Opinions Aug. 19, 2015

August 19, 2015

The following opinions were issued after IL deadline Tuesday.
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Kyle D. Alaura v. Carolyn W. Colvin
Appeal from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, Fort Wayne Division
Chief Judge Philip P. Simon
Agency action. Reverses denial of application for total disability benefits, which was premature, and remands to the District Court for further consideration of Alaura’s claim.

Bryana Bible v. United Student Aid Funds, Inc.
Appeal from the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division
Judge Tanya Walton Pratt
Civil. Reverses granting of motion to dismiss and denial as moot of Bible’s motion for class certification. Finds Bible has stated a viable breach of contract claim under Indiana law and that she has stated a viable RICO claim under federal law. Rules federal law does not preclude Bible from pursuing a state-law claim. Judge Joel Flaum concurs in part and concurs in judgment. Judge Daniel Manion dissents. Asserts Bible did not plead a valid breach of contract or RICO claim.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Tracy D. Guffey v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms in part, reverses in part and remands. The admission of 15 jailhouse telephone calls between Guffey and his girlfriend urging her to have sex with her 12-year-old son was not an abuse of discretion. Evidence was sufficient to convict Guffey on a count of Class A felony conspiracy to commit child molesting, but conviction on four other related counts should have been merged or vacated on grounds of double jeopardy. Remands for resentencing on the Class A felony count and a habitual offender enhancement.

John Counceller v. City of Columbus Plan Commission
Civil plenary. Affirms denial of Counceller’s application to subdivide a property into three lots of about one acre each, which was affirmed on judicial appeal by the Bartholomew Circuit Court. A Columbus ordinance requiring the consent of 75 percent of property owners in the addition that the city relied on to deny the application is not an impermissible abdication of the plan commission’s authority to Counceller’s neighbors.

In the Matter of the Termination of T.P. & D.P. (Minor children) E.N. (Mother) v. The Ind. Dept. of Child Services (mem. dec.)

Juvenile. Affirms involuntary termination of parent-child relationship between E.N. (mother) and her children, T.P. and D.P.