Opinions Dec. 22, 2022

The following 7th Circuit Court of Appeals opinion was posted after IL deadline on Wednesday:
International Association of Fire Fighters, Local 365, et al. v. City of East Chicago and Anthony Copeland
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division. Judge Philip P. Simon.
Civil. Affirms the grant of summary judgment to the International Association of Fire Fighters, Local 365, and its members in a dispute with the city of East Chicago, Mayor Anthony Copeland and former East Chicago Fire Chief Anthony Serna. Finds the district court did not err in determining that the defendants’ actions were motivated by the firefighters’ First Amendment activity; that there was no evidence that the 8/24 schedule was expected to result in cost-savings for the city; and that the firefighters would suffer irreparable harms without an injunction. Also finds the district court did not abuse its discretion in balancing the equities considering the severity of the harms the firefighters have experienced and the lack of evidence supporting the defendants’ alleged harms. Judge Frank Easterbrook concurs with separate opinion.

Thursday opinions
Court of Appeals of Indiana
Michael Bass Chatman v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms Michael Bass Chatman’s conviction of Level 3 felony aggravated battery resulting in serious bodily injury to a person less than 14 years old. Finds the testimony by the pediatric nurse practitioner was not inadmissible hearsay under Indiana Evidence Rule 703.

State of Indiana v. Elijah I. Parchman
Criminal. Reverses the Vanderburgh Circuit Court’s grant of Elijah Parchman’s motion to correct error, asking the trial court for a new trial following his conviction for murder and attempted murder. Finds the trial court abused its discretion in granting Parchman’s motion because the evidence that the state failed to disclose was not material.

Quiana Jones and Campagna Academy, Inc. v. LaShonda Lofton, in her personal capacity as well as guardian of Ha’Lecia Walker, a Minor, A’Jayiah Lofton, a Minor, Jah’Zaria Lofton-Tolliver, a Minor, and Chyiah Lofton, a Minor on the date of accident
Civil tort. Affirms the denial of Quiana Jones and Campagna Academy Inc.’s motion for partial summary judgment on the negligence complaint filed by LaShona Lofton. Find the version of Indiana Code § 27-7-5.1-4 in effect at the time of the collision did not apply to out-of-state violations. Judge Leanna Weissmann dissents with separate opinion.

Homer T. Richards v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Post-conviction. Affirms the denial of Homer T. Richards’ petition for post-conviction relief. Finds the post-conviction court did not err in denying Richards relief on his claims of ineffective assistance of trial counsel, appellate and post-conviction counsel.

Damontre Q. Sims-Session v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms the 1,516-day aggregate sentence imposed on Damontre Q. Sims-Session following his guilty plea to four Level 6 felonies and two Class A misdemeanors under two separate causes. Finds the Marion Superior Court did not abuse its discretion during sentencing.

Marlon Anthony McLaurin, Jr. v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Marlon Anthony McLaurin Jr.’s 20-year sentence for Level 2 felony conspiracy to commit burglary with a deadly weapon. Finds any error in identifying the aggravating factor McLaurin challenges would not require a new sentencing hearing. Also finds McLaurin has failed to demonstrate that the Tippecanoe Superior Court abused its discretion in rejecting three of his proposed mitigating sentencing factors.

Eric Jalil Wilson v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Eric Jalil Wilson’s conviction of Level 4 felony unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon. Finds the evidence is sufficient to support Wilson’s conviction.

Anthony Virgil Cole v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Anthony Virgil Cole’s conviction of Class A misdemeanor operating a vehicle while intoxicated. Finds the evidence is sufficient to support the conviction.

Christopher M. Lee v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Christopher M. Lee’s conviction of Level 5 felony assisting a criminal. Finds the evidence is sufficient to support the conviction.

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