Opinions Jan. 25, 2023

Court of Appeals of Indiana
State of Indiana, acting by and through its Department of Natural Resources v. Kailee M. Smith (now Leonard) and Jeffrey S. McQuary
Miscellaneous. Reverses the judgment in favor of Kailee Leonard on her suit against the state of Indiana for indemnification. Finds the state did not waive its challenge to the noncriminality of Officer Scott Johnson’s actions in procuring Leonard’s false arrest. Also finds the falsehood finding does not support the Marion Superior Court’s conclusion that Johnson’s actions were “noncriminal” under the indemnification statute.

Diocese of Fort Wayne South Bend, Inc. v. Gabriella Gallegos
Civil tort. Reverses the denial of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend Inc.’s motion for summary judgment on Gabriella Gallegos’ complaint. Finds the St. Joseph Circuit Court erred in denying the Diocese’s motion for summary judgment because the Diocese designated expert opinion evidence that negated an element of Gallegos’ negligence claim, and Gallegos failed to designate expert medical evidence to counter that designated by the Diocese. Remands with instructions to grant summary judgment in favor of the Diocese.

The Green Gang, Inc. v. Arnold Phillips (mem. dec.)
Civil tort. Affirms the judgment for Arnold Phillips in a dispute with The Green Gang Inc. Finds the Marion Superior Court properly denied Green Gang’s motion for summary judgment. Also finds any error in the admission of Jerrod Harrison’s testimony was harmless. Finally, finds the trial court did not err in denying the motion for judgment on the evidence.

In the Involuntary Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of: G.B. (Minor Child), and R.B. (Father) v. Indiana Department of Child Services. (mem. dec.)
Juvenile termination of parental rights. Affirms the involuntary termination of father R.B.’s parental rights to his son, G.B. Finds the Tippecanoe Superior Court’s findings support its conclusion that the conditions under which G.B. was removed from R.B.’s care would not be remedied.

Robert Mata v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Robert Mata’s Level 6 felony conviction for operating a vehicle as a habitual traffic violator. Finds any error in the Adams Superior Court’s failure to list Mata’s guilty plea as a mitigating factor during sentencing was harmless in light of his criminal history and the pragmatic reality of the evidence against him.

Douglas Wayne Crum v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms the revocation of Douglas Crum’s probation and the order that he serve roughly 3½ years of his previously suspended sentence in the Indiana Department of Correction. Finds sufficient evidence to support the Orange Circuit Court’s finding that Crum violated the terms and conditions of his probation.

Ed R. Anderson v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Post-conviction. Affirms and reverses in part the denial of Ed R. Anderson’s petition for post-conviction relief. Finds Anderson did not receive ineffective assistance from his trial or appellate counsels. Also finds under State v. Stidham, 157 N.E.3d 1185 (Ind. 2020), that the post-conviction court erred when it denied Anderson’s freestanding argument that his sentence is inappropriate under Indiana Appellate Rule 7(B). Remands with instructions for the trial court to sentence Anderson to 85 years.

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