Opinions Jan. 11, 2022

Court of Appeals of Indiana
Shaun A. Smith v. State of Indiana
21A-CR-956
Criminal. Affirms Shaun A. Smith’s conviction of Level 5 felony dealing in methamphetamine. Finds the Cass Superior Court did not abuse its discretion by admitting into evidence a redacted report compiling text messages that were extracted from Smith’s cellphone. Also finds that any error would have been harmless.

James Johanningsmeier v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
21A-XP-571
Expungement petition. Remands the denial of James Johanningsmeier’s pro se petition to expunge his criminal conviction for Class C felony robbery, with instructions for the Shelby Superior Court to reconsider its decision that Johanningsmeier’s conviction was ineligible for expungement. Finds it is unclear what consideration the court gave to the modest evidence it did receive or whether the court overlooked certain documents under a mistaken belief that Johaningsmeier’s conviction for ineligible for expungement.

David W. Eades v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
21A-CR-847
Criminal. Affirms David Eades’ aggregate 50-year sentence, with 45 years executed in the Department of Correction and five years suspended, for one count of child molesting as a Class A felony; two counts of child molesting as Level 1 felonies; two counts of child molesting as Class C felonies; two counts of sexual misconduct with a minor as Level 4 felonies; and five counts of incest as Level 5 felonies. Finds the Fountain Circuit Court did not abuse its discretion when it sentences Eades. Also finds Eades’ sentence is not inappropriate in light of the nature of the offenses and his character.

Progressive Paloverde Insurance Company v. Isaac P. Booher (mem. dec.)
21A-CP-1131
Civil plenary. Affirms the dismissal of Progressive Paloverde Insurance Company’s negligence claim against Isaach Booher. Finds the Allen Superior Court did not abuse its discretion in granting the motion to dismiss given Progressive’s lack of diligence in perfecting service of process and the prejudice to Booher, which arises from receiving no notice of his potential liability for 4 ½ years. Judge Elizabeth Tavitas dissents with separate opinion.

In the Matter of: L.J., H.J., J.J., and J.J. Jr., N.W. (Mother) v. Indiana Department of Child Services and Kids’ Voice of Indiana (mem. dec.)
21A-JC-1598
Juvenile CHINS. Affirms the Marion Superior Court’s order that mother N.W. undergo a psychological evaluation and random drug screens after her children were found to be children in need of services. Finds the trial court’s actions were reasonable.

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