Opinions March 3, 2017

Keywords Opinions

The following Indiana Supreme Court opinion was posted after IL deadline Thursday:
State of Indiana v. David Brown
Criminal. Reverses the Marion Superior Court’s grant of a motion to suppress. Finds that the state could properly bring its appeal in the case because the trial court granted the motion to suppress and the suppression order was so broad that it effectively precluded further prosecution. Finds that under the facts and circumstances of the case, where the sobriety checkpoint at issue was brief and temporary in duration and public, Miranda warnings were not required because David Brown was not in custody. Remands for further proceedings. Justice Robert Rucker concurs in result with separate opinion.

Friday’s opinions
Indiana Court of Appeals
Caleb Riggen v. Tammy Riggen
Domestic relation. Reverses the Putnam Superior Court’s grant of Tammy Riggen’s motion to correct error on its earlier grant of Caleb Riggen’s motion to modify custody of their child. Finds that the trial court abused its discretion when it granted the motion to correct error without providing a reason for doing so, contrary to Trial Rule 59(J). Remands with instructions to the trial court to comply with Trial Rule 59 when considering the motion to correct error.

In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of D.S., Ri.S., Jr., & R.S. (Children) and K.M. (Mother); K.M. (Mother) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
Juvenile termination of parental rights. Affirms the involuntary termination of K.M.’s parental rights to her three children. Finds that the evidence was sufficient to support termination. Also finds that K.M.’s due process rights were not violated.

Peggy L. Sallee v. James L. Barrett and Martha A. Barrett (mem. dec.)
Civil plenary. Affirms the Boone Superior Court’s grant of a motion for change of venue to Putnam County because the defendants resided in Putnam County. Finds that because the plaintiff’s complaint concerns only debt, preferred venue does not line in Boone County pursuant to Trial Rule 75(A)(2).

In re the Paternity of N.E., by Next Friend, Jody W. Elkins v. Jennifer L. Hahn, f/k/a Jennifer L. Benson (mem. dec.)
Juvenile paternity. Affirms the St. Joseph Superior Court’s denial of Jody Elkins’ request to modify physical custody of his daughter, N.E. The findings of fact are supported by evidence in the record and the judgment is supported by those findings.

Michael D. Houser v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Michael Houser’s convictions for child molesting and sexual misconduct with a minor and his 75-year sentence. Afirms the Tippecanoe Circuit Court’s decision to allow challenged testimony. Finds that the trial court did not commit fundamental error by failing to declare a mistrial. Also finds that the state presented sufficient evidence and that Houser’s sentence is not inappropriate.

Alric Bolt v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Post conviction. Affirms the denial of Alric Bolt’s petition for post-conviction relief, which challenged his convictions for child molesting. Finds that Bolt has not demonstrated that he was denied the effective assistance of trial counsel.

Michael Trimnell v. Teri Trimnell (mem. dec.)
Domestic relation. Affirms the Jackson Superior Court’s order requiring Michael Trimnell to pay educational costs for his daughter, B.T. Finds that the trial court did not err when it found that Trimnell failed to prove repudiation. Also finds that there was no error in the admission of evidence.

Gary Gentner v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Gary Gentner’s conviction for operating a motor vehicle while privileges are forfeited for life as a Level 5 felony and resisting law enforcement as a Class A misdemeanor and his 6-year aggregate sentence. Finds that the Tippecanoe Superior Court did not abuse its discretion when it tried Gentner in absentia. Also finds that his sentence is not inappropriate.

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