Opinions Aug. 9, 2018

August 9, 2018

Indiana Court of Appeals
Daniel T. O'Bryant, D.B.A. O'Bryant Transport LLC v. Alan P. Adams, Luan Adams, D.B.A., A.L.A. Trucking, Inc.

Civil plenary. Affirms the Madison Circuit Court’s dismissal of Daniel O’Bryant’s claims against A.L.A. Trucking, Inc for breach of contract. Finds the trial court did not err when it dismissed O’Bryant’s claim due to the forum selection clause in an independent contractor agreement, so the trial court did not abuse its discretion when it denied O’Bryant’s motion to correct error.

Jevon R. Bates-Smith v. State of Indiana  
Criminal. Affirms Jevon R. Bates-Smith’s conviction of Level 2 felony dealing in a narcotic drug. The Morgan Superior Court did not err in admitting evidence from a traffic stop Bates-Smith argued was unconstitutional, nor in admitting testimony in violation of the rule against hearsay evidence and the federal Confrontation Clause.

James E. Shaw, Administrator of the Estate and as Father of Jaymes G. Shaw, deceased v. Chandra Sundaram, M.D., and Kelli Metelues
Civil tort. Affirms the the finding in favor of Dr. Chandra Sundaram on James Shaw’s medical malpractice action. Finds the Marion Superior Court did not make erroneous rulings regarding one of Shaw’s expert witnesses. Also finds the trial court did not erroneously grant a motion in limine preventing Shaw from introducing an informed consent claim into the trial.

Christopher Dixon v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Christopher Dixon’s convictions for five counts of Level 1 felony child molesting. Finds there was sufficient evidence to support Dixon’s convictions. Also finds the Marion Superior Court did not err in its jury instruction. 

Thomas Rees v. Judith Rees (mem. dec.)
Domestic relation. Affirms the Howard Superior Court’s order dissolving the marriage between Thomas and Judith Rees. Finds the trial court did not err in valuing an asset or in dividing the marital assets equally between the two parties. Remands for calculation of Judith’s appellate attorney fees and to decide what portion of those fees Thomas should bear.

In the Matter of: D.K.M. and A.M. (Minor Children) A.D.M. (Mother) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
Juvenile CHINS. Affirms the Allen Superior Court’s determination that A.D.M.’s minor child, A.M., is a child in need of services. Finds the trial court’s order is not clearly erroneous. 

In Re the Marriage of: Jeffrey E. Nelson v. Julie A. Nelson (mem. dec.) ​​​​​​​
Domestic relation. Reverses the Vanderburgh Superior Court’s provisional order requiring the sale of the matrimonial home Jeffrey Nelson jointly owns with Julie Nelson. Finds the trial court erred by ordering the sale of the matrimonial home while the parties’ divorce is pending.

Kristopher Kanable v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Kristopher Kanable’s convictions of Level 2 felony conspiracy to commit burglary, Level 3 felony robbery and Level 3 felony criminal confinement and imposes 24-, 11- and 19-year sentences. Vacates Kanable’s convictions for Level 3 felony conspiracy to commit robbery, two counts of Level 6 felony theft, Level 6 felony auto theft and Class A misdemeanor theft. Finds any error in admitting Kanable’s statement to detectives after he invoked his right to counsel was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt. Also finds that only one of Kanable’s conspiracy convictions can stand. Finally, finds there is only one theft in this case pursuant to the single-larceny rule, and theft is an inherently lesser-included offense of robbery, which was reinstated. Remands for the trial court to enter a new sentencing order and abstract of judgment. 

Steven Eble v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.) ​​​​​​​
Criminal. Affirms Steven Eble’s conviction for Level 6 felony theft and his 810-day sentence. Finds there is sufficient evidence to support the conviction. Also finds the Vanderburgh Superior Court did not abuse its sentencing discretion.

Caleb Bixler v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.) ​​​​​​​
Criminal. Affirms Caleb Bixler’s conviction for felony murder. Finds the Marion Superior Court did not abuse its discretion in admitting DNA evidence obtained from Bixler’s sock. Also finds there was sufficient evidence beyond a reasonable doubt to sustain Bixler’s conviction.

Garrell "Gary" McCutcheon Jr., and Melissa K. McCutcheon v. Pavco Trucking Co. Inc., and Titan Transfer, Inc. (mem. dec.)
Civil plenary. Affirms the Clark Circuit Court’s grant of summary judgment to Titan Transfer, Inc. Finds no genuine issues of material fact remained. Also finds Titan was entitled to summary judgment as a matter of law.