Opinions Dec. 14, 2018

December 14, 2018

The following 7th Circuit Court of Appeals opinion was posted after IL deadline on Thursday:
Martinsville Corral, Inc., et al. v. Society Insurance

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division. Judge Tanya Walton Pratt. 
Civil. Affirms the grant of summary judgment to Society Insurance against Martinsville Corral, Inc. Finds the district court correctly determined a liability endorsement did not provide coverage for an action filed by DirecTV. 

Friday opinions
Indiana Court of Appeals 
Alberto Baiza Rodriguez v. State of Indiana

Criminal. Reaffirms the original holding that the Elkhart Superior Court erred in finding Alberto Baiza Rodriguez had waived his right to seek modification of his sentence imposed pursuant to a fixed plea agreement. Finds the 2018 amendments to Indiana Code section 35-38-1-17 and 35-35-1-2 were not intended to apply retroactively, and even if they were, such an application would unconstitutionally impar Rodriguez’s contractual rights under his plea agreement with the state. Remands for further proceedings. Senior Judge Robert Rucker dissents with separate opinion. 

Robert H. Smith v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms Robert Smith’s convictions for Level 5 felony operating a motor vehicle while privileges are forfeited for life; Level 4 felony possession of methamphetamine; Level 6 felony illegal possession of a hypodermic syringe; Level 5 felony carrying a handgun without a license, and; his status as a habitual offender. Finds the Wabash Circuit Court properly admitted evidence of the handgun found in the vehicle pursuant to the inventory search. Also finds evidence of Smith’s prior bad act was erroneously admitted, but such error was harmless. 

Peter Coles v. Mary (Coles) McDaniel
Domestic relation. Affirms the Fountain Circuit Court grant of Mary McDaniel’s motion for relief from judgment and the trial court’s subsequent division of certain real property of the marriage. Finds the trial court did not err in its grant of the motion. Also finds Peter Coles engaged in misconduct by withholding information and is estopped from challenging the manner in which the trial court divided the property because he failed to present evidence concerning its value. 

Robert Lavon Ackles v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Robert Ackles convictions for Level 2 felony dealing in a narcotic drug, two counts of Level 3 felony possession of a narcotic drug and Class B misdemeanor possession of marijuana. Finds the Marion Superior Court did not abuse its discretion in denying Ackles’ pretrial motion to compel the discovery of the informant’s identity.

Aaron Blanche v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms the Marion Superior Court’s denial of Aaron Blanche’s motion to dismiss felony enhancement. Finds Blanche has not demonstrated he is entitled to relief. 

Mandy Jo Stivers v. Cecilia M. Lesch (mem. dec.)
Civil tort. Affirms a jury verdict in favor of Cecilia M. Lesch following an automobile accident in which Mandy Jo Stivers was injured. Finds the Marion Superior Court did not abuse its discretion in providing the jury with Indiana Model Civil Jury Instruction Verdict Form 5001(A). 

Michael T. Paille v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Michael Paille’s conviction for Level 5 felony operating a motor vehicle while privileges are forfeited for life. Finds the Jay Superior Court did not abuse its discretion when it refused to admit Paille’s testimony. 

Carlos Humberto Prieto v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Carlos Prieto’s 30-year sentence for Level 1 felony child molesting. Finds the sentence is not inappropriate in light of the nature of Prieto’s offense and his character.

K.T. v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Juvenile. Affirms the Hendricks Superior Court’s dispositional order placing K.T. with the Department of Correction following his admission to acts of Class A misdemeanors resisting law enforcement and battery if committed by an adult. Finds the trial court did not abuse its discretion by placing K.T. in the DOC. 

Bryan Burton v. City of Franklin (mem. dec.)
Miscellaneous. Affirms the Johnson Superior Court’s affirmation of the city of Franklin’s decision to terminate Officer Bryan Burton following his arrest for domestic violence. Finds Burton was not denied procedural due process, and substantial evidence supports the Franklin Police Merit Commission findings. Also finds the trial court properly declined to overturn the disciplinary decision of the commission. 

In the Matter of the Involuntary Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of: E.J. and J.J. (Minor Children), and L.J. (Father) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
Juvenile termination of parental rights. Affirms the Vanderburgh Superior Court’s denial of L.J.’s motion for relief from judgment. Finds L.J. waived his claims for appellate review by failing to provide an adequate record and citation to legal authority. 

Peggy Campbell v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms the Cass Superior Court’s restitution order in the amount of $8,200 against Peggy Campbell, but reverses the additional $2,700. Finds the trial court abused its discretion when it entered its restitution order of $10,900. Remands with instruction that the trial court enter a corrected restitution order.

Steven Mynatt, Jr. v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Steven Mynatt Jr.’s convictions for criminal confinement, kidnapping, intimidation and domestic battery. Finds the record shows that each conviction was established by separate and distinct evidence, so Mynatt’s convictions do not fail the actual-evidence test. Also finds the Marion Superior Court imposed an illegal sentence for his Class A misdemeanor domestic battery conviction. Remands for the entry of a revised sentencing order.