Opinions Dec. 19, 2022

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Court of Appeals of Indiana
Tariq Fuad Hamdi v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms Tariq Fuad Hamdi’s conviction of Level 5 felony dealing in hash oil weighing at least 300 grams. Finds the evidence sufficient.

A.C. v. State of Indiana
Post-conviction. Reverses the denial of A.C.’s petition for post-conviction relief. Finds the post-conviction court erred in denying the petition. Remands with instructions to vacate A.C.’s conviction pursuant to Indiana Code § 35-38-10-2.

Jennifer Pfadt v. Wheels Assured Delivery Systems, Inc., and Jason Shartzer, Special Administrator for the Estate of Jonathan R. Zeigler, and Amanda Mitchell, as Personal Representative of the Estate of Gregory Mitchell, Deceased v. Jason Shartzer, as Personal Representative of the Estate of Jonathan Zeigler, and Wheels Assured Delivery Systems, Inc. 21A-CT-1449
Civil tort. Reverses the grant of summary judgment in favor of Wheels Assured Delivery Systems Inc. Finds a genuine issue of material fact exists regarding whether Jonathan Zeigler was an employee of Wheels Assured at the time of the automobile collision, and resolution of that question of fact impacts whether Wheels Assured can be liable under the theory of respondeat superior. Also finds a genuine issue of material fact exists regarding whether Wheels Assured’s action manifested to Jennifer Pfadt a reasonable belief that Zeigler was Wheels Assured’s agent, which precludes summary judgment on Pfadt’s claim for recovery under apparent agency theory. Remands for further proceedings.

Andrew Young v. City of Gary (mem. dec.)
Ordinance violation. Affirms the judgment against Andrew Young in an ordinance-violation action bought by the city of Gary. Finds the Lake Superior Court did not err in denying Young’s motions to dismiss. Also finds Young has not shown any error in the denial of his request to dismiss his attorney and represent himself. Finally, finds the evidence was sufficient.

Lester L. Sumrall v. LeSEA, Inc. (mem. dec.)
Civil plenary. Affirms the grant of summary judgment to LeSEA Inc. regarding its claim of slander of title, the order granting LeSEA $136,721.98 in attorney fees and the order granting its motion for summary judgment with respect to Lester L. Sumrall’s counterclaim alleging breach of contract. Finds the St. Joseph Circuit Court did not err or abuse its discretion.

Troy Lamar Jenkins v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Troy Lamar Jenkins’ conviction of unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon, the revocation of his probation and the sanction imposed. Finds the state’s evidence was sufficient. Also finds the Marion Superior Court did not abuse its discretion in revoking Jenkins’ probation or imposing the sanction of his entire suspended sentence.

Dylan S. Lopez v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms and reverses in part Dylan Lopez’s convictions of Class B felony child molesting, Class B felony attempted child molesting, Level 1 felony attempted child molesting, Class D felony child solicitation and Level 5 felony child solicitation. Finds the state presented sufficient evidence to support Lopez’s convictions on Counts 1 and 3. Also finds the state failed to present sufficient evidence to demonstrate that Lopez attempted to engage in other sexual conduct with J.L. or that he solicited oral sex from J.L., so the state failed to present sufficient evidence to support his convictions on Counts 4, 5 or 6 and thus vacates those convictions. Remands for resentencing.

Robert A. Gordon v. Michelle B. Tackitt (mem. dec.)
Domestic relations with children. Affirms and reverses in part the final decree dissolving the marriage of Robert Gordon and Michelle Tackitt. Finds the Madison Circuit Court abused its discretion when it did not adequately state its reasons for the unequal division of the marital estate. Remands for the trial court to consider each of the relevant statutory factors and state its reasons for any deviation from the presumptive equal division, and to recalculate Gordon’s child support arrearage. Also finds the trial court did not err when it denied Tackitt’s request that Gordon contribute to their daughter’s college expenses.

Timothy Steven Gray v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Timothy Steven Gray’s 50-year sentence for his conviction of Level 1 felony child molesting. Finds no sentencing error.

Demarco Wayne Roach v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Demarco Wayne Roach’s convictions of dealing in methamphetamine as a Level 4 felony, operating a vehicle as a habitual traffic violator as a Level 6 felony and possession of a narcotic drug as a Level 6 felony. Finds the doctrine of fundamental error is inapplicable, and even if fundamental error were considered, reversal would not be required.

Trinidad Ramirez, II v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms J. Trinidad Ramirez II’s convictions of murder, felony murder and a firearm enhancement and his 150-year sentence. Finds there is sufficient evidence to support Ramirez’s convictions. Also finds the maximum sentence is not inappropriate.

In the Matter of A.W., S.E., and E.E., Minor Children Alleged to be Children in Need of Services; T.W. (Mother) v. Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
Juvenile CHINS. Affirms the adjudication of mother T.W.’s children as children in need of services. Finds the Vanderburgh Superior Court did not err in admitting S.E.’s statements to the psychiatrist. Also finds the Department of Child Services presented sufficient evidence to support the CHINS adjudication.

Kevin Martin v. Sgt. Alexander Shaw (mem. dec.)
Civil plenary. Affirms and reverses in part the dismissal on all counts of Kevin Martin’s civil rights lawsuit against Sgt. Alexander Shaw. Finds the Madison Circuit Court erred in dismissing Martin’s Eighth Amendment claim. Also finds Martin failed to adequately articulate an argument for his 14th Amendment claim, so he has waived that argument on appeal. Remands for further proceedings.

Milan Stojkovic v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Milan Stojkovic’s four-year aggregate sentence for his convictions of two counts of Level 6 felony sexual battery and one count of Class B misdemeanor battery. Finds the sentence was justified by several aggravating factors. Also finds the sentence is not inappropriate given the nature of the offenses and Stojkovic’s character.

In re the Terminatio of the Parent-Child Relationship of R.B.H.G. (Minor Child) and K.B. (Mother) K.B. (Mother) v. Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
Juvenile termination of parental rights. Affirms the termination of mother K.B.’s parental rights to R.B.H.G. Finds the Huntington Circuit Court did not err in denying K.B.’s motion to continue. Also finds K.B. has failed to show there is insufficient evidence to terminate the parent-child relationship.

D.C. v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Juvenile. Reverses D.C.’s adjudication as a juvenile delinquent for possession of marijuana, a Class B misdemeanor if committed by an adult. Finds the state failed to present sufficient evidence to show that D.C. possessed marijuana.

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