Opinions Dec. 7, 2016

December 7, 2016

The following Indiana Supreme Court opinion was posted after IL deadline Tuesday:
In re the Marriage of: Thomas Todd Reynolds v. Tricia Reynolds
Domestic relations. Affirms the Hamilton Superior Court decision finding father in contempt for failing to provide mother certain income documentation as required by the parties’ dissolution decree and agreed order of modification. Finds that mother’s motion for rule to show cause was specific enough to excuse strict compliance with the contempt statute and protect father’s due process rights. Also finds that father waived his objections to the evidentiary findings of the trial court when he agreed to a summary proceeding with no objection. Finally, finds that under the facts and circumstances of the case, the trial court was not required to give father an opportunity to purge himself of contempt. Justice Geoffrey Slaughter dissents with separate opinion.

Wednesday’s opinions
Indiana Court of Appeals
Reginald Webster v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Reverses Reginald Webster’s conviction for Class A misdemeanor carrying a handgun without a license. Finds that the Marion Superior Court clearly erred in denying Webster’s motion for involuntary dismissal.

John C. Morris v. Custom Kitchen & Baths
Appeal from agency action. Reverses the decision of the Indiana Worker’s Compensation Board to deny John Morris’ application for adjustment of claim. Finds that Morris’ injury arose out of and in the course of his employment and is therefore covered by Indiana’s Worker’s Compensation Act. Remands for a determination of disability benefits.

Albert Burton v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms the trial court’s decision that Albert Burton’s driving privileges should be suspended for life. Remands with instructions to enter judgment accordingly.

Don H. Gunderson, et al. v. State of Indiana, et al.
Civil plenary. Affirms the LaPorte Superior Court’s findings regarding the nature and scope of the public trust as it relates to Lake Michigan. Reverses the trial court’s determination of the ordinary high water mark’s location. Finds that the Gundersons own legal title up to the northern boundary of Section 15, and the state holds the land below the ordinary high water mark as defined at common law and that the designated evidence consistently indicates that northern boundary of Section 15 is Lake Michigan. Reverses trial court’s finding that the northern boundary of Section 15 is unknown and holds that the northern boundary is the ordinary low water mark, subject to the public’s rights as part of the public trust.

William E. Schini v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms William Schini’s sentence to 40 years executed in the Indiana Department of Correction for felony child molesting. Finds that Schini waived his right to appeal. Judge Elaine Brown dissents with separate opinion.

James E. Robinson v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Post conviction. Affirms the post-conviction court’s denial of James E. Robinson’s petition for post-conviction relief.  Finds that the court did not abuse its discretion by denying Robinson’s renewed motion to amend or by excluding certain exhibits. Also finds that Robinson has failed to overcome the presumption that the post-conviction judge was unbiased.

Omega R. McCullagh v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Omega McCullagh’s convictions of battery against a public safety official as a Level 5 felony, intimidation as a Level 6 felony and resisting law enforcement as a Level 6 felony. Finds that the Orange Circuit Court did not abuse its discretion in denying McCullagh or his appointed counsel’s motions, that his convictions of both battery and resisting law enforcement do not violate the prohibition against double jeopardy, and that there is sufficient evidence to support his conviction of intimidation. Also finds that his multiple convictions of resisting law enforcement violate the continuing crime doctrine and reverses and remands with instructions to vacate his Class A misdemeanor convictions of resisting law enforcement.

William S. Smith v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms William S. Smith’s murder conviction. Finds that a reasonable finder of fact could have found Smith guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

In the Term. of the Parent-Child Relationship of: R.P., C.P. and A.A. (Minor Children), and L.B. (Mother) v. The Ind. Dept. of Child Services (mem. dec.)
Juvenile termination of parental rights. Affirms the termination of L.B.’s parental rights to her children, R.P., C.P. and A.A. Finds that the termination order is not clearly erroneous. Judge Elaine Brown dissents with separate opinion.