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Opinions

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Opinions Oct. 17, 2018

Indiana Court of Appeals
Thomas A. DeCola v. State of Indiana

18A-MI-732
Miscellaneous. Affirms the denial of Thomas DeCola’s request to expunge any and all records pertaining to a school suspension and the decision not to hold a jury trial. Finds the Jasper Superior Court did not err. Holds expungements are not subject to jury trials and the statute does not apply to school records.
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Opinions Oct. 16, 2018

Indiana Court of Appeals 
Steven Bethel v. State of Indiana

18A-PC-117
Post-conviction. Affirms the St. Joseph Superior Court’s denial of Steven Bethel’s successive petition for post-conviction relief. Finds that although Bethel’s trial counsel ultimately used an unsuccessful defense strategy, his counsel was not “constitutionally ineffective.” Also finds that challenging the show-up identifications would not have been a stronger or more effective strategy than what was previously chosen by Bethel’s counsel.  
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Opinions Oct. 15, 2018

The following 7th Circuit Court of Appeals opinion was posted after IL deadline on Friday:
Vicki Barbera v. Pearson Education, Inc.

18-1085
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division. Chief Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson.
Civil. Affirms the district court’s decision to overrule Vicki Barbera’s objection to a magistrate’s order that Pearson Education, Inc. could not dispute Barbera’s description of a missing email chain and the grant of summary judgment to Pearson on Barbera’s severance pay discrimination claim. Finds the magistrate judge did not act unreasonably in declining to impose additional sanctions on Pearson for the missing email chain. Also finds Barbera was not similarly situated to her proposed comparators. Finally, finds there is no evidence of pretext.
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Opinions Oct. 12, 2018

Indiana Court of Appeals
J.S. v. State of Indiana

18A-JV-1049
Juvenile. Affirms the placement of J.S. in the Indiana Department of Correction following his admission to delinquent acts that would have amounted to Level 6 felony receiving stolen auto parts, Class A misdemeanor dangerous possession of a firearm and Class A misdemeanor theft if committed by an adult. Finds the Marion Superior Court did not abuse its discretion. 
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Opinions Oct. 11, 2018

Indiana Supreme Court
B.T.E. v. State of Indiana
36S05-1711-JV-711 
Juvenile. Affirms the Jackson Superior Court’s adjudication of B.T.E. as a juvenile delinquent for what would have been Level 3 felony attempted aggravated battery if committed by an adult. Finds there is sufficient evidence B.T.E took a substantial step toward a plot to shoot up and blow up Seymour High School.
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Opinions Oct. 10, 2018

Indiana Court of Appeals
In the Matter of: T.T. and M.M., Children in Need of Services: C.Y. (Mother) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services

18A-JC-1216
Juvenile CHINS. Reverses the Tippecanoe Superior Court’s denial of C.Y.’s motion to dismiss CHINS petitions filed by the Indiana Department of Child Services in regard to her two children, T.T. and M.M. Finds the fact-finding hearing was not completed within 120 days of the filing of the CHINS petitions. Notes that Indiana Code section 31-34-11-1 creates “a hard and fast deadline” for filing completion. Remands with instructions to dismiss the CHINS petitions without prejudice.
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Opinions Oct. 9, 2018

Indiana Court of Appeals
James Wade Baker, Jr. v. State of Indiana
30A01-1710-CR-2511
Criminal. Affirms James Baker’s conviction of Level 6 felony resisting law enforcement by use of a vehicle and Class A misdemeanor driving while suspended with a prior similar offense within the past 10 years. Finds the Hancock Superior Court erred in admitting hearsay evidence from Deputy Kevin Stickford but noted the hearsay evidence was harmless and did not contribute to the jury’s verdict. Also finds the state erred when it asked Baker a question before reading him his Miranda rights. Finds there is sufficient evidence to support the conviction based on eyewitness testimony.
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Opinions Oct. 5, 2018

Indiana Court of Appeals 
Umesh Kaushal v. State of Indiana

49A04-1612-CR-2862
Criminal. Affirms the Marion Superior Court’s denial of Umesh Kaushal’s motion to withdraw his guilty plea for Level 4 felony child molesting. Finds Kaushal did not establish that he was prejudiced by his counsel’s performance in light of Jae Lee v. United States. Also finds Kaushal did not establish a reasonable probability that he would not have pled guilty and would have insisted on going to trial if not for his counsel’s errors. 
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Opinions Oct. 4, 2018

The following 7th Circuit Court of Appeals opinion was posted after IL deadline Wednesday.
Jane Doe v. Vigo County, et al.
17-3155
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Terre Haute Division. Judge William T. Lawrence.
Civil tort. Affirms summary judgment in favor of Vigo County on a civil liability suit filed after Jane Doe was sexually assaulted by a county parks department maintenance worker. Finds Doe has not proven that Vigo County had reason to believe the assault was foreseeable, and there was not enough evidence to support a Monell claim.

 


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Opinions Oct. 3, 2018

Indiana Court of Appeals
Bobby J. Johnson, Jr. v. Hix Wrecker Service, Inc.

18A-PL-10
Civil plenary. Affirms the Marion Superior Court’s award of post-judgment attorney’s fees to Bobby J. Johnson, Jr. and his counsel. Finds the trial court did not abuse its discretion by vacating its prior provisional order for sanctions against Hix Wrecker Service, Inc. Also finds no abuse of discretion in the trial court’s calculation and award of roughly $35,000 in post-judgement attorney fees to Johnson’s counsel without using the lodestar method. 
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