The following 7th Circuit Court of Appeals opinions were posted after IL deadline Wednesday:
United States of America v. Charles Skaggs, Jr.
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division. Senior Judge Sarah Evans Barker.
Criminal. Affirms Charles Skaggs Jr.’s life sentence for his convictions of 12 counts related to his production and possession of child pornography. Finds that the district court’s application of 18 U.S.C. § 3559(e) was erroneous. Nonetheless, also finds the error was harmless because the same sentence would have been imposed despite the error.
Laura Ewing v. MED‐1 Solutions, LLC; September Webster v. Receivables Performance Management, LLC
Appeals from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division. Judge James R. Sweeney II; Chief Judge Tanya Walton Pratt.
Civil. Affirms summary judgment for MED-1 Solutions LLC in a dispute with Laura Ewing but reverses judgment for Receivables Performance Management LLC in a dispute with September Webster. Finds if MED‐1 Solutions’ step‐by‐step fax procedures had been followed, then the error that gave rise to Ewing’s debt collection case would have been avoided. Also finds that Receivables Performance Management’s lack of procedures invited the error that occurred in Webster’s case. Remands Webster’s case.
Indiana Supreme Court
Sierra M. DeWees v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms the Clay Superior Court’s denial of Sierra DeWees’ motion for bond reduction or conditional pretrial release. Finds the Indiana General Assembly’s statutory reforms enhance rather than restrict a trial court’s discretion in determining bail. Also finds the trial court did not abuse its discretion in finding DeWees is accused of an “extremely serious” crime and, facing a 30-year sentence, posed a flight risk. Urges the Court of Appeals of Indiana to act with “prudence and restraint” when deviating from Appellate Rule 65(E). If either party seeks modification of DeWees’ conditional release, remands with instructions for the trial court to conduct a hearing.
Court of Appeals of Indiana
Lamar J. Wilson v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms the LaPorte Circuit Court’s denial of Lamar Wilson’s motion for a directed verdict on his criminal recklessness charge. Finds Wilson’s act of firing a shotgun into the bed of a pickup truck is a Level 5 felony under Indiana Code § 35-42-2-2(b)(2)(A), which prohibits shooting a gun in places where people are likely to gather. Also finds a vehicle, including the bed of a pickup truck, is a place where people gather as established by Garcia v. State, 979 N.E.2d 156 (Ind. Ct. App. 2012).
Robert J. Waller v. City of Madison
Civil plenary. Reverses the denial of Robert Waller’s request for a preliminary injunction after he was removed from the City of Madison Plan Commission and the Board of Zoning Appeals. Finds the Jefferson Circuit Court applied the wrong meaning of “for cause” in determining whether the city mayor properly removed Waller from the two appointed boards. Also finds the trial court misapplied the law related to Waller’s free speech claims. Remands for further proceedings. Judge Elizabeth Tavitas dissents with separate opinion.
Gregory Wayne Puckett v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms the revocation of Gregory Wayne Puckett’s placement on home detention through community corrections and the order for him to serve the rest of his two-year home detention term in the Indiana Department of Correction. Finds the Harrison Superior Court did not err in denying Puckett’s motion to dismiss the revocation petition. Also finds the trial court did not abuse its discretion in revoking his two-year home incarceration period.
Joseph A. Pazanin, Janic L. Pazanin, Robin R. Cheshier, now Gillenwater, and Jay B. Cheshier v. Susan Pattee, LaGrange County, Indiana, and Any Person, Their Heirs, Successors, and Devisees, Claiming an Interest in Property Described as a 20 foot Private Roadway Lying Between 1520 S 485 E, Lagrange, IN, and 1510 S, 485 E, LaGrange, IN, to the West and 4975 E 160 S, LaGrange, IN to the East (mem. dec.)
Civil plenary. Affirms the determination that a parcel of land running in between property owned by Robin R. Cheshier (now Gillenwater), Jay B. Cheshier, Joseph A. Pazanin and Janice L. Pazanin, and property owned by Susan Pattee is a public road. Finds the LaGrange Circuit Court did not err in finding there had been a common law dedication of the roadway parcel.
In the Matter of: R.F., K.F., A.P., and Z.P. (Minor Children), and B.P. (Father) and A.F. (Mother) v. Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
Juvenile CHINS. Affirms the finding that R.F., K.F., A.P. and Z.P. are children in need of services. Finds the juvenile court’s challenged findings are supported by the record. Also finds sufficient evidence supported the adjudication of the children as CHINS. Finally, finds the juvenile court’s decision was not clearly erroneous.
In the Matter of: Bra.G. & Bry.G. (Minor Children), Children in Need of Services, and C.G. (Mother) & R.G. (Father) v. Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
Juvenile CHINS. Affirms the adjudication of Bra.G. and Bry.G. as children in need of services. Finds the Department of Child Services presented sufficient evidence to support the juvenile court’s determination that the children are CHINS.
In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of M.L., Father, and K.M., Minor Child, M.L. v. Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
Juvenile termination of parental rights. Affirms the termination of father M.L.’s parental rights to K.M. Finds the Department of Child Services proved by clear and convincing evidence the required elements for termination.
Sean M. Bower v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms the revocation of Sean Bower’s probation in two cases and the order for him to serve a portion of the previously suspended sentence in each case. Finds that although Post-Conviction Rule 2 does not apply to probation revocation hearings, Bower’s right to appeal can and should be revived despite his belated notice of appeal. Also finds the Decatur Superior Court did not abuse its discretion in ordering Bower to serve a portion of his previously suspended sentences.