Opinions June 6, 2019

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The following 7th Circuit Court opinions were posted after IL deadline Wednesday.
USA v. John Buncich
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division. Judge James T. Moody.
Criminal. Reverses former Lake County Sheriff John Buncich’s convictions for three counts of wire fraud, but affirms two counts. Finds the Northern District Court’s error in the admission of the Rule 404(b) evidence is harmless. Remands for resentencing.

USA v. Paul Huskisson
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division. Judge Sarah Evans Barker.  
Criminal. Affirms Paul Huskisson’s conviction for possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine after law enforcement found 10 plastic-wrapped packages of meth in his home. Finds the Drug Enforcement Administration illegally entered Huskisson’s home without a search warrant. However, finds the evidence is admissible because of the amount of other evidence of probable cause and the DEA’s plan to apply for a warrant prior to the illegal entry.

Thursday’s opinions
Indiana Court of Appeals
Christopher Allen Peacock v. State of Indiana

Criminal. Affirms Christopher Peacock’s conviction of Class B misdemeanor harassment of an Indiana Department of Child Services employee who subsequently left the agency. Finds there is sufficient evidence to prove Indiana maintains jurisdiction in the case and that Marion County was the proper venue. Finds Peacock failed to establish fundamental error.   

Panther Brands, LLC and Panther Racing, LLC v. Indy Racing League, LLC d/b/a Indycar, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, LLC and Document and Packaging Brokers, Inc. d/b/a Docupak
Civil tort. Affirms the Marion Superior Court’s award of summary judgment to Indy Racing League LLC d/b/a Indycar; Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing LLC; and Document and Packing Brokers, Inc. d/b/a Docupak. Finds no genuine issue of material fact that the 2013 contract entered into between Panther Brands and IndyCar did not prohibit IndyCar from providing RLL with access to Fan Village space in 2014. Finds the defendants did not commit bid-rigging, and that the trial court properly refused to extend the tort of unfair competition to include claims for the perceived misuse of confidential information.

Jerry Bonds, Jr. v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms the Marion Superior Court’s denial of Jerry Bonds, Jr.’s motion for alternative placement pursuant to Indiana Code section 35-38-2.6-3. Finds Bonds filed his motion 20 years after he was sentenced, and that the statute allows for community corrections placement “at the time of sentencing.” Thus, the trial court did not err when it denied Bonds’ motion.  

Michael J. Quinn and Caroline Quinn v. Conifer Insurance Company and City of Kokomo (mem. dec.)
Civil plenary. Affirms the Howard Superior Court did not abuse its discretion in granting the City of Kokomo’s and Conifer Insurance Company’s motion to compel. Also finds the trial court did not abuse its discretion in granting renewed motions to dismiss without first holding a second hearing. Judge Elizabeth Tavitas concurs in part, dissents in part in a separate opinion, stating she would reverse and remand for a hearing on the defendant’s second motions to dismiss.  

Tawanda Nyanhongo v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Tawanda Nyanhongo’s conviction of Level 6 felony operating a vehicle while intoxicated with a previous conviction within five years. Finds the state presented sufficient evidence to support the conviction. However, remands for the Marion Superior Court to amend the abstract of judgment to accurately reflect the verdict announced at trial.

Anthony C. Jennings v. Tanya D. Gomez (mem. dec.)
Domestic relation with children. Affirms in part, reverses in part, remands with instructions. Finds the Hamilton Superior Court did not abuse its discretion in finding Anthony Jennings in contempt for failing to timely pay his share of orthodontia expenses or in ordering he pay $7,000 of Tanya Gomez’s attorney fees and an additional $3,000 for a contempt finding. Reverses part of the 2018 order requiring Father pay one-third of E.J.’s college costs. Remands for further proceedings and for the trial court to recompute Father’s child support obligation for the time when A.J. attending college on campus, and to include either a full or partial abatement of child support during those times. Judges Rudolph Pyle III and L. Mark Bailey concur in part, dissent in part with separate opinions, respectively.

Joshua L. Schumacher v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Reverses and remands Joshua Schumacher’s aggregate 20-year sentence for conviction of two counts of dealing in methamphetamine. Remands to the Jennings Circuit Court for the entry of a revised sentencing order and abstract of judgment indicating that the sentences on counts one and two will run concurrently.

Dale Young v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Dale Young’s convictions of Class B misdemeanor possession of marijuana and Class C misdemeanor possession of paraphernalia. Finds sufficient evidence to support the convictions.  

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