The following 7th Circuit Court of Appeals opinion was posted after IL deadline Monday:
United States of America v. John Buncich
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division. Judge James T. Moody.
Criminal. Affirms former Lake County Sheriff John Buncich’s sentence for wire fraud and bribery. Finds the district court did not err in its sentencing guideline calculation, did not fail to explain its guideline findings sufficiently and did not make other procedural errors. Finds Buncich’s sentence is not unreasonable. Circuit Judge Amy St. Eve concurred in part and dissented in part, agreeing with the majority.
Court of Appeals of Indiana
Paul C. Burris III v. Bottoms Up Scuba-Indy, LLC, Michael Ellis and Renata Ellis
Civil Tort. Affirms denial of Paul Burris’ anti-SLAPP motion to dismiss the complaint filed against him asserting claims of defamation and tortious interference. Holds the Montgomery Superior Court did not err in finding Burris failed to meet the first of two requirements needed to show the anti-SLAPP statute applied. Ruled Burris’ report to PADI about his own paperwork and his allegation that Ellis may have forged the doctor’s signature on the certification paperwork were not in furtherance of his right to free speech and not in connection with a public issue.
In the Matter of the Adoption of B.J.D.L.; T.L. v. C.W. (mem. dec.)
Adoption. Affirms the Elkhart Superior Court’s order that the consent of T.L. (father) was not required for the adoption of his minor child B.J.D.L. by C.W. (stepfather). Holds that the trial court did not err when it found that the father had abandoned his child for the six months immediately preceding the adoption petition and that father’s consent was not required for the adoption. Judge Nancy Vaidik concurs in result with separate opinion.
In Re: The Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of C.J. (Minor Child); L.J. (Mother) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
Juvenile termination. Affirms the termination of the parent-child relationship between L.J. (mother) and her daughter, C.J. Finds sufficient evidence to support the termination. Finds the evidence supports the trial court’s conclusion that there was a reasonable probability that the conditions that had resulted in C.J.’s removal would not be remedied.
In the Matter of C.G., (Minor Child), a Child in Need of Services; A.G. (Mother) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
Juvenile CHINS. Affirms the adjudication of A.G.’s son, C.G. as a child in need of services. Finds the Indiana Department of Child Services presented sufficient evidence to support the CHINS adjudication.
Jonah Denning v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Jonah Denning’s conviction for Level 3 felony rape and his aggregate 12-year sentence with two years suspended. Finds that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in sentencing Denning. Also finds no prosecutorial misconduct and therefore no basis to vacate Denning’s conviction.
Vincent O. Dates v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Post-conviction rlief. Affirms the denial of Vincent O. Dates’ petition for post-conviction relief. Finds the Vigo Superior Court did not err in denying Dates’ petition. Finds the trial court did not err in denying the petition.
Samantha Neese, Neese Trucking, LLC, Hoosier Bucking Bulls, LLC, and E&S Tri-Axle, LLC v. VoMac Truck Sales & Service (mem. dec.)
Civil collection. Affirms in part the Owen Circuit Court’s denial of Samantha Neese, Neese Trucking, LLC, Hoosier Bucking Bulls, LLC, and E&S Tri-Axle, LLC’s motion for relief from judgment regarding a default judgment granted to VoMac Truck Sales & Service, Inc. Reverses in part and remands for the trial court to correct the default judgment order, which doubles the proper judgment against Samantha. Finds the trial court did not abuse its discretion by denying Neese’s motion for relief from judgment, but the default judgment order contains an error that improperly doubles the judgment against Samantha.
Joseph M. Collins, Jr. v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Joseph M., Collins, Jr.’s conviction for Level 4 felony child molesting. Finds the Allen Superior Court did not abuse its discretion by allowing the state to ask leading questions to the child victim during her direct examination.
K.F. and R.H. v. J.A.P. and B.B. (mem. dec.)
Adoption. Affirms the denial of adoptive parents R.H. and K.F’s motion for a change of judge under Indiana Trial Rule 76 in their second adoption petition. Finds the adoptive parents were not entitled to a change of judge under Trial Rule 76 and that they did not prove by clear and convincing evidence that for at least one year J.A.P (mother) and B.B. (father) failed to significantly communicate with or support their baby.
Christine M. Slattery v. Andrea Simon (mem. dec.)
Small claims. Affirms judgment for Andrea Simon on Christine Slattery’s complaint alleging breach of contract. Finds Slattery has not shown that the Allen Superior Court clearly erred when it entered judgment in favor of Simon.
David Alconedo Barrera v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms David Alconedo Barrera’s 15-year sentence for Level 3 felony child molesting. Finds Barrera has not sustained his burden of establishing that his sentence is inappropriate in light of the nature of the offense and his character.
In Re: The Civil Commitment of R.T. v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Mental health. Affirms the Huntington Circuit Court’s involuntary regular commitment order for R.T. Finds sufficient evidence that R.T. was mentally ill and dangerous.
In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent–Child Relationship of L.D. (Minor Child) and M.B. (Mother) v. Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
Juvenile termination. Affirms the termination of the parent-child relationship between L.D. (mother) and M.B. (child). Finds the mother has failed to establish that she was denied due process in relation to the termination of her parental rights to the child.
Jerry Tyrone Cook, Jr. v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Jerry Tyrone Cook, Jr.’s convictions for two counts of Level 3 felony rape and Level 5 felony incest. Finds that a submitted photograph of the victim A.J.’s injuries was cumulative of other specific evidence of the injuries sustained by A.J. and the nature of A.J.’s injuries were not in serious evidentiary dispute, thus the admission of the photograph in question was harmless. Concludes that the Vanderburgh Circuit Court did not abuse its discretion in admitting the testimony of the victim and the evidence is sufficient to sustain the challenged conviction.