Opinions Feb. 23, 2022

The following opinions were posted after IL deadline Tuesday:
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Edward Gibbs
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Evansville Division. Judge Richard L. Young.
Criminal. Reverses Edward Gibbs’ sentence to 200 months in federal prison for participating in a conspiracy to obtain and distribute methamphetamine. Finds the requirements of Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 32 were not followed in this case, so Gibbs wound up being held responsible for far more meth than the record supported. Also finds Gibbs is entitled to be resentenced using offense level 35 and criminal history category II. Remands for resentencing.

Indiana Supreme Court
Lake County Board of Commissioners, et al. v. State of Indiana, et al.
Miscellaneous. Reverses the grant of summary judgment to the state appellees. Finds probation officers are state employees for purposes of Indiana Code § 4-6-2-1.5, which requires the attorney general to defend state employees. Also finds that because the Indiana Legislature has not required a different entity to pay for their legal representation, the statute applies to probation officers. Remands for further proceedings.

Wednesday opinions
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
In Re: Donald Wayne Harshaw, Elizabeth Anne Harshaw v. Donald Wayne Harshaw
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division. Judge Holly A. Brady.
Civil. Affirms the district court’s ruling allowing Donald Harshaw to discharge an arbitrator’s award in a bankruptcy action. Finds the award was for a money judgment and thus subject to discharge.

Court of Appeals of Indiana
State of Indiana v. Jarod Deangelo Johnson
Criminal. Reverses the grant of Jarod Johnson’s motion to dismiss. Finds the state’s prosecution on the Cause F1-27 charges is not barred by Indiana’s double jeopardy statute following Johnson’s acquittal on a federal kidnapping charge. Remands for trial.

Mary M. Flannagan v. Lakeview Loan Servicing, LLC, City of Indiana Department of Business & Neighborhood Services, and State of Indiana
Mortgage foreclosure. Affirms the denial of Mary M. Flannagan’s motion for partial summary judgment and the grant of a cross-motion for partial summary judgment filed by Lakeview Loan Servicing LLC. Finds a mortgage and insurance policy control the distribution of the hazard insurance proceeds, and Flannagan’s equitable claims do not require payment to Tate & Bowen from the hazard insurance proceeds. Also finds the Marion Superior Court did not err.

Kendall J. Hart v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Kendall J. Hart’s sentence to 55 years for murder. Finds the Marion Superior Court did not abuse its discretion in finding the nature and circumstances as an aggravator. Even if the trial court abused its discretion with respect to the aggravator, also finds it would have imposed the same advisory sentence given the remaining aggravators, including Hart’s juvenile and adult criminal history and the fact that he was on probation at the time of the offense.

In the Matter of L.Q. (Minor Child), a Child in Need of Services, B.Q. (Mother) and M.C. (Father) v. Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
Juvenile CHINS. Affirms the determination that 7-month-old L.Q. was a child in need of services. Finds the Hendricks Superior Court’s findings support a conclusion that L.Q. is seriously endangered, so the CHINS determination is not clearly erroneous.

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