Opinions March 3, 2020

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The following 7th Circuit Court of Appeals opinion was posted after IL deadline Monday:
Stephen R. West v. Louisville Gas & Electric Company, and Charter Communications, Inc., and Spectrum Mid-America, LLC 
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, New Albany Division. Judge Richard Young.
Civil. Affirms that the use that Louisville Gas & Electric and Charter Communications have jointly made of an easement on Stephen West’s Jeffersonville property is permissible under Indiana law. Finds that since West and Louisville Gas have settled their own differences about the scope of the 1938 easement, there is no basis for any relief against Charter.

Tuesday opinions
Indiana Supreme Court
Bryce A. Burton v. Martin Benner and Indiana State Police
Civil tort. Affirms as proper the Benton Circuit Court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of Indiana State Police Trooper Martin Benner against motorcyclist Bryce Burton. Finds that, although there is some evidence that Benner was not in strict compliance with state police policy at the time of the accident, it was not enough to place him “clearly outside” the scope of his employment.

Cavanaugh’s Sports Bar & Eatery, Ltd. v. Eric Porterfield
Civil tort. Reverses the Lake Superior Court’s denial of Cavanaugh’s Sports Bar & Eatery’s motion for summary judgment against injured bar patron Eric Porterfield. Finds the bar owed no duty to protect Porterfield from the sudden parking lot brawl that left him blind when no evidence shows the bar knew the fight was impending. Justice Christopher Goff dissented with separated opinion joined by Justice Steven David.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Jeremy L. Adams v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Jeremy Adams’ two-year sentence for his conviction of Level 6 felony domestic battery in the presence of a child. Finds that although the Huntington Superior Court abused its discretion when it did not enter a sentencing statement including its reasons for the sentence it imposed on Adams for his conviction, his sentence is not inappropriate based on the nature of the offense and his character.

In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of A.L. and L.M. (Minor Children) and C.M. (Father) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
Juvenile termination of parental rights. Affirms the termination of father C.M.’s parental rights to his children, A.L. and L.M.  Finds Father has failed to establish that the Jennings Circuit Court’s determination that termination was in the children’s best interests was clearly erroneous.

Justin C. Gray v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Justin Gray’s conviction for Level 5 felony child exploitation. Finds the Shelby Circuit Court did not commit fundamental error.

Maurell Maurice O’Neal v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Maurell O’Neal’s conviction of Level 3 felony aggravated battery. Finds sufficient evidence to support the conviction.

David Pannell v. Bessie E. Leonard (mem. dec.)
Civil plenary. Affirms the LaPorte Superior Court’s denial of David Pannell’s motion for relief from judgment. Finds the trial court did not err in denying Pannell’s motion to set aside the judgment.

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