2015
Indiana Court of Appeals
Wesley McDivitt v. Sue McDivitt
Domestic relation. Reverses order requiring Wesley McDivitt to pay half of his monthly pension benefits to his ex-wife, Sue McDivitt. Disagrees with trial court’s conclusion that Wesley’s severance agreement mistakely listed Sue as a beneficiary instead of a co-annuitant. Rules the plain terms of the agreement and extrinsic evidence shows Wesley did not transfer ownership interest to Sue and the payments are his sole property.

Charles Gross v. State of Indiana 
Criminal. Reverses denial of Gross’ motion to dismiss charges of Class B felony child molesting and Class D felony dissemination of matter harmful to a minor. The trial court abused its discretion in finding that Gross was subject to the credit restricted felon statute and using that as the basis to deny the motion to dismiss. Gross, who has been found incompetent to stand trial, has been confined to the Department of Mental Health and Addiction for longer than the maximum time he could have been incarcerated if convicted. Because there is a substantial probability he will never be competent, due process requires dismissal of the charges.

Lisa L. Baker v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony theft.

Randy L. Thornton v. State of Indiana, Indiana Department of Corrections, Marion County, Indiana, Matthew Pietrzak, Stephanie Buttz, Eric Lee, Dianna Johnson (mem. dec.)
Civil plenary. Affirms dismissal of complaint.

In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of: B.C.M. (Minor Child), and C.J.C.M. (Mother) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)

Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.

Jeremy Schmitt v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Post conviction. Affirms denial of post-conviction relief.

Dennis William Smith v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Level 6 felony resisting law enforcement.

Lawrence E. Kellems v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms aggregate 40-year sentence following his guilty plea to three counts of Class A felony child molesting and one count of Class C felony sexual misconduct with a minor.