Opinions March 2, 2018

March 2, 2018

7th Circuit Court of Appeals
John Doe, formerly known as Jane Doe v. Eric Holcomb, in his official capacity as Governor of the State of Indiana, et al.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division. Chief Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson. Affirms the dismissal of John Doe’s case alleging the citizenship requirement in Indiana’s name-change statute is unconstitutional. Finds the 11th Amendment bars Doe’s claims. Chief Judge Diane Wood dissents with separate opinion.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Zechariah James v. State of Indiana

Criminal. Affirms Zechariah James’ conviction of murder. Finds the Marion Superior Court did not abuse its discretion in excluding proffered evidence related to an alleged prior threat made by Antoan Johnson, the victim, to James approximately two years before the murder as too remote.

Gary W. Yoakum v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms Gary Yoakum’s convictions on Class A misdemeanor possession of a synthetic drug or synthetic drug lookalike substance and Class C misdemeanor possession of paraphernalia and his one-year sentence. Finds Yoakum has failed to demonstrate that the synthetic drug lookalike substance statutes are unconstitutionally vague as applied in this case. Also finds the evidence is sufficient to sustain Yoakum’s Class A misdemeanor conviction. Finally, finds Yoakum’s sentence is not inappropriate.

Gregory Sobin v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Post-conviction. Affirms the denial of Gregory Sorbin’s petition for post-conviction relief. Finds Sobin has not established that he received ineffective assistance of trial counsel.

Makayla L. Pickett v. Gregg Roberts (mem. dec.)
Juvenile paternity. Reverses the denial of Makayla Lauren Pickett’s motion to reduce to a judgment amounts owed by Gregg Roberts for college expenses and the denial of Pickett’s motion to correct error. Finds the Hamilton Superior Court erred in denying Pickett’s motions. Remands for the entry of a judgment against Roberts for $14,800.

Centrell Lanier v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms the sentencing order entered against Centrell Lanier for his conviction of conspiracy to commit robbery resulting in serious bodily injury as a Class B felony. Finds the Marion Superior Court did not erroneously deny Lanier credit time for his pretrial confinement.

In re the Adoption of P.H. and M.H., Minor Children, B.H. v. M.S. (mem. dec.)
Adoption. Affirms the order permitting M.S. to adopt B.H.’s biological children without B.H.’s consent. Finds the Boone Superior Court did not err by finding that for at least one year, B.H. failed to support his children when able to do so and failed to communicate significantly with his children when able to do so.

Phillip Gonzalez v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Post-conviction. Affirms the denial of Phillip Gonzalez’s petition for post-conviction relief. Finds the post-conviction court did not err in determining Gonzalez did not simultaneously plead guilty and maintain his innocence, or in determining there was a sufficient factual basis underlying his guilty plea.