Opinions Feb. 6, 2023

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The following 7th Circuit Court of Appeals opinion was posted after IL deadline on Friday:
Howard Smallwood v. Don Williams, et al.
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division. Judge James P. Hanlon.
Civil. Vacates the grant of summary judgment to the defendants on inmate Howard Smallwood’s constitutional claims. Finds there are unresolved, material factual questions regarding Smallwood’s ability to make use of the grievance procedure. Remands for further proceedings. Judge Michael Scudder concurs in the judgment with separate opinion.

Monday opinions
Court of Appeals of Indiana
Trevor Kentrell Bowie v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms Trevor Bowie’s convictions of Level 1 felony attempted murder, Level 4 felony unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon, Level 6 felony resisting law enforcement, Level 6 felony theft of a firearm, Class A misdemeanor possession of marijuana and Class B misdemeanor disobeying a declaration of a disaster emergency, and the jury’s verdicts that he is a habitual offender and was eligible for a firearm enhancement. Finds Bowie knowingly, intelligently and voluntarily waived his right to counsel. Also finds Bowie has failed to establish that the defective attempted murder charge merits reversal.

Daniel Edward Ward v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms Daniel Ward’s Class A Felony child molesting conviction. Finds that insomuch as either the admission of the challenged evidence or the prosecutor’s conduct was improper, neither deprived Ward of a fair trial so as to warrant reversal. Judge Nancy Vaidik concurs in part and in result with separate opinion.

In the Matter of the Termination of Parental Rights of: CA.J., CI.J. & B.J. (Minor Children), M.J. (Mother) & D.J. (Father) v. Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
Juvenile termination of parental rights. Affirms the termination of father D.J. and mother M.J.’s parental rights to their three children. Finds the Department of Child Services made reasonable reunification efforts. Also finds D.J.’s due process rights were not violated. Finally, finds sufficient evidence supports termination of M.J.’s parental rights.

Billy Wilson, Sr. v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Billy Wilson’s conviction of murder and 48-year sentence. Finds the state presented sufficient evidence to support Wilson’s conviction of murder and to rebut his claim of self-defense. Also finds neither the nature of the offense Wilson committed nor his character warrant a revision of his already-mitigated sentence.

PARS Transport, LP and Sandeep P. Singh a/k/a Sandeep Singh v. H19 Capital, LLC and 19th Capital Group LLC, 19th Capital Titling Limited Quality Companies, LLC, Quality, A Division of 19th Capital Group, LLC, Quality Equipment Leasing, LLC and Love’s Solution, LLC (mem. dec.)
Civil collection. Affirms the grant of summary judgment in favor of H19 Capital LLC on its complaint seeking damages and replevin with respect to truck leases, and the denial of Pars Transport L.P. and Sandeep P. Singh’s denial of their cross-motion for summary judgment on their claim of overpayment on certain truck leases. Finds the appellants’ affidavit and designated exhibits are inadmissible pursuant to the parameters established in Trial Rule 56(E). Also finds the Marion Superior Court properly denied the appellants’ cross-motion for summary judgment.

Larry Boston v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Larry Boston’s conviction of murder. Finds the state disproved Boston’s self-defense theory beyond a reasonable doubt sufficient to sustain his conviction for murder.

Selena Balder v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Selena Balder’s convictions of Level 4 felony burglary, Level 6 felony auto theft, Level 6 felony theft of a firearm and Level 5 felony theft. Finds the Owen Circuit Court did not abuse its discretion in allowing the challenged cross-examination, which did not violate the Doyle rule.

M.E. v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Juvenile. Affirms the placement of M.E. in Department of Correction following multiple probation violations and failure in less restrictive placement. Finds Marion Superior Court did not abuse its discretion when it placed M.E. in the DOC.

In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of J.K., Mother, and A.B. and R.B., Minor Children, J.K. v. Indiana Department of Child Services. (mem. dec.)
Juvenile termination of parental rights. Affirms the termination of mother J.K.’s parental rights. Finds no error in the Warrick Superior Court’s judgment.

David B. Henson v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms that DeKalb Superior Court’s order that David Henson serve his entire suspended sentence in prison for violating his probation. Finds the court did not abuse its discretion.

Kevin Levi Mullins v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Kevin Mullins’ convictions of six felonies arising from allegations that he molested his 6-year-old daughter and physically abused his other daughter, and his sentence to an aggregate of 46 years. Finds the Tippecanoe Superior Court did not err when it admitted the forensic interviews of I.M. and C.M., nor when it found that the harm suffered by the victim was greater than the elements necessary to prove the commission of the offense. Also finds Mullins’ sentence is not inappropriate in light of the nature of his offenses and his character. Finally, finds the trial court’s sentencing order does not comport with the constitutional requirements of double jeopardy. Remands with instructions to vacate the judgments on Counts III and IV, consider the double jeopardy implications of Counts V and VI, and enter a new sentencing order.

I.M.B. v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Juvenile. Dismisses without prejudice I.M.B.’s appeal of his adjudication as a delinquent child for having committed what would be Class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement if committed by an adult. Finds I.M.B.’s appeal is premature, as he must first seek relief from the Johnson Circuit Court under Trial Rule 60(b). Remands for further proceedings.

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