Friday, August 08, 2008
Ind. Decisions - Two Indiana cases today from the 7th Circuit
In US v. Spells (SD Ind., Judge Barker), a 24-page opinion, Judge Flaum writes:
Defendant Melvin Spells was convicted by a jury on three counts stemming from a robbery of a Papa Johns Pizza restaurant. While Spells challenges the sufficiency of the evidence on appeal, the main thrust of this appeal involves Spells’s sentencing. The district court, in sentencing Spells, found that he was an armed career criminal under 18 U.S.C. § 924(e)(1), based on what it deemed to be prior “violent felonies,” as well as a career offender under U.S.S.G. § 4B1.1. Spells was then sentenced to 346 months’ imprisonment—262 months, concurrent, on Counts 1 and 3, with a consecutive sentence of 84 months on Count 2. In addition to challenging the sufficiency of the evidence, Spells appeals the court’s findings that he was an armed career criminal and a career offender, as well its imposition of a 262 month sentence on Count 1, when the statutory maximum sentence on that Count was 240 months. For the following reasons, we affirm the district court’s judgment on all grounds, except for the 262 month sentence on Count 1, and order a limited remand for the district court to correct this error.In Nautilus Insurance v. Reuter (ND Ind., Judge Sharp), a 20-page opinion, Judge Kanne writes:
After numerous small corporations submitted claims to Nautilus Insurance Company (“Nautilus”) for the insurer’s defense and indemnity for lawsuits the small corporations were facing, Nautilus sought a declaration that it did not owe such duties to the small corporations for the underlying claims. The insurance policies did not contain choice-of-law provisions; as a federal court sitting in Indiana, the district court applied Indiana choice-of-law rules to choose which state had the most intimate contacts with the contracts. After deciding that Indiana law governed the interpretation of the contracts, the district court granted summary judgment in favor of Nautilus on the ground that Indiana law does not contemplate insurance coverage for the types of claims arising under the insurance policies held by the insureds—claims for negligent hiring. The district court correctly applied Indiana law to the insurance policies involving two of the small corporations involved in this appeal. However, for the insurance policies involving one of the corporations, Phoenix Imagery, there is conflicting evidence about the small corporation’s principal place of business. Because we cannot resolve the conflict on the basis of the paper record, we remand this particular choice-of-law determination to the district court for further proceedings, such as an evidentiary hearing.
Posted by Marcia Oddi on August 8, 2008 02:07 PM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions