Opinions Aug. 23, 2021

Indiana Court of Appeals
Alan Lee Bennett v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms Alan Lee Bennett’s conviction of murder. Finds the state did not violate Bennett’s due process rights. Also finds the Spencer Circuit Court did not err in limiting the admission of evidence of voluntary intoxication, because admitting such evidence to advance a self-defense claim would run afoul of Indiana Code § 35-41-2-4.

Betty Johnson as personal representative of the Estate of Bobby Nicley as natural father and guardian of deceased minor D.N. v. Ralph Harris, Pamela Harris, and Michelle Nicley
Civil tort. Affirms the grant of summary judgment in favor of maternal grandparents Ralph and Pamela Harris. Finds the child wrongful death statute does not authorize a personal representative to file a wrongful death claim pursued but never filed by a deceased parent. Also finds that Betty Johnson, as personal representative of the Estate of Bobby Nicley, had nothing to collect from the Harrises under Indiana Code § 29-1-13-3.

Jeffrey Daugherty v. Steve Vaseloff, John W. Godfrey, and John W. Godfrey Revocable Trust (mem. dec.)
Civil tort. Affirms summary judgement by the Hendricks Superior Court for John W. Godfrey and Godfrey Revocable Trust on negligence claims related to a dog bite. Finds that the evidence provided sufficiently supported the landowner’s claim that he didn’t have any knowledge of any dangerous propensities of his tenant’s dog prior to it biting a tenant’s visitor. Also finds that there aren’t issues of material fact that precluded summary judgment.

In the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of: T.S. and R.S. (Minor Children) and F.S. (Father) v. Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
Juvenile termination of parental rights. Affirms the termination of father F.S.’s parental rights to T.S. and K.S. Finds the Lake Superior Court did not err when it found that F.S. is not likely to remedy the reasons for the children’s removal. Also finds the trial court did not err in finding that termination was in the children’s best interests.

Curtis Monroe v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Curtis Monroe’s conviction of Level 2 felony burglary and his 22-year sentence. Finds Monroe failed to establish that the Monroe Circuit Court committed fundamental error when it admitted into evidence, pursuant to Evidence Rule 404(b), extrinsic acts evidence. Also finds Monroe failed to establish that the prosecutor engaged in misconduct that made a fair trial impossible and resulted in fundamental error. Finally, finds the court didn’t abuse discretion in Monroe’s sentencing.

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