Opinions March 16, 2017

Keywords Opinions

Indiana Court of Appeals
Admiral Insurance Company v. Joseph Banasiak, et al.
Civil plenary. Reverses the denial of Admiral Insurance Co.’s motion for summary judgment and declaratory judgment in favor of the estate of Dr. Habib Zadeh. Finds that Indiana Code 34-18-13-4 does not require coverage of Jennifer Muehlman’s claim.

S.R. v. M.J.
Adoption. Reverses the trial court’s decree of adoption of S.R.’s biological child, C.J., by M.J., the stepmother. S.R.’s due process rights were violated by the adoption court’s failure to, at the beginning of the consent hearing, either afford S.R. with her right to counsel or otherwise ensure that her waiver of the right to counsel was knowing and voluntary. Remands.

Keenan J. P. Mardis v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms Keenan J. P. Mardis’ conviction for felony murder. There was sufficient evidence to support Mardis’ conviction. Finds the Elkhart Circuit Court did not commit fundamental error when it instructed the jury.

Donald Ray Ross v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Donald Ross’ conviction of operating a vehicle while intoxicated endangering a person as a Class A misdemeanor. The state presented sufficient evidence to support the Marion Superior Court’s conclusion that Ross operated his vehicle in a manner that endangered others.
Termination: S.M.H. v. Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
Juvenile termination of parental rights. Affirms the termination of S.M.H.’s parental rights to A.G. The Allen Superior Court did not err when it terminated S.M.H.’s parental rights. Judge L. Mark Bailey dissents with separate opinion.

Clay P. Manvilla v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms the revocation of Clay P. Manvilla’s probation and order to serve the balance of his previously suspended sentence of 30 days in the Bartholomew County Jail, with credit for 10 days served, and two years in the Indiana Department of Correction, fully suspended to probation following a revocation hearing at which Manvilla admitted to violating the terms of his probation. The trial court did not abuse its discretion in ordering Manvilla to serve his entire previously suspended sentence.

Marilyn M. Clontz v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms and reverses in part the Fayette Circuit Court’s restitution order against Marilyn M. Clontz. The trial court’s order that Clontz pay $421,147.93 for funds she stole from Indiana Ordnance Inc. was not supported by sufficient evidence. The trial court abused its discretion when it ordered her to pay $20,000 for CPA fees. The trial court did not abuse its discretion when it ordered Clontz to pay $300,000 for IOI’s lost profits, but did abuse its discretion when it ordered her to pay $250 in monthly restitution payments without evidence that she could afford such a payment. Remands with instructions.

Michael W. Simpson v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Michael W. Simpson’s conviction for battery as a Class A misdemeanor. The state presented sufficient evidence to support Simpson’s conviction, and the Elkhart Superior Court’s findings and judgment were not clearly erroneous.

Raul Gonzalez v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Raul Gonzales’ conviction for battery as a Class B misdemeanor. Finds the evidence favoring the judgment was sufficient to rebut Gonzales’ claim of self-defense.

Jonathan D. Harness v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Jonathan Harness’ convictions of two counts of Class C felony battery with serious bodily injury and his sentence aggregate six-year sentence in prison, with four years executed and two years suspended to probation. Finds Harness’ sentence is not inappropriate in light of the nature of the offenses and his character and the polygraph condition of Harness’ probation was not improper.

Eric Kennedy v. Michelle M. Wade (mem. dec.)
Domestic relation. Affirms the modification of Eric Kennedy’s child support and the entry of post-secondary educational expenses. The Henry Circuit Court did not abuse its discretion when calculating Kennedy’s child support obligation, and the court did not commit clear error in apportioning post-secondary educational expenses at an out-of-state university.

U.J. v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Juvenile. Affirms the juvenile court’s determination that U.J. committed delinquent acts which, if committed by an adult, would constitute attempted criminal trespass and battery against a public safety official as Level 6 felonies, and resisting law enforcement as a Class A misdemeanor. The state presented sufficient evidence to sustain the court’s determination.

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