Opinions Jan. 12, 2020

The following 7th Circuit Court of Appeals opinion was posted after IL deadline Monday:
Dustin John Higgs v. T.J. Watson, Warden

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Terre Haute Division. Chief Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson.
Civil. Affirms the dismissal of Dustin Higgs’ petition for habeas relief. Finds that Higgs’ challenge to his firearms convictions under United States v. Davis is not cognizable under 28 U.S.C. § 2241.

Tuesday’s opinions
Indiana Court of Appeals
Donald Lowrey and Barbara Lowrey v. SCI Funeral Services, Inc. d/b/a Elm Ridge Funeral Home and Cemetery, LLC a/k/a Elm Ridge Funeral Home and Memorial Park

Civil tort. Affirms the grant of summary judgment to SCI Indiana Services Inc. d/b/a Elm Ridge Funeral Home on the negligence action brought by Donald and Barbara Lowrey. Finds that negligence cannot be inferred from the mere fact that the Lowreys fell while at Elm Ridge. Also finds the undisputed designated evidence does not support the Lowreys’ claim that Elm Ridge had a duty to protect them in these circumstances. Finally, finds the allegedly dangerous condition was known and obvious, and Elm Ridge is not liable as a matter of law.

Deshay Hackner v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms Deshay Hackner’s convictions of two counts of murder, two counts of Level 5 felony robbery and his admission to possessing a firearm and being a habitual offender. Finds the Tippecanoe Superior Court did not abuse its discretion in admitting evidence.

Irving Madden v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms and reverses in part Irving Madden’s convictions of two counts of Level 3 felony aggravated battery, Level 5 felony kidnapping, and Level 2 felony counts of kidnapping for ransom and criminal confinement, and his aggregate 40-year sentence. Finds there is sufficient evidence to support Madden’s conviction of kidnapping for ransom, but his additional convictions for kidnapping and criminal confinement must be vacated. Also finds the Marion Superior Court did not abuse its discretion by imposing consecutive sentences. Finally, finds Madden’s sentence is not inappropriate. Remands with instructions to vacate Madden’s Level 5 felony kidnapping and criminal confinement convictions and to amend the judgment accordingly.

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