Opinions Jan. 27, 2017

Keywords Opinions

7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Lana Canen v. Dennis Chapman, in his individual capacity as Deputy for the Elkhart County Sheriff Department
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division. Judge Rudy Lozano.
Civil. Affirms the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana’s dismissal of Lana Canen’s case at summary judgment on the grounds that Dennis Chapman was entitled to qualified immunity. Finds that Detective Chapman's failure to disclose that he was not trained as a latent print examiner cannot be characterized as a violation of any clearly established right and, accordingly, the doctrine of qualified immunity protects him. Also finds that to the degree that this action is premised on the preparation or presentation of his trial testimony, absolute immunity protects Chapman.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Roger Wilkinson v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms Roger Wilkinson’s convictions of possession of methamphetamine as a Level 5 felony, unlawful possession of a syringe as a Level 6 felony, operating a vehicle while intoxicated as a Class A misdemeanor, operating a vehicle with a Schedule I or II controlled substance or its metabolite in the body as a Class C misdemeanor, and possession of marijuana as a Class B misdemeanor. Finds that the jury was presented with sufficient evidence of probative value to establish that Wilkinson operated the vehicle while intoxicated and to support his Class A and Class C misdemeanor convictions. Also finds that the officers’ warrantless search and seizure of Wilkinson’s vehicle did not violate the Fourth Amendment, that the Spencer Circuit Court properly denied his motion to suppress regarding his claims under Article 1, Section 11 of the Indiana Constitution and that the court was within its discretion to admit the items found into evidence. Finally, finds that the trial court was well within its discretion to deny his motion to correct error.

Alfred S. Sanders v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Alfred Sanders’ convictions of Level 6 felony possession of methamphetamine, Level 6 felony maintaining a common nuisance and Class A misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance. Finds that the evidence is sufficient to establish that he constructively possessed the drugs.

Deontray Foster v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Deontray Foster’s guilty plea without the benefit of a plea agreement after the state withdrew from a signed agreement because Foster failed to appear for his bond-supervision appointments. Finds that the state acted within its authority when it withdrew from the plea agreement and, thus, Foster was not entitled to have the court consider the agreement for either acceptance or rejection or to be sentenced in accordance with it.    

Curtis Foster v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Curtis Foster’s conviction of murder and sentence of 55 years executed. Finds that in the context of all that occurred during the trial and all relevant information given to the jury, the alleged prosecutorial misconduct during closing arguments did not have a substantial effect on the jury’s decision, and it has not been proved that a fair trial was impossible. Also finds that Foster has not shown that the error, if any, was fundamental.

Diana S. Davis v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Diana Davis’ conviction of neglect of a dependent. Finds that the evidence is sufficient to support her conviction.

In the Matter of the Term. of the Parent-Child Relationship of K.T., Father, and L.T., Child, K.T. v. Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
Juvenile termination of parental rights. Affirms the juvenile court’s order terminating K.T.’s parental rights to his child, L.T. Finds that based on the record, the juvenile court’s determination of Father’s parental rights to L.T. was not clearly erroneous.

Joshua Batchelor v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Joshua Batchelor’s conviction of Class A misdemeanor invasion of privacy. Finds that the state presented sufficient evidence that Batchelor knowingly violated the protective order by communicating with Margie Gibson after having received notice of the protective order.

Marilyn Viers v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Marilyn Viers' sentence of two years, with one year served on home detention and one year suspended to probation, following her guilty plea to Level 6 felony operating a vehicle while intoxicated with a prior conviction. Finds that Viers has not met her burden to demonstrate that her sentence is inappropriate in light of the nature of her offense and her character.

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