Opinions, Feb. 2, 2021

The following 7th Circuit Court of Appeals opinion was posted after IL deadline Tuesday.
Rebecca Woodring v. Jackson County, Indiana
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, New Albany Division. Judge Tanya Walton Pratt.
Civil plenary. Reverses the District Court order issuing an injunction against a Nativity scene on the courthouse in Jackson County. Majority finds that while Rebecca Woodring has standing to bring this case, holds that under American Legion v. American Humanist Association, 139 S. Ct. 2067 (2019), the Nativity does not violate the Establishment Clause. Vacates the injunction and remands with instructions for the district court to enter summary judgment in favor of Jackson County. Judge David Hamilton dissents with opinion.

Wednesday’s opinions
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Jeffrey Cutchin v. Stephen Robertson
20-1437. Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Evansville Division. Judge Tanya Walton Pratt.
Civil. Certifies two questions to the Indiana Supreme Court that are crucial to resolution of Jeffrey Cutchin’s appeal of the Southern District Court’s ruling that the Indiana Medical Malpractice Act does not apply to Cutchin’s claim and that he is barred from seeking excess damages from the Indiana Patient’s Compensation Fund. Asks whether Indiana’s MMA prohibits the Fund from contesting the MMA’s applicability to a claim after the claimant concludes a court‐approved settlement with a covered health care provider. Also asks whether Indiana’s MMA applies to claims brought against qualified providers for individuals who did not receive medical care from the provider, but who are injured as a result of the provider’s negligence in providing medical treatment to someone else.

Indiana Supreme Court
In the Matter of Bradley David Cooper
Attorney discipline. Suspends former Johnson County Prosecutor Bradley Cooper for four years without automatic reinstatement, finding he violated Professional Conduct Rules 8.4(b) and 8.4(c) for his conduct related to his felony conviction arising from a domestic violence conviction.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Myles Danard Alexander-Woods v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms Myles Danard Alexander-Woods’ convictions of Level 3 felony possession of a narcotic drug, misdemeanor counts of carrying a handgun without a license and possession of marijuana; and being an habitual offender. Finds that because Alexander-Woods failed to assert a “legal hemp” argument, his claim of fundamental error in the admission of evidence is waived.

Kristen Gober v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms in part, reverses in part the 51-year sentence imposed on Kristen Gober for her conviction of two counts of Level 1 felony neglect of a dependent resulting in death and Level 6 felony neglect of a dependent. Finds the Lake Superior Court did not abuse its discretion in determining aggravating factors but did abuse its discretion in sentencing by imposing a sentence greater than 42 years. Remands for resentencing.

Paternity: Bryanna M Duran v. Richard K Gipson (mem. dec.)
Juvenile paternity. Affirms the Gibson Circuit Court order modifying the parental custody of minor child C.G. from mother Bryanna Duran with respect to father Richard Gipson. Finds no abuse of discretion.

Crystal B. Stultz v. George D. Stultz, et al.
Miscellaneous. Affirms the Hancock Superior Court order awarding custody of Crystal Stultz’s daughter to her former in-laws, finding no error or abuse of discretion.

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