Opinions Oct. 11, 2019

The following 7th Circuit Court of Appeals opinion was posted Thursday after IL deadline:
United States of America v. Reynold De La Torre, et al.
18-2009, -2218, -2286, -3303, 19-1299
Appeals from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division. Judge Tanya Walton Pratt.
Criminal. Affirms sentences entered against Maria Gonzalez, Reynold De La Torre and Adrian Bennett. Vacates the guilty pleas entered by Christian Chapman and Jeffrey Rush. Finds Gonzalez’s offense level was properly adjusted for her “aggravating role,” De La Torre waived his challenge to the conditions of his supervised release, and Bennett failed to identify a specific reason to question the substantive reasonableness of his below-guidelines sentence. Also finds Chapman and Rush were subjected to sentencing errors that affected their substantial rights. Remands for further proceedings.

Friday’s opinions
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Jamie Swartz v. Heartland Equine Rescue
18-3260
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, New Albany Division. Judge Tanya Walton Pratt.
Civil. Vacates the Southern District Court’s rulings in favor of the private and state defendants against Jamie and Sandra Swartz. Remands this case for dismissal due to a lack of federal subject matter jurisdiction. Finds the Swartzes’ claims are inextricably intertwined with state court judgments, requiring dismissal under the Rooker-Feldman doctrine.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Stephen J. Presley v. Daniel S. McCain, et al.
19A-MI-00088
Miscellaneous. Reverses the Miami Superior Court’s order quieting title to two small parcels of land in Daniel McCain and Joseph DeRozier. Finds that the trial court erred in its decision and finds the titles should be quieted in favor of Stephen Presley, as the rightful and legal owner of the two parcels.

Brandon Battering v. State of Indiana
18A-CR-02309
Criminal. Affirms the Pulaski Circuit Court’s denial of Brandon Battering’s motion for discharge under Indiana Rule of Criminal Procedure 4(C). Finds the trial court correctly ruled that the delay between January 20 and June 15, 2017 is not chargeable to the state. Judge John Baker dissents in a separate opinion.

In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of A.J., L.L., & B.L. (Children) and J.L., (Father); J.L. (Father) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
19A-JT-1197
Juvenile termination. Affirms the termination of J.L.’s parental rights to A.J., L.L., and B.L. Finds the Adams Circuit Court’s findings support its conclusions that the conditions under which the children were removed from their father’s care would not be remedied and that termination of his parental rights was in the children’s best interests

D.H. v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
18A-JV-2111
Juvenile. Affirms the adjudication of D.H. as a delinquent on one count of child molesting, a Level 4 felony when committed by an adult. Finds the Clark Circuit Court did not violate his right to confrontation under the federal and state constitutions.

Harold Jones v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
19A-CR-501
Criminal. Affirms Harold Jones’ convictions of Level 6 felony intimidation and Class A misdemeanor battery resulting in bodily injury. Finds the incredible dubiosity rule is inapplicable in Jones’ case. Finds sufficient evidence to support Jones’ convictions.

Octavius D. Alexander v. State of Indiana
19A-CR-244
Criminal. Affirms Octavius Alexander’s conviction of Level 5 felony operating a vehicle with an alcohol concentration equivalent of 0.08 or more and with a previous conviction for operating while intoxicated causing serious bodily injury. Finds Alexander failed to properly signal before turning, and therefore law enforcement had reason to initiate a traffic stop. Finds the trial court did not abuse its discretion when it admitted that evidence and that Alexander’s rights under the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution or Article 1, Section 11 of the Indiana Constitution were not violated.

Kameron Wesley Martin v. State of Indiana
19A-CR-183
Criminal. Vacates Kameron Martin’s 10-year sentence for his conviction of Level 3 felony robbery and remands for sentencing on his conviction of Level 5 felony robbery. Finds Martin was sentenced to Level 3 felony robbery, for which he had not been convicted, therefore amounting to fundamental error.

Rasean Collins v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
19A-CR-883
Criminal. Affirms Rasean Collins’ 14-year sentence for conviction of Level 3 felony aggravated battery and Level 6 felony pointing a firearm. Finds the sentence is not inappropriate in light of the nature of the offenses and Collins’ character.

Major D. Townsend v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
19A-CR-787
Criminal. Affirms Major Townsend’s 17-year sentence for conviction of Level 3 felony aggravated battery and Level 4 felony unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon. Finds the Tippecanoe Superior Court properly found at least one aggravator and, therefore, did not abuse its discretion when it ordered Townsend to serve his sentences consecutively. Finds his sentence is not inappropriate.

Robert T. Davis v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
19A-CR-463
Criminal. Affirms Robert Davis’ conviction of Class A felony child molesting. Finds the victim’s testimony was sufficient to permit the jury to reasonably infer penetration occurred, and therefore that there was sufficient evidence to support Davis’ conviction.

Billy E. McKinney, III v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
19A-CR-620
Criminal. Affirms Billy McKinney’s four-year sentence for conviction of one count of Level 5 felony failure to register as a sex offender with a prior conviction. Finds the sentence is not inappropriate in light of the nature of the offense and his character.

Randall L. McDougall v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
18A-CR-3051
Criminal. Affirms Randall McDougall’s 30-year sentence for Level 2 felony dealing in methamphetamine, Level 3 felony dealing in methamphetamine, and Level 6 felony dealing in a controlled substance. Finds the Owen Circuit Court did not abuse its discretion when it sentenced McDougall.

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