Opinions April 29, 2021

Indiana Court of Appeals

Nancy S. Allsup v. Josie Swalls-Thompson
Miscellaneous. Affirms the denial of a post-election contest petition filed by Nancy S. Allsup, the incumbent candidate for the office of Vigo County treasurer, against the winning candidate, Jose Swalls-Thompson. Finds the Vigo Circuit Court’s findings support its conclusion that “the evidence is undisputed that Swalls-Thompson moved back to Vigo County after her marriage in August 2017 and has resided here ever since with her husband in his house.” Also finds the trial court’s denial of Allsup’s post-election contest petition was not clearly erroneous.

In the Matter of J.N. (Minor Child), Child in Need of Services, and J.N. (Father) v. Indiana Department of Child Services
Juvenile CHINS. Reverses the determination that J.N. was a child in need of services. Finds the Indiana Department of Child Services failed to prove J.N. was endangered or that further state intrusion was necessary in light of a paternity court’s pending supervision over the family. Remands to enter judgment in favor of father J.N. and mother A.A.

James H. Wilson, Jr. v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms James H. Wilson Jr.s’ sentence to 730 days executed in the Bartholomew County Jail. Finds Wilson’s sentence is not inappropriate.

Angel Mack v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Reverses Angel Mack’s conviction of Level 6 felony theft, entered in a bifurcated proceeding after a jury had convicted her of Class A misdemeanor theft. Finds the Johnson Superior Court’s failure to confirm Mack’s personal waiver of her right to a jury trial on theft as a Level 6 felony was fundamental error. Remands for a new trial on the Level 6 felony charge.

Jacob Alexander Van Dyke v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Jacob Alexander Van Dyke’s conviction of Level 5 felony reckless homicide and his sentence to five years executed in the Indiana Department of Correction. Finds sufficient evidence was presented to support Van Dyke’s conviction. Also finds the LaPorte Superior Court did not abuse its discretion when it sentenced Van Dyke, and his sentence is not inappropriate.

Anthony Jose Aguilera v. Breaunna R. Kertai and Cheryl A. Hochstetler (mem. dec.)
Guardianship. Dismisses Anthony Jose Aguilera’s appeal of the Marshall Circuit Court’s order denying his request for video visitation with his child. Finds Aguilera did not timely file his notice of appeal. Also finds the Court of Appeals lacks subject matter jurisdiction because the order is not a final judgment.

In re the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of T.R. (Minor Child) and B.R. (Father) v. Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
Juvenile termination of parental rights. Affirms the involuntary termination of father B.R.’s parental rights to child T.R. Finds the Allen Superior Court did not abuse its discretion in refusing to grant B.R.’s request for a guardian ad litem, and that refusal did not violate his due process rights. Also finds the trial court’s order terminating B.R.’s parental rights is supported by clear and convincing evidence.

James Miske, Jr. v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms James Miske Jr.’s aggregate 84-year sentence imposed upon resentencing on remand for his convictions of Class A felony rape, two counts of Class B felony criminal deviate conduct, Class C felony criminal confinement, Class D felony intimidation and Class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement. Finds Miske has not met his burden to demonstrate that his sentence is inappropriate.

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