Opinions May 10, 2019

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The following 7th Circuit Court of Appeal opinions were posted after IL deadline Thursday.
USA v. Ronnie Cosby

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division. Judge Philip Simon.
Criminal. Affirms the Northern District Court’s denial of Ronnie Cosby’s motion for a continuance, motion to suppress, motion for a judgment of acquittal for his conviction of transporting a minor with the intent that she engage in prostitution, and his motion for a mistrial based on a sex trafficking expert’s false testimony. Finds the expert did not testify in dual-capacity as an expert and a fact witness.  

Antonio Lopez-Aguilar v. State of Indiana
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division. Senior Judge Sarah Evans Barker.
Civil. Reverses denial of a motion to intervene by the Indiana Attorney General’s Office. Finds the district court erred when it entered a stipulated final judgment and order for permanent injunction without regard to Antonio Lopez-Aguilar’s standing to seek equitable relief. Finds the district court erred in denying the state’s motion to intervene for the purpose of appealing the district court’s order entering the stipulated judgment, and finds the state is entitled to intervention. Remands for proceedings.   

Friday's opinions
Indiana Court of Appeals
Suzanne E. Esserman v. Indiana Department of Environmental Management (mem. dec.)

Civil plenary. Affirms in part, reverses in part the Marion Superior Court’s denial of Suzanne Esserman’s petition for judicial review. Finds the trial court erred in affirming the State Employees’ Appeals Commission’s grant of partial summary judgment. However, finds the trial court did not err in concluding the SEAC’s decision determining that Esserman’s termination was unrelated to her disabilities, accommodations, or sexual harassment complaint was supported by substantial evidence. Remands to the trial court for proceedings.

Dereka L. Morris v. Jermaine T. Moore (mem. dec.)
Juvenile paternity. Affirms the denial of Dereka Morris’ notice of intent to relocate from the Marion Circuit Court on the sole basis that Jermaine Moore failed to object within 60 days of receiving the notice. Judge Elaine Brown concurs in result with a separate opinion, finding Moore timely filed his objection.

Peter Odongo v. Edward Rose of Indiana, LLC, d/b/a Scarborough Lake Apartments, et al. (mem. dec.)
Miscellaneous. Affirms the Marion Superior Court’s grant of summary judgment to Edward Rose of Indiana, LLC on Peter Odongo’s multi-count complaint. Finds no genuine issues of material fact exist and that designated evidence was properly considered.

Hubert Williams v. Mark Sevier and State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Miscellaneous. Affirms the LaPorte Circuit Court’s denial of Hubert Williams’ petition for writ of habeas corpus on his appeal that his earned credit time satisfied his sentence. Finds Williams’ arguments regarding the reduction of his sentence are based on a fundamental misunderstanding of parole and that he is bound by the conditions of parole although he refused to sign the paperwork.

Billy J. Gonzales v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Billy Gonzales’ two consecutive 1½-year sentences for violating the conditions of his drug court program for conviction of two counts of Level 6 felony possession of a synthetic drug. Finds the sentences are not inappropriate in light of his character and the nature of his offenses.

Town of Clarksville, Aaron Stonecipher, Paul Fetter, Jennifer Voignier, and John Gilkey v. Plum Creek Crossing Apartments, LLC (mem. dec.)
Civil plenary. Reverses and remands the Clark Circuit Court’s grant of partial summary judgment to Plum Creek Crossing Apartments LLC in a zoning dispute with the Town of Clarksville, Aaron Stonecipher, Paul Fetter, Jennifer Voignier, and John Gilkey. Finds the trial court erred in granting partial summary judgment to Plum but finds disputes of material fact as to whether the town gave reasonable regard to the statutory factors, and that determination is dispositive of the appeal at hand.

Lazarus White, II v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Lazarus White’s convictions of Level 4 felony possession of a firearm by a serious felon and Level 6 felony theft.  Finds the Madison Circuit Court did not err in finding White guilty but mentally ill instead of not guilty by reason of insanity. Finds there is sufficient evidence to sustain White’s convictions.

Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor v. Indiana-American Water Company, Inc., et al. (mem. dec.)
Agency. Reverses the order of the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission and remands for proceedings consistent with the opinion. Offers no opinion on the propriety of the License Agreement and the Indemnity Clause. Holds that the License Agreement and Indemnity Clause were part of the plan submitted by Indiana-American that, accordingly, the IURC must either approve or disapprove the License Agreement and Indemnity Clause.

Stephonn T. Sutton v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Stephonn Sutton’s conviction of Level 6 felony failure to return to lawful detention. Finds no abuse of discretion in the Elkhart Superior Court’s decision.

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