Opinions July 14, 2017

July 14, 2017

Indiana Court of Appeals
Louis Bell v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms Louis Bell’s convictions of Level 4 felony unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon, Level 5 felony possession of a narcotic drug, Level 5 felony possession of cocaine, Class B misdemeanor possession of marijuana and Class C misdemeanor possession of paraphernalia. Finds Officer Justin Gough had reasonable suspicion to stop Bell due to the nighttime traffic violation created by the lack of lights on the bicycle. Also finds that once stopped, neither Bell’s Fourth Amendment nor Article 1, Section 11 rights were violated by the pat-down search. Finally, finds the Marion Superior Court did not abuse its discretion in the admission of evidence. Judge Margaret Robb dissents with separate opinion.

D.P. v State of Indiana
Juvenile. Reverses D.P.’s adjudication as a juvenile delinquent based on the juvenile court’s finding that he committed an act that would be considered Level 4 felony child molesting if committed by an adult. Finds that based on the evidence presented at the fact-finding hearing, a reasonable factfinder could not find beyond a reasonable doubt that D.P. touched or fondled the victim with the intent to arouse or satisfy sexual desires.

In re the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of L.R. (Minor Child), K.S. (Mother) v. Indiana Department of Child Services
Juvenile termination of parental rights. Affirms the termination of K.S.’s parental rights to L.R. Finds that because K.S. did not object to the dismissal of the January 2014 CHINS action and the refiling of a second CHINS action in May 2014, and instead specifically agreed to this procedure, the Wells Circuit Court did not err by treating the two CHINS actions as one continuous proceeding that began in January 2014, 17 months before the Department of Child Services filed its termination petition. Also finds K.S. failed to establish that procedural irregularities deprived her of due process. Finally, finds the trial court’s decision to terminate K.S.’s parental rights was not clearly erroneous.

Brittany N. Heft v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Brittany Heft’s two-year sentence for Level 6 felony domestic battery in the presence of a child. Finds Heft has failed to show the sentence imposed by the Shelby Circuit Court was inappropriate in light of the nature of the offense and her character.

In the Matter of the Adoption of M.M.C.C., R.C. v. C.C. and C.C. (mem. dec.)
Adoption. Affirms the Clark Circuit Court’s order finding biological father R.C.’s consent was not necessary for the adoption of M.M.C.C. filed by mother C.C. and adoptive father C.C. Finds the evidence was sufficient to support the trial court’s conclusion that R.C. failed without justifiable cause to communicate significantly with M.M.C.C. for a period of one year, so the court did not err in holding R.C.’s consent to the adoption was not necessary.

Dale W. Economan, D.O. v. Indiana Medical Licensing Board (mem. dec.)
Civil plenary. Affirms the dismissal of Dale W. Economan’s petition for judicial review of the extension of the suspension of his medical license after his license had expired. Finds the Marion Superior Court properly dismissed Economan’s petition for judicial review.

Esther Martin v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Esther Martin’s convictions for two counts of Class A felony child molesting. Reverses Martin’s 80-year sentence. Finds that even if it was erroneous to admit Martin’s interview with police into evidence, any such error was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt. Remands for the Elkhart Superior Court to enter an amended sentencing order directing that her 40-year sentences be served concurrently. Judge John Baker concurs and dissents in part with separate opinion.

In re the Paternity of Connor Ricciardi; Korey Ricciardi, v. Christina Feiock (mem. dec.)
Juvenile paternity. Reverses the Marion Superior Court’s denial of Korey Ricciardi’s petition to modify parenting time. Finds the trial court abused its discretion in denying Ricciardi a hearing on his petition. Remands for further proceedings.

In Re: The Adoption of N.D.K., and A.A.K., D.R.K. v. A.S.K (mem. dec.)
Adoption. Affirms the Adams Circuit Court’s order granting A.S.K.’s petition to adopt D.R.K.’s children, N.D.K. and A.A.K. Finds any possible error in the introduction of the neuropsychological reports for A.A.K. was harmless. Also finds the evidence and findings clearly and convincingly support the conclusion that D.R.K. is unfit and the that children’s adoption by A.S.K. is in their best interests.