Opinions Oct. 12, 2016

October 12, 2016

7th Circuit Court of Appeals
James Blasius v. Angel Automotive, Inc.
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division. Judge Joseph S. Van Bokkelen.
Civil. Reverses district court decision to grant summary judgment in favor of Angel Automotive Inc. after James Blasius accused the company of negligence. Finds that a genuine issue of material fact exists as to the proximate cause of the fire that consumed Blasius’ vehicle and that Blasius is entitled to rely on the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur. Remands for further proceedings.

Indiana Supreme Court
Chuck W. Adams, Charles E. Howard, et al. v. ArvinMeritor, Inc., et al.
Civil plenary. Affirms the Marion Superior Court decision to grant motion to dismiss a complaint against ArvinMeritor based on allegations of unpaid wages owed to Chuck W. Adams and Charles E. Howard, inmates in the Indiana Department of Correction Correctional Industrial Facility.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Brenda K. (Layman) Smith and John C. Smith v. Dunn Hospitality Group Manager, Inc. d/b/a Comfort Inn
Civil tort. Affirms Vanderburgh Circuit Court’s decision to award summary judgment to Comfort Inn on Brenda K. Smith and John C. Smith’s allegations of negligence pursuant to the Innkeeper Statute. Finds no genuine issues of material fact exists to prevent summary judgment in favor of Comfort Inn.

Bryant Hughes v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Bryant Hughes’ conviction of Level 6 felony possession of cocaine. Finds that the evidence is sufficient to support his conviction.

State of Indiana v. Christopher J. Basinger (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms the Orange Circuit Court’s decision to grant a motion to suppress evidence seized during a search of Christopher J. Basinger’s home, which resulted in his charge of Level 5 felony possession of methamphetamine. Finds that the warrant affidavit did not contain sufficient indicia of probable cause and that the good-faith exception to the exclusionary rule did not apply. Judge James Kirsch dissents without separate opinion.

Arnell Lyles v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Arnell Lyles’ conviction of dealing in cocaine as a Class A felony. Finds that there was no error in the admission of a search warrant.

Emmanuel Arrington v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Emmanuel Arrington’s four-year aggregate sentence imposed for his two convictions of Class D felony identity deception. Finds that the Howard Superior Court did not abuse its discretion and that Lyles failed to carry his burden to show that his sentence is inappropriate.

In the Matter of A.J.T. (Minor Child) M.T. (Father) v. J.R. (mem. dec.)
Adoption. Dismisses M.T.’s appeal of the Hamilton Superior Court’s interlocutory order denying his motion for dismissal due to lack of subject matter jurisdiction and dispensing with his consent to the adoption of A.J.T. Finds that the Indiana Court of Appeals lacks subject matter jurisdiction to decide M.T.’s appeal.

In Re: The Paternity of A.R. (Minor Child) A.R. (Minor Child) by Next Friend, C.T., III v. J.R. (mem. dec.)
Juvenile paternity. Affirms Johnson Superior Court’s order denying Conrad Terhune’s petition to modify child custody of his minor daughter, A.R.T.

In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of S.C., Minor Child, and S.J., Father, S.J. v. Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
Juvenile termination of parental rights. Affirms juvenile court’s order terminating S.J’s parental rights to his son, S.C. Finds that the totality of the evidence supports the Marion Superior Court decision to terminate his parental rights is in the best interest of the child.

Charles Anthony Hardy, Jr. v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Charles Anthony Hardy Jr.’s convictions for Class B felony dealing in methamphetamine and Class C felony operating a motor vehicle after forfeiture of driving privileges for life. Finds that the State presented sufficient evidence to support his convictions.