Opinions Jan. 16, 2018

January 16, 2018

Indiana Court of Appeals
House of Prayer Ministries, Inc. d/b/a Harvest Christian Camp v. Rush County Board of Zoning Appeals; Milco Dairy Farm, LLC

Miscellaneous. Affirms the denial of House of Prayer Ministries, Inc.’s petition for judicial review of the Rush County Board of Zoning Appeals’ grant of a special exception to Milco Dairy Farm on its construction and operation of a concentrated animal feeding operation. Finds the BZA’s consideration of the public interest and the impact of the CAFO on surrounding properties was not contrary to law. Also finds House of Prayer failed to prove the BZA improperly considered setback requirements, or that the BZA’s decision violated its right to an impartial tribunal. Finally, finds House of Prayer failed to prove BZA’s grant of a special exception violated its religious rights and state and federal law.

Bradford M. Crowder v. State of Indiana
Post-conviction. Affirms the denial of Bradford M. Crowder’s petition for post-conviction relief to the extent the post-conviction court’s order upheld the plea agreement. Reverses the portion of the post-conviction court’s order that found Crowder waived the remedy of permitting him to pursue an appeal of his sentence. Finds the evidence as a whole does not unerringly and unmistakably lead to conclusion opposite that reached by the post-conviction court. Also finds Crowder did not explicitly waive the remedy of severing the provision related to the waiver of his right to appeal his sentence from the plea agreement in the event the post-conviction court found the vacation of the agreement was not warranted.

Kimberly Earl, Individually and as Personal Representative of the Estate of Jerry Earl v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, State Farm Fire and Casualty Company, and Sarah Smith Vinnedge
Civil tort. Reverses the grant of summary judgment in favor of State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, State Farm Fire and Casualty Company and Sarah Smith Vinnedge. Finds the claims in Kimberly Earl’s fraud litigation were not impermissible collateral attacks on the judgment in the uninsured motorist litigation. Also finds the issue of whether Earl unreasonably relied on defendants’ representations is a question of fact to be decided by the factfinder. Finally, finds Earl has demonstrated a genuine issue of material fact regarding whether defendants acted in bad faith in handling her claim. Remands for further proceedings.

In the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of A.Y.L., Minor Child, and A.L., Mother v. Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
Juvenile termination of parental rights. Affirms the termination of A.L.’s parental rights to her daughter, A.Y.L. Finds the Cass Circuit Court’s conclusion that termination is in A.Y.L.’s best interest is amply supported by the evidence and findings.

Anthony Taylor v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Miscellaneous. Affirms the denial of Anthony Taylor’s petition for a writ of habeas corpus. Finds the sentencing court did not err when it ordered Taylor’s 2007 sentence to run consecutive to his 1991 sentence. Also finds the sentencing court was not required to inform him of the collateral consequence of his parole violation. Finally, finds Taylor did not show how the state’s answers to his requests for admissions would have avoided the statutory requirement that his 2007 sentence run consecutive to his 1991 sentence.

John Stanley v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Reverses John Stanley’s habitual offender adjudication. Finds the state did not prove Stanley was released from his sentence for all three prior unrelated felonies within 10 years of the current offense. Remands for a retrial on the habitual offender enhancement.

Keith Jacob Branam v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Keith J. Branam’s sentences to 2½ years for his convictions in two separate causes of Level 6 felony invasion of privacy. Finds Branam’s sentences are not inappropriate in light of the nature of his offenses and his character.

Andrius Lynte Brooks v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Andrius Lynte Brooks’ sentence to 24 years in the Department of Correction, with 20 years executed and four years suspended to probation for Level 2 felony kidnapping. Finds the Madison Circuit Court did not commit fundamental error when it took judicial notice of prior trial proceedings when it sentenced Brooks. Also finds Brooks’ sentence is not inappropriate in light of the nature of his offense and his character.

Jerry Thomas Mele, Jr. v. Gary Joehlin (mem. dec.)
Civil plenary. Reverses the award of $2,000 in attorney fees in favor of Gary Joehlin. Finds Jerry Mele did not engage in vexations litigation in Indiana.