Opinions Dec. 8, 2022

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Court of Appeals of Indiana
Avis Deforest White v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Reverses the denial of Avis Deforest White’s motion to suppress evidence stemming from a traffic stop. Finds the Indiana General Assembly has not made “inactive” registration an infraction, so the traffic stop was not justified by reasonable suspicion and was therefore impermissible. Judge Margret Robb dissents with separate opinion. 

Duke Energy Indiana, LLC v. City of Noblesville, Indiana
Civil plenary. Affirms the ruling that Duke Energy Indiana LLC must follow the city of Noblesville’s Unified Development Ordinances in two building projects and the imposition of more than $500,000 in penalties, attorney fees and interest arising from Duke’s intentional decision to raze two buildings without first obtaining a demolition permit. Finds Duke’s demolition work at the substation site and construction work at the garage/office site do not fall within the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission’s exclusive statutory purview. Also finds the Hamilton Superior Court did not abuse its discretion in imposing the penalties and defense costs. Remands for further proceedings concerning the amount, if any, of appellate fees owed by Duke to Noblesville under the UDO.

James E. Ayers v. Jackie Stowers
Small claims. Affirms the Clinton Superior Court’s entry of a money judgment for Jackie Stowers and the denial of James Ayers’ motion to correct error in a dispute involving the sale of a 2002 Chevrolet Trailblazer. Finds the Clinton Superior Court did not err when it entered judgment in favor of Stowers and denied Ayers’ motion to correct error.

Jose Luis Flores v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Post-conviction. Affirms the denial of Jose Luis Flores’ petition for post-conviction relief, filed after he was convicted of Class A felony child molesting and Class D felony sexual battery. Finds Flores failed to establish that he received ineffective assistance of trial counsel and therefore has not shown that the post-conviction court clearly erred when it denied his petition for post-conviction relief.

In the Involuntary Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of: R.M. (Minor Child), and L.H. (Mother) v. Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
Juvenile termination of parental rights. Affirms the termination of mother L.H.’s parental rights to R.M. Finds the juvenile court’s termination decision is supported by clear and convincing evidence.

T.P. v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Juvenile. Affirms the commitment of T.P. to the Indiana Department of Correction. Finds the juvenile court did not abuse its discretion.

Darryl J. Collins v. Ann T. Collins (mem. dec.)
Domestic relations with children. Affirms the denial of father Darryl Collins’ motion to modify his child support obligation. Finds Darryl has not demonstrated that child J.C.’s residence outside of mother Ann Collins’ home constitutes a changed circumstance so substantial and continuing as to make the terms of the agreement unreasonable. Also finds Darryl agreed to pay $3,000 per month to Ann, so he cannot now complaint that the amount differs by more than 20% from what would be ordered under the guidelines. Finally, finds Darryl has not demonstrated that the Monroe Circuit Court clearly erred when it denied his motion to modify the child support order.

Everett W. Fox v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Everett W. Fox’s convictions of domestic battery as a Level 5 felony, interference with the reporting of a crime as a Class A misdemeanor and theft as a Class A misdemeanor, and his sentence to an aggregate of six years. Finds the state presented evidence of a probative nature from which the jury could find beyond a reasonable doubt that Fox committed the charged offenses. Also finds Fox has not sustained his burden of establishing that his sentence is inappropriate in light of the nature of the offenses and his character.

In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of K.E. (Minor Child) and D.T. (Father) v. Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
Juvenile termination of parental rights. Affirms the termination of father D.T.’s parental rights to K.E. Finds the juvenile court’s conclusion that the conditions that resulted in K.E.’s removal are not likely to be remedied is supported by the findings. Also finds the juvenile court’s determination that termination of D.T.’s parental rights is in K.E.’s best interests is supported by sufficient evidence.

Thomas Charles Hayden v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms the revocation of Thomas Charles Hayden’s community corrections placement. Finds the Madison Circuit Court did not abuse its discretion in revoking Hayden’s placement or in revoking his suspended sentence.

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