Opinions March 7, 2023

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The following opinions were posted after IL deadline on Monday:
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Lavelle Hatley
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division. Judge Philip Simon.
Criminal. Affirms Lavelle Hatley’s 15-year sentence for being a felon in possession of a firearm. Finds Hobbs Act robbery constitutes a “violent felony” within the meaning of 18 U.S.C. § 924(e).

Indiana Supreme Court
U.S. Automatic Sprinkler Corporation v. Erie Insurance Exchange, et al.
Civil tort. Reverses the Marion Superior Court’s denial of U.S. Automatic Sprinkler Corporation’s motions for summary judgment against both Travelers Indemnity Company and non-contract tenants. Finds Surgery Center waived its insurer’s right to recover through subrogation. Also finds the absence of contractual privity between the contractor and the other commercial tenants precludes them from recovery because the contractor’s allegedly negligent work posed a risk to only property and the commercial tenants suffered only property damage. Remands for the entry of summary judgment in favor of Automatic Sprinkler. Justice Christopher Goff concurs in part and dissents in part with separate opinion.

Tuesday opinions
Court of Appeals of Indiana
David Kelly v. Paul Goldberg and The Crown Hill Cemetery d/b/a Crown Hill Cemetery (mem. dec.)
Civil tort. Reserves the Marion Superior Court’s order granting Paul Goldberg’s Verified Motion to Set Aside Default Judgment. Finds the trial court abused its discretion in granting Goldberg relief under Trial Rule 60(B). Remands with instructions to reinstate default judgment in favor of David Kelly.

Ellen E. Ellet v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Ellen Ellet’s convictions on two counts of domestic battery. Finds the Noble Superior Court did not fundamentally err in admitting testimony that vouched for the credibility of the victim’s testimony.

Cody A. Morrison v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms the revocation of Cody Morrison’s probation and the order that he serve the remaining two years of his sentence in prison. Finds the Noble Superior Court did not abuse its discretion.

Roel Amos Hernandez Morales v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Roel Morales’ convictions for attempted child molestation, child solicitation and attempted voyeurism. Finds the Vanderburgh Superior Court did not commit fundamental error by admitting alleged vouching evidence and evidence of prior bad acts.

Ronald E. Davidhizar v. SAVVY IN, LLC, Elkhart County Auditor, and Elkhart County Treasurer (mem. dec.)
Petition for tax deed. Affirms the grant of summary judgment in favor of SAVVY IN LLC in a dispute with Ronald Davidhizar. Finds Davidhizar failed to file his Trial Rule 60(B) motion within a reasonable time.

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