Opinions April 23, 2018

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The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals posted the following opinion after IL deadline Monday.
USA v. Tom Smith, III

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division. Senior Judge Sarah Evans Barker.
Criminal. Affirms the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana’s determination that Tom Smith III is a career offender under § 4B1.1 of the United States Sentencing Guidelines. Also affirms its application of a corresponding enhancement for his two prior controlled substance convictions. Disagrees with Smith’s interpretation of the statute and denies his request to vacate his sentence for improperly including an enhancement.

Tuesday’s opinions
Indiana Court of Appeals
Kevin Pack v. Truth Publishing Company, Inc., and John S. Dille III

Civil plenary. Affirms the Elkhart Superior Court’s entry of summary judgment for the Truth Publishing Company and John S. Dille III against Kevin Pack’s defamation complaint under Indiana’s Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation Act, or anti-SLAPP statutes. Finds The Elkhart Truth’s designated evidence established a prima facie showing that it was entitled to judgment as a matter of law under the anti-SLAPP statutes, and Pack’s designated evidence failed to create a genuine issue of material fact. Concludes the trial court properly entered summary judgment to the newspaper.

Laketra Spinks v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms Laketra Spinks’ conviction of Level 5 felony criminal recklessness and Class A misdemeanor carrying a handgun without a license. Finds the Marion Superior Court did not abuse its discretion by allowing three witnesses to testify after they violated the separation of witnesses order. Also finds the trial court did not abuse its discretion by denying Spinks’ motions for mistrial.

Karen Skaggs v. Jennifer Yanta (mem. dec.)
Civil tort. Affirms judgment on the evidence in favor of landlord/roommate Jennifer Yanta on Karen Skaggs’ personal injury suit she filed after being bitten by Yanta’s dogs. Finds the Porter Superior Court did not err based on the evidence presented.

Dylan M.A. Jacob v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Dylan Jacob’s conviction in the Marion Superior Court of Class C misdemeanor operating a vehicle while intoxicated, finding the evidence sufficient.
Cleverly Lockhart v. Robert Eutz (mem. dec.)
Civil Plenary. Reverses the Henry Circuit Court’s order dismissing New Castle Correctional Facility inmate Cleverly Lockhart’s claim for breach of contract against Miami Correctional Facility Robert Eutz, who Lockhart claims assaulted him. The trial court erred in dismissing Lockhart’s complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted under Trial Rule 12(B)(6). Remands for proceedings.

A.Y. v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Juvenile. Affirms A.Y.’s delinquency adjudication by the Vanderburgh Superior Court for what would be Level 3 felony attempted armed robbery if committed by an adult. The evidence is sufficient to sustain A.Y.’s adjudication, and the juvenile court did not abuse its discretion by committing him to the Department of Correction.

Shane J. Thomas v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms the Posey Superior Court’s order revoking Shane Thomas’ probation, finding the trial court did not abuse its discretion because the evidence was sufficient.

Center for Wildlife Ethics, Inc. v. Cameron F. Clark, in his official capacity as Director of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (mem. dec.)
Civil Plenary. Affirms the LaPorte Superior Court order dismissing Center for Wildlife Ethics’ complaint challenging an emergency rule last year that permitted rifle hunting of deer in certain state parks. The trial court did not err in dismissing the complaint because DNR acted within its emergency rulemaking powers.

William E. Glesing, III v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms the Hancock Superior Court’s revocation of William Glesing III’s probation, finding that, under the totality of the circumstances, Glesing validly waived his right to counsel.

Gordon Huncilman v. Jeremy Voyles Marine Repair, LLC, and Jeremy Voyles (mem. dec.)
Civil tort. Reverses the Clark Circuit Court order setting aside default judgment against the Jeremy Voyles defendants, finding Voyles’ failure to appear and file an answer after being advised that he needed to do so in order to avoid default judgment does not constitute excusable neglect. Finds no other reason to set aside default judgment.
Dominique Mitchell v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Remands on agreement of all parties for the Marion Superior Court to set the amount of Dominique Mitchell’s home-detention fee after his conviction on three misdemeanor charges.

Sedrick Curtis and Shakima Lewis v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Post conviction. Affirms the Lake Superior Court’s denial of post-conviction relief for Sedrick Curtis and Shakima Lewis on their child molesting convictions, finding the evidence as a whole does not unerringly and unmistakably lead to a conclusion opposite that reached by the post-conviction court.

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