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High court takes 4 cases

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The Indiana Supreme Court accepted four cases on transfer last week, including a case in which they released an opinion on the day they granted transfer.

On Feb. 24, the justices took D.C. v. State of Indiana, No. 49S02-1102-JV-116; State of Indiana v. Amanda Renzulli, No. 32S04-1102-CR-117; Sarah Haag, et al. v. Mark Castro, et al., No. 29S04-1102-CT-118, and Jason D. Miller v. State of Indiana, No. 08S02-1102-CR-108, in which justices released a three-page opinion ordering Jason Miller to be re-sentenced.

In D.C., the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the order committing D.C. to the Department of Correction for 24 months after he pleaded guilty to what would be Class A felony burglary if committed by an adult. He also was ordered by the trial court to an indeterminate commitment to the DOC until he turned 21.

The judges addressed the interplay between sections 6 and 10 of Indiana Code 31-37-19 governing juvenile commitment for the first time and found when the sections are applied separately, they produce opposite results regarding the purpose of the statutes. Section 6 says except as provided in Section 10, the court awards wardship of a juvenile to the DOC and the DOC determines the placement and duration of placement. Section 10 applies to D.C. because he was at least age 14 when he committed Class A felony burglary and has prior unrelated adjudications. Section 10 says the court can’t place a child in a facility for more than 2 years.

Judge Margret Robb noted in the opinion that Section 10 is clearly aimed at the most serious juvenile offenders, yet it’s possible that someone who offends under Section 6 may be placed in a facility for a time longer than the 2 years ordered under Section 10.  

In Renzulli, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s suppression of evidence obtained after police stopped the car Renzulli was driving. There were three separate opinions: Judge Patricia Riley wrote for the majority, Judge Paul Mathias concurred in result in a separate opinion, and Judge Cale Bradford dissented.

The majority opinion found that granting Renzulli’s motion to suppress wasn’t contrary to law. It pointed to the lack of evidence introduced by the state that officers corroborated that Renzulli’s car was the same vehicle in a 911 call reporting a possible drunk driver. Judge Mathias believed the state forfeited its appeal because it didn’t file its notice of appeal within 30 days after the order granting Renzulli’s motion to suppress.

Judge Bradford believed the trial court erroneously granted the motion to suppress all evidence from the investigatory stop of the car and that the state timely filed its appeal.

In Haag, the Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment in favor of an insurance company, finding a soccer team’s accident while traveling to an activity outside of the trip’s purpose wasn’t covered.

The judges disagreed about what constituted “used in the business of,” and Judge Patricia Riley dissented on the majority’s holding that coach Mark Castro wasn’t using the rented van “in the business of” the Indiana Youth Soccer Association when he took the team to a white water rafting activity unrelated to an out-of-state soccer tournament the team received permission to attend. She wrote that by issuing the permit to travel, the IYSA implicitly and without any limitations assured that the team members were insured during the duration of the trip.
 

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