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Opinions Aug.12, 2014

August 12, 2014
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Indiana Court of Appeals
In re the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of C.A., L.A., and M.A. (Minor Children) and B.A. (Mother) and J.A. (Father) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services
55A04-1401-JT-37
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights for mother and father to their three minor children following father’s conviction of Class B felony dealing methamphetamine and mother’s conviction of Class D felony neglect of a dependent. While mother neither received nor signed a case plan negotiated with the Department of Child Services, the record shows mother didn’t lack knowledge of what she needed to do to get her children back, but rather she didn’t participate. Evidence also was sufficient to support termination of mother’s and father’s parental rights.

Kramer Hill v. State of Indiana (NFP)
48A02-1311-CR-924
Criminal. Affirms the revocation of Hill’s probation under two separate causes.

Todd Firkins v. Sheryl Firkins (NFP)
55A01-1311-DR-488
Domestic relation. Reverses the trial court’s child support calculation and remands for recalculation of father’s weekly obligation that includes credit for paying children’s health insurance premium. Affirms awarding sole legal custody to mother, awarding both child dependency tax exemptions to mother for the 2013 tax year, and restriction on father’s parenting time. Rules father did not establish that trial court’s questions rendered the bench trial unfair.  

Sergio Poitan v. State of Indiana (NFP)
73A01-1311-CR-512
Criminal. Affirms convictions for Class B felony burglary and Class D felony theft and aggregate sentence of 10 years.

Dustin Scott Stevenson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
45A03-1312-CR-494
Criminal. Affirms eight-year sentence for pleading guilty to burglary, a Class B felony.

In the Matter of the Involuntary Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of K.A. and S.A., Minor Children, and Their Father H.A., H.A. v. Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)
28A01-1402-JT-70
Juvenile. Affirms termination of father’s parental rights.

Eric William Stahl v. State of Indiana (NFP)
45A04-1303-PC-137
Post conviction. Affirms denial of post-conviction relief petition.

In the Matter of the Paternity of A.E.T., A Minor Child, C.W., Individually and as Next Friend of A.E.T., Minor Child v. L.T. (NFP)
51A04-1401-JP-2
Juvenile paternity. Affirms denial of father’s petition to modify custody to grant him both joint legal and physical custody of minor child. Reverses trial court’s sua sponte restriction on father’s parenting time and remands to eliminate that provision from the order. Finds the trial court’s order on father’s child support was unclear and remands for trial court to determine whether the father’s petition for modifying child support should be granted.

Billy Ray Young v. State of Indiana (NFP)
34A04-1403-CR-114
Criminal. Affirms six-year sentence for pleading guilty to residential entry as a Class D felony and receiving stolen property as a Class D felony.
 

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  1. The sad thing is that no fish were thrown overboard The "greenhorn" who had never fished before those 5 days was interrogated for over 4 hours by 5 officers until his statement was illicited, "I don't want to go to prison....." The truth is that these fish were measured frozen off shore and thawed on shore. The FWC (state) officer did not know fish shrink, so the only reason that these fish could be bigger was a swap. There is no difference between a 19 1/2 fish or 19 3/4 fish, short fish is short fish, the ticket was written. In addition the FWC officer testified at trial, he does not measure fish in accordance with federal law. There was a document prepared by the FWC expert that said yes, fish shrink and if these had been measured correctly they averaged over 20 inches (offshore frozen). This was a smoke and mirror prosecution.

  2. I love this, Dave! Many congrats to you! We've come a long way from studying for the bar together! :)

  3. This outbreak illustrates the absurdity of the extreme positions taken by today's liberalism, specifically individualism and the modern cult of endless personal "freedom." Ebola reminds us that at some point the person's own "freedom" to do this and that comes into contact with the needs of the common good and "freedom" must be curtailed. This is not rocket science, except, today there is nonstop propaganda elevating individual preferences over the common good, so some pundits have a hard time fathoming the obvious necessity of quarantine in some situations....or even NATIONAL BORDERS...propagandists have also amazingly used this as another chance to accuse Western nations of "racism" which is preposterous and offensive. So one the one hand the idolatry of individualism has to stop and on the other hand facts people don't like that intersect with race-- remain facts nonetheless. People who respond to facts over propaganda do better in the long run. We call it Truth. Sometimes it seems hard to find.

  4. It would be hard not to feel the Kramers' anguish. But Catholic Charities, by definition, performed due diligence and held to the statutory standard of care. No good can come from punishing them for doing their duty. Should Indiana wish to change its laws regarding adoption agreements and or putative fathers, the place for that is the legislature and can only apply to future cases. We do not apply new laws to past actions, as the Kramers seem intent on doing, to no helpful end.

  5. I am saddened to hear about the loss of Zeff Weiss. He was an outstanding member of the Indianapolis legal community. My thoughts are with his family.

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