Opinions April 7, 2021

Indiana Court of Appeals
Herco, LLC v. Auto-Owners Insurance Company
20A-PL-1682
Civil plenary. Affirms the grant of summary judgment in favor of Auto-Owners Insurance Company in a dispute with Homeowners’ Equity & Realty Corporation LLC. Finds HERCO’s second suit is barred by res judicata. Also finds HERCO could have raised its breach of contract and bad faith claims in the first suit in Lake Superior Court but chose not to do so.

Rick Lane Utley v. State of Indiana
20A-CR-1741
Criminal. Affirms the revocation of Rick Utley’s probation and the order for him to serve the entirety of his suspended sentence — three years and 355 days in one cause and 355 days in a second cause — in the Department of Correction. Finds Utley’s due process rights were not violated because the Posey Circuit Court did not violate his statutory right to have a hearing no more than 15 days after his arrest and because any error in the admission of evidence related to criminal charges he faced in Kentucky was harmless. Also finds the Posey Circuit Court did not abuse its discretion in ordering Utley to serve the entirety of his suspended sentence in the DOC.

Kenneth J. Schaefer v. Estate of Cletus P. Schaefer, Deceased
20A-ES-1007
Estate, supervised. Affirms and reverses in part declaratory judgment in favor of the Estate of Cletus P. Schaefer in a dispute with Kenneth J. Schaefer. Finds the Spencer Circuit Court erred in finding Cletus’ bequest to Kenneth as part of Section D(2) of the third codicil of Cletus’ will was entirely a gift. Also finds the portion Kenneth paid for, $277,500, was a testamentary option to purchase, and the remaining value of the property was a testamentary gift. Remands for further proceedings.

Xavier L. Kinnie v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
20A-CR-2078
Criminal. Affirms Xavier L. Kinnie’s sentence of 2½ years, with two years executed and 182 days suspended, for his conviction of Level 6 felony domestic battery. Finds the Allen Superior Court did not abuse its discretion when it sentenced Kinnie. Also finds Kinnie’s sentence is not inappropriate in light of the nature of the offense and his character.

In the Matter of C.W. (Minor Child), Child Alleged to be a Child in Need of Services; L.W. (Father) and C.P. (Mother) v. Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
20A-JC-2079
Juvenile CHINS. Affirms the adjudication of father L.W.’s son, C.W., as a child in need of services. Finds the Vigo Circuit juvenile court’s findings that L.W. failed to provide for C.W.’s mental well-being and interfered with C.W.’s diabetes medication are supported by the evidence, and the court’s conclusion that L.W.’s actions endangered C.W. are supporting by those findings.

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