Opinions Oct. 22, 2014

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The following opinions were posted after IL deadline Tuesday:
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Roderick D. Sinclair
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division, Judge Robert Miller Jr.
Criminal. Affirms denial of Sinclair’s request for a continuance to allow his family to hire a private attorney, and affirms the 117-month prison sentence. The District Court did not violate his Sixth Amendment right to counsel of his choice nor did the court err by not grouping the drug and felon-in-possession counts, which would have resulted in a lower offense level.

Indiana Supreme Court
Jonathan D. Carpenter v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Reverses admission of evidence recovered from Carpenter’s home after officers entered it without a warrant in pursuit of an aggressive and bloody dog. The entry was not reasonable and violated Article I, Section 11 of the Indiana Constitution.

Wednesday’s opinions
Indiana Supreme Court
Gary Wayne Oswalt v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Oswalt preserved appellate review of three for-cause challenges of prospective jurors, but because the trial court was within its discretion to deny all of them, affirms his convictions. Holds as a matter of first impression that parties satisfy the exhaustion rule the moment they use their final peremptory challenge, regardless of whom they strike. Also holds that if parties fully comply with the exhaustion rule and demonstrate they were unable to remove any prospective juror for lack of peremptories, appellate courts may review denial of any motion to strike for cause, regardless of whether a challenged juror actually served on the jury.

Indiana Court of Appeals
JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A,. v. Claybridge Homeowners Association, Inc., v. Deborah M. Walton, et al.
Mortgage foreclosure. Reverses denial of JPMorgan’s motion to intervene and remands for further proceedings. JPMorgan as the prospective intervenor met its burden under Trial Rule 24(A) and its motion was not untimely.

In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of: R.A. and S.W. v. The Indiana Department of Child Services
Juvenile. Reverses termination of father’s parental rights. A number of the trial court’s findings are not supported by the evidence and setting those findings aside, there is not sufficient evidence to support the termination. Judge Friedlander dissents with separate opinion.

In Re The Paternity of B.J.N. by Next Friend, E.M. v. K.N. and On Consolidated Appeal, In Re the Guardianship of B.J.N., E.M. v. P.C.
Juvenile. Affirms judgment of Decatur Circuit Court, which denied father’s motion to vacate guardianship for lack of jurisdiction and issued an order restricting his parenting time without finding that father posed a risk of harm to his child. The Hendricks Circuit Court did not err in dismissing father’s action, but erred in awarding $1,660 in attorney fees to the guardian.

Larracuenta R. Panfil v. Ralph E. Fell
Domestic relation. Affirms order terminating Fell’s obligation to pay post-secondary educational expenses for his daughter, and the denial of Panfil’s motion to correct errors. Based on the record and Support Guideline 8, and keeping in mind that the COA places a strong emphasis on trial court discretion in determining child support obligations, finds the trial court did not err or abuse its discretion in terminating father’s educational support obligation related to his daughter. Judge Barnes concurs with separate opinion.

Margaret Dawson v. Thornton's, Inc.
Civil tort. Affirms judgment in favor of Thornton’s following a jury trial. The trial court did not err or abuse its discretion by not instructing the jury regarding spoliation of evidence.

Richard P. Gorman v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Criminal. Affirms denial of motion for release of bond.

In the Matter of the Involuntary Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of N.D., J.G., and S.D. (Minor Children) and S.D. (Mother) v. Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental relationship.

Christopher Stull v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms 12-year sentence for Class B felony operating a vehicle with a Schedule I or II controlled substance causing death.

Bernard E. Harris v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms sentence for two counts of child molesting as Class A felonies.

Margaret Walton v. Claybridge Homeowners Association, Inc. (NFP)
Mortgage foreclosure. Affirms denial of Walton’s motion for relief from judgment under Trial Rule 60(B) and denial of Claybridge’s request for appellate fees.

Bryan M. Strickler v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms 100-year sentence for two counts of Class A felony child molesting.

Darcell McCants v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms order denying motion for presentence credit time.

Benjamin Willis, II v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Criminal. Affirms conviction and sentence for Class A felony battery.

Michael Huffman v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Criminal. Affirms order denying motion to correct erroneous sentence.

David G. Taylor v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Reverses and remands denial of motion to correct erroneous sentence.

The following opinion was misclassified as a not-for-publication in IL Daily Tuesday.
Georon Harris v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor carrying a handgun without a permit. Finds Harris’ Fourth Amendment and Article 1, Section 11 rights were not violated when officers opened the door of an apartment to retrieve the gun placed on the floor inside by Harris as officers watched.

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