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Opinions Sept. 8, 2017

September 8, 2017

The following Indiana Supreme Court opinion was posted after IL deadline Thursday:
Will Thomas v. State of Indiana
27S02-1703-CR-170
Criminal. Affirms Will Thomas’ conviction of Class A felony dealing in a narcotic drug. Finds officers had probable cause to believe Thomas was in possession of narcotics, so transporting him to and detaining him at the police station to await the results of a search warrant request did not violate the Fourth Amendment. Also finds any evidence recovered in the incident when Thomas was observed putting a plastic baggie containing a narcotic in his mouth cannot be said to be “fruit of the poisonous tree,” and its admission did not violate the Fourth Amendment.

Friday opinions
Indiana Court of Appeals
Robert Muldowney v. Lincoln Park, LLC and Robert Versprille
29A02-1610-SC-2439
Small claims. Dismisses without prejudice Robert Muldowney’s appeal of the Hamilton Superior Court’s grant of judgment in favor of Lincoln Park LLC and Robert Versprille. Finds the manner in which the trial court acted deprived Lincoln Park and Versprille of the chance to present evidence to meet its burden of proof against Muldowney. Remands for the trial court to conduct an evidentiary hearing on Lincoln Park and Versprille’s complaint and to rule on it accordingly.

Joshua Thompson v. State of Indiana
09A04-1611-CR-2582
Criminal. Affirms Joshua Thompson’s conviction of Level 5 felony battery resulting in serious bodily injury. Vacates Thompson’s conviction of Level 6 felony domestic battery. Finds Indiana’s statutory definition of battery does not require the person who is battered to be the same person who is injured as a result of the battery, so the third count of the charging information states a crime for which Thompson could be convicted. Also finds Thompson’s convictions of both Level 6 felony domestic battery and Level 5 felony battery relied on the same, single act of touching by Thompson, so his convictions of both crimes subjected him to double jeopardy. Remands for resentencing.

K.C. & K.C. v. State of Indiana
49A04-1606-JV-1230
Juvenile. Affirms the juvenile court’s true findings that Ki.C. committed delinquent acts which, if committed by an adult, would constitute battery on a public safety official as a Level 6 felony and forcibly resisting law enforcement as a Class A misdemeanor. Affirms the true findings that Ke.C. committed a delinquent act that would constitute resisting law enforcement as a Class A misdemeanor if committed by an adult. Finds Ki.C. and Ke.C’s actions constituted new and distinct crimes, so the evidence of those crimes is admissible pursuant to the new-crimes exception notwithstanding any illegality of the pat-down search.

Torri Newman v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
49A02-1702-CR-290
Criminal. Affirms Torri Newman’s convictions for possession of cocaine as a Class C felony, possession of a controlled substance as a Class D felony and possession of marijuana as a Class D felony. Finds the Marion Superior Court did not err when it admitted into evidence the contraband officers found in Newman’s residence.

Judy Harper, Estate of Terry D. Harper, II, ex rel. Judy Harper v. Bruce Harley, M.D. (mem. dec.)
71A03-1611-CT-2523
Civil tort. Affirms the St. Joseph Superior Court’s exclusion of certain evidence relating to Terry Harper’s medical history and the denial of Judy Harper’s motion for a directed verdict as to Terry Harper’s cause of death. Finds Judy Harper waived her challenge to the exclusion of 2008 internal abdominal bleeding evidence, and any error was harmless. Also finds the trial court properly denied Judy Harper’s motion for directed verdict. Finally, finds Dr. Bruce Harley’s cross-appeal is moot. Judge James Kirsch dissents with separate opinion.

In re the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of N.G. (Minor Child) and N.R.G. (Mother) v. Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
71A03-1703-JT-668
Juvenile. Affirms the termination of N.R.G.’s parental rights to her minor daughter, N.G. Finds the St. Joseph Probate Court did not commit reversible error in the admission of evidence N.R.G. now claims was impermissible hearsay. Also finds the trial court did not clearly err when it determined the Indiana Department of Child Services had presented clear and convincing evidence establishing there was a reasonable probability the conditions that resulted in N.G.’s removal from N.R.G.’s home or the reasons for her continued placement outside the home would not be remedied and that the continuation of the parent-child relationship poses a threat to N.G.’s well-being. Finally, finds the trial court did not err in determining termination of N.R.G.’s parental rights was in N.G.’s best interests.

James F. Gibbons, Jr. v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
08A05-1703-CR-546
Criminal. Affirms James F. Gibbons Jr.’s conviction of Level 5 felony operating a vehicle while privileges are forfeited for life. Finds the evidence was sufficient to support Gibbons’ conviction.

Dennis Burgher v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
49A02-1608-CR-1823
Criminal. Dismisses Dennis Burgher’s appeal of the Marion Superior Court’s denial of his motion for discharge under Indiana Criminal Rule 4. Finds Burgher’s appeal is moot.

Traci Kron v. Donna Sherman, as Personal Representative of the Unsupervised Estate of Alan Kron, Deceased (mem. dec.)
74A01-1702-EU-348
Estate, unsupervised. Reverses the partial denial of Traci Kron’s petition to enforce terms of will. Finds the Spencer Circuit Court erred by ordering Donna Sherman to share a bank account’s funds with Traci Kron because William Kron, not Sherman, owned the account. Remands with instructions to the trial court to otherwise vacate its prior order and issue a new order stating neither Sherman nor Traci Kron are entitled to any proceeds from the Hoosier Hills Credit Union account.

In the Matter of the Involuntary Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of D.S. Jr. and J.S. (Minor Children) and D.S. (Father), et al. v. The Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
71A03-1704-JT-823
Juvenile. Affirms the involuntary termination of D.S. and T.S.’s parental rights to their children, D.S. Jr. and J.S. Finds the St. Joseph Probate Court did not clearly err in concluding there is a reasonable probability the continuation of the parent-child relationship poses a threat to the children’s well-being. Also finds the trial court did not clearly err in concluding termination of D.S.’s parental rights is in the children’s best interests.

Daniel R. Rose v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
20A03-1703-CR-641
Criminal. Affirms Daniel R. Rose’s convictions of unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon as a Level 4 felony, possession of methamphetamine as a Level 4 felony and possession of marijuana as a Class B misdemeanor. Finds that although Rose’s right of cross-examination was violated when the Elkhart Superior Court limited inquiry into the potential bias of a state witness, the error was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt, so Rose was not deprived of a fair trial. Judge John Baker dissents with separate opinion.

DiAnn Griffith v. Shelby Eastern Schools (mem. dec.)
93A02-1705-EX-1115
Agency. Affirms the Worker’s Compensation Board’s determination that DiAnn Griffith is entitled to $2,100 in permanent partial impairment benefits in addition to temporary total disability benefits already paid by her employer, Shelby Eastern Schools. Finds Griffith failed to carry her burden to prove a right to additional PPI and TTD benefits, as well as permanent total disability benefits and future medical expenses plus attorney fees for additional injuries.

Marques Ridley v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
54A04-1701-CR-25
Criminal. Affirms Marques Ridley’s convictions of one count of Level 5 felony dealing in a narcotic drug and three counts of Level 6 felony dealing in a substance represented to be a controlled substance. Finds the Montgomery Circuit Court did not abuse its discretion in admitting the chain of custody certificate. Also finds sufficient evidence exists to support Ridley’s convictions.

In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of Ka.M., Cy.M., Ks.M., & Cn.M. (Minor Children) and C.R. (Mother) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
11A01-1705-JT-958
Juvenile. Affirms the termination of C.R.’s parental rights to Ka.M., Cy.M., Ks.M. and Cn.M. Finds C.R. did not establish fundamental error occurred in the admission of evidence.

 

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