Opinions Jan. 13, 2022

The following 7th Circuit Court of Appeals opinion was posted after IL deadline Wednesday:
United States of America v. Dayonta McClinton
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division. Chief Judge Tanya Walton Pratt.
Criminal. Affirms Dayonta McClinton’s 228-month sentence for robbing a pharmacy and brandishing a firearm during the robbery. Finds the Southern Indiana District Court did not err when calculating the sentence by including an acquitted charge of causing death while using a firearm during and in relation to the robbery. Denies a moot McClinton’s pro se motion for leave to file a pro se supplementary brief on his ineffective assistance of counsel claim.

Thursday opinions
Indiana Supreme Court
I.J. v. State of Indiana
Juvenile. Grants petition to transfer, vacates the Court of Appeals of Indiana’s decision and dismisses as moot a discretionary interlocutory appeal from juvenile I.J. challenging her placement at the Youth Opportunity Center. Justices of the Indiana Supreme Court conclude they are not convinced the COA opinion correctly advises courts regarding competency related treatment before Indiana Code § 31-37-26 takes effect on Dec. 31.

WTHR-TV v. Hamilton Southeastern Schools and Rick Wimmer
Miscellaneous. Affirms the Hamilton Circuit Court’s conclusion that Hamilton Southeastern Schools complied with the Indiana Access to Public Records Act by providing a compilation of information regarding the discipline of employee Rick Wimmer. Reverses the trial court’s conclusion that HSE provided a sufficient factual basis. Finds WTHR-TV was not entitled to the underlying personnel documents because an agency may compile the required information into a new document. Also finds that a “factual basis” must be a fact-based account of what caused the discipline. Finally, finds HSE’s factual basis was insufficient. Remands for further proceedings.

Court of Appeals of Indiana
Candace Lynn (Pindara) Anderson v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Candace Lynn (Pindara) Anderson’s conviction of Level 4 felony arson. Finds the state’s circumstantial evidence reasonably supported the conclusion that Anderson was the arsonist.

Joshua Sprinkle v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Affirms Joshua Sprinkle’s convictions of Class A misdemeanor operating a vehicle while intoxicated endangering a person, Class A misdemeanor operating a vehicle with an ACE of 0.15 or more, Class C misdemeanor operating a vehicle while intoxicated, Class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement by resisting, obstructing or interfering, and Class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement by fleeing. Finds the hearsay admission by a bystander was harmless error and the claim under the Confrontation Clause waived.

Randy Bussen v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Randy L. Bussen’s convictions of two counts of Level 1 felony child molesting. Finds Bussen failed to show that any error in the admission of the alleged hearsay and vouching or bolstering testimony affected his substantial rights; rather, even assuming such error, the error was harmless. Also finds Bussen failed to show the prosecutor’s challenged comments amounted to prosecutorial misconduct.

In the Matter of A.A. (Minor Child), a Child in Need of Services, M.M. (Mother) v. Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
Juvenile CHINS. Affirms A.A. is a child in need of services. Finds that because paternity of the child has not been establish and mother M.M. was uncooperative and combative throughout the CHINS proceeding, her claim that state intervention is not justified must be rejected. Also finds the CHINS determination was not clearly erroneous.

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