Opinions Dec. 20, 2022

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Court of Appeals of Indiana
Kalanu Carter v. Ryan Carter
Domestic relations with children. Affirms the Miami Superior Court’s grant of father Ryan Carter’s motion to reopen evidence after the final hearing in a dissolution action and the award of primary physical custody of minor child to Ryan. Reverses the trial court’s order that mother Kalanu Carter, as the noncustodial parent, pay $20 per week in child support. Finds the trial court did not abuse its discretion when it granted Ryan’s motion to reopen evidence or when it awarded him primary physical custody, but did abuse its discretion when it ordered Kalanu to pay $20 a week in child support. Remands with instructions for the trial court to enter an order that Kalanu is not required to pay child support because the adjustments to her child support obligation exceed the obligation.

In re the Guardianship of Clarence E. Weber (an Incapacitated Adult) Indiana Family and Social Services Administration v. Clarence E. Weber, Mary M. Weber
Guardianship. Affirms, reverses and remands in part the grant of the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration’s motion to intervene and the denial of its motion for relief from judgment after Clarence Weber, an incapacitated adult, received an increase in Medicaid funding due to his wife’s spousal support order. Finds the Morgan Superior Court did not err allowing FSSA to intervene given its significant interest in the proceedings. Also finds Indiana’s spousal support statute does not permit an award of support in Mary Weber’s case. Finally, finds extraordinary circumstances warrant equitable relief.

Stephen R. Harvey, Jr. v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Post-conviction. Affirms the denial of post-conviction relief for Stephen R. Harvey Jr. Finds Harvey failed to demonstrate that, but for counsel’s alleged error, he would have received a more lenient sentence. Also finds the post-conviction court did not err.

In the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of D.C. and M.C. (Minor Children), and K.G. (Mother) v. Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
Juvenile termination of parental rights.  Reverses the involuntary termination of mother K.G.’s parental rights to her minor children, D.C. and M.C. Finds the record contains no evidence to suggest K.G. knowingly and voluntarily waived her right to counsel during the termination proceedings and, thus, the Warrick Superior Court violated her right to due process by conducting the termination hearing without first appointing her counsel. Remands for further proceedings.

In re the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of: D.B. (Minor Child), and J.M.M.B. (Mother) and L.W.B. (Father) v. Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
Juvenile termination of parental rights. Affirms the termination of parental rights of mother J.M.M.B. and father L.W.B. to their child, D.B. Finds the Switzerland Circuit Court’s findings that the conditions that resulted in D.B.’s removal will not be remedied are supported by the record. Also finds the trial court’s conclusion that termination of parental rights is in the child’s best interests is support by the record.

George L. Wallace v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms the revocation of George Wallace’s community corrections placement for violating his probation and the order that he serve the remaining 631 days of his executed sentence in the Department of Correction. Finds the Marion Superior Court didn’t abuse its discretion and Wallace is essentially asking to reweigh evidence.

Ladriel Chapman v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Ladriel Chapmans conviction for murder. Finds evidence of probative value was presented from which a reasonable jury could find beyond a reasonable doubt that Chapman was guilty of murder. Also finds the Marion Superior Court didn’t abuse its discretion when it did not instruct the jury on reckless homicide.

Jason Weaver v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Jason Weaver’s conviction of Level 1 felony child molesting. Finds the Madison Circuit Court did not make a fair trial impossible or clearly violate Weaver’s due process rights by admitting the evidence at issue.

Mmoja Ajabu v. Correct Care Solutions, LLC, Gabra Gachaw, Marion County Sheriff (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms summary judgment for Correct Care Solutions LLC, Dr. Gabra Gachaw and the Marion County sheriff. Finds none of Mmoja Ajabu’s 10 arguments have merit.

Laurel Whitt v. Nortac Properties, LLC (mem. dec.)
Civil plenary. Reverses the Wayne Circuit Court’s order granting Nortac Properites LLC’s motion for judgment on the pleadings. Finds Laurel Whitt’s amended answer was a responsive pleading, so the trial court erred when it granted Nortac’s motion for judgment on the pleadings. Judge Elaine Brown dissents with separate opinion.

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