Opinions April 18, 2018

Keywords Opinions

Indiana Court of Appeals
Michael Flowers v. State of Indiana

Criminal. Reverses revocation of Michael Flowers’ placement in community corrections, with the majority finding the Clark Circuit Court erred in its analysis of whether it had authority to order Flowers to community corrections. The majority found the trial court also acted on flawed analysis when it stated in a hearing that any order by a senior judge can be reviewed and modified or altered by the presiding judge. Remands for proceedings and a new order. Judge Patricia Riley dissents and would affirm the trial court, finding it had inherent judicial authority to modify the placement order under I.C. 33-23-2-4.

In Re: The Matter of the Paternity of S.R.W., By Next Friend, Michele Renee Bessette, a/k/a Michele Renee Wright Bessette, a/k/a Michele Renee Wright v. Bradley Turflinger
Juvenile paternity. Affirms the denial of mother Michele Renee Bessette’s motion for a change of judge in a parenting time dispute with father Bradley Turflinger. The Allen Superior Court properly denied her motion for change of judge pursuant to Indiana Trial Rule 76(C)(3).

Knox County Association for Retarded Citizens, Inc. v. Melissa (Cope) Davis
Agency action. Affirms the determination of the Indiana Civil Rights Commission that KCARC discriminated on the basis of disability when it fired Melissa (Cope) Davis. Reverses the award of damages from a total of more than $35,100 to just over $6,200, and remands for a calculation of additional prejudgment interest. Voids portions of the Indiana Administrative Code that do no comport with the Americans with Disabilities Act or the Code of Federal Regulations.

Daniel Sparks v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms Daniel Sparks’ burglary conviction, finding there was no violation of the Federal Wiretap Act or any other error.

Davon Martell Ganier v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms a Tippecanoe Superior Court order that Davon Martell Ganier serve 12 years of an 18-year sentence. The amount of time ordered executed is not excessive.

Manuel Garcia v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Manuel Garcia’s conviction of Class C misdemeanor operating a vehicle with an alcohol concentration of at least 0.08 but less than 0.15. The state presented sufficient evidence to support the conviction.

In the Matter of the Involuntary Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of D.J. (Minor Child) and K.T. (Mother) and P.J. (Father) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
Juvenile termination. Affirms the termination of mother K.T. and father P.J.’s parental rights to their minor child, D.J. There was no error when the Wayne Superior Court overruled their objections to being called as witnesses at a factfinding hearing, and there were no due process violations.

Chris D. Hawkins v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Reverses and vacates Chris D. Hawkins’ conviction of Level 3 felony battery and remands for a new trial. The Lawrence Superior Court abused its discretion by failing to give the reasonable theory of innocence instruction to the jury, and that error likely impacted Hawkins’ substantial rights. 

Gary Mitchell v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Reverses the Switzerland Circuit Court’s revocation of Gary Mitchell’s probation and the imposition of his previously suspended sentence. The record does not establish that Mitchell voluntarily, knowingly and intelligently waived his right to counsel before the trial court sanctioned him for violating probation. Remands for proceedings.

Troy A. Shultz v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Troy A. Shultz’s conviction of Level 6 felony criminal confinement. The evidence was sufficient to support the conviction and the Allen Superior Court did not abuse its discretion in denying Shultz’s motion for a mistrial.

In the Matter of the Involuntary Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of A.S. (Minor Child) and X.S. (Father) v. Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
Juvenile termination. Reverses the termination of father X.S.’s parental rights to his daughter, A.S. The Monroe Circuit Court abused its discretion when it denied father’s motion for a continuance.

Kory Tremaine Johnson v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Kory Tremaine Johnson’s conviction of Level 6 felony carrying a handgun without a license, Level 5 felony criminal recklessness, and Level 6 felony attempted residential entry. The Vanderburgh Circuit Court did not err in granting a continuance and his convictions do not violate Indiana constitutional prohibitions against double jeopardy.

Brenda A. Kyle v. Disque, Inc. (mem. dec.)
Small claims. Affirms a small claims court judgment that Brenda A.  Kyle failed to prove she was entitled to damages. The judgment is not clearly erroneous.

Speedway Corp. v. Wilson Real Estate II, LLC (mem. dec.)
Small claims. Reverses a small claims order for Speedway Corp. to paint one of the parking lot lines in a parking lot owned by Wilson Real Estate II, LLC. The Putnam Superior Court erred in interpreting the parties’ easement agreement.

Jaron Parker v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms the Marion Superior Court order converting Jaron Parker’s unpaid fines and fees in a criminal case to a civil judgment. The court was not required to first conduct an indigency hearing.


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