Opinions June 20, 2018

June 20, 2018

7th Circuit Court of Appeals
The following opinion was posted after IL deadline Tuesday:

Bennie Kennedy v. Schneider Electric
17-1645 & 17-1786
Appeals from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division. Magistrate Judge Paul R. Cherry.
Civil. Affirms the United States District Court’s denial of Bennie Kennedy’s motion to set aside summary judgment for fraud on the court. Affirms the court’s decision to impose sanctions on Kennedy’s lawyer under Rule 11 for accusing the defendant’s lawyers of suborning perjury.

Indiana Supreme Court
The following opinions were posted after IL deadline Tuesday:
Erie Indemnity Company, as Attorney-in-Fact for the Subscribers at Erie Insurance Exchange v. Estate of Brian L. Harris, by Its Special Representative, Laura Harris, and Anna Marie Harris, et al.

Civil Tort. Reverses the Elkhart Superior Court’s judgment in favor of the Estate’s uninsured motorist claim. Finds the trial court erred in findings and grant of summary judgment to the Estate. Remands with instructions to enter summary judgment for Erie.

In the Matter of the Supervised Estate of Gary D. Kent; John David Kent and Kevin Kent, as Co-Personal Representatives of the Estate of Gary D. Kent; Nicholas Kent; and David Kent v. Cynthia Kerr
Estate. Affirms the trial court’s order and findings except as to David Kent’s rescission of a pre-mortem agreement between him and his sister, Cynthia Kerr, regarding the division of some of their father’s assets. Holds that the Compromise Chapter, I.C. 29-1-9, may be used to enforce only post-mortem compromises. Justice Geoffrey Slaughter dissents with opinion. Remands for proceedings.

Wednesday's opinions
D.Z. v. State of Indiana 18S-JV-295
Juvenile. Affirms D.Z.’s adjudication for criminal mischief, a class B misdemeanor if committed by an adult. Finds the Hendricks Superior Court did not abuse its discretion in admitting D.Z.’s statements. Finds sufficient evidence to support the adjudication. Holds D.Z. was not deprived his Miranda rights when interviewed by a school official who shared his confession with a school resource officer who confirmed the confession, leading to charges.

Adrian Durden v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms Durden’s conviction for murder. Vacates COA decision to reverse Durden’s conviction based on removal of a juror as an “unjustified” structural error. Finds Durden not entitled to a new trial based on error he and his defense counsel expressly agreed to as part of a deliberate trial strategy.

B.A. v. State of Indiana
Juvenile. Reverses B.A.’s delinquency adjudication following a bomb threat. Finds the trial court abused its discretion in admitting statements. Finds B.A.’s statements should have been suppressed under Miranda and Indiana juvenile waiver statute. Remands to juvenile court.

NIPSCO Industrial Group v. Northern Public Service Company
Agency action. Grants transfer and reverses the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission’s rate increase for NIPSCO in part, holding that periodic rate increases are available only for specific projects a utility designates in the threshold TDSIC proceeding and not for multiple-unit-project categories it describes using ascertainable planning criteria. The commission erred in approving various proposed categories of unspecified improvements that NIPSCO did not identify with particularity until it filed subsequent periodic Section 9 petitions. Reverses portions of the commission’s TDSIC-4 order approving unspecified improvements and disallows recovery for projects not properly designated. Remands with instructions.

Indiana Courts of Appeals
Zachariah Marshall v. State of Indiana

Criminal. Reverses and remands the Porter Superior Court’s denial of Zachariah Marshall’s motion to suppress. Finds the trial court erred in denying Marshall’s renewed motion to suppress because the traffic stop that led to his arrest for driving with intoxicated violated the Fourth Amendment.

State of Indiana v. Nicolas Lindauer
Criminal. Reverses the Warrick Circuit Court’s grant of Nicholas Lindauer’s
motion to dismiss charges against him pursuant to Indiana Criminal Rule
4(C) because many of the delays within the one-year trial window were attributable to Lindauer. Finds the trial court erred in granting Lindauer’s motion to dismiss. Remands for further proceedings. Judge Riley dissented with a separate opinion.

Gauvin M.J. Monaghan v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Gauvin M.J. Monaghan’s 65-year sentence for his murder conviction. Finds the conviction is not inappropriate in light of Monaghan’s character or nature of the offense.

David E. Proffitt v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms David E. Proffitt’s conviction of three Class B felonies counts of dealing in a narcotic drug. Finds the Jennings Circuit Court did not abuse its discretion. Finds there was sufficient evidence for the conviction. The court did not abuse its discretion or err in the admission of evidence. Finds Proffitt’s aggregate 34-year sentence is not inappropriate. Remands with instructions to vacate conviction for conspiracy to commit dealing in a narcotic drug and maintaining a common nuisance.

Tonya Neal v. Gene Franiak d/b/a Gene's Snow Service (mem. dec.)
Civil tort. Affirms the Lake Superior Court’s entry of summary judgment against Tonya Neal and the denial of her motion to correct error. Finds the trial court did not err.

In re Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of H.M. (Minor Child), and A.M. (Mother) v. Indiana Department of Child Services, et al. (mem. dec.)
Juvenile termination. Affirms the Marion Superior Court’s termination of parental rights of A.M. to her daughter, H.M. Finds the evidence was sufficient to support the termination of her rights. Concludes the court’s decision is not clearly erroneous.