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Opinions Dec. 20, 2017

December 20, 2017
KEYWORDS Opinions

Indiana Supreme Court

In the Matter of: Marcus E. Ellison
71S00-1704-DI-187
Disciplinary. Suspends Marcus Ellison for at least 90 days without automatic reinstatement. Finds Ellison committed attorney misconduct by neglecting an appeal and thereafter engaging in a pattern of dishonesty in an effort to cover up his neglect.

Indiana Court of Appeals
City of Washington, Indiana v. Daviess County Rural Water System, Inc.

14A01-1702-PL-316
Civil plenary. Affirms and reverses in part the entry of judgment in favor of Daviess County Rural Water System, Inc. and the invalidation of an ordinance that raised DCRW’s rate 57 percent. Finds the Daviess Circuit Court did not abuse its discretion in finding the city breached its contract with DCRW by enacting the ordinance, so the ordinance is null and void as it relates to DCRW. Also finds the trial court erroneously invalidated the entire ordinance, so the ordinance remains in full force and effect as it relates to out-of-city customers other than DCRW. Finally, finds the trial court did not err in declining to dismiss DCRW’s declaratory judgment action or in consolidating the declaratory and statutory actions.

Frederico A. Conn v. State of Indiana
24A01-1703-CR-574
Criminal. Reverses the Franklin Circuit Court’s decision to admit evidence obtained during a search at a private conservation club and Frederico Conn’s convictions of level 6 felony possession of methamphetamine and possession of a firearm by a domestic batterer and possession of paraphernalia as Class A misdemeanors. Finds the officers’ actions were unreasonable under the circumstances and, thus, impermissible under Article I, Section 11 of the Indiana Constitution. Remands for further proceedings. Chief Judge Nancy Vaidik dissents with separate opinion.

In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of L.W. (Minor Child) and L.D.W. (Father); L.D.W. (Father) v. Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
26A01-1706-JT-1341
Juvenile termination of parental rights. Affirms the involuntary termination of L.D.W.’s parental rights to L.W. Finds the unchallenged findings support the Gibson Circuit Court’s conclusions.

A.H. v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
90A04-1705-JV-1038
Juvenile. Affirms the entry of a dispositional order placing A.H. in the Department of Correction. Finds the evidence in the record demonstrates the Wells Circuit Court was within its discretion to determine the DOC was the least restrictive setting that was appropriate for A.H.

In the Matter of the Guardianships of Ja.R.J., Je.R.J., and Ju.R.J., Minor Children, H.L.R. v. Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
40A01-1706-GU-1297
Guardianship. Affirms the denial of H.L.R.’s request to be appointed as guardian for his former step-grandchildren, Je.J. and Ju.J. Finds the Jennings Circuit Court’s decision to deny H.L.R.’s petitions for appointment of guardianship was not contrary to law.

D.A. v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
49A02-1707-JV-1495
Juvenile. Affirms D.A.’s adjudication as a delinquent for committing an act that would be Level 5 felony battery resulting in serious bodily injury if committed by an adult. Finds the evidence was sufficient to support the juvenile court’s true finding against D.A.

Christopher C. Collins v. Shannon K. Collins n/k/a Shannon K. Harris (mem. dec.)
29A02-1706-DR-1184
Domestic relation. Affirms the denial of Christopher C. Collins’ petitions to modify custody, parenting time and child support regarding the two minor children he shares with Shannon K. Collins n/k/a Shannon K. Harris. Finds the Hamilton Circuit Court did not abuse its discretion in denying Collins’ requests for modification.

Tocarra L. Woodson v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
02A03-1706-CR-1431
Criminal. Affirms Tocarra L. Woodson’s sentence to an aggregate of 2 years for her convictions of Level 6 felony identity deception and Class A misdemeanor deception. Finds the Allen Superior Court did not abuse its discretion when it did not consider certain factors to be mitigators when sentencing Woodson.

Jose Zavala and Antoinette Zavala v. James Poling and the City of Crown Point, Indiana (mem. dec.)
45A03-1706-CT-1250
Civil tort. Affirms the grant of summary judgment to the City of Crown Point and James Poling. Finds the Lake Superior Court reasonably determined as a matter of law that Jose and Antoinette Zavala failed to establish substantial compliance with the Indiana Tort Claims Act.

In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of J.R.J., Sr., Father, and Ja.R.J., Je.R.J. and Ju.J., Minor Children, J.R.J., Sr. v. Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec)
40A04-1706-JT-1276
Juvenile termination of parental rights. Affirms the termination of J.R.J., Sr.’s parental rights to his three minor children. Finds the juvenile court’s termination of J.R.J., Sr.’s parental rights was not clearly erroneous.

Jeffrey Leonard Camp v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
79A02-1707-CR-1676
Criminal. Affirms Jeffrey Leonard Camp’s conviction of Level 6 felony residential entry and his sentence to 730 days, with 365 days executed and 365 days on Tippecanoe County Community Corrections. Finds any error in the admission of Camp’s statement from a meeting at the prosecutor’s office on Jan. 9 was harmless. Also finds sufficient evidence exists from which the jury as trier of fact could find Camp guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Finally, finds Camp has not sustained his burden of establishing his sentence is inappropriate in light of the nature of the offense and his character.

Bruce Johnson v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
34A02-1707-CR-1600
Criminal. Affirms the revocation of Bruce Johnson’s probation and order for him to serve the remainder of his sentence in the Indiana Department of Correction. Finds Johnson has not demonstrated the Howard Superior Court erred in its calculations of the time remaining on his sentence.

Judd Michael Hopkins v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
84A01-1706-CR-1456
Criminal. Affirms Judd Hopkins’ sentence to 30 years’ incarceration for his conviction of Level 1 felony child molesting. Finds the Vigo Superior Court did not abuse its discretion in sentencing Hopkins. Also finds Hopkins’ sentence is not inappropriately harsh.

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