Opinions July 7, 2020

The following Indiana Supreme Court opinion was posted after IL deadline Monday:
Brittany Nicole Mullins v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Remands Brittany Mullins’ 24½-year aggregate sentence to the Tippecanoe Superior Court upon finding it to be inappropriate. Finds the trial court did not abuse its sentencing discretion, but orders under Indiana Appellate Rule 7(B) that Mullins’ sentence in case 79D02-1808-F4-34 be served concurrent with her sentences in case 79D02-1904-F2-18 for an aggregate sentence of 18 years. Justice Geoffrey Slaughter dissents, believing transfer should be denied.

Tuesday opinions
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Monwell Douglas v. Faith Reeves
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Terre Haute Division.
Chief Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson.
Civil. Affirms the Indiana Southern District Court’s grant of summary judgment to Faith Reeves against Monwell Douglas, an Indiana prisoner who claimed Reeves retaliated against him for activity protected by the First Amendment. Finds no reasonable jury could conclude that Reeves inflicted deprivations on Douglas likely to deter a person of ordinary firmness from engaging in First Amendment activity.

United States of America v. Rashad Rae Robinson
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Evansville Division. Judge Richard Young.
Criminal. Affirms Rashad Robinson’s conviction after he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. Finds Robinson did not plead guilty to a conspiracy involving a lesser or unspecified amount, but rather pleaded guilty to an offense punishable under 21 U.S.C. § 841(b)(1)(A) involving 500 grams or more of methamphetamine.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Takisha Monique Jacobs v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms Takisha Jacobs’ conviction for Level 5 felony assisting a criminal. Finds sufficient evidence to support the conviction.

Ginger Hallett (nee Louder) v. Jill E. Newlin, Gregory N. Kinworthy, and Robert C. Kinworthy, II (mem. dec.)
Civil plenary. Affirms and reverses in part the Bartholomew Circuit Court’s order that the house inherited by siblings Ginger Hallett, Jill E. Newlin, Gregory N. Kinworthy and Robert C. Kinworthy II be sold at auction, as well as its grant of Newlin, Gregory and Robert’s request to pay their attorney fees and related expenses with the sale proceeds. Finds the trial court had legal authority to order the sale but it abused its discretion in allowing the payment of attorney fees and related expenses. Remands with instructions to vacate the award of attorney fees and related expenses and distribute those proceeds to the parties in proportion to their ownership interest in the property.

Gregory Dewell Simpson v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Gregory Simpson’s conviction of Level 5 felony battery by means of a deadly weapon and a finding that he is a habitual offender. Finds the Marion Superior Court did not abuse its discretion in excluding evidence of Simpson’s jail call.

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