Opinions Aug. 30, 2022

Keywords Opinions

The following Indiana Supreme Court opinions were posted after IL deadline on Monday:
624 Broadway, LLC v. Gary Housing Authority
22S-CT-140
Civil tort. Reverses the entry of summary judgment for the Gary Housing Authority on 624 Broadway LLC’s due process claim. Finds the housing authority’s notice of its administrative taking of 624 Broadway’s property was constitutionally deficient and was not harmless. Remands to the Lake Superior Court to enter summary judgment in favor of 624 Broadway on that claim and to hold a damages hearing.

James E. McCoy v. State of Indiana
22S-CR-294
Criminal. Reverses James E. McCoy’s convictions of Level 6 felony possession of methamphetamine and Class C misdemeanor possession of paraphernalia. Finds the Cass Superior Court abused its discretion in admitting evidence obtained during a search of McCoy’s home because there’s no dispute over McCoy’s custodial status when the officer asked to search his home or that the officer failed to advise him of his Pirtle rights before requesting that consent, and because the Supreme Court does not need to inquire into the officer’s subjective views of whether McCoy was a victim or a suspect. Remands for a new trial. Judge Mark Massa concurs in the judgment with separate opinion.

Tuesday opinions
Court of Appeals of Indiana
 Lockerbie Glove Company Town Home Owner’s Association, Inc., Elliot J. Serena Androphy, Cherri D. Hobgood, Sashwati Roy, Chandan K. Sen, and Brian Edward West v. Indianapolis Historic Preservation Commission, Daniel C. Jacobs, and The Athenaeum Foundation, Inc.
22A-PL-204
Civil plenary. Affirms the Marion Superior Court’s grant of a motion for judgment on the pleadings on the basis of lack of standing by six residents challenging the construction of a retail, residential and parking project known as Block 20 in the Lockerbie Square Historic District in Marion County. Finds the appellants lack the necessary standing, so the trial court did not err in granting the motion for judgment on the pleadings filed by the Indianapolis Historic Preservation Commission, Daniel C. Jacobs and The Athenaeum Foundation Inc.

Shawn A. Haslam v. State of Indiana
22A-CR-911
Criminal. Affirms the denial of Shawn A. Haslam’s motion to clarify sentencing order for probation. Finds Montgomery Superior Court didn’t err.

Michael R. Bassett and Kathleen A. Bassett v. Scott Pet Products, Inc., Harlan Pet Products, Inc., Hal P. Harlan, Hugh P. Harlan, and Doug H. Harlan
22A-PL-433
Civil plenary. Affirms the grant of partial summary judgment in favor of Scott Pet Products Inc., Harlan Pet Products Inc., Hal P. Harlan, Hugh P. Harlan and Doug H. Harlan, and the grant of partial summary judgment in favor of Michael R. and Kathleen A. Bassett. Finds no genuine issues of material fact exist precluding summary judgment on the Bassetts’ breach of contract, declaratory judgment and promissory estoppel claims.

Justin Robert Brewer v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
21A-CR-1497
Criminal. Affirms Justin Brewer’s murder conviction. Finds Brewer was not harmed by the admission of cellphone evidence Also finds the evidence of his handgun possession was relevant and admissible because it showed his opportunity to commit the murder along with his knowledge of and access to a firearm similar to the murder weapon.

William Balfour, III v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
21A-CR-1710
Criminal. Affirms William Balfour III’s conviction of felony murder. Finds Balfour did not file a motion to dismiss and does not cite authority for his contention that his objection to the charging information amendment was the equivalent of a motion to dismiss, nor does he argue fundamental error on appeal or claim that he did not understand the charges against him or was unable to formulate a defense. Also finds the Delaware Circuit Court did not err in admitting evidence of Artie Thomas’ prior identification of Balfour before the state presented Thomas’ identification testimony at trial. Finally, finds the trial court did not err in the admission or exclusion of evidence.

Jacquez A. Hooks v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
21A-CR-2516
Criminal. Affirms Jacquez A. Hooks’ convictions of carrying a handgun without a license as a Level 5 felony, criminal recklessness as a Level 6 felony and invasion of privacy as a Class A misdemeanor. Finds Hooks knowingly, voluntarily and intelligently waived his right to be present during the portion of his trial that occurred on Sept. 2, 2021.

Bobby J. Glassock v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
21A-CR-2785
Criminal. Affirms Bobby J. Glassock’s conviction of murder. Finds the Marion Superior Court did not err in admitting evidence obtained from Glassock’s phone.

Waynette King v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
21A-CR-2833
Criminal. Affirms the termination of Waynette King’s participation in the Madison County Drug Court Program and the order that she serve her 10-year sentence. Finds the Madison Circuit Court did not abuse its discretion when it terminated King’s participation in the program because the record contained ample evidence that she broke the program’s rules.

Matthew Emile Mace v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
22A-CR-47
Criminal. Affirms Matthew Emile Mace’s convictions of felony murder and Level 6 felony fraud. Finds the Tippecanoe Superior Court did not abuse its discretion when it instructed the jury. Also finds Mace has not shown that the challenged prosecutorial remarks constitute prosecutorial misconduct, either individually or cumulatively. Finally, finds Mace has not established fundamental error.

P.L. v. M.H. and A.H. (mem. dec.)
22A-AD-80
Adoption. Reverses the order awarding temporary custody of father P.L.’s minor son, S.L., to M.H. and A.H. while their adoption petition is pending. Finds the Hamilton Superior Court erred when it denied P.L.’s Trial Rule 60(B)(6) motion to set aside the temporary custody order.

Broderick Williams v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
22A-CR-113
Criminal. Affirms Broderick Williams’ convictions of dealing in a controlled substance as a Level 2 felony, carrying a handgun without a license as a Level 5 felony and possession of methamphetamine as a Level 5 felony, as well as his adjudication as a habitual offender. Finds that because the purpose of the traffic stop was still ongoing at the time of the dog sniff, the search of Williams’ car did not violate his Fourth Amendment rights.

Felipe Ramon Soto v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
22A-CR-148
Criminal. Affirms the denial of Felipe Ramon Soto’s motion to suppress evidence. Finds the trial court did not err.

Pritam K. Emmons v. Robin R. Craig (mem. dec.)
22A-CC-189
Civil collections. Affirms and reverses in part Pritam K. Emmons’ motion to set aside default judgment and motion to correct error. Finds Emmons has not shown a reason justifying relief from the entry of default, but she may still be heard as to the amount of damages and may present evidence of matters which extenuate or mitigate the damages she owes. Remands to the Vanderburgh Superior Court for a hearing to determine the damages to which Craig is entitled and to enter an appropriate final judgment.

Travis W. Phelps v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
22A-CR-266
Criminal. Affirms Travis Phelps’ sentence to 105 years for his convictions of felony murder and Level 1 felony attempted murder. Finds Phelps has not shown that his less-than-maximum sentence is inappropriate in light of the nature of the offenses and his character.

Antonio Dion Lane, Jr. v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
22A-CR-275
Criminal. Affirms Antonio Lane’s enhanced 130-year sentence for his convictions of felony murder, attempted murder as a Level 1 felony and two counts of criminal recklessness as a Level 5 felony, and his conviction for the second criminal recklessness conviction. Finds sufficient evidence supports Lane’s criminal organization sentencing enhancement, and he has not shown that his sentence is inappropriate. Also finds Lane has waived his constitutional argument. Finally, finds Lane’s convictions for criminal recklessness do not violate the double jeopardy protections of the Indiana Constitution.

Christopher McMullin v. Dorothy McMullin (mem. dec.)
21A-DC-392
Domestic relations with children. Affirms the trial court’s order declining to change physical custody of Chris and Dorothy McMullin’s two minor children, modifying the terms of the prior award of joint legal custody and increasing Chris’ support obligation. Finds the Warrick Circuit Court did not abuse its discretion in making findings of fact, in finding that modification of the award of joint legal custody to the parents was warranted or in modifying Chris’ support obligation. Declines to remand for an award of attorney fees for Dorothy at both the trial and appellate levels.

LeCarthy Mitchell v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
22A-CR-553
Criminal. Affirms LeCarthy Mitchell’s five-year sentence for possession of cocaine. Finds the Switzerland Circuit Court’s five-year sentence aligns with the seriousness of the offense and Mitchell’s lengthy criminal history.

In the Matter of the Adoption of L.D. (Minor child): Q.R. v. D.W. and L.W. (mem. dec.)
22A-AD-665
Adoption. Affirms the order finding that mother Q.R.’s consent to the adoption of her minor child L.D. by D.W. and L.W. was not required. Finds the Hamilton Superior Court did not abuse its discretion when it denied Q.R.’s motion to continue. Also finds any error in the court’s failure to advise her of her right to counsel was harmless.

In re the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of Ja.R. and Ju.R. (Minor Children) and J.R. (Father) and H.R. (Mother) J.R. (Father) and H.R. (Mother) v. Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
22A-JT-748
Juvenile termination of parental rights. Affirms the termination of mother H.R. and father J.R.’s parental rights to their two children. Finds the challenged findings are not clearly erroneous. Also finds the evidence supports the Marion Superior Court’s conclusion that the parents’ habitual conduct shows there is a reasonable probability they will not remedy the conditions that resulted in the children’s removal and continued placement outside of the home, and that termination is in the best interests of the children. Finally, finds the trial court did not abuse its discretion or violate J.R.’s due process rights when it denied his motion to continue made right before the hearing.

Ignacio Alejandro Saenz v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
22A-CR-817
Criminal. Affirms Ignacio Alejandro Saenz’s eight-year sentence for his conviction of one count of incest as a Level 4 felony. Finds the Lake Superior Court neither relied on inaccurate information suggesting pedophiles cannot be rehabilitated nor ignored nine letters written on Saenz’s behalf.

In the Matter of the Involuntary Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of: K.F. (Minor Child), and A.F. (Mother) v. Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
22A-JT-936
Juvenile termination of parental rights. Affirms the termination of mother A.F.’s parental rights to K.F. Finds the Department of Child Services presented sufficient evidence to establish the requisite statutory elements to terminate A.F.’s parental rights to K.F. Also finds the termination order is not clearly erroneous.

In the Involuntary Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of: D.M. (Minor Child), and S.T. (Father) v. Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
22A-JT-1168
Juvenile termination of parental rights. Affirms the involuntary termination of father S.T.’s parental rights to D.M. Finds that S.T. has not shown good cause for a continuance, that the Greene Circuit Court abused its discretion in denying is motion for a continue or that he is entitled to reversal on due process grounds.

Joshua Alan Creech v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
22A-CR-740
Criminal. Affirms Joshua Alan Creech’s conviction of possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver as a Level 2 felony and his adjudication as a habitual offender. Finds the trial court did not abuse its discretion when it denied Creech’s motion to withdraw his guilty plea.

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