Opinions Feb. 24, 2017

Keywords Opinions

Indiana Court of Appeals
Elizabeth Roumbos v. Samuel G. Vazanellis and Thiros and Stracci, PC
Civil tort. Reverses the Lake Superior Court’s entry of summary judgment for Samuel G. Vazanellis and Thiros and Stracci P.C. Finds that although the designated evidence shows that Elizabeth Roumbos, as a business invitee, was aware of a dangerous condition on the floor of the business, a genuine question of material fact exists with respect to whether the business owner should have anticipated Roumbos’ harm despite her knowledge. Remands for further proceedings.

Emmett Reece Sandoval v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Reverses the Fayette Circuit Court’s order that the balance of Emmett Reece Sandoval’s $2,000 bond be held in trust to be applied toward possible future appellate public defender fees. Finds it was an error for the trial court to hold the balance of Sandoval’s bond in trust. Remands with instructions to the clerk of the Fayette County Court to return the balance of Sandoval’s bond immediately.

Deborah S. Pridemore v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms the Lawrence Superior Court’s denial of Deborah S. Pridemore’s motion to suppress evidence seized during a traffic stop. Finds the state presented sufficient evidence to support the trial court’s conclusion that Bedford Police Department officers David Booth and Anthony Wray had conducted a lawful traffic stop based on reasonable suspicion that Pridemore had committed a traffic violation by driving outside the right-hand lane.

Jefferson Jean-Baptiste v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Reverses Jefferson Jean-Baptiste’s conviction for resisting law enforcement as a Class A misdemeanor. Finds the undisputed evidence demonstrates that a law enforcement officer, while attempting to serve a “civil arrest warrant,” unlawfully entered Jean-Baptiste’s home and, Jean-Baptiste had the right to reasonably resist the law enforcement officer. Also finds that because that lawful resistance was the only basis for Jean-Baptiste’s conviction, the state failed to present sufficient evidence to support his conviction. Finally, finds sua sponte that the record unmistakably shows that the Marion Superior Court failed to secure Jean-Baptiste’s personal waiver of his right to a jury trial on record and thus committed fundamental error under the Sixth Amendment.

Jerry L. McClure v. State of Indiana
Post-conviction. Affirms the dismissal of Jerry L. McClure’s petition for post-conviction relief. Finds that McClure has not met his burden on appeal to demonstrate error.

Billy Brantley v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Reverses Billy Brantley’s conviction for voluntary manslaughter as a Level 2 felony. Finds the state wholly failed to carry its burden to provide sufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he acted under sudden heat. Judge L. Mark Bailey dissents with separate opinion.

East Wind Acupuncture, Inc. v. Review Board of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development and Elly A. Lesnick
Agency. Affirms the decision of the Review Board of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development to award unemployment benefits to Elly Lesnick, a former employee of East Wind Acupuncture Inc. Finds the review board did not abuse its discretion when it rejected East Wind’s attempt to present additional evidence. Also finds that the review board’s judgment is supported by the record.

Keyshawn D. Sanders v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms Keyshawn D. Sanders’ sentence to an aggregate of nine years after he pleaded guilty to dealing in a narcotic drug as a Level 3 felony and possession of marijuana as a Class B misdemeanor. Finds the Allen Superior Court did not abuse its discretion in Sanders’ sentencing. Also finds that because Sanders failed to present authority or analysis with respect to whether his sentence is inappropriate in light of the nature of his offenses, his has waived appellate review of the inappropriateness of his sentence. Finally, finds that waiver notwithstanding, Sanders did not prove that his sentence is inappropriate.

C.S. v. State of Indiana
Juvenile. Affirms C.S.’s adjudication as a delinquent child and the true finding that he molested his then 3-year-old stepsister A.G., a Level 4 felony if done by an adult. Finds that A.G.’s testimony was not incredibly dubious.

Michael Dowdell v. State of Indiana
Post-conviction. Affirms the denial of Michael Dowdell’s successive petition for post-conviction relief. Finds Dowdell has not demonstrated that he received ineffective assistance from his appellate counsel.

Jason Daniel Carlton Webb v. Holly White (mem. dec.)
Domestic relation. Affirms the Greene Circuit Court’s judgment for Holly White on Jason Daniel Carlton Webb’s petition to modify post-secondary educational expenses. Finds that Webb’s temporary financial setback did not require the trial court to find a substantial change in circumstances and modify the post-secondary expense payments. Also finds that Webb’s argument does not demonstrate prima facie error in the trial court’s denial of his petition. Webb cites no authority that requires the trial courts to apply comment b to Indiana Child Support Guideline 8 when the issue before the court is the modification of an existing order.

Aviation Consultants, Inc. v. Timken Alcor Aerospace Technologies,; Honaker Aviation, Inc.; and Jet Access Aviation, LLC (mem. dec.)
Civil tort. Affirms the grant of summary judgment in favor of Timken Alcor Aerospace Technologies Inc., Honaker Aviation Inc. and Jet Access Aviation LLC on Aviation Consultants U.S. Inc.’s negligence and other claims. Finds the Clark Circuit Court did not err by granting summary judgment in Timken’s favor. Also finds that the indemnification provision in the Jet Access Agreement clearly states that neither Jet Access nor Honaker are liable for the claims alleged by ACI. Finally, finds that there are no issues of material fact and both Jet Access and Honaker are entitled to judgment as a matter of law.

Johiney Jesus Acuna-Hinojosa v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms the denial of Johiney Jesus Acuna-Hinojosa’s petition for post-conviction relief. Finds that Acuna-Hinojosa cannot show that his counsel’s performance, even if deficient, affected the outcome of his case.

J.P., Jr. v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Juvenile. Affirms J.P. Jr.’s juvenile delinquency adjudications for attempted robbery, a Level 3 felony if committed by an adult; conspiracy to commit robbery, a Level 3 felony if committed by an adult; and battery with bodily injury, a Class A misdemeanor if committed by an adult.  Finds that J.P. Jr.’s arguments essentially amount to requests to reweigh evidence and reassess credibility.

Stacey Jo Caton v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affrims Stacey Jo Caton’s seven-year aggregate sentence for three counts of Level 5 felony trafficking with an inmate. Finds that Caton has fallen far short of establishing that her sentence in inappropriate.  

Daris Deshawn Grant v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Daris Deshawn Grant’s conviction for Level 6 felony residential entry. Finds that the state presented sufficient evidence to support his conviction.

Sheila Manhas, M.D. v. Franciscan Hammond Clinic, LLC, Hammond Clinic, LLC, and Deepak Majmudar, M.D., Individually (mem. dec.)
Civil tort. Reverses the Lake Superior Court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of Franciscan Hammond Clinic LLC, Hammond Clinic and Dr. Deepak Majmudar, individually, on Dr. Sheila Manhas’ complaint for defamation per se, defamation per quod and for violation of Indiana’s blacklisting statute. Finds the intent of the Release of Information/Consent to Background Check form as expressed therein is clear that the defendants, as third-party beneficiaries, do no fall within the scope of the release. Remands for further proceedings.


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