Opinions Feb. 22, 2018

February 22, 2018

Indiana Court of Appeals
D.Z. v. State of Indiana

Juvenile. Reverses D.Z.’s delinquency adjudication for an act that would have been criminal mischief as a Class B misdemeanor if committed by an adult. Finds the juvenile court abused its discretion when it admitted D.Z.’s incriminating statements to a school official, who was working in cooperation with law enforcement. Judge John Baker concurs with separate opinion. Judge Elain Brown dissents with separate opinion.

Tommy Mitchell v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms and reverses in part Tommy Mitchell’s conviction of Level 6 felony domestic battery and six counts of invasion of privacy, all as Level 6 felonies. Finds three of Mitchell’s invasion of privacy convictions violate double jeopardy protections. Vacates Mitchell’s invasion of privacy convictions in Counts II, V and VII. Also finds there was no fatal variance between Mitchell’s Count VIII invasion of privacy charge and the evidence presented at trial. Finally, finds the Marion Superior Court failed to determine Mitchell’s ability to pay before imposing pre-trial services fees. Remands for an adjustment to the judgment of conviction and sentencing order and for reconsideration of pretrial services fees.

Michelle Schum v. Morgan Schum (mem. dec.)
Domestic relation. Affirms the denial of Michelle Schum’s motion for relief from judgment. Finds Schum demonstrated neither the excusable neglect nor the meritorious defense required to obtain relief. Chief Judge Nancy Vaidik concurs in result with separate opinion.
Elisha Smith v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms the denial of Elisha Smith’s motion to withdraw his guilty plea to child molesting as a Class C felony. Finds Smith failed to demonstrate he suffered a manifest injustice. Remands with instructions for the Marion Superior Court to recalculate Smith’s sentence with credit time.

Harvey Stephens v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Harvey Stephens’ six-year sentence for his convictions of theft and attempted theft, both as Class D felonies. Finds Stephens’ sentence is not inappropriate.

Jeffrey Allen Rowe v. The Geo Group, Inc., et al. (mem. dec.)
Civil plenary. Affirms the dismissal of Jeffrey Allen Rowe’s cause for failure to make a timely payment of filing fees. Finds Rowe failed to establish the Henry Circuit Court treated him differently from any other prisoner who seeks access to the court.

Samuel D. Pitman, II, Individually and as Personal Representative of the Estate of Samuel D. Pitman, the Estate of Samuel D. Pitman, and Steven Pitman v. Stanley Pitman, et al. (mem. dec.)
Civil plenary. Affirms the judgment in favor of Stanley Pitman, Selena Hall, Drury Hall and SDP Manufacturing, Inc. Finds the Delaware Circuit Court did not err in allowing Stanley Pitman to amend his answer to add an affirmative defense of res judicata, or in admitting certain evidence during an evidentiary hearing on the parties’ dispute regarding S.D. Manufacturing, Inc. Also finds the trial court did not err in granting judgment to Stanley Pitman on the grounds of res judicata.