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Opinions Aug. 9, 2017

August 9, 2017

The following 7th Circuit Court of Appeals opinion was posted after IL deadline Tuesday:
Christopher Richardson v. Kathy Griffin
16-1700
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division. Judge Jon E. DeGuilio.
Civil. Reverses the district court’s decision to deny Christopher Richardson habeas relief under 28 U.S. Code Section 2254. Finds Richardson has shown Indiana’s courts unreasonably applied the Supreme Court’s Confrontation Clause cases. Also finds that because the Confrontation Clause error affected only the trial, Richardson is not entitled to an unconditional writ of habeas corpus. Orders that unless the state initiates proceedings to retry Richardson within 120 days, he is entitled to issuance of the writ.

Wednesday opinions
Indiana Court of Appeals
B.T.E. v. State of Indiana
36A05-1607-JV-1702
Juvenile. Affirms the juvenile court’s true finding that B.T.E. committed the delinquent act which, if committed by an adult, would constitute conspiracy to commit aggravated battery. Reverses the juvenile court’s true finding that B.T.E. committed the delinquent act which, if committed by an adult, would constitute attempted aggravated battery. Finds the Jackson Superior Court did not err in denying B.T.E.’s motion to dismiss. Also finds the state did not present evidence that B.T.E. completed a substantial step toward the commission of the crime of aggravated battery, but did present sufficient evidence to support the true finding for conspiracy to commit aggravated battery. Judge Cale Bradford concurs and dissents in part with separate opinion.

Evansville Courier Company v. Mary Beth Uziekalla
93A02-1703-EX-464
Agency. Affirms the Indiana Worker’s Compensation Board’s decision in favor of Mary Beth Uziekalla. Finds the board committed no error as to the parties’ Stipulation 5 on the meaning of the doctor-selection provision of the settlement agreement. Also finds Evansville Courier Company waived its evidentiary challenge to Dr. David Weaver’s opinion.

Todd Alan Currie, Jr. v. State of Indiana
01A02-1609-PC-2077
Post conviction. Reverses the dismissal of Todd Alan Currie Jr.’s petition for post-conviction relief. Finds the post-conviction court erred in treating Currie’s petition as an improperly filed successive petition. Remands for further proceedings.

State of Indiana v. Delbert McKinney
65A05-1611-CR-2624
Criminal. Reverses the Posey Circuit Court’s denial of the state’s motion to exclude Delbert McKinney during a victim deposition and its motion to have the victim testify via closed circuit television at McKinney’s trial. Finds the trial court abused its discretion in denying the state’s motions.

Thomas N. Eckerle v. Katz & Korin, P.C. and Michael W. Hile
49A02-1608-CT-1894
Civil tort. Affirms the Marion Superior Court’s grant of partial summary judgment to Katz & Korin P.C. and Michael W. Hile. Finds the law firm’s statements made as part of a Nov. 4, 2013, document were protected by absolute privilege because they were relevant and pertinent to an open complaint. Also finds the trial court did not err.

Anthony Eshelman v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
15A04-1703-CR-476
Criminal. Affirms the revocation of Anthony Eshelman’s probation. Finds the Dearborn Circuit Court was not biased against Eshelman. Also finds the trial court did not abuse its discretion in revoking his probation.

Cynthia Worrell v. Brian Worrell (mem. dec.)
06A01-1606-DR-1456
Domestic relation. Affirms and remands in part the Boone Superior Court’s modification of custody, calculation of child support overpayment and modification of its award of attorney fees. Finds the trial court did not abuse its discretion by modifying custody of the boys to Brian Worrell. Also finds Brian Worrell has waived any argument that the girls were not emancipated in June 2015, but the court erred by modifying support for the girls as of June 19, 2015, without ordering Brian Worrell to return to Cynthia Worrell the money she paid thereafter in child support for the girls. Finally, finds Brian Worrell has not demonstrated he is entitled to appellate attorney fees. Remands for the trial court to clarify its calculation of attorney fees based on the contempt sanctions.

Juventino Vargas-Rodriguez v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
71A03-1609-CR-2118
Criminal. Affirms Juventino Vargas-Rodriguez’s conviction for murder. Finds the evidence is sufficient to support his conviction.

Tiffany Patton v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
49A02-1702-CR-287
Criminal. Affirms Tiffany Patton’s conviction of Class A misdemeanor battery. Finds the evidence presented was more than sufficient to rebut her self-defense claim.

Josue Avendano-Gomez v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
20A05-1701-CR-160
Criminal. Affirms Josue Avendano-Gomez’s convictions of seven counts of Level 2 felony dealing in cocaine. Finds the Elkhart Circuit Court did not err in admitting cocaine exhibits. Also finds the evidence is sufficient to supports Avendano-Gomez’s convictions. Finally, finds the trial court did not violate his Sixth Amendment rights.

Jose Tinajero-Garcia v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
49A02-1701-CR-39
Criminal. Affirms Jose Tinajero-Garcia’s conviction of felony murder and sentence to 55 years executed in the Indiana Department of Correction. Finds Garcia’s conviction for murder was supported by sufficient evidence, and his advisory sentence is not inappropriate.

Ron C. Stewart v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
49A02-1604-CR-740
Criminal. Affirms Ron C. Stewart’s conviction of Level 2 felony voluntary manslaughter. Finds the state presented sufficient evidence to negate Stewart’s claim of self-defense beyond a reasonable doubt. Also finds the Marion Superior Court did not abuse its discretion when it instructed the jury regarding self-defense.

Sherwin E. Jones v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
49A02-1611-CR-2538
Criminal. Affirms Sherwin E. Jones’ conviction of Level 5 felony sexual misconduct with a minor after he was acquitted of Level 4 felony child molesting. Finds the Marion Superior Court did not err in denying Jones’ motion for mandatory severance. Also finds any error arising from the trial court’s denial of discretionary severance was harmless.

Cashmere Poole v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
49A02-1703-CR-569
Criminal. Affirms Cashmere Poole’s conviction of Level 2 felony burglary. Finds the state met its burden to show Poole entered his father’s residence with intent to commit moderate bodily injury. Judge Rudolph Pyle concurs in result without separate opinion.

Mark Anthony Patterson, Jr. v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
49A02-1610-CR-2258
Criminal. Affirms Mark Patterson Jr.’s conviction of murder and determination as a habitual offender. Finds any error in the exclusion of witness Stanley Edmonson’s prior convictions for obstruction of justice and failure to register as a sex offender was harmless. Also finds the Marion Superior Court did not err in excluding evidence of Edmonson’s status as an inmate of the Indiana Department of Correction.

Joshua Love v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
47A01-1703-CR-544
Criminal. Affirms Joshua Love’s sentence to 16 years for his convictions of Level 3 felony criminal confinement and Level 6 felony sexual battery. Finds Love has waived appellate review of his sentence because of a waiver provision in his plea agreement.

Christopher A. Toth v. Julia Lynne Noblitt (mem. dec.)
20A03-1701-DR-48
Domestic relation. Affirms the Elkhart Superior Court’s order awarding appellate attorney fees to Julia Lynne Noblitt. Finds the trial court did not abuse its discretion when it awarded appellate attorney fees to Noblitt.

Christopher O. May v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
03A01-1610-CR-2384
Criminal. Affirms Christopher O. May’s sentence to an aggregate of seven years for his convictions of Level 5 felony battery against a public safety official, Class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement and Class B misdemeanor criminal recklessness. Finds May has failed to demonstrate his sentence is inappropriate considering the nature of his offenses and his character.

Shambaugh & Son, LP v. Allen County Public Library (mem. dec.)
02A03-1701-PL-73
Civil plenary. Affirms the Allen Superior Court’s judgment in favor of the Allen County Public Library on Shambaugh & Son L.P.’s breach-of-contract claim. Finds the trial court did not err.

 

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