Opinions Sept. 29, 2017

Keywords Opinions

Indiana Court of Appeals
David K. Miller v. Joy A. (Miller) Brown
Domestic relation. Reverses the Bartholomew Superior Court’s order requiring David Miller and Joy Brown to combine all the savings from four college savings accounts into a single, jointly owned account for the benefit of their youngest son, N.M. Finds the funds in the two accounts opened by Miller are his property and the trial court lacked authority to make Brown a co-owner. Remands for a new ruling on Brown’s petition for payment of N.M.’s college expenses.

In the Matter of E.K. (Minor Child), A Child in Need of Services, and, J.M. (Mother), and T.K. (Father) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services
Juvenile CHINS. Reverses the finding that E.K. is a child in need of services. Finds there is insufficient evidence that the coercive intervention of a court is necessary to protect E.K.

Robert R. Fleming v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms Robert Fleming’s conviction for Class A misdemeanor intimidation. Finds the state presented sufficient evidence to support Fleming’s intimidation conviction.

Deangelo Evans v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms Deangelo Evans’ sentence to an aggregate of 38 ½ years for his convictions of three counts of Level 4 felony operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated causing death, one count of Level 6 felony operating a vehicle while intoxicated causing serious bodily injury and one count of Level 6 felony criminal recklessness. Finds Evans’ sentence is not inappropriate.

Christopher Medina Godines v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Christopher Godines’ conviction for Class C felony burglary. Finds the evidence presented at trial and the inferences drawn therefrom were sufficient for a reasonable jury to conclude Godines was involved in the burglary of the Speedco maintenance shop.

Jerome L. Williams v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Remands Jerome Williams’ convictions of Level 3 felonies robbery while armed with a deadly weapon, robbery resulting in bodily injury and conspiracy to commit robbery with instructions to vacate one of the robbery convictions. Finds, sua sponte, that the two convictions for robbery violate double jeopardy because there was only one robbery. Also finds the evidence was sufficient to convict Williams.

Joseph Fuentes v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Post conviction. Affirms the denial of Joseph Fuentes’ petition for post-conviction relief. Finds Fuentes did not receive ineffective assistance of trial counsel.

D.J. v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Juvenile. Affirms the juvenile court’s dispositional order making D.J. a ward of the Indiana Department of Correction, rather than placing him in a less-restrictive alternative. Finds the Lawrence Circuit Court did not abuse its discretion in concluding that placement in the DOC was in D.J.’s best interest given the evidence of his parents’ unwillingness and/or inability to comply with the requirements of the only available less-restrictive alternative, the Juvenile Problem-Solving Court program.

Korey M. Sawicki v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Korey M. Sawicki’s sentence to four years for his conviction of Level 4 felony burglary. Finds Sawicki’s sentence is not inappropriate.

D.S. v. L.K. (mem. dec.)
Protective order. Affirms the denial of D.S.’s motion to correct error, which challenged the issuance of a protective order against him. Finds sufficient evidence supports the Jasper Superior Court’s issuance of the protective order and subsequent decision to allow it to become permanent. Also finds the trial court’s denial of D.S.’s motion to correct error was not against the logic and effects of the facts and circumstances before it.

In Re: The Paternity of E.B.: Daniel P. Foster v. Rebecca L. Baugh (mem. dec.)
Juvenile paternity. Affirms the denial of Daniel Foster’s motion to correct error filed with respect to a judgment declining to order Rebecca Baugh to take their 6-year-old daughter to a prison facility for parenting time with Foster. Finds the Monroe Circuit Court did not abuse its discretion.

Michael Lee Campbell v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Michael L. Campbell’s sentence to 2 ½ years executed in the Indiana Department of Correction for his conviction of Level 6 felony theft. Finds Campbell’s sentence is not inappropriate under Indiana Appellate Rule 7(B) in light of the nature of his offense and his character.

Paul B. Deignan, Jr. v. Shawn E. Deignan (mem. dec.)
Domestic relation. Affirms in part the modification of Paul Deignan’s child support obligation to his ex-wife. Finds the Tippecanoe Superior Court acted within its discretion in adjourning the hearing due to Deignan’s disruptive behavior. Also finds the trial court’s findings are insufficient to justify denying Deignan a parenting-time credit against his child support obligation. Remands for the trial court to further consider the issue of the parenting-time credit and to either issue more detailed findings justifying the withholding of the credit from Deignan or to reinstate that credit and recalculate his support obligation accordingly. Judge Michael Barnes concurs in result with separate opinion.

Richard Pinkham v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Richard Pinkham’s conviction for Class C felony burglary and the finding that he is a habitual offender. Finds Pinkham’s claim regarding the constitutionality of a vehicle search that yielded incriminating evidence, where the vehicle owner was present and consented to the search, fails for lack of standing.

Charles A. Allman v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Charles A. Allman’s sentence to 45 years for his conviction of Class A felony child molesting. Finds Allman has not proven his sentence is inappropriate.

Ariel M. Childress v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms the revocation of Ariel M. Childress’ probation. Finds Childress cannot show that fundamental error occurred because he admitted that he had violated the two conditions of his probation as alleged by the state in evidence he alleges was hearsay. Also finds there was sufficient evidence to show Childress violated the terms of his probation.

Jenny Anne Lee v. Paul William Lee (mem. dec.)
Domestic relation. Dismisses Jenny Anne Lee’s appeal of the Marion Superior Court’s grant of Paul Lee’s motion to reconsider its order granting her change of judge motion. Finds the trial court’s order granting Paul Lee’s motion to reconsider was neither a final judgment nor an appealable interlocutory order, so Jenny Anne Lee has forfeited her right to appeal. Judge Melissa May dissents with separate opinion.

In Re: The Paternity of S.R.W., M.R.B. v. B.T.T. (mem. dec.)
Juvenile paternity. Affirms and vacates in part the Allen Superior Court’s order imposing contempt sanctions on mother of a 30-day executed sentence and two suspended sentences. Finds the trial court abused its discretion in imposing a punitive contempt sanction, so the order of incarceration must be vacated. Also finds that although the imposition of suspended sentences was a proper coercive sanction, the trial court abused its discretion in conditioning execution of the sentences on strict compliance with its parenting-time orders. Remands with instructions to the trial court to revise its order, instead conditioning the sentence upon willful non-compliance. Chief Judge Nancy Vaidik concurs in result with separate opinion.
Mark Lynn Rushing v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Mark Rushing’s conviction of Class B misdemeanor harassment. Finds the Elkhart Superior Court did not err in admitting certain evidence.

John Amos v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Vacates the order charging administrative and probation-user fees against John Amos. Finds the probation department’s letter to the court was not a petition for fees, as required by Indiana statute. Remands for further proceedings.

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