Opinions April 27, 2016

April 27, 2016

The following 7th Circuit Court of Appeals decision came in after IL deadline Tuesday:
Michael Miller v. Dushan Zatecky, Superintendent, Pendleton Correctional Facility
United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Sarah Evans Barker, judge.
Civil. Affirms Indiana Court of Appeals did not err when it affirmed a man’s three consecutive 40-year sentences for child molesting in a 2-1 decision. Judge Frank Easterbrook said any error made by the attorney in Miller’s post-conviction case was harmless, because the outcome would have been the same regardless. District Court Judge Lynn Adelman dissented, noting Indiana appellate courts had changed sentences before and could have again if not for counsel error.

Wednesday’s opinions
Indiana Supreme Court
Ronald Sanford Jr. v. State of Indiana
Post conviction. Reverses trial court and Court of Appeals decisions and finds Ronald Sanford can file a belated notice of appeal of his sentence after he pleaded guilty to two counts of murder, among other charges, because of “unique circumstances.”

Indiana Court of Appeals
Molly A. Melton v. Indiana Athletic Trainers Board, David Craig, A.T., in his official and individual capacity, Larry Leverenz, A.T., in his official and individual capacity, et al.
Civil tort. Reverses trial court’s grant of appellees’ motion to dismiss Molly Melton’s Section 1983 claim as she was denied due process when appealing the suspension of her athletic trainers’ license.

Andrew Shotts v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms Andrew Shotts was not subject to an illegal search after he visited a friend’s house during a drug raid and upholds his conviction of Class B felony unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon.

Christopher Cowans v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms Christopher Cowans’ conviction for Level 6 felony resisting law enforcement after Cowans drove away after he was initially pulled over. The trial court did not abuse its discretion when it refused his instruction on mistake of fact, as it is better characterized as a mistake of law. Also defines what rights police and drivers have to determine the location of a traffic stop.

Betty Thurman and Carolyn Duncan v. Kimberly L. Skinner
Estate, supervised. Affirms Kimberly Skinner is entitled to inherit estate as only daughter after Lloyd Dyer’s sisters Betty Thurman and Carolyn Duncan said there was insufficient evidence to support ruling and asked for a DNA test.

Hubert Wheat v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Hubert Wheat’s conviction of Class A misdemeanor operating a vehicle while intoxicated in a manner that endangers a person, but remands with instructions to vacate his conviction for Class A misdemeanor operating a vehicle while intoxicated with an alcohol concentration equivalent of 0.15 or more as it violates double jeopardy.

Jariel Patterson v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Jariel Patterson’s 10-year sentence after he pleaded guilty to rape as a Level 3 felony.