Opinions Jan. 18, 2017

January 18, 2017

Indiana Court of Appeals
Elberta N. Jackson v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms Elberta N. Jackson’s conviction for operating a vehicle with an alcohol concentration equivalent to at least 0.15 as a Class A misdemeanor, resisting law enforcement as a Class A misdemeanor, and disorderly conduct as a Class B misdemeanor. Finds that there is sufficient evidence to support Jackson’s conviction and that her due process rights were not violated.

Jeremiah Edward Ericksen v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms Jeremiah Edward Ericksen’s conviction for carrying a handgun without a license, a Class A misdemeanor, enhanced to a Level 5 felony based on a prior conviction, and resisting law enforcement as a Level 6 felony. Finds that the state presented sufficient evidence beyond a reasonable doubt to support Ericken’s conviction for carrying a handgun without a license and that the Vanderburgh Circuit Court tendered a proper jury instruction on the charge of carrying a handgun without a license.

The Estate of Gary Pfafman v. Lori Lancaster, Individually, and as Guardian of the Estate of Kole Craig
Civil collection. Reverses the trial court’s grant of a new trial after a jury verdict in favor of the Estate of Gary Pfafman on a complaint filed by Lori Lancaster, individually as the guardian of the Estate of Kole Craig. Finds that the trial court’s findings and conclusion in granting Craig’s Estate’s motion for a new trial are insufficient under Trial Rule 59(J). Also finds that given the evidence that there were several but-for causes of Craig’s injuries attributable to nonparties, the jury was entitled to allocate 100 percent fault to one or both of the nonparties and 0 percent to Pfafman. Reinstates the jury’s verdict in favor of Pfafman’s Estate. Chief Judge Nancy Vaidik concurs in result with separate opinion.

State of Indiana v. David Biela, Gregory Czizek, James Liverman, and Stanley Mazur (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Reverses the LaPorte Superior Court’s order granting motions to dismiss filed by David Biela, Gregory Czizek, James Liverman and Stanley Mazur. Finds that the trial court abused its discretion in granting the appellees’ motion to dismiss.

K.J. v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Mental health. Affirms the Delaware Circuit Court’s order continuing K.J.’s regular commitment. Finds that the evidence is sufficient and that the statutes setting forth the procedures relating to regular commitments are constitutional.

John Paul Garcia v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Reverses a restitution order against John Paul Garcia following his plea of guilty to forgery as a Class C felony. Finds order for payment of $265,000 to be an abuse of discretion under the circumstances. Remands for a hearing on the actual loss Bruce Petrovich suffered as a result of Garcia’s forgery and sale of Morgan silver dollars.

In the Matter of: L.B., C.L., B.L., G.L., M.L., and T.L. Children in Need of Services, C.B. and T.B. v. Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
Juvenile. Affirms the juvenile court’s adjudication of C.B. and T.B.’s six minor children as children in need of services. Finds that there was sufficient evidence to support the CHINS adjudication.

County Motors, LLC, and Thomas Kouttoulas v. Clarence Russell, Jr., and Angela Sullivan (mem. dec.)
Small claims. Affirms the small claims court’s judgment in favor of Clarence Russell, Jr. and Angela Sullivan on their claim against Thomas Kouttoulas and County Motors LLC. Finds that the small claims court correctly applied Section 316, that it did not err in admitting evidence and that tis findings and conclusions were not clearly erroneous.

Wallace Briscoe v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms the Marion Superior Court’s decision to deny Wallace Briscoe’s two motions for mistrial. Finds that the decision to deny the motions was not an abuse of discretion.

Isaiah Levert Hughes v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms the Lake Superior Court’s jury instruction on voluntary manslaughter over Isaiah Hughes’ object. Finds that the trial court did not abuse its discretion when it gave an instruction on voluntary manslaughter, a lesser offense of felony murder.