Opinions July 13, 2017

July 13, 2017

The following opinions were posted after IL deadline Wednesday:
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Marvin L. Bennett
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, Fort Wayne Division. Chief Judge Theresa L. Springmann.
Criminal. Vacates Marvin Bennett’s guilty plea to possession of a firearm by a felon in violation of 18 U.S. Code Section 922(g)(1) and reverses Bennett’s 180-month sentence. Finds Bennett’s conviction under Indiana Code 35-44-3-3 does not constitute a violent felony. Remands for further proceedings.

Indiana Supreme Court
Michael A. Miller v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Grants transfer and reverses Michael Miller’s conviction for attempted murder. Finds the correct remedy for Miller on appeal is not a new trial as the Indiana Court of Appeals ordered, but is a remand for reconsideration of the case under the correct legal standard. Remands with instructions to apply the appropriate legal standard to the existing evidence. Affirms the Court of Appeals’ opinion in all other respects. Justice Geoffrey Slaughter concurs and dissents in part with separate opinion.

Thursday opinions
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Gary Jet Center, Inc. v. AFCO AvPorts Management LLC, et al.
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division. Judge Joseph S. Van Bokkelen.
Civil. Affirms the dismissal of Gary Jet Center Inc.’s claim alleging violation of the Contracts Clause of the U.S. Constitution. Finds legislative power was not used to deny Gary Jet’s remedy for breach of a 2007 lease.

Steven A. Lauth v. Covance, Inc.
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division. Judge William T. Lawrence.
Civil. Affirms the grant of summary judgment to Covance Inc. on Steven Lauth’s claims of age discrimination and retaliation and the entry of certain costs in favor of Covance. Finds Lauth has not demonstrated his termination was based on age discrimination or retaliation for filing claims with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Also finds Lauth was waived the issue of the bill of costs for appellate review.

Indiana Court of Appeals
T.H. and R.H. v. C.J. (mem. dec.)
Adoption. Affirms the Hendricks Superior Court’s denial of T.H. and R.H.’s petition to adopt minor child J.M.L. following an evidentiary hearing. Finds the trial court found the father’s consent to the adoption was necessary, and its judgment was not contrary to law.

Gary Brian Plunkitt v. DLJ Mortgage Capital Inc. (mem. dec.)
Mortgage foreclosure. Affirms the Hendricks Superior Court’s dismissal of Gary Plunkitt’s cross-complaint to quiet title to residential property located in Hendricks County. Finds Plunkitt has not demonstrated the trial court abused its discretion in denying his request for attorney fees and has not established any prejudice from the dismissal of his cross-complaint to quiet title.

Anthony W. Adams v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms the revocation of Anthony W. Adams’ probation. Finds the Hamilton Circuit Court did not commit reversible error in ordering Adams to execute 740 days of the 926-day balance of his previously suspended sentence, nine years after the state petitioned to revoke his probation. Also finds Adams waived any Sixth Amendment defense to the state’s petition to revoke.

City of Indianapolis v. Rosalynn West (mem. dec.)
Civil tort. Reverses the Marion Superior Court’s ruling that genuine issues of material fact exist as to whether Jeanette Larkins acted within the scope of her employment as a police detective when she forwarded an email concerning the internal governance of her church to other church members using her work-issued computer and email address while on duty. Finds the city of Indianapolis was entitled to judgment as a matter of law because no reasonable jury could conclude that Larkins’ forwarding of the email was sufficiently associated with her employment duties as a sex-crimes detective. Remands with instructions to grant the city’s motion.

In the Matter of the Civil Commitment of V.H. v. St. Vincent Hospital & Health Care Center, Inc., d/b/a St. Vincent Stress Center (mem. dec.)
Mental health. Affirms the Marion Superior Court’s order for V.H. not to use alcohol or drugs unless prescribed by a physician after she was involuntarily committed by St. Vincent Hospital & Health Care Center Inc., d/b/a St. Vincent Stress Center.  Finds the condition prohibiting V.H. from using alcohol or drugs is supported by evidence in the record and is reasonably related to her treatment.

David L. Johnson, Jr. v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Post conviction. Affirms the denial of David L. Johnson’s petition for post-conviction relief. Finds the post-conviction court did not err in determining Johnson did not receive ineffective assistance of appellate counsel. Judge John Baker concurs in result with separate opinion.