Opinions Feb. 10, 2015

February 10, 2015

Indiana Supreme Court
In the Matter of the Honorable Dianna L. Bennington, Judge of the Muncie City Court
Judicial discipline. Formalizes the conditional agreement for discipline jointly submitted by Bennington and the Commission on Judicial Qualifications in which the former Muncie City Court judge admitted to 10 of 13 alleged violations of the Rules of Judicial Conduct. Justices found Bennington misused judicial authority, failed to follow proper procedures, engaged in injudicious behavior in her personal life and did not cooperate with the commission’s investigation. Bennington has submitted her resignation to the governor and agreed to a lifetime ban on judicial service, but she retains her license to practice law.

Indiana Court of Appeals
John D. May v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms convictions for intimidation, as a Class D felony; criminal mischief, as a Class B misdemeanor; battery with a deadly weapon, as a Class B misdemeanor; and adjudication as a habitual offender.

In Re the Paternity of V.A., A Minor Child Robert Anderson (Father), v. Billy Jo Youngblood (Mother) (mem. dec.)
Juvenile. Affirms the trial court’s decision to not sanction Youngblood for contempt and to recalculate Anderson’s child support obligation. Remands with instructions to make explicit and distinct determinations of the child’s legal and physical custody. Judge John Baker dissents, arguing the trial court clearly intended for Youngblood to have full physical and legal custody.

Thomas Drnek v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms 10-year sentence after Drnek’s conviction of operating a vehicle while intoxicated causing death, a Class B felony.  

Randall E. Reynolds, II v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms sentence of two years and 183 days with one year executed for invasion of privacy as a Class D felony.

In Re: the Matter of the Commitment of T.S., T.S. v. Logansport State Hospital (mem. dec.)
Mental health. Affirms order of regular commitment ordering T.S.’ continued involuntary commitment at Logansport State Hospital.

Jose Eduardo Vazquez-Paz v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms convictions for operating a vehicle with an alcohol concentration of at least 0.15, a Class D felony, and resisting law enforcement, a Class A misdemeanor.

Joseph D. Haskins, III v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Criminal. Affirms conviction for Class C felony carrying a handgun without a license.

James Lee v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms conviction for Class D felony domestic battery and sentence of two-and-a-half years.

Danny Ramsey v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms denial of Ramsey’s motion for the return of bond money he posted in July 2003. Finds cash bond was returned in February 2004 as evidenced by the clerk’s record of release.

Richard R. Hogshire v. Ursula Hoover (mem. dec.)

Domestic relation. Grants Hogshire’s petition for rehearing for the limited purpose of clarifying the basis for utilizing Trial Rule 52(A) as the standard of review. Affirms the Court of Appeals’ previous memorandum decision that found contempt and remanded the case to the trial court with instructions to recalculate Hogshire’s obligations.

Martin E. Rogness v. Roberta L. Rogness (mem. dec.)
Domestic relation. Reverses trial court’s division of the marital estate and remands with instructions for the lower court to either execute a property division that is consistent with its findings or to enter additional findings that justify its current distribution. Affirms the valuation of the couple's lake house in Monticello.