Opinions Dec. 29, 2020

The following 7th Circuit Court of Appeals opinion was posted after IL deadline Monday.
USA v. Hector S. Castro-Aguirre
19-1074
Appeals from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division. Judge Tanya Walton Pratt.
Criminal. Affirms the various drug and conspiracy convictions and sentences of Hector Saul Castro-Aguirre, John Ramirez-Prado, and Rafael Rojas-Reyes. However, vacates Jose Manuel Carrillo-Tremillo’s conviction and sentence for conspiracy to launder money upon finding no evidence that would permit a rational trier of fact to connect Carrillo-Tremillo to a conspiracy to launder money. Remands his case for resentencing.

Tuesday’s opinions
Indiana Court of Appeals

Sally Ann Wood, et al. v. Scott County Board of Commissioners, et al.
20A-PL-1074
Civil plenary. Affirms the Jennings Superior Court’s grant of Scott County Board of Commissioners, Bob Tobias as President of the Scott County Board of Commissioners, Scott County Plan Commission, and Scott County Board of Zoning Appeals’ motion to strike Sally Ann Wood’s amended complaint in a zoning dispute. Finds the trial court did not err in granting the motion.

Thomas Wininger v. Carrie Lentz (mem. dec.)
20A-DC-305
Domestic relations, children. Remands the Monroe Circuit Court’s order granting Carrie Lentz primary physical custody of her adoptive child with Thomas Wininger, with the parties to share joint legal custody. Finds that while the trial court applied the correct standard, it failed to make sufficient findings to support its judgment. Remands for the entry of proper findings of fact and conclusions of law.

Wayne Handshoe v. Commissioner of the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (mem. dec.)
20A-PL-200
Civil plenary. Reverses the order of contempt for Wayne Handshoe in part and remands with instructions for the trial court to impose a contempt sanction that is coercive in nature. Finds that the trial court erred by finding Handshoe in contempt for failure to pay the civil penalty because money judgments are not enforceable by contempt. Also concludes that although Handshoe was in contempt for failure to submit the site assessment plan, the trial court’s sanction was punitive rather than coercive and thus impermissible.

Mark Housand v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
20A-CR-375
Criminal. Affirms Mark Housand’s conviction of Level 1 felony child molesting and one count of Level 4 child molesting. Finds Housand has failed to establish reversible error in the admission of evidence. Judge Elaine Brown dissents with a separate opinion and would remand to St. Joseph Superior Court for a new trial.

Edward A. Grady v. Michael M. Yoder, Robert E. Kirsch, The Dekko Foundation, Erica Dekko, Tad Dekko, Phil Salsberry, Dean Kruse, The Kruse Foundation, JPMorgan Chase Bank (mem. dec.)
20A-CT-591
Civil tort. Affirms the dismissal of Edward Grady’s complaint against Michael M. Yoder, Robert E. Kirsch, The Dekko Foundation, Erica Dekko, Tad Dekko, Phil Salsberry, Dean Kruse, The Kruse Foundation, JPMorgan Chase Bank. Finds the judge in Noble Circuit Court was not required to recuse and that dismissal was proper.

Jason Mitchell v. Kayla Burdo (mem. dec.)
20A-DR-1211
Domestic relations. Affirms an order from the Scott Circuit Court that granted Kala Burdo’s request for relocation to Florida and modified physical custody and parenting time as to her two children with Jason Mitchell. Finds that the trial court did not err in granting Mother’s request to relocate and modifying custody and parenting time. Finds that judgment does not impermissibly infringe on father’s constitutional right to parent.

Brandon Lawrence Johnson v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
20A-CR-1489
Criminal. Affirms Brandon Johnson’s 12-year sentence for Level 4 felony dealing in methamphetamine, finding it is not inappropriate in light of the nature of the offense and his character. However, reverses and remands to the Orange Circuit Court for an evidentiary hearing on the withholding of public defender fees from the cash bond posted by his mother.

In re the Matter of the Adoption of A.N.W. (Minor Child), J.M.W. v. R.R. and L.R. (mem. dec.)
20A-AD-1099
Adoption. Affirms the denial of J.M.W.’s motion to contest adoption of her child  A.N.W. Finds the Brown Circuit Court did not clearly err by finding mother’s consent was unnecessary.

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