Opinions Dec. 19, 2023

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The following 7th Circuit Court of Appeals opinion was posted after IL deadline on Monday:
United States of America v. Henry Underwood
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, Fort Wayne Division. Chief Judge Holly A. Brady.
Criminal. Affirms Henry Underwood’s conviction of being a felon in possession of a firearm and the finding that he was in criminal contempt. Finds Underwood knowingly and voluntarily waived his right to counsel. Also finds the district court did not abuse its discretion by summarily finding him in contempt for refusing to answer the prosecutor’s question once he took the stand in his own defense.

Tuesday opinions
Court of Appeals of Indiana
Gerard M. Dierckman v. Sandra E. Dierckman
Domestic relations, no children. Affirms the final dissolution order as it relates to the marital property. Finds the Decatur Circuit Court’s findings challenged by husband Gerard M. Dierckman are supported by the evidence and/or are not contrary to law. Also finds the trial court did not abuse its discretion by valuing the farm and its income as of the end of 2020/beginning of 2021, nor did it err in valuing the farm inventory, accounts receivable and marital debt as of the date of the dissolution petition in December 2019. Finally, finds the trial court acted within its discretion when it decreased wife Sandra E. Dierckman’s equalization payment by the amount she paid Gerard for her personal expenses while the dissolution was pending.

Maria del Carmen Casimiro Murietta v. Guillermo Fernandez Romero
Domestic relations with children. Reverses the denial of Maria del Carmen Casimiro Murietta’s motion to correct error, filed after the Marion Superior Court included property in the marital estate that would have been excluded pursuant to a prenuptial agreement that the trial court declined to enter into evidence. Finds the trial court abused its discretion in denying the motion to correct error. Remands for a new trial wherein the agreement can be presented for consideration assuming a proper foundation for its admission can be met. Judge Elaine Brown dissents with separate opinion.

Darryl Lamond Martin v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms the revocation of Darryl Martin’s placement on community corrections. Finds the Allen Superior Court did not abuse its discretion when it found that Martin had violated the rules of placement on community corrections.

T.K. v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Juvenile. Affirms the order placing T.K. in the Department of Correction. Finds the facts and circumstances before the Elkhart Circuit Court support a reasonable inference that alternative placement with T.K.’s father or uncle was not feasible and efforts toward those placements would have been futile. Also finds commitment to the DOC is in T.K.’s best interest.

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