Opinions Feb. 24, 2021

The following 7th Circuit Court of Appeals opinion was posted after IL deadline Tuesday:
Jennifer L. Karr v. Andrew M. Saul, Commissioner of Social Security
20-1939
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, Fort Wayne Division. Judge Philip P. Simon.
Civil. Affirms the district court’s decision upholding an administrative law judge’s determination that Jennifer Karr was not disabled because she still could perform sedentary work with some restrictions. Finds the ALJ’s decision was supported by substantial evidence.

The following Indiana Supreme Court opinion was issued after IL deadline Tuesday:
City of Bloomington Board of Zoning Appeals v. UJ-Eighty Corp.
21S-PL-77
Civil plenary. Reverses an order of the Monroe Circuit Court  trial court order in favor of UJ-Eighty in a code enforcement dispute with the City of Bloomington. Finds Bloomington did not impermissibly delegate its zoning authority to Indiana University and there were no state or federal constitutional violations in the city’s orders for residents to vacate a fraternity house no longer recognized by IU.

Wednesday’s opinions
Indiana Court of Appeals
In the Matter of the Change of Gender Identification of A.B.; In the Matter of the Change of Gender Identification of O.S.; In the Matter of the Change of Name and Gender Identification of C.V. (f/k/a V.V.)
20A-MI-1580
Miscellaneous. Majority reverses the denials of three parents’ petitions to change their transgender children’s gender markers as set forth on the children’s birth certificates. Finds the Decatur Circuit Court in C.V.’s case erred in stating C.V.’s father lacked the authority to request a change to the gender marker on C.V.’s birth certificate. Also finds that the appropriate standard when reviewing a parent’s petition to change a child’s gender marker is whether the change is in the child’s best interests. Finally, finds that the Decatur Circuit Court and Allen Circuit Courts should be given the opportunity to reconsider the petitions using the correct standard of review. Remands with instructions to address the petitions in accordance with the best interest standard. Judge Rudolph Pyle III dissents with separate opinion.

Theodis Washington v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
20A-CR-914
Criminal. Affirms Theodis Washington’s convictions of dealing in a narcotic drug as a Level 3 felony, possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon as a Level 4 felony, four counts of possession of a controlled substance as a Level 6 felony, possession of marijuana as a Class A misdemeanor, carrying a handgun without a license as a Class A misdemeanor, the finding that he was a habitual offender, and 36-year executed sentence. Finds the amended charging information for the Level 3 felony did not constitute fundamental error, the jury instructions on the Level 3 felony were not deficient and the Washington Superior Court did not abuse its discretion in the admission of evidence. Also finds Washington waived any claim under Indiana Criminal Rule 4(C). Finally, finds Washington’s sentence is not inappropriate.

David Hooker v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
20A-PC-1076
Post conviction. Affirms the denial of David Hooker’s petition for post-conviction relief in Vanderburgh Circuit Court. Finds Hooker has failed to establish that his trial or appellate counsel was ineffective.

Keith Collins v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
20A-CR-1313
Criminal. Affirms Keith Collins’ convictions of two counts of Level 6 felony intimidation. Finds the state presented sufficient evidence in Marion Superior Court to sustain Collins’ convictions of intimidation.

Realgy, LLC v. Northern Indiana Public Service Company, LLC, Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission, and Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (mem. dec.)
20A-EX-1417
Agency action. Affirms the grant of summary judgment in favor of Northern Indiana Public Service Company LLC by the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission. Finds the agreement between NIPSCO and Realgy LLC unambiguously allowed NIPSCO to terminate the agreement upon a 60-day notice to Realgy. Also finds Realgy has failed to demonstrate that the termination was discriminatory. Finally, finds the IURC properly granted summary judgment to NIPSCO.

In the Matter of the Involuntary Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of: K.R.J., T.R.J., N.J., and A.R.J. (Minor Children) N.J. (Father) and K.R. (Mother) v. Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
20A-JT-1559
Juvenile termination of parental rights. Affirms the termination of mother K.R. and Father N.J.’s parental rights to their four children. Finds the termination in Montgomery Superior Court is supported by clear and convincing evidence.

Maurice Johnson v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
20A-CR-1687
Criminal. Affirms the revocation of Maurice Johnson’s probation and the order that he serve his two-year suspended sentence in the Department of Correction. Finds the Marion Superior Court did not abuse its discretion.

Editor’s note: Opinions for Feb. 24, 2021 have been updated to include a Feb. 23 Indiana Supreme Court decision posted after IL deadline.

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