Opinions Dec. 19, 2019

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Indiana Supreme Court
American Consulting, Inc. d/b/a American Structurepoint, Inc. v. Hannum Wagle & Cline Engineering, Inc., d/b/a HWC Engineering, Inc., Marlin A. Knowles, Jr., Jonathan A. Day, David Lancet, et al.
Civil plenary. Affirms the Marion Superior Court, finding it properly denied summary judgment on American Structurepoint, Inc.’s claims of tortious interference and that an issue of material fact remains as to whether Marlin Knowles, Jonathan Day and David Lancet tortiously interfered with their ASI contracts. Holds that the liquidated damages provisions are unenforceable penalties. Remands. Justice Geoffrey Slaughter concurs in part, dissents in part with separate opinion in which Justice Mark Massa joins.

Indiana Court of Appeals

Michael D. Johnson v. State of Indiana
Reverses Michael D. Johnson’s conviction of Level 5 felony dealing in a lookalike substance. Finds the state did not establish in Madison Circuit Court that the measures used to seize challenged evidence were constitutional.

In the Matter of the Involuntary Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of: K.T. (Minor Child) and D.T. (Father) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services
Juvenile termination. Reverses the termination of D.T.’s parental rights to his child, K.T. Finds insufficient evidence was presented in Jasper Superior Court to support the termination.

Michael Scanland v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms that Michael Scanland was not subject to custodial interrogation. Finds that while his statements made to the parole agent occurred while he was in custody, he was not subject to custodial interrogation or the functional equivalent of interrogation. Thus, the failure to advise Scanland of his Miranda rights did not render his statements inadmissible. Finds the Marion Superior Court did not err in entering statements made by Scanland that he had been using meth.

Ricci Davis v. State of Indiana
Post-conviction. Affirms denial of Ricci Davis’ post-conviction relief petition. Finds Indiana Code §§ 35-48-4-1.1 is not unconstitutionally vague but adopts a case-specific approach by focusing on the facts underlying the offense. Holds Ricci Davis’ appellate counsel was not ineffective for failing to raise a vagueness claim. Rules the evidence does not as a whole unerringly and unmistakably lead to a conclusion opposite that reached by the post-conviction court. Judge Patricia Riley concurs in result with opinion.

G.B.W., A Child Alleged to be a Delinquent Child v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Juvenile. Affirms G.B.W.’s commitment to the Indiana Department of Correction after her adjudication as a delinquent and subsequent probation violations. Finds the St. Joseph Probate Court did not abuse its discretion.

Steven P. Wheeler v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Steven Wheeler’s 52-year sentence for conviction of Level 3 felony aggravated battery, Level 5 felony possession of a handgun without a license, Level 6 felony criminal organization activity, Level 6 felony criminal recklessness, and being a habitual offender. Finds the sentence is not inappropriate.

Nina Caudle v. Roby Whittington (mem. dec.)
Trust. Affirms the Lake Superior Court’s grant of Roby Whittington’s motion to dismiss Nina Caudle’s petition to docket a trust for purposes of reformation. Finds Caudle failed to present a cogent argument and therefore has waived appellate review.

Zachary W. Callantine v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Zachary Callantine’s 44-year sentence for conviction of Level 1 felony rape, Level 6 felony criminal confinement while armed with a deadly weapon and Level 6 felony strangulation. Finds Callantine waived appellate review of any alleged error in the exclusion of evidence of the victim’s prior drug use. Finds the sentence is not inappropriate.

Vincent E. Banks v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms in part, reverses in part, remands. Finds the Lake Superior Court abused its discretion in allowing a victim to testify to statements made to her by her doctor, but that such error was harmless.  Finds no abuse of discretion in admitting Young’s unredacted medical records and that evidence presented at trial was sufficient to support Vincent Banks’ murder conviction. Finds Banks’ Level 6 felony auto theft and theft convictions violate the single larceny rule and therefore remands with instructions to vacate one of the Level 6 convictions and amend the sentencing order accordingly.

In the Matter of: A.G., Minor Child, A.S., Mother, and T.G., Father v. Indiana Department of Child Services, and Child Advocates, Inc. (mem. dec.)
Juvenile CHINS. Affirms the determination of the Marion Superior Court that child A.G. is a child in need of services. Finds the determination is not clearly erroneous.

Christopher Rondeau v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Finds Christopher Rondeau’s motion to dismiss amounted to an improperly filed successive petition for post-conviction relief. Remands to the Marion Superior Court with instructions to dismiss Rondeau’s motion.

Tony Walker v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms the Marion Superior Court’s denial of Tony Walker’s petition for credit time. Finds the appellate court cannot say that Walker has demonstrated that the evidence leads unerringly and unmistakably to a decision opposite that reached by the post-conviction court.

Kent Farnsworth v. Lutheran Medical Group, LLC (mem. dec.)
Civil plenary. Affirms the Allen Superior Court’s denial of Kent Farnsworth’s request for a preliminary injunction. Finds the trial court did not abuse its discretion in the denial. Judge Margret Robb concurs in result with opinion.

Robert L. Rivers v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Robert Rivers’ aggregate 52-year sentence for conviction of Class A felony child molesting and Level 4 felony sexual misconduct with a minor. Finds the sentence is not inappropriate.

David Brown v. Kimberly Brown (mem. dec.)
Domestic relations no children. Affirms the Jay Superior Court’s distribution of the marital estate and award of attorney fees between David and Kimberly Brown. Denies Kimberly’s request for appellate attorney fees.

In the Matter of the Involuntary Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of B.M. (Minor Child) and J.M. (Father) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
Juvenile termination. Affirms the Cass Circuit Court’s termination of J.M.’s parental rights to his child, B.M. Finds J.M. waived his due process claim and that any alleged error was harmless and not fundamental.

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