Opinions March 23, 2018

March 23, 2018

7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Robin Austin v. Walgreen Company

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division. Judge John E. Martin.
Civil. Affirms the grant of summary judgment to Walgreen Co. Finds Robin Austin failed to prove Walgreen had actual or constructive knowledge of a hazard on its premises after she slipped and fell in a Hebron store.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Patricia Claywell v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Criminal. Reverses Patricia Claywell’s conviction of operating a vehicle while intoxicated in a manner that endangers a person as a Class A misdemeanor. Finds Claywell was denied her Sixth Amendment right of self-representation. Remands for a new trial.

Annamalai Annamalai v. Vishal Kalyani (mem. dec.)
Miscellaneous. Reverses the dismissal of Annamalai Annamalai’s breach of contract complaint against Vishal Kalyani. Finds the Vigo Superior Court erred in sua sponte entering an order of dismissal without a hearing.

Lawrence Paul Whitfield v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Lawrence Paul Whitfield’s five-year sentence for his conviction of Level 5 felony robbery. Finds the Lake Superior Court’s imposition of an aggravated sentence is not inappropriate in light of the nature of the offense and Whitfield’s character.

William Martez Wills v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms and reverses in part William Wills’ convictions of two counts of Level 1 felony attempted murder, Level 2 felony attempted robbery resulting in serious bodily injury, Level 5 felony battery by means of a deadly weapon, Class A misdemeanor carrying a handgun without a license and Level 4 felony unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon. Finds any error in the admission of evidence was harmless. Also finds there is sufficient evidence to support Wills’ convictions, but his convictions of attempted murder and attempted robbery resulting in serious bodily injury violate double jeopardy principles. Finally, finds the prosecution did not commit misconduct. Remands with instructions for the Madison Circuit Court to reduce Wills’ attempted robbery conviction to a Level 3 felony and to resentence him accordingly.

In re the Paternity of A.M. and A.M. (Minor Children): Brandi Miller v. Brock Hawthorne (mem. dec.)
Juvenile paternity. Affirms the grant of third-party visitation rights with A.M. and A.M. to Brock Hawthorne, the children’s stepfather. Finds the Kosciusko Superior Court erred as a matter of law when it granted Hawthorne visitation pursuant to the de facto custodian statute. Also finds Hawthorne was entitled to step-parent visitation because he had a custodial and parental visitation with the children, and visitation was in the children’s best interests.

Desmond Bland v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Desmond Bland’s conviction of resisting law enforcement as a Class A misdemeanor. Finds sufficient evidence supports Bland’s conviction.

The Housing Authority of the City of Muncie, Indiana v. Jeff Hager (mem. dec.)
Small claims. Affirms the dismissal of The Housing Authority of the City of Muncie’s breach of lease agreement complaint against Jeff Hager. Finds the small claims court properly dismissed the claim with prejudice.