Opinions Dec. 9, 2016

December 9, 2016

7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Sherry Katz-Crank v. Kimberly Haskett
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division. Judge Tanya Walton Pratt.
Civil. Affirms the dismissal of charges against Marion County and Indiana state and county officials in their individual and official capacities. Finds that broad immunity provides protections against most charges brought by Sherry Katz-Crank and that Katz-Crank failed to establish constitutional claims. Judge Richard Posner concurs and dissents with separate opinion.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Meridian Health Services Corporation v. Thomas Martin Bell

Domestic relation. Grants rehearing to address one of the grounds Meridian Health Services Corporation raised in its petition for rehearing. Reaffirms original decision to affirm the St. Joseph Superior Court’s imposition of sanctions on a mental health provider for failing to appear at a deposition and refusing to release a child’s mental health records to her non-custodial parent.

Thomas Hudgins and Sheila Hudgins v. Brian Bemish, Ideal Heating Air Conditioning and Refrigeration, Inc.
Civil tort. Reverses Marion Superior Court grant of summary judgment to Ideal Heating Air Conditioning and Refrigeration, Inc., who was the employer of Brian Bemish. Finds that, based on the evidence designated to the trial court, there are conflicting facts or conflicting inferences that can be drawn as to whether Bemish was acting in the scope of his employment with Ideal at the time of an accident. Also finds that Ideal has not met its initial burden on its motion for summary judgments on Thomas and Sheila Hudgins’ negligent hiring and retention claim because it has not demonstrated the absence of a genuine issue of material fact regarding that claim, but has only alleged that the Hudginses failed to present evidence showing that Ideal was liable under the claim. Remands for further proceedings.

Klinique J. Champion v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms Klinique Champion’s convictions of two counts of intimidation, one as a Class A misdemeanor and one as a Level 6 felony. Finds that the evidence is sufficient to support her convictions.

Gary W. Lowrance v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms the Vanderburgh Circuit Court’s denial of Gary Lowrance’s motion to correct error regarding the denial of his motion for a nunc pro tunc order. Finds that the trial court’s statement at the 1996 sentencing hearing merely set forth the terms and conditions of Lowrance’s probation.

Kimberly Smee v. Zachary Johnson, individually and as an agent of Northern Ag Services, Inc., and Northern Ag Services, Inc. (mem. dec.)
Civil tort. Affirms the Porter Superior Court’s dismissal of Kimberly Smee’s complaint against Zachary Johnson and Northern Ag Services, Inc. Finds that the trial court’s decision was not erroneous.

In re the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of N.H. (Minor Child), and J.G. (Mother) v. Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
Juvenile termination of parental rights. Affirms the Wayne Superior Court order termination of J.H.’s parental rights to her minor child N.H. Finds that the trial court did not err when it concluded that the Department of Child Services had presented clear and convincing evidence establishing that there was a reasonable probability that the conditions that resulted in N.H.’s removal or the reasons for his placement outside the parents’ home would not be remedied.

Terral Lerron Golden v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Terral Lerron Golden’s convictions of murder and attempted murder. Finds that St. Joseph Superior Court 2 gave repeated and detailed warning and advisements to Golden regarding his decision to represent himself at trial and that Golden had extensive prior experience in the criminal justice system. Also finds that his decision to proceed pro se appears to have been strategic, so his waiver of his right to counsel for knowingly and intelligently made. Finally, finds that even if Batson were to apply to alternate jurors, the state gave a facially race-neutral reason for its use of a peremptory challenge, so the trial court’s denial of Golden’s Batson claim was not clearly erroneous.

Ruben B. Green v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Post conviction. Affirms the denial of Ruben Green’s petition for post-conviction relief from his murder conviction. Finds the post-conviction court did not erroneously determine that Green did not receive ineffective assistance of trial and appellate counsel.

John Kidwell v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms John Kidwell’s convictions for burglary and conspiracy to commit burglary as Class B felonies. Finds that there is nothing in the record to raise the presumption of prosecutorial vindictiveness in the habitual offender allegation and that the Dearborn Superior Court’s decision to permit the state to amend the charging information and add the habitual offender charge did not amount to fundamental error. Also finds that Kidwell invited any error with respect to Taulbee’s testimony and that the court’s admonishment cured any potential impropriety contained in Taulbee’s statement. Judge John Baker dissents with separate opinion.

Gregory T. Clark, II v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Gregory T. Clark, II’s sentence to 12 years for conviction of robbery as a Level 3 felony. Finds that Clark has not met his burden of establishing that his sentence was inappropriate in light of the nature of the offense and his character.

Mario Vidal v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms the revocation of Mario Vidal’s probation and order to serve the entire 89 months of his previously suspended sentence. Finds that under the facts and circumstances, the Jennings Circuit Court’s order was not an abuse of discretion.