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Friday, November 06, 2015

Ind. Decisions - 7th Circuit decided two Indiana cases yesterday

In BRC Rubber & Plastics, Incorpo v. Continental Carbon Company (ND Ind., MJ Cosbey), a 7page opinion, Judge Williams writes:

Continental Carbon Company sells carbon black, a material used in rubber products. BRC Rubber & Plastics makes rubber products for the automotive industry. The companies contracted for Continental to sup-ply carbon black to BRC. When Continental refused to con-firm or ship some of BRC’s orders, BRC sued, alleging that Continental had breached and repudiated the contract. The district court found as a matter of law that the agreement was a “requirements contract,” meaning it obligated Conti-nental to sell as much carbon black as BRC needed, and obli-gated BRC to buy all its carbon black exclusively from Con-tinental. Based on that view, the district court entered judg-ment for BRC.

Continental appeals the judgment and BRC cross-appeals an issue related to damages. Because we find that the agreement did not obligate BRC to buy any—much less all—of its carbon black from Continental, we hold that the agreement was not a requirements contract, so we vacate the judgment and remand, without reaching BRC’s cross-appeal.

In USA v. Booker Rogers (ND Ind., Moody), a 10-page opinion, Chief Judge Sykes writes:
Booker Rogers has a long criminal record that includes two West Virginia convictions for sexually abusing his daughter and stepdaughter. As a sex offender, he is required by the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (“SORNA”) to register in each state in which he resides, is employed, or is a student. 42 U.S.C. §§ 16911(1), 16913. In 2011 he moved from West Virginia to Indiana and failed to register there. A few months later his 18-year-old daughter, Jane Doe, reported to police in West Lafayette, Indiana, that Rogers was sexually abusing her.

Rogers pleaded guilty to traveling in interstate commerce and failing to register as a sex offender in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2250. The district judge applied a six-level sentencing enhancement under U.S.S.G. § 2A3.5(b)(1)(A) for committing a sex offense—incest against Jane Doe—while in failure-to-register status. The judge also refused to award credit for acceptance of responsibility under § 3E1.1 because Rogers falsely denied this relevant conduct. Rogers challenges these sentencing decisions.

The failure-to-register guideline incorporates by reference the definition of the term “sex offense” found in 42 U.S.C. § 16911(5). This case requires us to decide whether a categorical or fact-based approach applies to classifying sex offenses under this statute. We conclude that the threshold definition of “sex offense” found in § 16911(5)(A)(i) requires a categorical approach—an inquiry limited to the elements of the offense—but the exception in subsection (5)(C) calls for an examination of the specific facts of the offense conduct. The district court conducted just this sort of analysis. Because the court properly applied the § 2A3.5 enhancement and properly declined to award § 3E1.1 credit, we affirm.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on November 6, 2015 08:41 AM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions