Opinions March 14, 2018

Keywords Opinions

The following 7th Circuit Court of Appeals opinion was posted after IL deadline on Tuesday:

United States of America v. Timothy Ryan
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division. Judge Robert L. Miller, Jr.
Criminal. Affirms Timothy Ryan’s convictions of possessing, receiving and distributing child pornography. Finds the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying Ryan’s motion to substitute counsel. Also finds the record supported Ryan’s distribution conviction and his related sentencing enhancement. Finally, finds the government’s violation of Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 32.2(b)(5)(A) was harmless error.

Wednesday opinions

Indiana Court of Appeals

Brenda and John Stachowski v. Estate of Daniel Radman
Civil tort. Affirms the grant of summary judgment to the Estate of Danial Radman on Brenda and John Stachowski’s negligence claim. Finds the Stachowskis’ have waived any private-right-of-action claim they might have had.

Good Samaritan Hospital v. Roderick W. Brady (mem. dec.)
Civil tort. Reverses the denial of Good Samaritan Hospital’s motion for transfer to Knox County as a county of preferred venue.

In the Matter of the Involuntary Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of R.B. and D.S. (Minor Children), and R.B., Sr., A.S., and C.B. v. The Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
Juvenile. Affirms the involuntary termination of C.B.’s parental rights to her minor children, R.B. and D.S. and the termination of R.B., Sr.’s parental rights to R.B. Finds sufficient evidence supports the Lake Superior Court’s conclusion that there is a reasonable probability of unchanged conditions and that termination of C.B. and R.B., Sr.’s parental rights was in the children’s best interests. Also finds C.B. was not denied the effective assistance of trial counsel.

Rickey D. Haines v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms and reverses in part Rickey D. Haines’ convictions for Level 3 felony criminal confinement, Level 6 felony domestic battery and Class A misdemeanor possession of a firearm by a domestic batterer and his adjudication as a habitual offender. Finds the Brown Circuit Court did not abuse its discretion when it admitted evidence of two prior incidents of domestic violence by Haines toward his victim. Also finds the trial court did not abuse its discretion when it denied Haines’ motion to dismiss. Finally, finds that while the state proved Haines had three prior unrelated felonies, not all three meet the 10-year requirement for a habitual offender adjudication. Remands for resentencing.

Sybron L. Pinkston v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Sybron L. Pinkston’s convictions of Level 6 felony resisting law enforcement, Class A misdemeanor operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license and Class B misdemeanor leaving the scene of an accident and his 2 ½ – year sentence. Finds Pinkston waived his due process argument by failing to object to wearing leg shackles during trial. Also finds the evidence is sufficient to support Pinkston’s convictions. Finally, finds the Allen Superior Court acted within its discretion in treatment of mitigating circumstances during sentencing, and Pinkston failed to meet his burden of demonstrating his sentence is inappropriate considering the nature of the offenses and his character.

Michael Jackson v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Michael Jackson’s sentence to 2 ½ years in the Department of Correction, to be served consecutive to his aggregate sentence on other charges, for his conviction of Level 6 felony escape. Finds the St. Joseph Superior Court did not abuse its discretion when it failed to find Jackson’s guilty plea to be a mitigating factor.

In the Matter of the Marriage of: Carolyn Burns v. Michael Burns (mem. dec.)
Domestic relation. Reverses the division of marital assets between Carolyn and Michael Burns. Finds Carolyn Burns made a prima facie showing of error. Remands with instructions to include the entire value of Michael Burns’ pension benefit in the marital estate and to equally divide the value between the ex-spouses. Judge Mark Bailey dissents with separate opinion.

Andrew M. Cassaday v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Andrew M. Cassady’s convictions of felony murder and his sentencing enhancement for the use of a firearm in the commission of an offense. Finds the Allen Superior Court erred in instructing the jury, but the error did not affect the jury’s verdict or prejudice Cassaday’s substantial rights.

Carlvion Dupree Gates v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Carlvion Dupree Gates’ convictions of robbery as a Level 5 felony, possession of a narcotic as a Level 3 felony, two counts of possession of a narcotic as Level 4 felonies, possession of a narcotic drug as a Level 5 felony, two counts of possession of a narcotic drug as Level 6 felonies and resisting law enforcement by means of a vehicle as a Level 6 felony. Finds the prosecutor’s statements during closing arguments did not amount to misconduct and were not so unfairly prejudicial as to render a fair trial impossible. Also finds Gates’ multiple convictions for possession of a narcotic drug do not violate his Indiana double jeopardy protections.

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