Opinions Sept. 28, 2017

Keywords Opinions

Indiana Court of Appeals
Dori J. West v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Reverses Dori West’s conviction of Class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement. The state failed to present sufficient evidence to support the conviction.

Hamilton Southeastern Utilities, Inc. v. Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission; Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor; and Apartment Association of Indiana, Inc.
Agency action. Finds the IURC acted arbitrarily in excluding Hamilton Southeastern Utilities’ affiliate expenses (the 3 percent contract increase and 10 percent management fee) from HSE’s rate calculation by relying on the NARUC guidelines without explanation; however, the IURC was within its discretion to consider the evidence and exclude the paid-in-arrears affiliate expenses from HSE’s calculation of working capital. The IURC did not err in its conclusion regarding HSE’s SDC based on the evidence presented and finds the IURC properly permitted HSE to recover its passed-through income tax liability in its rates. Remands.

State of Indiana v. Brandon Battering
Criminal. Affirms order granting Brandon Battering’s motion to suppress certain pretrial statements he made to investigating officers. Given the specific facts and circumstances surrounding Battering’s statement that he was “done with answering questions right now,” Battering’s statement demonstrated an unequivocal invocation of the Fifth Amendment right to remain silent.

Alisa K. Wright v. A. Lance Wright (mem. dec.)
Domestic relation. Affirms final dissolution decree, finding no error in the division of marital property, the award of a security interest in the wife’s equity in an LLC to husband, or in ordering wife to pay $120,000 of husband’s attorney fees.

Sean A. Landrum v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms sentencing order on a petition to revoke Sean Landrum’s suspended sentence. The trial court did not abuse its discretion when it sentenced him to a sentence that included supervised probation or when it declined to apply credit time to his sentence.

Paula Lynn Tackett v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Post conviction. Affirms the denial of petition for post-conviction relief, finding Paula Tackett was not denied effective assistance of trial or appellate counsel.

Antonio Jones v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief, finding the court did not err in rejecting Antonio Jones’ claim that his trial counsel was constitutionally ineffective.

Lantz D. Garrett v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor carrying a handgun without a license, finding the trial court did not abuse its discretion in admitting evidence obtained following a pat-down search or in instructing the jury.

Antonio Luis Gonzalez v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms sentence for Level 5 felony domestic battery resulting in injury to a pregnant woman. Remands for further proceedings.

Hassell L. Burden v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Hassell Burden’s convictions of Level 6 felony possession of cocaine or narcotic drug and Class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement. Finds Burden has not preserved the issue raised — whether the trial court abused its discretion when it admitted into evidence items obtained during an investigative stop — for appellate review.

David J. Morris v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms David Morris’ convictions of two counts each of felony murder, Level 4 felony burglary, Level 6 auto theft and one count of Level 6 felony fraud. The evidence established that the police had probable cause to arrest Morris for auto theft, so there was no abuse in holding that his statements to police after his lawful arrest were admissible. Also, the trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying Morris’ motion for a mistrial.

Thomas P. Donovan v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms conviction for Class D felony using a device to assist in analyzing the probability of the occurrence of an event related to a gambling game. Remands with instructions for the trial court to enter a new judgment of conviction that properly identifies Thomas Donovan’s conviction under I.C. 4-33-10-2(3)(C) and states the offense as the use or possession with intent to use a device to assist in analyzing the probability of the occurrence of an event relating to a gambling game.

William L. Koss v. Karen J. Koss (mem. dec.)
Domestic relation. Affirms in part, reverses in part and remands for correction of the judgment involving the dissolution decree. Finds the trial court entered inconsistent findings concerning whether the items sold to Garrett Shoffner were marital assets. Remands to resolve that inconsistency and to correct the mathematical error in the trial court’s calculation of its value of Capital Machine.

Kristopher G. Richter v. Laurenz Place, LLC (mem. dec.)
Small claims. Reverses judgment against Kristopher Richter in his action against his landlord, Laurenz Place LLC. Remands with instructions to consider the costs he bore as a result of his landlord’s failure to afford him the statutory protections to which he was entitled under Indiana law.

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