Opinions July 14, 2022

Keywords Opinions

The following 7th Circuit Court of Appeals opinion was posted after IL deadline on Wednesday:
Ricky J. Thurston v. Frank Vanihel
21-1761
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Terre Haute Division. Judge James R. Sweeney II.
Civil. Affirms the denial of Ricky Thurston’s petition for habeas relief under 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Finds the evidence submitted at trial that indicated Thurston had been charged in another rape case was “too vague” to undermine the jury’s guilty verdict. Also finds the Court of Appeals of Indiana’s ruling that Thurston did not meet the demanding standard for establishing “prejudice’’ under Strickland v. Washington was not unreasonable.

Thursday opinions
Franciscan Alliance Inc., d/b/a Franciscan Physician Network v. Louis S. Metzman, M.D.
21A-PL-2171
Civil plenary. Affirms the Montgomery Circuit Court’s ruling that Franciscan Alliance breached its contract with Dr. Louis S. Metzman when it deducted money from his base compensation for taking unpaid time off and that Metzman is not entitled to performance-based compensation or liquidated damages, as well as the trial court’s rejection of Franciscan’s claim-by-claim approach to the distribution of attorney fees. Finds the term “prevailing party” here refers to a single party — the one in whose favor judgment is rendered, even if not to the extent of the original claim. Concludes while it may not always be appropriate to award full fees to the prevailing party, doing so in this case was not an error.

Mario M. Angulo, Jr. v. State of Indiana
21A-CR-1465
Criminal. Affirms Mario Angulo Jr.’s conviction for murder, Level 2 felony robbery resulting in serious bodily injury and two counts of Level 3 felony criminal confinement, and his sentence to an aggregate of 127 years. Finds the evidence established that Angulo committed the crime. Also finds Angulo has failed to establish that his sentence is inappropriate in light of the nature of the offenses and his character.

Julie Nordin and Mike Nordin v. Town of Syracuse
22A-CT-135
Civil tort. Reverses the Kosciusko Circuit Court’s grant of the town of Syracuse’s motion for summary judgment against Julie and Mike Nordin and its award of $400 in damages. Finds that the trial court subtracted the post-damage market value of the Nordins’ damaged cottage from the pre-damage market value instead of awarding the full pre-damage market value. Also finds there is a genuine issue of material fact as to what repairs, if any, were “necessary.” Finally, finds that if more than just minor repairs were “necessary,” the town has not directed the appellate court to any evidence definitively establishing that the reapirs would have cost. More than $7,350. Remands to the trial court to address damages and for trial on the loss-of-use claim. Judge Terry Crone concurs in part and dissents in part with separate opinion.

In re the Adoption of N.A.D., Minor Child C.H. v. E.R. (mem. dec.)
22A-AD-241
Adoption. Affirms the grant of stepmother E.R.’s petition to adopt child N.A.D. Finds the Clark Circuit Court’s best interest determination and adoption decree wasn’t clearly erroneous. Also finds the consent of the biological mother, C.H., was not required due to her failure to communicate significantly with the child.

Jeremy L. Richardson v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
22A-CR-6
Criminal. Affirms the revocation of Jeremy L. Richardson’s community corrections placement. Finds the Tippecanoe Circuit Court didn’t abuse its discretion.

Daveyaun Groves v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
21A-CR-2742
Criminal. Affirms Daveyaun Groves’ 75-year sentence for murder and a firearm enchantment. Finds the sentence is not inappropriate.

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