Opinions Oct. 24, 2017

October 24, 2017

The following 7th Circuit Court of Appeals opinion was posted after IL deadline Monday:
Arthur J. Bryant v. Richard Brown
Appeal from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Terre Haute Division. Judge William T. Lawrence.
Habeas. Denies Arthur J. Bryant’s petition for habeas relief from his convictions of murder, theft and obstruction of justice. The state trial court reasonably applied Strickland and Brady in denying his petition for post-conviction relief claiming ineffective assistance of trial counsel. Because the same issues are reiterated in his habeas petition, the district court’s denial of habeas relief is affirmed.

Tuesday opinions
Indiana Court of Appeals
John Doe 1, et al. v. The Boone County Prosecutor, in his official capacity, et al.
Civil plenary. Reverses a trial court decision denying the John Does’ complaint for injunctive relief and a declaration that they may attend church when Sunday school or child care is not being actively conducted on the premises. Holds that churches are not “school property” from which a sex offender would be barred under I.C. 35-42-4-14. Remands with instructions to enter a permanent injunction prohibiting the state from arresting and/or prosecuting the Does for entering churches.

Risk Metrics Corporation. v. Indiana Compensation Rating Bureau and Indiana Worker's Compensation Board
Civil plenary. Majority affirms entry of summary judgment in favor of the Indiana Compensation Rating Bureau and the Indiana Worker’s Compensation Board on their petition for declaratory judgment. Holds that records of insurance coverage policy data held by the rating bureau are confidential and not subject to public access under the Indiana Public Records Act, as requested by Risk Metrics, now known as LexisNexis Risk Solutions Inc. Approves of the manner in which the board has made proof of coverage data publicly available under its contract with the Rating Bureau. Dissenting Judge Patricia Riley would reverse and enter summary judgment in favor of LexisNexis on its complaint for violation of APRA. She finds I.C. § 22-3-5-2 unequivocally imposes on the Board a statutory duty to receive and collect the insurance information employers 'shall file with' the Board, and the board cannot outsource its statutory duty to collect the data to a third party.  

Judy K. Harris, Personal Representative of the Estate of Gary W. Stahl v. Beth Ann Davis and Amy L. Westerman
Civil plenary. Reverses trial court order in favor of Beth Ann Davis and Amy L. Westerman. The Estate of Gary W. Stahl met its burden of proving that the defense of accord and satisfaction and the trial court’s judgment in favor of Beth Ann Davis and Amy L. Westerman is clearly erroneous.

Zerlie Charles v. Vickie Vest (mem. dec.)
Small claims. Reverses a trial court order denying Zerlie Charles’ complaint against Vickie Vest for defamation per se. The trial court’s ruling was contrary to law because Vest’s Facebook statements about Charles imputed criminal conduct to her, and there was no evidence the statement was true. Remands to the Scott Superior Court for a determination of the amount of damages.

Michael Morley v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Michael Morley’s conviction of Level 4 felony child molesting. The trial court did not abuse its discretion when it admitted a juvenile’s testimony, and Morley did not preserve an objection to the trial court’s admonishment to the jury regarding certain evidence.

Jamie Cole v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Post-conviction. Affirms denial of post-conviction relief, finding the court did not err in rejecting Cole’s claim of ineffective assistance of counsel.

In the Matter of Al.W. and As.W. (Minor Children), Children in Need of Services, and J.W. (Mother) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
Juvenile. Reverses trial court order finding Al.W and As.W. to be children in need of services. The evidence did not support the trial court’s finding that Mother had failed to provide adequate housing for her children. And there was no evidence to support the trial court’s CHINS adjudication for any other reason contained in the CHINS petition.  

Coy Daniels v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Post-conviction. Affirms denial of Coy Daniels’ petition for post-conviction relief, finding his claim of ineffective assistance of PCR counsel must fail.