Opinions May 24, 2022

The following 7th Circuit Court of Appeals opinion was posted after IL deadline on Monday:

Lamone Lauderdale-El v. Indiana Parole Board 
21-1242
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Terre Haute Division. Judge James Patrick Hanlon.
Civil. Affirms the dismissal without prejudice of Lamone Lauderdale-El’s habeas corpus petition for failure to exhaust state remedies. Finds the dismissal was a final, appealable judgment. Overrules the contrary jurisdictional holdings of Gacho v. Butler, 792 F.3d 732 (7th Cir. 2015), and Moore v. Mote, 368 F.3d 754 (7th Cir. 2004). Also finds the appeal is not moot. Finally, finds Lauderdale-El could have pursued his good-time credit restoration claim in state court.

Tuesday opinions

Court of Appeals of Indiana

Zachary Miller v. Laxeshkumar Patel, M.D.; John Schiltz, M.D.; Benjamin Coplan, M.D.; Community Physicians of Indiana, Inc.; and Community Howard Regional Health, Inc. d/b/a Community Howard Behavioral Health
21A-CT-2500
Civil tort. Reverses the Howard Superior Court’s entry of summary judgment in favor of Dr. Laxeshkumar, Dr. John Schiltz, Dr. Benjamin Coplan, Community Physicians of Indiana Inc. and Community Howard Behavioral Health in a dispute with Zachary Miller. Finds the providers failed to show that there was no genuine issue of material fact regarding the allegations of Miller’s complaint and that they were entitled to judgment as a matter of law, so the trial court erred by granting summary judgment to the providers. Remands for further proceedings.

William Dejuan Antonio Galloway, Jr. v. State of Indiana
21A-CR-1127
Criminal. Affirms William Dejuan Antonio Galloway Jr.’s convictions of three counts of Level 5 criminal recklessness and one count of Level 1 felony attempted murder. Finds the state sufficiently proved by a preponderance of the evidence that Galloway engaged in conduct to procure Sean Baker’s absence from the trial and prevent him from testifying against Galloway, so Galloway’s wrongdoing forfeited his right to confront Baker’s statement to law enforcement and, as a result, his confrontation rights under the Sixth Amendment and the Indiana Constitution were not violated by the admission of Baker’s statement at trial.

Arjewus Lujune Willis v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
21A-CR-486
Criminal. Affirms Arjewus Lujune Willis’ convictions of attempted murder as a Level 1 felony and pointing a firearm as a Level 6 felony, and his sentence to an aggregate of 37½ years. Finds the evidence is sufficient to support Willis’ conviction of attempted murder. Also finds his trial counsel was not ineffective, and any error in the prosecutor’s closing argument was harmless and not fundamental. Finally, finds Willis has waived his witness tampering argument, the Marion Superior Court did not abuse its discretion in finding his criminal history to be aggravating and his argument that the magistrate judge lacked authority to sentence him is meritless.

Red Spot Paint & Varnish Company, Inc. v. Columbia Street Partners, Inc. and Charles D. Storms (mem. dec.)
21A-CC-1806
Civil collections. Dismisses Red Spot Paint & Varnish Company’s challenge to the Vanderburgh Circuit Court’s order granting summary judgment to Columbia Street Partners Inc. and Charles D. Storms on one of two claims in Columbia Street’s complaint and reserving jurisdiction to hold a hearing and determine an unresolved matter regarding Columbia’s claim for attorney fees and costs. Finds the trial court’s order was neither a final judgment nor an appealable interlocutory order. Dismisses without prejudice to Red Spot’s right to file an appeal once a final judgment has been entered or the order has been certified for interlocutory appeal.

Quinton Lee Jennings v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
21A-CR-2099
Criminal. Affirms Quinton Lee Jennings’ convictions of kidnapping and aggravated battery, both as a Level 3 felony, and his adjudication as a habitual offender. Finds that because the Posey Circuit Court entered judgment of conviction on all 10 of the jury’s guilty verdicts and simply “merged” eight of the convictions for purposes of sentencing, remand is necessary. Also finds the trial court did not err when it denied Jennings’ motion for discharge under Indiana Criminal Rule 4(C), nor did it abuse its discretion when it found 5-year-old J.H. competent to testify. Finally, finds the state presented sufficient evidence to support Jennings’ convictions, and the trial court did not err when it denied his motion to correct error alleging juror misconduct. Remands with instructions to vacate Jennings’ convictions for criminal confinement as a Level 3 felony, criminal confinement as a Level 5 felony, kidnapping as a Level 5 felony, aggravated battery as a Level 3 felony, battery by means of a deadly weapon as a Level 5 felony, domestic battery by means of a deadly weapon as a Level 5 felony, domestic battery resulting in serious bodily injury as a Level 5 felony and domestic battery as a Level 6 felony.

In Re: The Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of C.E., M.E., and G.P. (Minor Children); D.E. (Father) and D.P. (Mother) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
21A-JT-2340
Juvenile termination of parental rights. Affirms the termination of mother D.P. and father D.E.’s parental rights to G.P., M.E. and C.E. Finds there is sufficient evidence to support the termination of the parent-child relationships.

Richard D. Conley v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
21A-CR-2344
Criminal. Affirms Richard Conley’s sentence to 47 years, with 43 years executed in the Indiana Department of Correction and four years suspended to probation, for his conviction of dealing in methamphetamine as a Level 2 felony. Finds Conley’s sentence is not inappropriate.

Joann K. Wall-Beer v. Eagle Contracting Inc. (mem. dec.)
21A-PL-2437
Civil plenary. Affirms the denial of Joann K. Wall-Beer’s motion to set aside default judgment entered against her in a dispute with Eagle Contracting Inc. Finds the default-judgment order was not void for lack of personal jurisdiction. Also finds attorney Marlin Benson did not commit misconduct. Finally, finds the Allen Superior Court did not abuse its discretion in denying the motion to set aside.

Justin D. Littlejohn v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
21A-PC-2489
Post-conviction. Affirms the denial of Justin D. Littlejohn’s petition for post-conviction relief. Finds Littlejohn has not demonstrated that the post-conviction court erred in determining his trial counsel was not ineffective for failing to call a defense witness to testify at trial or for failing to object to the intervening-cause instruction on the grounds raised in the post-conviction petition. Also finds Littlejohn has not demonstrated the post-conviction court erred in determining his appellate counsel was ineffective. Finally, finds Littlejohn has not demonstrated that the post-conviction court erred when it denied his petition for post-conviction relief.

Deonte Lovell Smith v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
21A-CR-2602
Criminal. Affirms Deonte Lovell Smith’s conviction for Class A misdemeanor criminal conversion. Finds the evidence is sufficient to support Smith’s conviction.

In the Marriage of: Krisandra Ruggirello v. David Ruggirello (mem. dec.)
21A-DC-2711
Domestic relations with children. Affirms the denial of mother Krisandra Ruggirello’s petition for relocation with her minor children to Clarksville, Tennessee. Finds the Orange Circuit Court’s findings are sufficient to support its judgment.

Joseph Sherlock v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
21A-CR-2716
Criminal. Affirms Joseph Sherlock’s sentence to an aggregate of seven years, with five years executed in the Indiana Department of Correction and two years suspended to probation, for his convictions of burglary as a Level 5 felony, possession of methamphetamine as a Level 6 felony and possession of a controlled substance as a Class A misdemeanor. Finds Sherlock’s sentence was not inappropriate given the nature of the offense and the character of the offender.

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