Opinions March 15, 2018

March 15, 2018

The following Indiana Supreme Court opinion was issued after IL deadline Wednesday.
In the Matter of the Honorable Dean A. Young, Judge of the Blackford Circuit Court

Judicial discipline. Suspends Blackford Circuit Judge Dean Young for six days without pay for judicial misconduct stemming from his issuance of a restraining order barring former county clerk Derinda Shady from the courthouse. Young is also ordered to pay the costs of the proceedings by the Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications.

Indiana Court of Appeals
James R. Cramer v. Robert J. Edwards

Trust. Affirms the grant of summary judgment to Robert Edwards as personal representative of the Estate of Paul H. Cramer and successor trustee of the Paul H. Cramer Trust. Finds the Huntington Circuit Court properly granted Edwards’ motion for summary judgment.

Eric Dulworth v. Melissa Bermudez and Progressive Southeastern Insurance Company
Civil plenary. Affirms the grant of summary judgment in favor of Melissa Bermudez and Progressive Southeastern Insurance Company on Eric Dulworth’s complaint for damages arising from a vehicle collision. Finds the Allen Superior Court properly entered summary judgment as a matter of law.

Gerdon Auto Sales, Inc. and William L. Gerdon v. John Jones Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram, a/k/a John Jones Automotive Group and John Jones Chrysler City, Inc.
Civil tort. Affirms the grant of summary judgment to John Jones Automotive Group and John Jones Chrysler City, Inc. on Gerdon Auto Sales, Inc.’s complaint alleging breach of contract and of good faith and fair dealing. Finds the Harrison Circuit Court did not err when it entered summary judgment.

Steven Hagan v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Steven Hagan’s conviction of Level 6 felony child seduction and Class A misdemeanor contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Finds the evidence is sufficient to sustain Hagan’s convictions.

Jeffery Jenkins v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Jeffrey Jenkins’ conviction of Class C felony forgery. Finds the evidence is sufficient to sustain Jenkins’ conviction.

Cory Jones v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Cory Jones’ conviction of operating a vehicle with an alcohol concentration equivalent to at least .08 grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood as a Class C felony. Finds the evidence is sufficient to support Jones’ conviction.

Darrin L. Burns v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Darrin L. Burns’ conviction of aggravated battery as a Level 3 felony. Finds the Madison Circuit Court properly denied Burns’ Batson challenge.

Xavier Heckstall v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Xavier Heckstall’s conviction of Level 3 felony kidnapping, Level 6 felony intimidation, Level 6 felony criminal recklessness, Level 6 felony pointing a firearm, Level 6 felony strangulation and two counts of Level 1 felony rape. Finds the Marion Superior Court did not err in denying Heckstall’s motion for a continuance.

Landon Tompkins v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Landon Tompkins’ conviction of attempted murder as a Class A felony and his 48-year sentence in the Indiana Department of Correction. Finds the Marion Superior Court did not commit fundamental error regarding the state’s use of two peremptory strikes. Also finds the state presented sufficient evidence to support Tompkins’ conviction. Finally, finds the trial court did not abuse its sentencing discretion, and Tompkins’ sentence is not inappropriate.

In the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationships of: Ne.T., Na.T., Ni.T., No.T. (Minor Children), R.L.J. (Father) and R.A.T. (Mother) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
Juvenile termination of parental rights. Affirms the termination of R.L.J. and R.A.T.’s relationship with their children. Finds there was sufficient evidence to support the termination.

Andrew Haniford v. Chelsy Lawrence (mem. dec.)
Juvenile paternity. Affirms the denial of Andrew Haniford’s petition to modify child custody. Finds the Montgomery Circuit Court did not err.

Michael V. Richards v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Michael V. Richards’ convictions of resisting law enforcement as a Class A misdemeanor and public intoxication as a Class B misdemeanor. Finds the evidence most favorable to the judgment supports Richards’ convictions.

State of Indiana v. Aaron M. Sullivan (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms the trial court’s grant of Aaron M. Sullivan’s motion to suppress video evidence on the basis that its authenticity is unsupported by sufficient evidence. The evidence does not lead to but one conclusion opposite that reached by the trial court.

Janet M. (Davis) Sierra v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Janet Sierra’s aggregate 15-year sentence, with seven suspended to probation, for her convictions of Class C felony forgery and four counts of Class D felony theft. Finds Sierra’s consecutive sentences imposed for her theft convictions do not violate limitations on sentencing for crimes arising out of a single episode of criminal conduct. Also finds Sierra’s sentence is not inappropriately harsh.