Opinions Feb. 5, 2019

Keywords Opinions

The following opinions were posted after IL deadline Monday:
7th Circuit Court of Appeals

United States of America v. Artez Brewer
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division. Judge Joseph S. Van Bokkelen. 
Criminal. Affirms Artez Brewer’s convictions of three counts of bank robbery in violation of 18 United States Code section 2113(a). Finds the use of GPS monitoring to track Brewer to California was not a Fourth Amendment violation. Also finds admitted other-act evidence was directly probative of Brewer’s identity, modus operandi and intent, allowing it to fall within the bounds of Federal Rule of Evidence 404(b)(2). 

Indiana Supreme Court
In the Matter of the Honorable Geoff L. Robison, Judge of the New Haven City Court

Judicial discipline. Terminates the disciplinary proceedings against former New Haven City Court Judge Geoff L. Robison. Clarifies municipal courts’ power to administer infraction cases and infraction deferral agreements and cautions judicial officers on the impropriety of assuming the prosecutor’s duties. 

Tuesday opinions. 
Indiana Court of Appeals Indiana Court of Appeals 
Charles J. Davis Sr. v. Bartholomew County Clerk (mem. dec.)

Civil plenary. Affirms the denial of Charles Davis, Sr.’s request for a civil penalty against the Bartholomew County clerk. Finds the Indiana public access counselor did not instruct the clerk to allow access to the requested records, so Davis was not entitled to recover a civil penalty. Also finds Davis waived his argument that because the clerk provided him with a redacted copy of a juror payment list, the clerk was required to produce all records as requested. Finally, finds Indiana Jury Rule 10 does not apply to Davis’ request.  

In the Matter of the Termination of Parental Rights of: B.H. & A.M. (Minor Children) and J.H. (Mother) & C.M. (Father) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
Juvenile termination of parental rights. Affirms the termination of mother J.H.’s parent-child relationship with her minor children B.H. and A.M. and the termination of father C.M.’s parent-child relationship with A.M. Finds there is sufficient evidence to support the terminations. 

Robert Lee Meschen v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Robert Meschen’s aggregate 15-year sentence, with 12 years executed and the balance suspended to probation, for his guilty but mentally ill pleas to five counts of Level 4 felony child exploitation and five counts of Level 5 felony possession of child pornography. Finds the Parke Circuit Court did not abuse its discretion in sentencing Meschen, and his sentence is not inappropriate given the nature of the offenses and his character.

Corey Hamersley v. Indiana Department of Correction, and American Broadcasting Company, Inc. (mem. dec.)
Civil plenary. Affirms the dismissal of Corey Hamersley’s lawsuit against the Indiana Department of Correction and the American Broadcasting Company, Inc. Finds the Madison Circuit Court did not err in its application of the law.

Richard H.P. Pinkham v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Richard Pinkham’s conviction for Class C felony burglary. Finds Pinkham’s right to a speedy trial was not violated and there was sufficient evidence to support the conviction. Also finds the Knox Circuit Court did not erroneously admit deposition testimony of an absent witness.

Michael Jackson, Jr. v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Michael Jackson Jr.’s conviction for Class A misdemeanor operating a vehicle while intoxicated. Finds Jackson’s trial counsel was not ineffective. Also finds Jackson failed to establish that making a Fourth Amendment claim would have helped him, and his trial counsel’s alleged failure to raise the issue did not prejudice him.

Ronald D. Robbins, II v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Ronald Robbin’s 30-year sentence, with 10 years suspended to probation, for Level 2 felony voluntary manslaughter. Finds the sentence is not inappropriate. 

Doulos Chapel v. Frank Williams Construction (mem. dec.)
Small claims. Affirms the St. Joseph Superior Court’s order entering judgment in favor of Frank Williams Construction on Doulos Chapel’s small claims complaint. Finds there is no evidence of bias against Doulos from the trial court. 

Jennifer Lynne Coverdale v. Todd Allen Coverdale (mem. dec.)
Domestic relation, no children. Affirms the Hendrick Superior Court’s division of marital property in Jennifer Lynn Coverdale’s dissolution action against Todd Allen Coverdale. Finds Jennifer’s arguments that the trial court erred by awarding her 33 percent of Todd’s 401(k) retirement plan are poorly formed. Also finds the trial court did not fail to divide the marital estate in a just and reasonable manner.

James Griffith v. Indiana Department of Corrections (mem. dec.)
Civil tort. Dismisses James F. Griffith’s complaint against the Indiana Department of Correction, Correctional Officer R. Brewer, Sergeant J. Lundy, and Correctional Officer F. Brannick. Finds the Sullivan Superior Court’s order on summary judgment was not a final, appealable order. 

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