Opinions Dec. 12, 2022

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Court of Appeals of Indiana
Thomas M. Shoaff v. First Merchants Bank
Civil plenary. Affirms the grant of summary judgment in favor of First Merchants Bank on its action seeking to hold Thomas Shoaff to his responsibilities under a signed guaranty agreement, but reverses the Allen Superior Court’s damages award with respect to its calculation of interest, late fees and attorney fees. Finds the trial court did not err when it granted summary judgment to First Merchants but did err with respect to its award of interest, late fees and attorney fees. Remands for further proceedings.

Gregory Phillips Fields II v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Gregory Phillips Field II’s two-year sentence for Level 6 felony resisting law enforcement. Finds Fields’ sentence is not inappropriate.

Billy R. Spicer v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms the Jefferson Superior Court’s imposition of the entirety of Billy R. Spicer’s previously suspended sentences. Finds the trial court didn’t abuse its discretion.

Hezekiah Amon Johnson v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Hezekiah Johnson’s 10-year sentence for two counts of Level 4 felony arson. Finds the Lake Superior Court did not abuse its discretion.

Mark Johnson v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Post-conviction. Affirms the denial of Mark Johnson’s petition for post-conviction relief. Finds Johnson failed to establish that either his trial or appellate counsel were ineffective.

In the Matter of: K.S., J.S., I.S., F.S., Jo.S., and V.H. (Minor Children), B.H. (Mother) v. Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
Juvenile CHINS. Affirms that mother B.H.’s five children are children in need of services. Finds the evidence supports the Owen Circuit Court’s judgment.

Thomas Hardy v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Dismisses Thomas Hardy’s appeal of the denial of his motion to withdraw his guilty plea. Finds Hardy’s notice of appeal was untimely, and he did not meet his burden to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that he was without fault and was diligent in pursuing permission to file a belated notice of appeal in compliance with Indiana Post-Conviction Rule 2.

Vanessa M. Beatrice v. Andrew J. Grubb (mem. dec.)
Juvenile paternity. Affirms the Monroe Circuit Court’s denial of mother Vanessa M. Beatrice’s request to relocate with her child. Finds the trial court’s denial is not clearly erroneous.

Cecil Lee Smith v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Cecil Lee Smith’s conviction of Level 6 felony intimidation. Finds the evidence was sufficient.

In re the Involuntary Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of N.R. and M.R. (Minor Children) and D.R. (Father) v. Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
Juvenile termination of parental rights. Affirms the termination of father D.R.’s parental rights to his children, N.R. and M.R. Finds no reversible error.

Jasper Lamont Lawson v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Jasper Lawson’s conviction of Level 5 felony domestic battery. Finds sufficient evidence that Lawson and M.J. “dated,” so M.J. meets the broad statutory definition of “family or household member.”

In Re: The Paternity of A.Y.A. and A.E.A.; Juma Amon v. v. Sarah G. Streeval (mem. dec.)
Juvenile paternity. Affirms and reverses in part the order awarding custody of A.Y.A. and A.E.A. to their aunt, Brandie Streeval while awarding father Juma Amon supervised parenting time, but reverses the order for Amon to pay child support. Finds the Bartholomew Superior Court did not abuse its discretion in awarding custody of the children to Streeval or in restricting Amon’s parenting time. Also finds the trial court abused its discretion in calculating Amon’s child support obligation. Remands for the trial court to recalculate Amon’s child support obligation.

Gustavo Colindres-Aldana v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Gustavo Colindres-Aldana’s conviction ofLevel 1 felony child molesting. Finds the evidence is sufficient. Judge Peter Foley dissents with separate opinion.

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