Opinions Dec. 22, 2017

December 22, 2017

The following Indiana Supreme Court opinions were posted after IL deadline Thursday:
Matthew L. Johnson v. State of Indiana

Criminal. Reverses the trial court’s overruling of Matthew Johnson’s objection to his habitual offender charges. Finds Indiana Code section 35-50-2-8(d) unambiguously requires each underlying low-level offense to meet the statutory 10-year requirement for a habitual offense.

Darryl Calvin v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Reverses Darryl Calvin’s habitual offender enhancement. Finds the enhancement was not supported by sufficient evidence. Remands for a retrial on the enhancement. Justice Mark Massa dissents with separate opinion.

Friday opinions
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Atlantic Casualty Insurance Company v. Juan Garcia and Maria Garcia.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division. Magistrate Judge John E. Martin.
Civil. Affirms the district court’s grant of summary judgment to Atlantic Casualty Insurance Company on Juan and Maria Garcia’s breach of contract and bad faith claims. Finds the language of the coverage exclusion was unambiguous.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Eberaia Fields v. State of Indiana

Criminal. Affirms the denial of Eberaia Fields’ motion to dismiss the charges filed against him after officer Miles Reichard pulled him over. Finds Reichard’s failure to take the oath is a technical defect in his title to office. Also finds that because Reichard claimed the office, was in possession of it and performed its duties under the color of appointment, he was acting as a de facto officer at the time of the stop.

Doran J. Curry v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms Doran J. Curry’s convictions of dealing in cocaine or a narcotic drug as a Level 2 felony and resisting law enforcement as a Class A misdemeanor, and his sentence to 35 years for the Level 2 felony and 10 days for the Class A misdemeanor. Finds the state did not obtain physical evidence against Curry in violation of his Fourth Amendment rights. Also finds error in the admission of evidence did not affect Curry’s substantial rights. Finally, finds Curry’s sentence is not inappropriate.

Archie Massey v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Archie Massey’s five-year sentence for his conviction of Level 5 felony possession of a narcotic drug. Finds the Jay Circuit Court did not abuse its discretion in sentencing Massey.

Lamar Smith v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Lamar Smith’s convictions of level 5 felony battery and Level 6 felony criminal confinement. Vacates Smith’s Level 6 felony domestic battery conviction. Finds Smith’s convictions for battery and domestic battery violate the prohibition against double jeopardy. Also finds the battery and criminal confinement convictions do not violate double jeopardy principles. Remands with instructions to enter an amended abstract of judgment and an amended sentencing order.

William O. Jackson, Jr. v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms William O. Jackson’s three-year sentence for his conviction of Level 5 felony domestic battery. Finds Jackson has not established his advisory sentence with opportunities to improve himself and potentially receive sentence modification are inappropriate in light of the nature of the offense and his character.

Levi Davis v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms the Howard Superior Court’s order for Levi R. Davis to serve the balance of his previously suspended sentence, 4,010 days, after he admitted to violating his probation in two cases by committing a new criminal offense. Finds Davis has waived for review the issue of the total number of days he owes.
Kimberly Flueckiger and Mark Flueckiger v. Maurice Englehardt, The City of Bluffton, and Indiana Department of Transportation d/b/a INDOT (mem. dec.)
Civil tort. Affirms the entry of summary judgment in favor of the City of Bluffton. Finds the Wells Circuit Court did not err in its entry of summary judgment.

Jorge Giron v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Jorge Giron’s convictions of Level 5 felony operating a vehicle after a lifetime suspension and Class A misdemeanor operating a vehicle while intoxicated. Finds the Marion Superior Court did not err in its application of the burden of proof.

Mark Bailey v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Mark Bailey’s aggregate six-year sentence for his convictions of Level 6 felony resisting law enforcement, Class A misdemeanor driving while suspended, and a habitual offender enhancement. Finds the Henry Circuit Court acted within its discretion in its treatment of Bailey’s guilty plea. Also finds Bailey failed to demonstrate his sentence is inappropriate.