Opinions July 30, 2021

The following 7th Circuit Court of Appeals opinion was posted after IL deadline Thursday:
Bukola Lomi Omowole v. Merrick B. Garland, Attorney General of the United States
Petition for Review of an Order of the Board of Immigration Appeals.
Denies Bukola Lomi Omowole’s petition for review of an order of the Board of Immigration Appeals sustaining the findings of two immigration judges that she is both removable from the United States for having procured an entry visa by fraud and not entitled to asylum or withholding of removal. Finds that the adverse credibility findings of the immigration judges are supported by substantial evidence.

Friday opinions
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Keenan Rollerson
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division. Judge James P. Hanlon.
Criminal. Affirms Keenan Rollerson’s 23-year sentence for drug and firearm convictions. Finds his uncharged buys and acquitted drug amounts were relevant to his heroin conviction and proven with sufficiently reliable information.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Ricardo Hernandez Vasquez v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Reverses in part Ricardo Hernandez Vasquez’s sentence to an aggregate of 300 yeas for his multiple child molesting convictions. Finds the Marshall Superior did not err as a matter of law or abuse its discretion when it denied Vasquez’s motion for severance or when it allowed the prosecutor to construe the evidence in light of legal precedent. Also finds no evidence in the record to support his conviction of Level 3 felony child molesting as to M.D. and, therefore, reduces his sentences to 288 years. Finally, finds Vasquez’s new sentence is not inappropriate for his offense and character.

The Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion County d/b/a Eagle Valley Meadows and American Senior Communities, LLC v. Sharon Dial, as Administrator for the Estate of Robert McFerran, Deceased
Civil tort. Affirms the denial of Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion County d/b/a Eagle Valley Meadows and American Senior Communities LLC’s motion for summary judgment against Sharon Dial. Finds a complaint filed before the Indiana Department of Insurance is not void ab initio simply because it was filed in the name of a deceased individual as administrator of the estate of a deceased alleged victim of malpractice. Also finds  the filing of the proposed complaint served to toll the statute of limitations and Dial’s suit against Eagle Valley Meadows was timely filed. Remands for further proceedings.

A.S. v. Indiana Department of Child Services
Juvenile termination of parental rights. Affirms the termination of mother A.S.’s parental rights to her daughter, S.S. Finds that the denial of mother’s motion to continue did not deny her due process and that no error occurred when a successor judge certified the statement of the evidence.

D.S. v. A.W. (mem. dec.)
Protective order. Affirms the entry of a protective order against D.S., finding the Dubois Circuit Court’s grant of an order of protection was not clearly erroneous. Also finds its procedures did not violate D.S.’s due process rights.

Danny Kay Peet, Sr. v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Danny Peet’s conviction and 45-year sentence, with eight years suspended to probation, for Level 3 felony rape, Level 1 felony rape, two counts of Level 6 felony strangulation, Level 6 felony intimidation, and Class A misdemeanor domestic battery. Finds the Elkhart Superior Court did not abuse its discretion by admitting Officer Robert Wartsler’s testimony. Also finds Peet’s rape convictions do not violate Indiana’s Double Jeopardy Clause. Finally, finds Peet’s sentence is not inappropriate in light of the nature of the offenses and his character.

Derrick Gist v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Derrick Gist’s conviction for Level 6 felony theft and the St. Joseph Superior Court’s order for restitution. Finds sufficient evidence to sustain his conviction. Also finds the trial court did not abuse its discretion in ordering restitution.

Angela Hagy v. Review Board of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (mem. dec.)
Agency action. Affirms the Unemployment Insurance Review Board’s suspension of Angela Hagy’s unemployment insurance benefits. Finds the Review Board’s decision is supported by substantial evidence.

Michael A. Smith v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Michael Smith’s conviction for Class A misdemeanor domestic battery. Finds the state presented evidence of a probative nature from which a reasonable trier of fact could have determined beyond a reasonable doubt that Smith did not validly act in self defense.

KRS Corp d/b/a Strength School v. Judi Clark, William Spalding, Dale Edson, Joyce Fulford, and Sue Geier (mem. dec.)
Small claims. Affirms the Morgan Superior Court’s ruling in favor of defendants Judi Clark, William Spalding, Dale Edson, Joyce Fulford and Sue Geier regarding breach of contract claims brought by KRS Corp, d/b/a Strength School. Finds the trial court’s damage awards to Strength School are not clearly erroneous. Also finds the trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying Strength School’s request for attorney fees.

Lyndon Abran v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms the revocation of Lyndon Abran’s probation and order that he serve his previously suspended eight-year sentence in the Indiana Department of Correction. Finds the evidence was sufficient to support the revocation, and the Pike Circuit Court did not abuse its discretion in ordering him to execute his previously suspended sentence.

Bronson E. Cottrell v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Bronson Cottrell’s conviction of Level 1 felony child molesting and his 35-year sentence. Finds Cottrell’s conviction is supported by sufficient evidence. Also finds the Fulton Superior Court did not commit fundamental error in admitting certain testimony. Finally, finds the trial court did not abuse its discretion in sentencing Cottrell.

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