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Friday, September 09, 2011

Ind. Decisions - Two 7th Circuit opinions today from Indiana

In Autumn Eaton v. Ind. Dept. Corrections (SD Ind., Magnus-Stinson), a 19-page opinion, Judge Gottschall (sitting by designation) writes:

Pendleton Juvenile Corrections Facility (“DOC”), under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2, alleging that DOC discriminated against her on the basis of gender when it terminated her employment.

The district court granted summary judgment in favor of DOC, and Eaton’s appeal followed. On appeal, Eaton argues that the district court erroneously granted summary judgment to DOC because Eaton presented sufficient evidence to create a material issue of disputed fact under the McDonnell Douglas indirect method of proof analysis. See McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. Green, 411 U.S. 792, 802 (1973).

We review the district court’s grant of summary judgment de novo. Ellis v. DHL Express Inc. (USA), 633 F.3d 522, 525 (7th Cir. 2011). Summary judgment is appropriate “if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(a). We must draw all reasonable inferences for Eaton, the non-moving party, and view the record in a light most favorable to her. Ellis, 633 F.3d at 525. Based on the record before us, we conclude that sufficient evidence exists to preclude summary judgment, and we reverse the judgment of the district court.

In In Re: Vikram Buddhi (ND Ind., Moody), a 4-page opinion, Judge Posner writes:
Vikram Buddhi, a criminal defendant who has appealed the district court’s denial of his motion to reconsider his sentence, now asks us to command that court to rescind its order requiring that money in Buddhi’s prison trust account be applied to his district court filing fee and to a special assessment against him that was imposed as part of his sentence. 18 U.S.C. § 3013. The judge allowed Buddhi to proceed in forma pauperis in the district court. But when after losing there Buddhi asked for leave to proceed in forma pauperis on appeal, the judge discovered that although $1501.83 had been deposited in Buddhi’s prison trust account in the preceding six months, he had made no payments toward his district court filing fee, as required by 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(2). The judge ordered him to pay $300.67 toward the filing fee and directed the warden to deduct from his prison trust account the outstanding balance on the $1100 special assessment; the balance was $1067.00. The two payment orders left Buddhi with no money to pay the filing fee for this appeal; hence this petition for mandamus. * * *

Buddhi’s appeal is being summarily affirmed in a separate order issued today, so his inability to pay the filing fee is moot. His complaint about the depletion of his prison trust account focuses on the impart of that depletion on his ability to prosecute his appeal rather than on other uses to which he might put the money in the account. The district court’s order to the warden did exceed the court’s authority and the district judge should rescind it, but the petition for mandamus is DENIED.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on September 9, 2011 01:03 PM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions