Opinions Oct. 17, 2018

Keywords Opinions

Indiana Court of Appeals
Thomas A. DeCola v. State of Indiana

Miscellaneous. Affirms the denial of Thomas DeCola’s request to expunge any and all records pertaining to a school suspension and the decision not to hold a jury trial. Finds the Jasper Superior Court did not err. Holds expungements are not subject to jury trials and the statute does not apply to school records.

Shane R. Bradtmiller v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Reverses Shane Bradtmiller’s habitual-offender finding and sentence.
Notes that although he waived his right to a jury trial on the underlying felonies, Bradtmiller’s waiver came before the state filed his habitual-offender enhancement. Finds the underlying felonies’ waiver does not encompass a waiver on the yet-to-be filed habitual-offender enhancement. Vacates the habitual-offender finding and sentence and remands for resentencing.

In the Matter of the Termination of Parent Rights of: B.J. (Minor Child), and T.J. (Mother) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services
Juvenile termination. Affirms the termination of T.J.’s parent-child relationship with B.J. Finds the Department of Child Services failed to comply with Indiana Code section 31-35-2-6.5. Finds T.J. failed to communicate with DCS, her attorney, or the court in regard to her current address upon release from the DOC. Concludes the Madison Circuit Court acted within its discretion in denying the motion to continue.

Sparko Spearman v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Sparko Spearman’s conviction of Class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement by fleeing in a vehicle and Class A misdemeanor driving while suspended. Finds sufficient evidence to prove Spearman was the driver of the car.

James M. Hardiman, Jr. v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms in part James Hardiman Jr.’s conviction of Level 1 felony child molesting; Level 5 felony neglect of a dependent; and two counts of Class A misdemeanor contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Reverses in part and remands with instructions to vacate one of the Class A misdemeanor contributing to the delinquency of a minor convictions. Also remands to correct the sentencing order, chronological case summary, and abstract of judgment to reflect that the habitual offender adjudication operates as an enhancement to the Level 1 felony conviction, rather than an independent sentence.

Wendy T. Broady v. David W. Broady (mem. dec.)
Domestic relation. Affirms in part, reverses in part the Clark Circuit Court’s order dissolving Wendy and David Broady’s marriage. Remands with instructions to amend the dissolution order to reflect that Wendy Broady is awarded her own cemetery plot.

Charles W. Wallen v. Jeanne L. Wallen (mem. dec.)
Domestic relation. Affirms the Marion Superior Court’s decision ordering Charles Wallen to pay post-secondary educational support for his daughter, Sarah Wallen. Finds the trial court did not err in concluding that Sarah did not repudiate her relationship with Charles. Therefore, finds the trial court properly ordered Charles to pay a portion of Sarah’s post-secondary expenses. Judge Margret Robb dissents with a separate opinion.

In the Matter of the Involuntary Termination of Parent-Child Relationship of D.S., et al. (Minor Children), and N.N. (Father), et al. v. The Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
Juvenile termination. Affirms the parental termination of R.N. and N.N. to their four children. Finds there is sufficient evidence to support the termination.

Douglas M. Grimes v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Miscellaneous. Affirms the Lake Superior Court’s order that Douglas Grimes pay $100 as a sanction for being found in direct criminal contempt of court. Finds the trial court did not abuse its discretion by finding him in contempt.

Carylon Young v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Carylon Young’s murder conviction. Finds there is sufficient evidence to support the conviction.

In re Adoption of B.A.B.N. and K.E.J.N.; B.N. v. Q.S. (mem. dec.)
Adoption. Affirms the Johnson Superior Court’s termination of B.N.’s parental rights to B.A.B.N. and K.E.J.N. as well as the grant of the adoption petition filed by Q.S., the stepfather. Finds the trial court did not err in finding B.N.’s consent for adoption was not required.

In the Matter of the Paternity of G.S.: S.S. v. C.S. (mem. dec.)
Juvenile paternity. Remands to the Hendricks Superior Court entry of a parenting-time order granting S.S. the ability to exercise parenting time only in Indiana and not in Florida, where he resides. Remands with instructions that the trial court either enter an order with findings that support a parenting-time restriction or enter an order without a restriction. Also instructs the trial court to correct certain scrivener’s errors.

D.B. v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Expungement petition. Affirms the Marion Superior Court’s denial of D.B.’s petition to expunge her Class C felony conviction for battery resulting in serious bodily injury. Finds the trial court did not err.

James E. Ross, Jr. v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms James Ross Jr.’s 130-year sentence for conviction of two counts of murder. Finds the trial court properly admitted crime scene and autopsy photographs when their prejudicial effect outweighed their probative value. Also finds Ross’ sentence is not inappropriate in light of the nature of the offenses and his character.

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