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Friday, July 25, 2014

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

In Toni Ball v. City of Indianapolis (SD Ind., Barker), a 17-page opinion, Judge Rovner writes:

Plaintiff Toni Ball sued Indianapolis police detective Clifton Jones and various state and municipal defendants after she was arrested in error based on a probable cause affidavit that Jones prepared. The district court dismissed Ball’s claims against the state defendants and granted judgment on the pleadings as to all of the municipal defendants, leaving only her Fourth Amendment claim against Jones. Ball then sought leave to amend her complaint to abandon the remaining federal claim and assert only state-law claims against Jones. The court granted the motion to amend and, at Ball’s request, remanded the case to state court, where it had originated. Ball now appeals the district court’s adverse rulings on her other claims. We affirm. * * *

Because the allegations of the complaint did not support Ball’s claims for relief, apart from the Fourth Amendment false arrest and imprisonment claim that she later dropped, the district court properly dismissed and granted judgment on the pleadings as to those claims. The parties shall bear their own costs of appeal.

In Che B. Carter v. Keith Butts (SD Ind., Barker), an 11-page opinion, Judge Bauer writes:
Che B. Carter (“Carter”) appeals the district court’s denial of his petition for a writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254. He contends that his appellate counsel rendered ineffective assistance by failing to challenge the attempted murder jury instruction given at his trial and that this unduly prejudiced him. Carter argues that the Indiana Supreme Court unreasonably applied Supreme Court precedent when it determined that he suffered insufficient prejudice to warrant relief. For the reasons that follow, we affirm the district court’s decision to deny Carter’s petition for a writ of habeas corpus. * * *

While Choate’s performance may well have been deficient, we find that the Indiana Supreme Court’s conclusion that Carter failed to satisfy the prejudice prong of the Strickland test was not an unreasonable one.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on July 25, 2014 12:53 PM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions