Opinions June 10, 2024

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Indiana Court of Appeals 

Regina Geels v. Lindsay Flottemesch, Mackenzi Hatfield, and Stephanie Malinowski as Guardian for Marley Malinowski


Civil plenary. Reverses the Allen Superior Court’s judgment imposing a constructive trust. Finds dispositive and preemption applies and defeats the daughters’ claim for a constructive trust pursuant to Indiana substantive law. Remands with instructions for the trial court to order the Clerk of Allen County to distribute the proceeds of the life insurance policies to Regina Geels. Judge Peter Foley dissents with a separate opinion.

In re the Adoption of M.J.H (Minor Child) S.R. v. T.D. 


Adoption. Affirms the Hamilton Superior Court’s grant of T.D.’s petition to adopt M.J.H. Finds the trial court did not err in concluding that putative father’s consent to the adoption was irrevocably implied and granted the adoption petition.

Latasha Howard v. State of Indiana 


Criminal. Affirms Latasha Howard’s 17-year sentence for Level 2 felony dealing in cocaine. Finds the Marion Superior Court did not abuse its discretion when sentencing Howard. Reverses the trial court’s indigent determination and assessment of fine, costs and fees. Finds the trial court erred by assessing the fine, costs and most of the fees without properly determining whether Howard was actually indigent. Remands with instructions that the trial court hold a hearing to determine whether Howard is indigent before assessing the fine and all costs and fees other than the jury fee.

In the Matter of R.L. Jr., M.L., T.A., An.A., Q.A., Z.L., I.L., and A.L. (Minor Children), Children in Need of Services and A.A. (Mother), R.L. Sr. (Father) and O.A. (Father) v. Indiana Department of Child Services


Juvenile CHINS. Affirms the Lawrence Circuit Court’s judgment. Finds no error in the procedural issues raised by the parents and decline to find structural error.

Cory M. Wallace v. State of Indiana


Miscellaneous. Affirms the Madison Circuit Court’s dismissal of Cory Wallace’s petition to change the gender marker on birth certificate. Finds the trial court properly dismissed Wallace’s petition.

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