Opinions April 20, 2018

Keywords Opinions

The following 7th Circuit Court of Appeals opinion was posted after IL deadline Thursday:
Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky, Inc., et al. v. Commissioner of the Indiana State Department of Health, et al. 

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Tanya Walton Pratt.
Civil. Affirms Southern Indiana District Court ruling that the nondiscrimination and the fetal disposition provisions in House Enrolled Act 1337 are unconstitutional. Finds the provision in the law that prohibits a woman from seeking an abortion on the basis of the gender, race or disability of the fetus violates the 14th Amendment’s right to privacy. Also held the provisions requiring abortion providers to bury, cremate or entomb the aborted fetuses violate substantive due process. In a separate opinion, Judge Daniel Manion concurred the nondiscrimination provision violated precedent, but he urged the U.S. Supreme Court to reconsider its previous rulings upholding abortion. He also dissented on the fetal remains provision, finding the law was a legitimate exercise of Indiana’s police power.    

Indiana Court of Appeals
Kavonya Jones v. State of Indiana

Criminal. Affirms Kavonya Jones’ Class A misdemeanor convictions of resisting law enforcement and driving while suspended. The evidence was sufficient to uphold the conviction, and the Marion Superior Court did not abuse its discretion in instructing the jury or in finding the alleged prosecutorial misconduct did not warrant a mistrial.

In Re the Adoption and Paternity of K.A.W., J.R.C. v. J.C. and D.C.
Adoption. Affirms the Harrison Circuit Court order dismissing putative father J.R.C.’s petition to establish paternity and granting J.C. and D.C.’s petition to adopt child K.A.W. The trial court’s finding that father’s consent to the adoption was irrevocably implied was not reversible error.

Cody Carpenter v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Cody Carpenter’s conviction of Level 5 felony carrying a handgun without a license, Class A misdemeanor driving while suspended and Class B misdemeanor possession of marijuana. 
Carpenter invited any error in the Marion Superior Court’s manner of instructing the jury that may have resulted in a violation of his constitutional and statutory rights to be present at all stages of his criminal trial.

In re the Adoption of A.S.C., N.L. v. P.F. and S.F. (mem. dec.)
Adoption. Affirms the Randolph Circuit Court’s grant of P.F. and S.F.’s petition to adopt A.S.C. over the objections of biological mother N.L. The trial court did not err when it determined that N.L.’s consent to A.S.C.’s adoption was unnecessary and that adoption was in A.S.C.’s best interests.

A.U. v. Anonymous Company and Review Board of the Department of Workforce Development (mem. dec.)
Agency action. Affirms the Indiana Department of Workforce Development’s decision terminating A.U.’s unemployment benefits after concluding he was discharged for just cause. The evidence was sufficient to support the determination.

Esmeralda Ibarra v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Esmerelda Ibarra’s two-year and 28-day sentence for conviction of Level 6 felony possession of methamphetamine. The sentence is not inappropriate in light of the nature of the offense and Ibarra’s character.

Michael A. Jackson, Jr. v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Michael A. Jackson, Jr.’s 30-year sentence for conviction of three counts of child molestation as a Level 1 felony, Level 4 felony and as a Class C felony; and three counts of criminal confinement, two as Level 5 felonies and one as a Class C felony.  Sufficient evidence supported the convictions and the sentence was not inappropriate in light of the nature of the offense or his character.

Howard Robinson v. Cynthia J. Robinson-Hurdle (mem. dec.)
Domestic relation. Affirms the Marion Superior Court’s grant of Cynthia Robinson-Hurdle’s petition for contempt and payment of extraordinary expenses. Howard Robinson could not prove on appeal that the trial court erred by holding a hearing, then ruling on, mother’s petition; that the court abused its discretion by denying his request for a continuance; that the court erred by ordering him to pay $562.50 of Robinson-Hurdle’s attorney fees based on the contempt petition; or that the trial court erred in ordering him to pay $5,835 for his daughter’s club-volleyball activities. 

Maritta Freeman v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Maritta Freeman’s convictions of Level 5 felony battery with a deadly weapon and Class A misdemeanor counts of domestic battery and resisting law enforcement. The Elkhart Superior Court properly excluded a statement that Freeman argued should have been admitted under the excited utterance exception to the hearsay rule.

Kelly D. Ratliff v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Kelly D. Ratliff’s 2½-year sentence and conviction of Level 6 felony domestic battery. The Wabash Circuit Court did not err in denying Ratliff’s motion for a mistrial, the evidence was sufficient to support the conviction and the sentence is not inappropriate in light of the nature of the offense and Ratliff’s character.

Jerry L. Williamson v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Jerry L. Williamson’s conviction of five counts of Class A felony child molesting and three counts of Class C felony child molesting. The Allen Superior Court’s pretrial exclusion of evidence pursuant to the Rape Shield Rule was not fundamental error.

Brian Lee Conrad v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Brian Lee Conrad’s conviction of Level 5 felony narcotics possession and his adjudication as a habitual offender. The evidence is sufficient to support the conviction.

Rodolfo Malpica v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal.  Affirms Rodolfo Malpica’s conviction of Level 1 felony child molesting, finding the evidence sufficient.

Michael Nussbaum v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Michael Nussbaum’s 90-year conviction for eight counts of Class A felony child molesting. The Putnam Circuit Court did not abuse its discretion when it denied Nussbaum’s motion to dismiss for failing to preserve recordings with the victims. The trial court also did not abuse its discretion by excluding evidence that a victim had viewed pornography on her laptop. The trial court did not err in allowing the jury to view video recordings of forensic interviews despite the fact that only audio recordings of Nussbaum’s cross-examination of the victims at child hearsay hearings was available. 

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