Opinions Aug. 17, 2022

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The following 7th Circuit Court of Appeals opinion was posted after IL deadline on Tuesday:
USA Gymnastics v. Liberty Insurance Underwriters, Inc.
Appeal from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division. Judge Richard L. Young.
Civil. Affirms the district court’s adoption of most of the bankruptcy court’s findings, which included awarding USA Gymnastics nearly all its requested fees from Liberty Insurance Underwriters Inc., and the entry of judgment for USAG. Finds the bankruptcy and district courts correctly concluded that USAG was entitled to a presumption that the fees it incurred were reasonable and necessary. Also finds Liberty must rebut the presumption by showing that various portions of the fees did not meet that standard, but it failed to do so. 

Wednesday opinions
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Mathusala Menghistab v. Merrick B. Garland, Attorney General of the United States
Petition for Review of an Order of the Board of Immigration Appeals.
Immigration. Denies the government’s petition for rehearing except to make changes to the original June 21 opinion to clarify that the Board of Immigration Appeals is not responsible for factfinding.

Circle Block Partners, LLC and Circle Block Hotel, LLC v. Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company
Appeal from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division. Judge James Patrick Hanlon.
Civil. Affirms the district court’s dismissal with prejudice of Circle Block Partners LLC and Circle Block Hotel LLC’s suit against Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company. Denies the plaintiffs’ motion to certify two questions of state law to the Indiana Supreme Court. Finds that businesses forced to shut down or reduce operations during the pandemic have failed to allege “direct physical loss” or “direct physical damage” to property, in accord with Indiana Repertory Theatre v. Cincinnati Casualty Co., 180 N.E.3d 403 (Ind. App. 2022), transfer denied, 2022 WL 3021434 (Ind. July 19, 2022). Also finds any attempt to amend the complaint would be futile. Finally, finds Indiana courts will have opportunities to address these issues in other cases.

Court of Appeals of Indiana
James Saucerman v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Reverses the revocation of James Saucerman’s probation. Finds the Marion Superior Court failed to properly advise Saucerman of his rights during a probation revocation proceeding and thus denied him fundamental due process. Remands for a new hearing on the alleged violations.

Julie Card and Bruce Card v. Alan Sprinkle and Lynne A. Sprinkle
Civil plenary. Reverses the denial of Julie and Bruce Card’s counterclaim to quiet title to property deeded to Alan and Lynne Sprinkle, and the award of attorney fees to the Sprinkles. Finds the Cards proved that their predecessor in interest obtained title to the disputed property via adverse possession. Remands for further proceedings.

Jessica McGraw v. Todd Truitt (mem. dec.)
Domestic relations with children. Reverses the order finding mother Jessica McGraw in contempt of a parenting time order set forth in a mediated decree of dissolution. Finds McGraw has presented a case of prima facie error. Remands to the Marion Superior Court for a determination of appropriate attorney fees without considering any finding of contempt.

Jermaine Davis v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Jermaine Davis’ conviction of Level 1 felony attempted murder. Finds the evidence is sufficient to sustain Davis’ conviction.

Demetrius Jamere Jackson v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Demetrius Jackson’s convictions of Level 3 felony conspiracy to commit armed robbery and three counts of murder. Finds the Grant Superior Court did not abuse its discretion in the admission of evidence.

David William Filchak v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms David Filchak’s sentence imposed after he admitted to violating the terms and conditions of his probation. Finds the Vermilion Circuit Court did not abuse its discretion when it ordered Filchak to serve the remainder of his previously suspended sentence.

Michael L. Wright v. Kerry L. Wright (mem. dec.)
Domestic relations. Affirms the order that father Michael L. Wright pay a portion of the post-secondary education expenses for his son, Tyler. Finds Wright has waived his argument that the Putnam Circuit Court erred when it did not require witnesses to swear an oath during the July 30, 2020, hearing because he did not make a contemporaneous objection. Also finds the evidence supported the trial court’s Findings 1, 2, 7 and 8, and Wright waived his challenge to Paragraph 10 because he did not make a cogent argument. Finally, finds Wright’s argument regarding the trial court’s consideration of the cost of out-of-state college expenses balanced with the hardship to the parents and his arguments regarding Guideline 8 both fail.

M.S. V. Review Board of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (mem. dec.)
Agency action. Affirms the decision of the Review Board of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, which affirmed the decision of an administrative law judge denying M.S.’s unemployment benefits. Finds the review board’s decision is supported by substantial evidence.

Marvin Davis v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Post-conviction. Affirms the order granting post-conviction relief to Marvin Davis on his conviction of sexual battery but denied relief in all other respects, including as to his conviction for rape. Finds the post-conviction court did not abuse its discretion in deciding to forgo an evidentiary hearing. Also finds Davis did not receive ineffective assistance of trial or appellate counsel.

Gavin Allen Ford v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Gavin Allen Ford’s sentence to an aggregate of 20 years for convictions of two counts of attempted aggravated battery as a Level 3 felony, escape as a Level 5 felony, armed robbery as a Level 3 felony and pointing a firearm as a Level 6 felony. Finds Ford has not sustained his burden of establishing that his sentence is inappropriate in light of the nature of the offenses and his character.

K.S. v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Juvenile. Affirms the modification order placing K.S. in the Indiana Department of Correction following her probation violation. Finds K.S. was not denied fundamental fairness because of the lack of a probation modification report. Also finds the lack of a “dual status screening tool to determine whether the child is a dual status child” was harmless. Finally, finds the juvenile court did not abuse its discretion in modifying K.S.’s placement. Remands for the Spencer Circuit Court to make the required specific finding concerning K.S.’s dual status.

Cameron A. Causey v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Cameron A. Causey’s sentence to 1½ years for his conviction of Level 6 felony possession of methamphetamine. Finds Causey has not demonstrated that his executed sentence is inappropriate biased on his offense and character.

A.S. v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Agency action. Affirms the Indiana Worker’s Compensation Board’s dismissal of A.S.’s 2021 claim for worker’s compensation benefits for injuries he sustained from a car accident in 2001 and for mental distress he suffered in 2002. Finds the time for A.S. to file his claim has passed.

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