COA to hear arguments in Hendricks, Tippecanoe counties

The Indiana Court of Appeals will hear two oral arguments on the road this week when it travels to Hendricks and Tippecanoe counties on Monday and Thursday.

The first argument involves a case in which an appellant argues hearsay testimony was improperly allowed at trial, making his convictions inappropriate. Judges Edward Najam, Mark Bailey and Robert Altice will consider that argument when they hear Trey A. Smith v. State of Indiana, 18A-CR-01023 at 1:15 p.m. Monday at Hendricks County’s Tri-West High School.

Trey Smith appeals his convictions for Level 6 felony attempted theft and Class B misdemeanor criminal mischief following a jury trial at which he objected to two questions during the state’s direct examination of Officer Ron May. The questions pertained to whether May had found anyone at a certain residence who knew Smith. 

Smith argued that May’s responses to those questions would be inadmissible hearsay, but the court permitted the testimony over Smith’s timely objections. On appeal, Smith contends the Bartholomew Superior Court abused its discretion when it permitted the hearsay testimony and he asserts that the error requires reversal of his convictions. The state, however, argues the trial court did not abuse its discretion and that any error was harmless.

Tri-West High School is located at 7883 IN-39, Lizton, 46149.

Then on Thursday, Judges James Kirsch, Margret Robb and Altice will hear argument in Dick Sears v. Indiana Grain Buyers and Warehouse Licensing Agency, 18A-MI-00883, in Tippecanoe County.

After Dick Sears deposited grain at a grain elevator, the elevator failed and Indiana Grain Buyers and Warehouse Licensing Agency took possession of the elevator to determine payment owed to depositors. Indiana Grain Buyers determined Sears was entitled to payment only for grain delivered to Cline Grain in the 12-month period prior to the elevator’s failure on the basis that Sears was not a “claimant” as defined in Indiana Code section 26-3-7-2(5) for grain delivered more than 12 months prior to the failure. 

The Putnam Circuit Court denied Sears’ petition for judicial review, so he now appeals. The case will be heard at 2 p.m. Thursday in the Frances A. Cordova Recreational Sports Center Feature Gym at Purdue University, 355 N. Martin Jischke Dr., West Lafayette, 47907.

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