Opinions Feb. 14, 2022

Keywords Opinions

The following 7th Circuit Court of Appeals opinion was posted after IL deadline Friday:
Russell Pontinen v. United States Steel Corporation
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division. Magistrate Judge Andrew P. Rodovich.
Civil. Affirms summary judgement for United States Steel Corporation after it rescinded a job offer to Russell Pontinen due to health concerns. Finds USS has shown through undisputed evidence that if it hired Pontinen as a utility person, his unregulated seizure disorder would pose a direct threat to himself and others.

Monday opinions
Court of Appeals of Indiana
Sewell Jerome Evans v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Sewell Jerome Evans’ 65-year sentence for two counts of Level 1 felony child molesting. Finds the sentencing by Madison Circuit Court is appropriate in light of the nature of Evans’ offenses and his character. Also finds the trial court did not abuse its sentencing discretion. 

Michael J. Tunstall v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Michael J. Tunstall’s convictions of murder and Level 5 felony battery of a child. Finds the state produced sufficient evidence to sustain Tunstall’s convictions. Also finds that any error in the admission of the challenged evidence was harmless. 

In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent Child Relationship of N.G. and J.G, children And A.B. and J.G., parents v. Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
Juvenile termination of parental rights. Affirms the Porter Juvenile Court’s termination of the parental rights of A.B. (mother) and J.G. (father) to their children. Finds J.G. submitted to the personal jurisdiction of the trial court and waived his objection to the senior judge’s authority. Also finds a court-appointed special advocate represented the children throughout the termination proceedings, and the Department of Child Services presented sufficient evidence to support its petition to terminate the parent-child relationship. Finally, finds Indiana Code § 31-35-2-4 is not unconstitutional as applied to J.G., his trial counsel was not ineffective and he was not deprived of due process.

Marquise Lattrell Mance v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Affirms Marquise Lattrell Mance’s nine-year sentence by the Lake Superior Court following his guilty plea to two counts of Level 3 felony armed robbery. Finds Mance has not met his burden to establish his sentence is inappropriate.

Justin S. Wade. V. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Affirms Justin S. Wade’s two-year sentence, with 10 months executed and 14 months suspended to probation, by the Bartholomew Superior Court for Level 6 felony battery resulting in moderate bodily injury. Finds the sentence isn’t appropriate in light of the nature of the offense and Wade’s character. 

Lucky Ronald Tyler v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Lucky Ronald Tyler’s 25-year sentencing by the Lake Superior Court following his guilty plea to Level 2 felony robbery resulting in serious bodily injury with an enhancement for use of a firearm. Finds Tyler’s sentence is not inappropriate in light of the nature of the offense and his character. 

Andrew M. Taylor v. Deer Path Homeowners Assocation, Inc., Joshua Flavin, Jeremy Sprouse, Dale Wayman, Bonnie Hostetler, and Kelly Smith (mem. dec.)
Civil plenary. Affirms the order granting in part and denying in part Andrew Taylor’s motion for summary judgment and the cross-motion for summary judgment filed by Deer Path Homeowners Association Inc. and five newly elected board members. Finds the Hamilton Circuit Court did not err.

Kris Reibel v. Kara Kavensky (mem. dec)
Domestic relations. Affirms and reverses in part the Hamilton Superior Court order finding Kris Reibel in contempt of the parties’ court-approved dissolution settlement agreement, assessing damages and imposing attorney fees. Finds the order that Reibel pay Kara Kavensky her portion of the simplified employee pension funds was not erroneous. Also finds there was sufficient evidence to support the orders finding Reibel in contempt, and the trial court did not err in ordering Reibel to pay interest on past-due amounts at issue and refrain from claiming the children as tax exemptions for the next four years. Finally, finds the trial court did not abuse its discretion in ordering that Reibel pay Kavensky’s reasonable attorney fees incurred in pursuing the contempt motion, but there was insufficient evidence of the amount of those attorney fees. Remands for a determination of the amount of reasonable attorney fees.

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