Opinions July 23, 2019

7th Circuit Court of Appeals

United States of America v. Joseph A. Williams
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division. Judge Jon E. DeGuilio.
Criminal. Affirms Joseph Williams’ 188-month sentence for conviction of possessing a gun as a felon and possessing cocaine with intent to distribute under the Armed Career Criminal Act based on his three prior Indiana convictions. Finds the district court did not improperly enhance Williams’ sentencing guideline range because he was convicted under Indiana Code § 35-48-4-1(a)(1)(C), which can be an ACCA predicate.

James Graham, Jr. v. Arctic Zone Iceplex, LLC
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division. Judge William T. Lawrence.
Civil. Affirms the Indiana Southern District Court’s grant of summary judgment to Artic Zone Iceplex, LLC against James Graham Jr.’s discrimination suit. Finds Graham failed to establish an issue of material fact about whether Arctic Zone discriminated against him by failing to reasonably accommodate him or by terminating him. 

Indiana Court of Appeals
AOX, Inc. and Brian Piunti v. Lake County Trust Company, Trust 4210 and Trust 5061, and Alex Emmanoilidis

Civil plenary. Affirms the Lake Superior Court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of Lake County Trust Company, Trust 4210 and Trust 5061 and Alex Emmanoilidis on AOX, Inc. and Brian Piunti’s claims of breach of contract, but reverses the trial court’s judgment in favor of the landlords on AOX’s malicious prosecution claim. Finds AOC’s breach of contract claim is barred by the 10-year limitation period set by Indiana Code § 34-11-2-11. Also finds the landlords’ Porter County lawsuit was res judicata.

Richard L. Wallen, Individually, and as Personal Representative of the Estate of Cathy L. Wallen, Deceased v. Dr. Steven Hossler, M.D., and Radiologic Associates of Northwest Indiana, P.C.
Civil tort. Reverses the Porter Superior Court’s order granting Dr. Steven Hossler’s motion to enforce the Medical Malpractice Act such that Richard Wallen would have to accept an offered settlement and proceed against the Indiana Patient’s Compensation Fund. Finds Wallen is only entitled to one statutory cap in his complaint against Hossler. Also finds the act does not require Wallen to accept Hossler’s offer to settle his liability. Remands for further proceedings. Judge John Baker concurs in part and concurs in result in part with separate opinion.

Richard Darnell Leslie v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Richard Leslie’s conviction for Level 5 felony battery by means of a deadly weapon. Finds the state of Indiana sufficiently rebutted his self-defense claim.

Kathleen G. Theriot v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Kathleen Theriot’s 16-year sentence for her conviction of Level 3 felony aggravated battery. Finds the Allen Superior Court did not abuse its discretion by failing to identify additional aggravating factors or by rejecting Theriot’s proposed mitigating factors. Also finds Theriot’s sentence was not inappropriate in light of the nature of the offense and her character.

Ronald Harris v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Post-conviction. Affirms the denial of Ronald Harris’ petition for post-conviction relief. Finds reversal is not warranted and that the Porter Superior Court did not abuse its discretion.

Andy’s Truck and Equipment Co., Inc., Andrew Young, and D.A.Y. Investments, LLC v. City of Gary (mem. dec.)
Local ordinance violation. Affirms and reverses in part the Lake Superior Court’s denial of Andy’s Truck and Equipment Co., Inc., Andrew Young, and D.A.Y. Investments, LLC’s requests for trials de novo. Finds the trial court did not abuse its discretion by denying the appellants’ motions to deem requests to be admitted, but did abuse its discretion when it dismissed the requests for trials do novo under Rule 41(E). Remands for further proceedings.

Peter M. Speziale v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Peter Speziale’s aggregate seven-year sentence, with six years executed and one year suspended to probation, for his convictions of Level 5 felony dealing in a narcotic drug and Level 6 felony possession of methamphetamine. Finds the Tippecanoe Circuit Court sentenced Speziale within the terms of his plea agreement.

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