Opinions Dec. 27, 2018

Keywords Opinions

7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Shannon McHenry v. Nancy Berryhill

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division. Magistrate Judge Matthew P. Brookman.
Civil. Vacates an administrative law judge’s dismissal of Shannon McHenry’s application for disability insurance benefits, finding the ALJ failed to acquire a medical expert to review a consequential MRI report. Remands for proceedings.

Joshua Shepherd v. Stephen Julian
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Terre Haute Division. Judge Larry J. McKinney.
Civil. Affirms the denial of Joshua Shepherd’s habeas corpus petition under 28 U.S.C. § 2241. Finds Shepherd was properly sentenced under the Armed Career Criminal Act.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Northcrest R. v. Park, et al. v. Lakeland Regional Sewer District, et al.

Agency action. Affirms the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission’s dismissal of several Kosciusko County mobile home parks’ appeal of the IURC’s decision in favor of Lakeland Regional Sewer District. The Sewer District had authority to and properly classified the parks as “mobile home courts” rather than “campgrounds” under its ordinance. Holds the IURC erred when it concluded that it had jurisdiction to independently define a “campground” for purposes of ratemaking by regional sewer districts.

State of Indiana v. Pebble Stafford
Criminal. On remand, reverses the modification of Pebble Stafford’s sentence, which was entered pursuant to a fixed plea agreement. Finds the Jefferson Circuit Court did not have authority to modify Stafford’s sentence without the prosecutor’s approval. Also finds the 2014 amendment to Indiana Code section 35-38-1-17 rendered the statute ambiguous, and the 2018 amendments to subsections (e) and (l) indicate the Legislature never intended for the 2014 amendment to create a right to modification of fixed sentences imposed under a guilty plea. Remands with instructions to reinstate Stafford’s sentence as provided in the plea agreement. Judge John Baker dissents with separate opinion.

Shakka Eugene Brogdon v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Shakka Brogdon’s 16-year sentence for conviction of two counts of Level 3 felony aggravated battery stemming from his involvement in a fight in which one person died. Finds the Hamilton Superior Court did not abuse its discretion in denying his request for continuance of the jury trial. Also finds Brogdon’s sentence is not inappropriate in light of the nature of the offense and his character.

Armando Nicasio v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Armando Nicasio’s 15-year sentence for violating the conditions of his probation. Finds the Madison Circuit Court did not abuse its discretion by ordering Nicasio to serve three years of his previously suspended sentence.

Brent M Stephenson v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Brent Stephenson’s 11-year sentence for conviction of Level 4 felony dealing in cocaine. Finds the sentence is not inappropriate.

Reuben Nathaniel Wright v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Reverses Reuben Wright’s 25-year sentence for conviction of two counts of Level 3 felony attempted aggravated battery. Remands to the Vigo Superior Court to issue an amended abstract of judgment.

Michael R Modlin v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms the Bartholomew Circuit Court’s denial of Michael Modlin’s motion for credit time.

Termination: J R v. Child Advocates Inc, et al. (mem. dec.)
Juvenile termination. Reverses the Marion Superior Court’s termination of J.R.’s parental rights to D.C. Finds the trial court abused its discretion in denying J.R.’s motion to disqualify attorney Ryan Gardner from his subsequent representation of an adverse party, Child Advocates, in an action involving J.R. Remands for further proceedings.

Marlan Long v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Post conviction. Affirms the denial of Marlan Long’s petition for post conviction relief. Finds the Marion Superior Court did not err in denying relief to Long.

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