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Friday, March 29, 2013

Ind. Decisions - 7th Circuit decides two Indiana cases today

In U.S. v. Scott (SD Ind., Barker), a 6 page opinion, Judge Wood writes:

Aswan Scott pleaded guilty to distribution of 50 or more grams of crack cocaine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1). His plea agreement, which was entered under Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 11(c)(1)(C), specified a prison term of 192 months; the district court accepted the agreement and that sentence. Later, Scott filed a motion under 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c), seeking a reduction in his sentence based on changes to the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines. The district court denied that motion, and Scott now appeals, arguing that the court’s statement of reasons was insufficient to allow us to review its exercise of its discretion. Because Scott was not eligible for a reduced sentence, see Freeman v. United States, 131 S. Ct. 2685 (2011), we affirm the district court’s denial of the motion.
In Jackson v. Bank of America (SD Ind., Lawrence), a 12-page opinion,Judge Kanne writes:
In April 2003 Phillip and Deborah Jackson applied for and obtained a $282,500 home mortgage refinancing loan with a 30-year fixed interest rate of 5.875% from Countrywide Home Loans, Inc. doing business as America’s Wholesale Lender (“AWL”). (R. 27-2 at 75-87.) To secure the loan, the Jacksons granted AWL a mortgage on their home, which was duly recorded in Hamilton County, Indiana, in May 2003. (R. 27-2 at 118); (R. 27-2 at 24.) The Jacksons used a mortgage broker—Midwest Financial & Mortgage Services, Inc. (“MFMS”)—to apply for the loan. (R. 27-2 at 120.) The Jacksons allege that the remaining defendant-appellees have been “involved with the mortgage process in various capacities.” (Appellant’s Br. at 8.)

The Jacksons were initially able to make timely payments on the loan but went into default in March 2010. (R. 27-2 at 121.) Although there was no foreclosure action taken by the banks at the time (nor has there been in the intervening time period), the Jacksons initiated an action to quiet title on the property in Hamilton County Circuit Court in December 2011. They additionally claimed that some or all of the defendants negligently evaluated the Jacksons’ ability to repay the loan and that the loan contract was substantively and procedurally unconscionable. The defendants removed the case to the Southern District of Indiana in January 2012 and, the next month, filed a motion to dismiss under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6). The Jacksons amended their complaint, but the district court granted the motion to dismiss on all counts in September 2012. Jackson v. Bank of Am. Corp., No. 12-cv-79, 2012 WL 4052285 (S.D. Ind. Sept. 13, 2012).

The Jacksons timely filed this appeal, challenging the district court’s dismissal of each of their three claims: negligence, unconscionability, and quiet title. We address each below and affirm the district court’s dismissal.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on March 29, 2013 01:19 PM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions