Opinions May 29, 2019

Keywords Opinions

The following Indiana Supreme Court opinion was posted after IL deadline on Tuesday.
Anthony Bedolla v. State of Indiana

19S-PC-328
Post conviction. Reverses the Marion Superior post-conviction court’s order denying Anthony Bedolla’s motion to correct error. Remands for proceedings consistent with the opinion. Justice Geoffrey Slaughter concurs in part, dissents in part with a separate opinion.

Indiana Court of Appeals
In Re: Petition to Docket Trust of Sadie G. McQueary

18A-TR-915
Trust. Affirms in part, reverses in part and remands for proceedings. Holds that the Marion Superior Court did not err when it enforced the settlement agreement because the settlement agreement did not alter the terms of the Trust. The Marion Superior Court did not err when it awarded attorneys’ fees to grandsons Nathan McQueary, Willis McQueary, and Benjamin McQueary because former trustee Gary R. McQueary violated a provision of the settlement agreement. Finds the trial court erred when it awarded attorney fees to the trustee because the trustee was not a party to the settlement agreement. The Hamilton Superior Court did not err when it dismissed Gary’s complaint to quiet title because the same matter was pending in Marion County. Grants the grandsons’ request for appellate attorneys’ fees, but denies the trustee’s request.

Milan Jurich, Personal Representative of the Estate of Rade Jurich, and Rajna Jurich v. Indiana Department of Transportation
18A-CT-1417
Civil tort. Affirms the grant of summary judgment in favor of the Indiana Department of Transportation in Rajna and Milna Jurich’s suit alleging negligence, wrongful death and negligent infliction of emotional distress. Finds the Jurichs did not meet their burden of showing that a genuine issue of material fact precluded summary judgment in favor of INDOT. Also finds the Tippecanoe Superior Court did not abuse its discretion when it denied the Jurichs’ motion to correct error on the basis of newly discovered evidence. Finally, finds the trial court did not err when it vacated its prior order for sanctions.

In the Matter of R.L. (Minor Child) and J. R. (Mother) v. Indiana Department of Child Services and Child Advocates, Inc.
18A-JC-2927
Juvenile CHINS. Reverses the denial of mother J.R.’s motion to dismiss the petition filed by the Department of Child Services and Child Advocates, Inc., alleging her minor child R.N.L. is a child in need of services. Finds the juvenile court erred when it failed to dismiss those claims made by DCS in its 2018 CHINS petition, which had already been litigated or which could have been litigated in the 2017 CHINS. Remands for further proceedings.

Brian E. Hardin v. State of Indiana
18A-CR-2629
Criminal. Affirms Brian Hardin’s conviction in Morgan Circuit Court of Level 2 felony dealing in methamphetamine, finding evidence seized from a vehicle on the premises for which a search warrant was issued was permissible. Judge Paul Mathias dissents, believing the police search of Hardin’s vehicle was improper under the Fourth Amendment and Article 1, Section 11 of the Indiana Constitution.

William Hedrick v. State of Indiana
18A-CR-1945
Criminal. Affirms William Hedrick’s convictions of three counts of Level 6 felony forgery and three counts of Level 6 felony registration offense. Finds the Delaware Circuit Court did not err by admitting hearsay evidence. Also finds the state presented sufficient evidence beyond a reasonable doubt to support Hedrick’s conviction. Finds his convictions do not violate the continuous crime doctrine.

In the Matter of E.Y. (Minor Child) and J. M. (Father) v. Indiana Department of Child Services and Child Advocates, Inc.
19A-JC-114
Juvenile CHINS. Reverses the Marion Superior Court determination that E.Y. is a child in need of services. Finds the evidence fails to show that at the time of the fact-finding hearing that father was unwilling to provide the care child needed without coercive court intervention. Holds that when coercion of the court is not necessary, the state may not intrude into a family’s life.

James Dean Childers v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
18A-CR-2956
Criminal. Affirms James Childers’ conviction of Level 5 felony carrying a handgun without a license. Finds the state proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Childers carried a handgun without a license.

Carla Shaw v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
18A-CR-1975
Criminal. Reverses Carla Shaw’s conviction of Class B misdemeanor possession of marijuana. Finds the Marion Superior Court abused its discretion when it admitted evidence that was procured from an invalid inventory search of Shaw’s vehicle.

Corey R. Faith v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
18A-CR-2901
Criminal. Reverses Corey Faith’s aggregate 90-year sentence for conviction of three counts of Class A felony child molesting.  Finds the sentence is inappropriate in light of the nature of the offenses and his character. Revises the sentence to concurrent 30-year terms, with no time suspended, on all three counts.

Marlin R. Edwards, Jr. v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
18A-CR-2713
Criminal. Affirms Marlin Edwards’ aggregate 1½-year sentence for conviction of two counts of Level 6 felony failure to register as a sex or violent offender. Finds Edwards has not met his burden to demonstrate that his sentence is inappropriate. Moreover, declines Edwards’ invitation to evaluate the proportionality of the sanction imposed upon the revocation of probation.

In re the Adoption of D.J.B., B.B. and B.M.B. (Minor Children) D.B. (Father) v. D.T. (Stepfather) and E.T. (Mother) (mem. dec.)
19A-AD-120
Adoption. Dismisses father D.B.’s appeal of stepfather D.T.’s petition to adopt his stepchildren. Finds the order from which father appeals is neither a final judgment nor an appealable interlocutory order.

State of Indiana, as Assignee of the Support Rights of William McRoberts v. Ruthanna (Thompson) McRoberts (mem. dec.)
18A-DR-2266
Domestic relation. Reverses and remands the Montgomery Superior Court’s grant of Ruthanna McRoberts’ petition for her child support obligation to be retroactively abated between January 4, 2018, and April 27, 2018. Finds the trial court abused its discretion because Indiana recognizes a bright line rule against retroactively modifying an arrearage once it has accrued and the exceptions to the bright line rule are not applicable in the case at hand.

William R. Neeb v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
18A-PC-2058
Post conviction. Reverses the Hamilton Superior Court’s denial of William Neeb’s petition for post-conviction relief. Finds the post-conviction court erred when it summarily denied Neeb’s petition. Remands for proceedings.

Tafari Clay v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
18A-CR-2421
Criminal. Affirms Tafari Clay’s concurrent 63- and 14-year sentences for conviction of murder and Level 3 felony attempted robbery resulting in serious bodily injury. Finds the sentence is not inappropriate in light of the nature of the crime and his character.

Leroy Terrell Hunter v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
19A-CR-108
Criminal. Affirms Leroy Hunter’s aggregate 40-year sentence for conviction of Level 2 felony voluntary manslaughter enhanced by the possession of a firearm. Finds his sentence is not inappropriate in light of the nature of his offense and his character.

Tyrone Sims v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
18A-CR-2145
Criminal. Affirms Tyrone Sims’ conviction of Class A misdemeanor theft and Level 5 felony burglary. Finds there is sufficient evidence to support the convictions.

Matthew Schutz v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
18A-CR-2626
Criminal. Affirms Matthew Schultz’s 65-year sentence for conviction of murder. Finds his maximum sentence is not inappropriate. Also finds sufficient evidence to negate Schultz’s self-defense claim.

In the Matter of the Paternity of M.P., Minor Child, M.H. v. L.P. (mem. dec.)
18A-JP-2861
Juvenile paternity. Affirms the Lake Superior Court’s order granting petition by L.P. to transfer jurisdiction of a pending issue in her paternity case involving child M.P. from Texas to Indiana. Finds father M.H.’s issues on appeal are waived for failure to make a cogent argument because he referenced items outside the record, did not cite to the record, and did not cite relevant legal precedent to support his arguments. Finds the court cannot confirm the chronology of events in the case or some events M.H. claims occurred.

Savon Darnell Peak v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
18A-CR-3029
Criminal. Affirms Savon Peak’s 3½-year sentence for conviction of four counts of Level 5 felony intimidation. Finds his sentence is not inappropriate based on his character and the nature of his offense.

Oshae Simmons v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
18A-CR-2103
Criminal. Affirms Oshae Simmons’ conviction of Level 5 felony attempted battery by means of a deadly weapon. Finds the state proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Simmons knowingly took a substantial step toward battering a detective by means of a pit bull.

Abdul Yamobi v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
18A-CR-2869
Criminal. Affirms Abdul Yamobi’s conviction of Class A misdemeanor invasion of privacy. Finds sufficient evidence to support the conviction.

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