The following 7th Circuit Court of Appeals opinions were posted after IL deadline on Tuesday:
Phillip L. Miles v. Julie Anton
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division. Senior Judge Robert L. Miller Jr.
Civil. Reverses the grant of summary judgment for Indiana State Prison officer Julie Anton on inmate Phillip Miles’ First Amendment suit after he was fired for missing his prison job to attend a Muslim prayer service. Finds the prison grievance policy, properly understood, excepted Miles’ claim from the prison’s administrative process, so there was no required step that he failed to take. Remands for further proceedings.
Joseph Hero v. Lake County Election Board
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division. Judge Damon R. Leichty.
Civil. Affirms the dismissal of Joseph Hero’s suit against the Lake County Election Board seeking declaratory relief that his rights were violated and an injunction prohibiting similar conduct in future elections. Finds Hero, who was banned the Republican Party for 10 years, has standing to bring his declaratory judgment claim, which falls within the “capable of repetition, yet evading review” exception. Also finds federal-question jurisdiction can be granted under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Finally, finds a state can protect the First Amendment rights of a political party, as the election board did, by allowing the Republican Party to determine its own membership and restrict its standard-bearers to members in good standing.
Court of Appeals of Indiana
Duke Energy Indiana, LLC v. Bellwether Properties, LLC, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated
Civil tort. Reverses the denial of Duke Energy Indiana LLC’s motion for summary judgment in a dispute with Bellwether Properties LLC. Finds Duke didn’t violate the takings clause of the Fifth Amendment or Article 1, Section 21 of the Indiana Constitution through its enforcement of the National Electric Safety Code horizontal clearance regulation. Also finds Duke is entitled to summary judgment as a matter of law.
J.Z. 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 that J.Z. is not eligible to receive pandemic unemployment assistance benefits under the CARES Act. Finds J.Z. wasn’t unemployed or unable to work because of COVID-19.
Mark Tucker v. Estate of Troy Shirar (mem. dec.)
Civil plenary. Affirms the judgment in favor of the Estate of Troy Shirar following a bench trial on Mark Tucker’s claim for constructive retaliatory discharge. Finds Tucker failed in his burden to produce evidence showing the necessary inference of causation between the exercise of his statutory right to worker’s compensation benefits and the conclusion of his employment with Shirar Trucking.
Todd Covington, Jr. v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Post-conviction. Affirms the denial of Todd Covington Jr.’s petition for post-conviction relief. Finds Covington has not shown that trial counsel was ineffective. Also finds that even if trial counsel’s performance was deficient, Covington failed to show prejudice.
In re the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of: T.H. (Minor Child) and R.H. (Father) and A.W. (Mother) v. Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
Juvenile termination of parental rights. Affirms the termination of mother A.W. and father R.H.’s parental rights over their minor daughter, T.H. Finds the evidence demonstrates that the conditions that resulted in T.H.’s removal from the parents’ care will not be remedied. Also finds the Allen Superior Court’s conclusion that termination of parental rights was in T.H.’s best interests was not clearly erroneous.
In re the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of: K.H., Kyn.S., and Kyl.S. (Minor Children) and K.M.H. (Mother) K.M.H. (Mother) v. Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
Juvenile termination of parental rights. Affirms the termination of mother K.M.H.’s parental rights to her children. Finds the evidence is sufficient to support the Allen Superior Court’s conclusion that K.M.H.’s habitual conduct shows there is a reasonable probability she will not remedy the conditions that resulted in the children’s removal and continued placement outside of the home.
In Re the Paternity of: H.L. Kenneth Lecocq v. Ashlee (Smith) Owens (mem. dec.)
Juvenile paternity. Affirms the Gibson Circuit Court’s findings of facts and conclusions thereon modifying primary physical custody of minor child H.L. from father Kenneth Lecocq to mother Ashlee Smith Owens and awarding Owens sole legal and physical custody of H.L. Finds the trial court did not abuse its discretion when it denied Lecocq’s motion for change of change or when it modified custody by granting Owens sole physical and legal custody. Also finds Lecocq’s argument that the trial court did not allow him the opportunity to purge himself of contempt was premature. Finally, finds the trial court did not abuse its discretion by ordering Lecocq to pay a portion of Owens’ attorney fees, and neither party is entitled to appellate attorney fees.
In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of: W.D.T., Child, D.H. (Mother) v. Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
Juvenile termination of parental rights. Affirms the termination of mother D.H.’s parental rights to minor child W.D.T. Finds the Tippecanoe Superior Court’s order terminating D.H.’s parental rights to W.D.T. was supported by the evidence and was not clearly erroneous.