Opinions

Opinions March 9, 2017

March 9, 2017
Indiana Court of Appeals
Jay Garrison v. Pamela Garrison
27A05-1603-EU-507
Estate, unsupervised. Affirms the Grant Superior Court’s order of the return of two of Thomas R. Garrison’s cars to his estate, finding that they were gifts causa mortis for which Garrison was not competent to form donative intent. Finds Jay Garrison has not rebutted the presumption of undue influence and the estate is entitled to recovery of the vehicles.
 
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Opinions March 8, 2017

March 8, 2017

Indiana Court of Appeals
Magic Circle Corp., D/B/A Dixie Chopper, Arthur Evans, Wesley Evans, and Jeffrey Haltom v. Crowe Horwath, LLP
71A03-1607-PL-1520
Civil plenary. Reverses and remands the St. Joseph Circuit Court’s grant of Crowe Horwath LLP’s motion to dismiss two counts brought against it by Magic Circle Corp. on the grounds the claims were barred by the economic loss rule and several exculpatory provisions. Finds the economic loss rule does not have the effect of barring an accountant malpractice claim at tort.

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Opinions March 7, 2017

March 7, 2017
Indiana Supreme Court
In the Matter of Donald Edward James
02S00-1607-DI-389
Disciplinary. Disbars Donald E. James. Finds that James committed attorney misconduct by mismanaging his trust account, converting client funds and failing to cooperate with the disciplinary process.
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Opinions March 6, 2017

March 6, 2017
Indiana Supreme Court
Cheryl L. Underwood v. Thomas Bunger, in his capacity as the personal representative of the estate of Kenneth K. Kinney; Judith M. Fulford; and Sheree Demming
53S01-1703-MI-126
Miscellaneous. Reverses the Monroe Circuit Court’s decision that Judith Fulford and Kenneth Kinney were tenants by the entireties of a Bloomington property purchased with Cheryl Underwood. Finds that the warranty deed’s unambiguous statement that the three grantees, including Kinney and Fulford, hold their interests in the property “all as Tenants-in-Common” overcomes the legal presumption favoring a tenancy by the entirety. Also finds that Underwood did not make a fatal judicial admission in her trial court petition. Remands for proceedings.
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Opinions March 3, 2017

March 3, 2017
Indiana Court of Appeals
Caleb Riggen v. Tammy Riggen
67A04-1606-DR-1312
Domestic relation. Reverses the Putnam Superior Court’s grant of Tammy Riggen’s motion to correct error on its earlier grant of Caleb Riggen’s motion to modify custody of their child. Finds that the trial court abused its discretion when it granted the motion to correct error without providing a reason for doing so, contrary to Trial Rule 59(J). Remands with instructions to the trial court to comply with Trial Rule 59 when considering the motion to correct error.
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Opinions March 2, 2017

March 2, 2017
Indiana Court of Appeals
Larenda Jones v. State of Indiana
49A05-1606-CR-1433
Criminal. Reverses the Marion Superior Court’s order revoking Larenda Jones’ placement in community correction and sentencing her to serve the remainder of her executed sentence in the Department of Correction. Finds that the trial court did not err in failing to inform Jones of her release date, but did err by refusing to let Jones speak in allocution. Remands. Judge John Baker concurs with separate opinion.
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Opinions Feb. 28, 2017

February 28, 2017
Indiana Court of Appeals
State of Indiana v. C.K.
49A02-1607-JV-1506
Juvenile. Reverses the juvenile court’s denial of the state’s petition for the court to waive jurisdiction over C.K. in two cases. Finds that C.K.’s felony conviction qualified as a prior felony for purposes of Indiana Code 31-30-3-6 and that when both elements of that statute have been established, the “juvenile court shall waive jurisdiction.” Remands for further proceedings.
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Opinions Feb. 27, 2017

February 27, 2017
Indiana Court of Appeals
Ronnie D. Ball, Jr. v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
02A03-1609-CR-2117
Criminal. Affirms Ronnie D. Ball’s three-year sentence for corrupt business influence as a Level 5 felony. Finds Ball’s sentence is not inappropriate in light of the nature of his offense and his character.
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Opinions Feb. 24, 2017

February 24, 2017
Indiana Court of Appeals
Emmett Reece Sandoval v. State of Indiana
21A01-1609-CR-2027
Criminal. Reverses the Fayette Circuit Court’s order that the balance of Emmett Reece Sandoval’s $2,000 bond be held in trust to be applied toward possible future appellate public defender fees. Finds it was an error for the trial court to hold the balance of Sandoval’s bond in trust. Remands with instructions to the clerk of the Fayette County Court to return the balance of Sandoval’s bond immediately.

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Opinions Feb. 23, 2017

February 23, 2017
Indiana Court of Appeals
Jay F. Vermillion v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
84A04-1604-PC-900
Post-conviction. Reverses the dismissal of Jay Vermillion’s petition for post-conviction relief. Finds the post-conviction court abused its discretion in dismissing Vermillion’s action without holding a hearing as required by Trial Rule 41(E). Remands for either a Trial Rule 41(E) hearing or reinstatement of his action.
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Opinions Feb. 22, 2017

February 22, 2017
Indiana Court of Appeals
Thomas E. Stettler v. State of Indiana
18A04-1607-CR-1638
Criminal. Affirms Thomas E. Stettler’s conviction of child molesting as a Class B felony. Finds the Delaware Circuit Court’s admission of evidence barred by Evidence Rule 404(b) was harmless error. Also finds the prosecution did not engage in misconduct during closing arguments, so there was accordingly no fundamental error.
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Opinions Feb. 21, 2017

February 21, 2017
Indiana Court of Appeals
Otis Sams, Jr. v. State of Indiana
67A01-1604-CR-814
Criminal. Vacates Otis Sams’ conviction of Level 4 felony possession of methamphetamine. Finds the state did not carry its burden to show that the inventory search of Sams’ truck was sufficiently regulated. Also finds that all fruits of the inventory search of the truck were inadmissible. Remands with instructions to grant Sams’ motion to suppress and for any further proceedings.
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Opinions Feb. 20, 2017

February 20, 2017
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Opinions Feb. 17, 2017

February 17, 2017
Indiana Supreme Court
In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of Bi.B. And Br.B, D.B. and V.G. v. Indiana Department of Child Services
54S01-1612-JT-630
Juvenile termination of parental rights. Reverses the trial court’s decision to terminate D.B.’s parental rights to his daughters, Bi.B. and Br.B. Finds the Department of Child Services failed to allege the one of the statutorily required three waiting periods for terminating parental rights that had, in fact, passed – the father’s daughters had been removed from him for at least six months under a dispositional decree. Also finds that DCS failed to prove the other two waiting periods applied to its petition.
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Opinions Feb. 16, 2017

February 16, 2017
Indiana Supreme Court
Tresa Megenity v. David Dunn
22S04-1609-CT-465.
Civil tort. Affirms summary judgment in for David Dunn in a case arising from an injury to Tresa Megenity during a karate class. Extending and clarifying Pfenning v. Lineman, 947 N.E.2d 392 (Ind. 2011), holds that when a sports participant injures someone while engaging in conduct ordinary in the sport, and without intent or recklessness, the participant does not breach a duty.
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Opinions Feb. 15, 2017

February 15, 2017

Indiana Supreme Court
J.D.M. v. State of Indiana
21S01-1702-JV-84
Juvenile. Reverses J.D.M.’s adjudication as a delinquent for committing acts which, if committed by an adult, would constitute Class C felony child molestation, and the subsequent order for him to register as a sex offender Finds that the statutory prerequisites for placing a juvenile on the sex offender registry were not met. Remands to the juvenile court for further proceedings.

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Opinions Feb. 14, 2017

February 14, 2017
Indiana Court of Appeals
School City of Hammond District v. Chad Rueth
45A03-1603-CT-450
Civil tort. Reverses judgment pursuant to a jury verdict in favor of Chad Rueth on his claims of defamation and blacklisting, finding there is insufficient evidence to support a verdict in his favor, and the trial court abused its discretion by denying the School City of Hammond District’s motion to correct error.
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Opinions Feb. 13, 2017

February 13, 2017
Indiana Court of Appeals
Lori A. Spang v. Timothy R. Spang (mem. dec.)
02A03-1608-DR-1876
Domestic relation. Affirms the grant of Timothy Sprang’s objection to the relocation of his 12-year-old daughter, E.S., with her mother, Lori Sprang, and his petition for modification of custody. Finds the Allen Superior Court did not abuse its discretion because it properly considered all factors and Timothy Sprang met his burden of proof to demonstrate that the proposed location was not in E.S.’s best interest.
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Opinions Feb. 10, 2017

February 10, 2017
Indiana Court of Appeals
Tradale Jones v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
49A04-1608-CR-1833
Criminal. Affirms Tradale Jones’ aggregate sentence of 50 years imposed for two counts of Level 1 felony rape and one count each of Level 3 felony robbery with a deadly weapon, Level 3 felony kidnapping while armed with a deadly weapon and Level 3 felony criminal confinement while armed with a deadly weapon. Finds that Jones’ sentence is not inappropriate in light of his character or the nature of his offense.
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Opinions Feb. 9, 2017

February 9, 2017
Indiana Court of Appeals
Andy A. Shinnock v. State of Indiana
18A05-1606-CR-1258
Criminal. Reverses Andy A. Shinnock’s conviction of bestiality as a Level 6 felony. Finds the Delaware Circuit Court erred in admitting Shinnock’s confessions at trial because the corpus delicti of the crime charged was not established. Remands.
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Opinions Feb. 8, 2017

February 8, 2017
Indiana Supreme Court
City of Lawrence Utilities Service Board, City of Lawrence, Indiana, and Mayor Dean Jessup, Individually and in his Official Capacity v. Carlton E. Curry
49S02-1609-CT-481
Civil tort. Affirms the Marion Superior Court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of Carlton Curry on his wrongful discharge claim and in favor of the city of Lawrence on Curry’s Wage Payment Statute claim. Also affirms the denial of Curry’s tortious interference claim. Finds that based on the clear and unambiguous language of Indiana Code 8-1.5-3-5(d), the Utilities Service Board had the sole authority to terminate Curry after notice and a hearing. Also finds that any other method for termination is up to the Legislature to determine as a matter of policy. Justice Steve David dissents with separate opinion.
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Opinions Feb. 7, 2017

February 7, 2017
Indiana Supreme Court
In Re: The Matter of D.J. and G.J., Children in Need of Services; Gr.J. (Mother) and J.J. (Father) v. Ind. Dept. of Child Services

02S03-1610-JC-548
Juvenile. Reverses the Allen Superior Court’s finding that Gr.J. and J.J.’s two minor children, D.J. and G.J., were children in need of services. Finds the record does not support the trial court’s finding that Gr.J. and J.J. needed the court’s coercive intervention to provide for their boys’ needs at the time of the dispositional hearing. Exercises the Indiana Supreme Court’s discretion to decide the parents’ case on its merits, despite their forfeited appeal.
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Opinions Feb. 6, 2017

February 6, 2017
Indiana Tax Court
The University of Phoenix, Inc. v. Indiana Department of State Revenue
49T10-1411-TA-65
Tax. Grants in part the University of Phoenix, Inc.’s motion with respect to the previously withheld documentation regarding House Bill 1349 and orders the Indiana Department of State Revenue to provide the documentation to the University within seven days. Denies the university’s motion with respect to all other matters regarding HB 1349, the report, the presentation and the designation of another 30(B)(6) witness.
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Opinions Feb. 3, 2017

February 3, 2017
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Abel Covarrubias
16-3402
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division. Judge Tanya Walton Pratt.
Criminal. Affirms the district court’s denial of Abel Covarrubias’ motion to suppress drugs found in a car being delivered to him from across the country. Finds that the district court correctly decided that Covarrubias lacked standing to contest the admission of the drugs into evidence.
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Opinions Feb. 2, 2017

February 2, 2017
Indiana Court of Appeals
Rachel Neal v. IAB Financial Bank, f/k/a Grabill Bank
02A03-1604-CT-1002
Civil tort. Affirms summary judgment in favor of IAB Financial Bank. Finds because all three Webb factors lean against imposing a duty here, the Allen Superior Court did not err in concluding the bank owed no duty to Neal.

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