Opinions Dec. 18, 2019

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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Timothy Johnson v. Michael Rogers
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division. Chief Judge Jane Magnus Stinson.
Civil. Affirms the Southern District Court’s finding that police officer Michael Rogers is entitled to qualified immunity. Finds Rogers did not kick Timothy Johnson or otherwise harm him after he was on the ground and that Rogers used his legs to undermine Johnson’s balance and force him down. Also finds Johnson was not under control at the time of the incident and that Rogers’ act was an attempt to regain control.

Indiana Court of Appeals
City of Plymouth Indiana, et al. v. Michael Kinder and Sons Inc.

Civil Plenary. Reverses a Marshall Circuit Court order granting a motion to enforce a mediation settlement agreement between the City of Plymouth and Michael Kinder and Sons Inc., finding that the mediation agreement between the parties first required approval of the city’s redevelopment commission before it could pay the company $130,000. Remands.

City of Kokomo v. Estate of Audra Newton
Civil Plenary. Reverses a jury trial damages award of $305,600 plus interest and $25,000 in litigation expenses to the Estate of Audra Newton in the city’s taking of property that formerly housed the Kokomo Glass Shop. Holds the trial court erred in denying the city’s motion for a directed verdict at the close of evidence. Remands for the trial court to enter a directed verdict for the estate in the amount of $100,000 plus interest with no award of litigation expenses.

John Henderson v. Tina Henderson
Domestic relation with children. Affirms the Hamilton Superior Court’s findings of fact, conclusions and judgment dissolving John Henderson’s marriage to Tina Henderson and dividing their marital estate. Finds the trial court did not abuse its discretion in excluding evidence, valuing the couple’s real estate or err by including John’s contractual interests in the real estate in the martial estate.

Rickey Smith v. Leslie M. Smith
Domestic relations no children. Reverses and remands the Marion Superior Court’s denial of Rickey Smith’s motion to continue his dissolution hearing after counsel withdrew. Finds the trial court abused its discretion when it denied Smith’s request without a hearing.

LaDonna Snyder, as Personal Representative of the Estate of Alan Lance Wright v. Alisa K. Wright and BioConvergence LLC (mem. dec.)
Civil plenary. Affirms the Boone Circuit Court’s denial of Alan Lance Wright’s motion for summary judgment. Finds the trial court properly denied the motion.

In re the Matter of W.S. (Minor Child), P.S. (Father) v. Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
Juvenile CHINS. Affirms the adjudication of P.S.’s child, W.S., as a child in need of services. Finds the Bartholomew Circuit Court did not err in determining that P.S. did not demonstrate an ability to understand the severity of W.S.’s physical needs, nor an ability to consistently accept and follow through with needed medical care. Finds a preponderance of the evidence shows that W.S.’s needs were unlikely to be provided for without the coercive intervention of the court.

Isaac L. Hayes v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms the Jefferson Circuit Court’s denial of Isaac Hayes’ request for a bond reduction. Finds the trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying Hayes’s motion.

Christopher Trotter v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms the resentencing of Christopher Trotter based on seven counts arising from his involvement in a prison riot. Finds the Madison Circuit Court did not abuse its discretion and that his aggregate 122-year sentence is not inappropriate. Also finds Trotter waived his claim regarding the doctrine of amelioration and is otherwise not entitled to a statutory cap regarding consecutive sentences.

Travon D. Blow v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Travon Blow’s convictions of Level 3 felony dealing in a narcotic drug and Level 4 felony dealing in cocaine. Affirms the Marion Superior Court’s denial Blow’s untimely request to proceed pro se and its admission of text messages recovered from Blow’s phone. Also finds the trial court did not err when it permitted testimony about the text messages.

Saul Morales v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Saul Morales’ conviction of Level 1 felony attempted murder. Finds the Marion Superior Court did not abuse its discretion when it tendered to the jury a self-defense instruction that was not supported by the evidence.

Joseph R. Kimerer, Jr. v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Joseph Kimerer, Jr.’s aggregate 53-year sentence for conviction of six counts of Level 4 felony vicarious sexual gratification, Level 5 felony vicarious sexual gratification and Level 5 felony attempted child exploitation. Finds the Tippecanoe Superior Court did not abuse its sentencing discretion. Finds the sentence is not inappropriate in light of the nature of the offense or Kimerer’s character. Judge Elaine Brown dissents with a separate opinion.

James R. Davis v. Courtney Thompson (mem. dec.)
Juvenile paternity. Affirms the dismissal of James Davis’ action to establish his paternity of the child, G.N. Finds the Johnson Circuit Court’s dismissal of Davis’s paternity action was not contrary to law.

Jesse L. Anthony v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms the Carroll Circuit Court’s denial of Jesse Anthony’s motion to withdraw his guilty plea. Finds the trial court did not abuse its discretion by denying the motion.

DeAnn G. Graham v. UMH in Holiday Village, LLC (mem. dec.)
Small claims. Affirms the Elkhart Superior Court’s judgment for UMH in Holiday Village against DeAnn Graham. Finds the judgment is not clearly erroneous.

Darren A. Shelton v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Darren Shelton’s 20-year sentence for conviction of Level 2 felony dealing in methamphetamine. Finds the sentence was not inappropriate.

Denzel Drain v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms in part the Marion Superior Court’s order that Denzel Drain pay a $100 public defender fee and apply his bond to pay that fee. Finds the trial court abused its discretion in issuing the order and vacates upon finding the trial court did not clearly state at the sentencing hearing that it was imposing fees for Drain’s pretrial GPS monitoring as required under statute. Remands for the trial court to hold a hearing to impose fees consistent with the statutory guidelines.

In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of S.M., Mother, C.M., Father, and A.M. and B.M.M., Minor Children, S.M. v. Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
Juvenile termination. Affirms the termination of S.M.’s parental rights to her children, A.M. and B.M.M. Finds the termination was not clearly erroneous and is in the children’s best interests.

In re the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of An.B. and Ar.B. (Minor Children) and A.B. (Father) and R.P. (Mother), A.B. and R.P. v. Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
Juvenile termination. Affirms the termination of A.B. and R.P.’s termination of their parental rights to two of their children. Finds the Lake Superior Court did not err in concluding that adoption is a satisfactory plan for both children.

Domeneque Williams v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Domeneque Williams’ conviction of Level 6 felony criminal recklessness. Finds there is sufficient evidence to support the conviction and rebut his self-defense claim.

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