Opinions Dec. 30, 2014

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Indiana Court of Appeals
Jeffrey Hewitt v. Westfield Washington School Corp; Board of School Trusties of Westfield Washington School Corp. et al.
Civil plenary. Reverses grant of summary judgment in favor of Westfield Washington School Corp. and related defendants, holding they had not met the onerous burden of showing there are no issues of material fact entitling them to judgment as a matter of law. Hewitt, a former school principal, was fired for a sexual relationship with a teacher he supervised. He then sued the school system for breach of contract and denial of due process. His suit is remanded for further proceedings.

Donald Snemis, Commissioner of the Ind. BMV; and Melvin Wilhelm, Prosecuting Atty. v. Joseph P. Mills
Miscellaneous. Reverses trial court decision vacating the suspension of Joseph Mills’ driver’s license as a habitual traffic violator, remanding to the trial court to reinstate the Bureau of Motor Vehicles’ suspension. Applying the caselaw of Ind. State Ethics Comm’n v. Sanchez, 18 N.E.3d 988, 991 (2014), the panel ruled that because Mills failed to file an appellee brief, he cannot have met his burden of proof on appeal as the petitioner for judicial review of the agency’s action.

Peerless Indemnity Insurance Co. v. Moshe & Stimson LLP, Sarah Moshe, and Justin Stimson
Civil plenary. Reverses trial court ruling that Peerless had a duty to defend and indemnify Stimson against a defamation lawsuit filed against him by his sister and former law firm partner, Sarah Moshe. The policy unambiguously excludes coverage in this case because the dispute was employment related. Remands with instructions to enter summary judgment in favor of Peerless.

Metro Holdings One, LLC, Exproman, Inc., and Quaker Sales & Distribution v. Flynn Creek Partner, LLC
Civil plenary. Affirms summary judgment in favor of Flynn Creek on its claim for specific performance for breach of a land purchase contract. Based on the plain language of the contract, which allowed Flynn Creek the right to specific performance in the event of a buyer’s default, the court did not err by granting summary judgment in favor of Flynn Creek.

Brandan Jones v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms conviction for assisting a criminal as a Class D felony. Rejects Jones’ argument that the state was required to show not only did Jones’ friend commit a felony but also that Jones knew a felony was being committed. Finds the statute to be clear and unambiguous that assisting a criminal becomes a felony if the person assisted has committed a felony regardless of whether the assisting party was aware of that fact.

Timothy Johnson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Reverses and remands to trial court to amend sentencing order. Rules that classifying Johnson as a credit-restricted felon violates constitutional prohibitions against ex post facto laws.

Sonia Long, et al. v. Heartland Residential Services, Inc., et al. (NFP)
Civil tort. Affirms dismissal of Long’s complaint with prejudice under Indiana Trial Rule 41(A)(2).

Kevin D. Morris v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms Morris’ 20-year aggregate sentence for Class C felony battery and Class D felony criminal recklessness and for being a habitual offender.

William E. Bowen v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms convictions for sexual misconduct with a minor as a Class B felony and sexual misconduct with a minor as a Class C felony.

Darren Rayford v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms denial of Rayford’s motion to correct error that challenged the revocation of his work release placement.

William Lee, Sr. v. Anonymous Psychologist I (NFP)
Civil tort. Affirms order granting the motion for summary judgment in favor of Anonymous Psychologist I.

Adolph L. Buckner v. HSBC Mortgage Services, Inc., and LSF8 Master Participation Trust (NFP)
Mortgage foreclosure. Affirms denial of Buckner’s motion to correct errors and motion to vacate summary judgment.

Justin Knight v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction for battery, a Class A misdemeanor.

Demerius Shaw v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction for murder. Also affirms 60-year sentence and order that it be served consecutively with a 50-year sentence ordered by a federal court for unrelated crimes.

Ryan Allen Klug v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms 60-year sentence for pleading guilty but mentally ill to murder, a felony.

Armana Cottrell v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms convictions for attempted battery by means of a deadly weapon, a Class C felony, and two court of intimidation, as Class C felonies.

Michelle Barnes and Raymond Surzycki v. Prairie Horse Farms, LLC (NFP)
Civil plenary. Affirms order granting a permanent injunction in favor of Prairie Horse Farms with regard to an easement on land owned by Barnes and Surzycki in favor of land owned by Prairie Horse Farms.

Timothy S. Enders v. Estate of Randall Enders (NFP)
Civil plenary. Affirms order providing that Timothy Enders and the estate of his deceased brother, Randall, are each entitled to 50 percent of the net proceeds of the liquidation of their family business.

Wiley Parsons v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction for promoting prostitution, a Class C felony. Finds the trial court did not abuse its discretion in limiting Parsons’ cross-examination and that Parsons’ statements, through the detective’s recollection, were competent, admissible evidence.  


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