Opinions Feb. 15, 2017

Keywords Opinions

The following Indiana Supreme Court opinion was posted after IL deadline Tuesday:
In the Matter of: Gene D. Emmons
Disciplinary. Suspends Gene D. Emmons from the practice of law in Indiana for at least three years without automatic reinstatement. Finds Emmons engaged in attorney misconduct by converting guardianship funds, by failing to comply with court orders and by failing to cooperate with the disciplinary process.

Wednesday opinions
Indiana Supreme Court
J.D.M. v. State of Indiana
Juvenile. Reverses J.D.M.’s adjudication as a delinquent for committing acts which, if committed by an adult, would constitute Class C felony child molestation, and the subsequent order for him to register as a sex offender Finds that the statutory prerequisites for placing a juvenile on the sex offender registry were not met. Remands to the juvenile court for further proceedings.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Harry Hobbs v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms the 120-year sentence the Marion Superior Court imposed on remand following the court’s decision that Harry Hobbs was entitled to partial relief on his motion to correct erroneous sentence. Finds because Hobbs’ claim cannot be resolved without looking past the facts of the sentencing order, his arguments related to an episode of criminal conduct may not be raised in a motion to correct erroneous sentence.  

Mint Management, LLC, and J&MW Holdings, LLC v. City of Richmond, Indiana
Civil plenary. Affirms the Wayne Superior Court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of the city of Richmond on Mint Management LLC and J&MW Holdings LLC’s declaratory judgment claim. Finds the trial court did not err because language in the city’s stormwater ordinance as a whole requires all property owners in Richmond to pay the stormwater fee.

Justin R. Messersmith v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Reverses Justin R. Messersmith’s convictions of one count of neglect of a dependent resulting in bodily injury as a Level 5 felony and one count of battery on a person less than 14 years old as a Level 6 felony. Finds the Madison Circuit Court abused its discretion in granting the state’s motion to withdraw a plea agreement. Remands with an order for the trial court to enter judgment in accordance with the plea agreement and sentence Messersmith within the bounds of the plea agreement.

Jason Bokori v. Jasmina Martinoski
Small claims. Affirms judgment in favor of Jasmina Martinoski on her claim for the balance on the lease of a car that Jason Bokori totaled. Senior Judge Betty Barteau dissents with separate opinion.

Thomas Maxfield v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Thomas Maxfield’s sentence to concurrent 30-year sentences to be executed in the Indiana Department of Correction for two counts of child molesting as Class A felonies. Finds that Maxfield’s sentence is appropriate in light of his offenses and character.

Rafael A. Faulkner v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Reverses Rafeal Faulkner’s convictions for maintaining a common nuisance and taking a child to a nuisance as Class A misdemeanors, and possession of marijuana as a Class B misdemeanor. Finds the evidence obtained as a result of Sgt. Robert Hainje’s warrantless entry into Faulkner’s apartment should have been suppressed and the Tippecanoe Superior Court erred in admitting that evidence.

Grady Jamal Moss v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Grady Moss’ conviction of dealing in cocaine as a Level 5 felony. Finds Moss has waived his constitutional right to be present at his jury trial.

Allison Moore v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Allison Moore’s 105-year sentence for her convictions for murder, Class B felony burglary and Class B felony conspiracy to commit burglary. Finds the Ripley Circuit Court did not abuse its discretion in imposing consecutive sentences and that Moore’s sentence is not inappropriate.

Joseph Clingerman v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Joseph Clingerman’s sentence of six years imprisonment, with four years suspended to probation, for one count of sexual misconduct with a minor as a Level 4 felony. Finds the Tippecanoe Superior Court’s findings of aggravators and mitigators was not an abuse of discretion. Also finds that Clingerman’s sentence is not inappropriate.

Marc Benton v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Marc Benton’s conviction of Level 6 felony pointing a firearm. Finds Andre Murdock’s statements to his mother and to the police were hearsay, but fell within exceptions to the hearsay rule.

Courtney L. Donald a/k/a Courtney Cain v. Z.D.C. b/n/f Shana L. Rhodes, et al. (mem. dec.)
Reciprocal support. Dismisses Courtney Cain’s appeal of the Lake Circuit Court’s denial of his motion to dismiss a petition for contempt based upon child support arrearages. Finds sua sponte that the order from which Cain appeals is not a final judgment or an appealable interlocutory order.

Tyree Brodley v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Tyree Brodley’s conviction of murder. Finds that any error in the admission of DNA evidence was harmless because the conviction was supported by substantial independent evidence of Brodley’s guilt and that the evidence was cumulative of other evidence properly admitted.

In the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of: A.B., V.B., C.R., & E.R. (Minor Children), and K.R. (Father) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
Juvenile. Affirms the termination of K.R.’s parental rights to A.B., V.B., C.R. and E.R. Finds the Department of Child Services established by clear and convincing evidence the requisite elements to support the termination of K.R.’s parental rights.

In re the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of: N.D. (Minor Child) and J.D. (Father) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
Juvenile. Affirms the juvenile court’s termination of J.D.’s parental rights to his child, N.D. Finds the termination order is not clearly erroneous. Also finds the Department of Child Services established by clear and convincing evidence the elements necessary to support the termination of J.D.’s parental rights.

Donald E. Morris v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Donald E. Morris’ sentence to 20 years, with 10 years executed in the Indiana Department of Correction and 10 years served on home detention, for Class A felony dealing in methamphetamine. Finds Morris has waived his right to appeal his sentence.

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