Opinions May 19, 2022

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The following 7th Circuit Court of Appeals opinion was posted after IL deadline on Wednesday
Danielle Albert v. Kilolo Kijakazi, Acting Commissioner of Social Security
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, Fort Wayne Division. Senior Judge William C. Lee.
Civil. Affirms an administrative law judge’s determination that Danielle Albert should not receive Social Security benefits. Finds the record contains substantial evidence supporting the ALJ’s determination. Also finds any error was harmless. Finally, finds Albert can apply for benefits again should she not be able to work after making an attempt. 

Thursday opinions

Court of Appeals of Indiana
Yergy’s State Road BBQ, LLC v. Wells County Health Department; Eric Holcomb, in his official capacity of Governor of the State of Indiana; and State of Indiana
Civil plenary. Affirms the dismissal of Yergy’s State Road BBQ LLC’s complaint against the state of Indiana, Gov. Eric Holcomb and the Wells County Health Department related to public health emergency orders issued concerning restaurant closures during the COVID-19 pandemic. Finds the Wells Circuit Court did not err in concluding Yergy’s complaint requesting relief was moot. Declines to apply the public interest exception or to issue an advisory opinion.

Ruby Barcenas Medina v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms the Elkhart Circuit Court’s denial of Ruby Medina’s motions to reconsider or to correct error after the trial court denied her requests to either release her or reduce her $150,000 bail. Finds that under DeWees v. State, 180 N.E.3d 261 (Ind. 2022), the appellate court must give deference to the trial court in determinations regarding bail. Also finds the trial court did not abuse its discretion.

 Bryon Edward Kohnke v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Bryon Edward Kohnke’s convictions of Level 2 felony dealing in methamphetamine, Level 6 felony dealing in marijuana, Level 6 felony unlawful possession of a hypodermic syringe, Level 6 felony maintaining a common nuisance, Class A misdemeanor dealing in paraphernalia and Class C misdemeanor possession of paraphernalia, as well as his adjudication as a habitual offender. Finds the Huntington Superior Court did not abuse its discretion in the admission of evidence.

Charles McCloud-Smith v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Charles McCloud-Smith’s sentence to an aggregate of four years for his convictions of battery resulting in moderate bodily injury and domestic battery resulting in moderate bodily injury, both as a Level 6 felony. Finds the Lake Superior Court did not abuse its discretion by admitting, over McCloud-Smith’s objection, a probable cause affidavit at his sentencing hearing and subsequently relying on that affidavit in determining his sentence. Also finds the trial court did not abuse its discretion in finding the nature and circumstances of the crime to be an aggravator.

Toure G. Wright v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Toure Wright’s advisory sentence of six years, with four years suspended, for his conviction of Level 4 felony possession of a narcotic drug. Finds Wright’s sentence is not inappropriate.

Erik Obryan Washington v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Erik Obryan Washington’s sentence to an aggregate of five years for his convictions of battery by means of a deadly weapon as a Level 5 felony, carrying a handgun without a license as a Level 5 felony, criminal recklessness as a Level 6 felony and criminal mischief as a Class B misdemeanor. Finds Washington has not sustained his burden of establishing that his sentence is inappropriate.

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