Opinions July 6, 2020

The following 7th Circuit Court of Appeals opinion was posted after IL deadline Thursday:
Wesley Ira Purkey v. United States of America, et al.
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Terre Haute Division.
Judge James Hanlon.
Criminal. Affirms the Southern District Court’s decision denying federal inmate Wesley Ira Purkey habeas relief, but grants a temporary stay of Purkey’s scheduled July 15 execution. Finds Purkey is not entitled to raise his new arguments under 28 U.S.C. § 2241. However, grants Purkey’s motion by temporarily staying his July 15, 2020 date of execution pending the completion of proceedings in the 7th Circuit. Orders that the stay will expire upon the issuance of the 7th Circuit’s mandate or as specified in any subsequent order that is issued.

Monday opinions
Indiana Court of Appeals
Robert Shorter v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms Robert Shorter’s convictions for Level 2 felony dealing in methamphetamine, Level 3 felony dealing in a narcotic drug, Level 3 felony conspiracy to commit dealing in a narcotic drug and Level 3 felony aiding, inducing or causing dealing in methamphetamine. Finds that the evidence was sufficient to support the convictions. Also finds no error in the admission of evidence that would violate the Fourth Amendment or Article 1, Section 11 of the Indiana Constitution. Judge Rudolph Pyle dissents with separate opinion.

David Pannell v. Bessie E. Leonard
Civil plenary. Grants rehearing for the limited purpose of correcting a factual error in the decision, but otherwise affirms the LaPorte Superior Court’s denial of David Pannell’s motion for relief from judgment in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana. Finds the appellate court incorrectly stated that on March 6, 2018, the federal district court had dismissed Pannell’s complaint “with prejudice” when it was dismissed “without prejudice.”

The Bopp Law Firm, PC v. Schock for Congress and Aaron Schock
Civil collection. Affirms the Vigo Superior Court’s order ruling in favor of Schock for Congress and Aaron Schock on the The Bopp Law Firm’s complaint stemming from unpaid legal bills totaling $163,795.87. Finds the trial court did not err by concluding that the firm failed to meet its burden of proof.

Timothy K. Meadows v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Timothy Meadows’ 14-year sentence for his conviction of Level 3 felony possession of methamphetamine. Finds the sentence imposed by the Bartholomew Circuit Court was not inappropriate in light of the nature of the offense and Meadows’s character. Also finds that the trial court did not err in its consideration of mitigators.

Pierre Thomas, Jr. v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Pierre Thomas’ conviction for Level 6 felony intimidation. Finds sufficient evidence to support the conviction.

In Re the Marriage of: Jeffrey E. Nelson v. Julie A. Nelson (mem. dec.)
Domestic relations. Affirms and reverses in part the Vanderburgh Superior Court’s final decree dissolving Jeffrey Nelson’s marriage to Julie Nelson. Finds Jeffrey has not satisfied his burden on appeal to show that the dissolution court abused its discretion when it excluded his expert witness testimony and has not shown that the dissolution court abused its discretion when it divided the marital estate. Also finds Jeffrey has waived his contention that the dissolution court abused its discretion when it denied his request for a setoff against Julie’s share of the marital estate. Finally, finds the dissolution decree contains some scrivener’s errors and erroneously includes a small non-marital bank account. Remands and instructs the trial court to correct the subheadings in paragraph 15 of the dissolution decree, to recalculate the marital estate and to redistribute the marital assets to achieve the desired equal division.

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