Opinions June 10, 2022

Court of Appeals of Indiana

In the Matter of R.A.M.O., Child in Need of Services, D.F., Mother, v. Indiana Department of Child Services
21A-JC-1873
Juvenile CHINS. Affirms the Johnson Circuit Court’s determination that R.A.M.O is a child in need of services. Finds the trial court did not abuse its discretion by resetting the factfinding hearing beyond the 120-day time limit established in Indiana Code section 31-34-11-1(b). Rejects mother’s claims that the juvenile court’s decision to continue the matter violated her right to due process and that she was denied the effective assistance of counsel.

In the Matter of the Estate of Charles C. Allen, Deceased, Dorothy McIntyre v. Donna J. Allen, Delores Wilson, Steve Allen, Roger Allen, and Jimmy Allen (mem. dec.)
21A-PL-2110
Civil Plenary. Reverses Hendricks Superior Court’s default judgment against Dorothy McIntyre. Finds the entry of summary judgment by default is prohibited by the Indiana Trial Rules. Remands for a decision on the merits of the parties’ competing summary judgment motions.

K.W. v. State of Indiana(mem. dec.)
21A-JV-2260
Juvenile. Affirms Grant Superior Court’s found K.W. engaged in conduct equivalent to domestic battery but as a Class A misdemeanor. Rules K.W. was not denied due process when he was adjudicated a delinquent for slapping his mother. Finds the state filed a delinquency petition that contained several errors including incorrect names and address as well as the wrong mens rea but these mistakes did not deprive K.W. of due process. Notes in a footnote that while the errors in the juvenile petition did not deprive K.W. of due process, the state should exercise greater caution in future filings.

Michael Merriweather v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
21A-CR-2322
Criminal. Affirms Michael Merriweather’s convictions in Hendricks Superior Court of Level 4 felony unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon, Class A misdemeanor theft and Level 6 felony identity theft and the determination he was a habitual offender. Rules Merriweather’s claim that the search of his car violated the Fourth Amendment is without merit. Finds the evidence was sufficient to support his conviction for possession of a firearm.

James Fletcher v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
21A-CR-2604
Criminal. Affirms James Fletcher’s conviction for child molesting as a Class A felony. Finds the evidence presented at the jury trial in Johnson Superior Court was sufficient to sustain the conviction.

In the Matter of the Involuntary Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of S.P. and R.P. (Minor Children) and A.E. (Mother) and C.P. (Father) v. Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
22A-JT-170
Juvenile Termination of Parental Rights. Affirms Owen Circuit Court’s order terminating the parental rights of A.E. (mother) and C.P. (father) for their children. Finds the termination is supported by clear and convincing evidence.

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