Opinions Jan. 30, 2018

January 30, 2018

7th Circuit Court of Appeals

Kristine Bunch v. United States of America
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division. Judge William T. Lawrence.
Civil. Reverses the grant of summary judgment to the United States on Kristine Bunch’s claim under the Federal Tort Claims Act. Finds summary judgment was premature because the record was not fully developed enough to support the conclusion that the intentional-tort exception to the general waiver of immunity in the FTCA applied. Remands for further proceedings.

Indiana Court of Appeals

Major Wilson v. State of Indiana
Post-conviction. Reverses the denial of Major Wilson’s petition for post-conviction relief. Finds Wilson received ineffective assistance of appellate counsel. Remands for further proceedings.

Oscar K. Griffin v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Oscar K. Griffin’s conviction of conspiracy to commit robbery as a Level 3 felony and sentence to 12 years in the Department of Correction, and his sentence to four ½ years for his conviction of dealing in methamphetamine as a Level 5 felony, running concurrently to his 12-year sentence. Finds the state presented sufficient evidence from which a reasonable jury could infer that Griffin and Marion Hanserd had an agreement to rob the undercover officer, and that the robbery would have happened but for the fact that Dovie Neer refused Griffin’s request to move a car. Also finds Griffin’s sentence is not inappropriate in light of the nature of the offense and his character.

In re: The Adoption of: J.W.A., J.M. v. State of Indiana, A.A., G.A., and J.A. (mem. dec.)
Adoption. Affirms the grant of J.A. and G.A.’s petition to adopt their grandson, J.W.A. Finds J.M.’s consent to the adoption was not required.

In the Unsupervised Estate of Raymond F. Handley, Gregory Staten, Sr. v. Curt Handley (mem. dec.)
Estate, unsupervised. Reverses the order finding Gregory Staten, Sr. is not an heir at law, removing him as personal representative of the Unsupervised Estate of Raymond F. Handley and replacing him with Curt Handley. Finds Handley is estopped from challenging Staten’s appointment as personal representative on grounds that he does not meet the statutory requirements for an heir born out of wedlock, so the Bartholomew Superior Court erred in granting Handley’s request to remove Staten as personal representative pursuant to statute. Also finds Staten and Handley may both qualify as “heirs” for purposes of appointment as personal representative under Indiana Code section 29-1-10-1. Remands for an evidentiary hearing to determine who should serve as personal representative.

David A. Scott v. Sara J. Scott (mem. dec.)
Domestic relation. Affirms the denial of David A. Scott’s request for attorney’s fees against Sara J. Scott. Finds David Scott has waived his assertion of error.

In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of G.E.G., Jr. (Minor Child), G.E.G. (Father) and K.A.G. (Mother) v. Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
Juvenile termination of parental rights. Affirms the termination of G.E.G. and K.A.G.’s parental rights over their son, G.E.G., Jr. Finds G.E.G. has not demonstrated error in the admittance of his positive alcohol screen into evidence. Also finds the Tippecanoe Superior Court did not err in concluding the conditions that resulted in the child’s removal from K.A.G. will not be remedied. Finally, finds the evidence shows the child’s emotional and physical development is threatened by his relationship with G.E.G., and the termination of the parents’ rights to G.E.G., Jr. was in his best interests.

Gregory Fisher v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Gregory Fisher’s conviction for Class A misdemeanor domestic battery. Reverses Fisher’s conviction for Class A misdemeanor battery. Finds the state presented sufficient evidence to support Fisher’s convictions. Also finds Fisher’s convictions violate double jeopardy principles because the same touching was the basis for both convictions. Remands for the trial court to vacate the battery conviction.

Scott Thomas Barry v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Scott Thomas Barry’s sentence to an aggregate of nine years, with one year suspended to probation, for his convictions of two counts of Level 6 felony battery and his adjudication as a habitual offender. Finds Barry’s sentence is not inappropriate in light of the nature of his offenses or his character.

In the Matter of C.S., B.L.B., and M.N. (Minor Children), Children in Need of Services: B.N.B. (Mother) and D.S. (Father) v. Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
Juvenile CHINS. Affirms the Tippecanoe Superior Court’s order directing B.N.B.’s three children and D.S.’s child be removed from B.N.B.’s care and custody after the children were found to be children in need of services. Finds the trial court did not err in ordering the children be removed from B.N.B.’s care. Also finds the trial court did not err in placing D.S.’s child with a maternal grandmother.