Opinions June 20, 2022

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The following 7th Circuit Court of Appeals opinion was posted after IL deadline on Friday:
Sam Stamey v. Forest River, Inc.

Appeal from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division. Judge Damon R. Leichty
Civil. Reverses grant of summary judgment for Forest River on the claim it “constructively discharged” Sam Stamey by allowing employees in the plant to verbally and physically harassment over his age. Finds in light of Stamey’s claims of receiving 1,000 age-based insults from his coworkers, a jury could return a verdict in the plaintiff’s favor. Judge Michael Brennan dissents in separate opinion.

Monday opinions
Court of Appeals of Indiana
Clarence L. White, Folabi E. Oshinubi, and Denzel Lewis v. Krys Szalasny
Civil collections. Reverses Tippecanoe Circuit Court’s order granting tenants Clarence White, Folabi Oshinubi and Denzel Lewis attorney fees only for work done on the claim of breach of contract by landlord Krys Szalasny. Finds the tenants should be awarded attorney fees for time taken related to the petition for fees. Remands to the trial court to award tenants those fees and an additional $3,937 in attorney’s fees to compensate their time on the fee claim.

Tiffany M. Shelton and William M. Shelton v. Thomas M. Hayes
Miscellaneous. Affirms in part, reverses in part and remands. Reverses the Lake Superior Court’s order in favor of Thomas M. Hayes (grandfather) against Tiffany Shelton (mother) and William Shelton (adoptive father). Finds the trial court erred in granting a guardian ad litem in the parties’ dispute over modifying the grandfather’s visitation agreement with child. Remands for the trial court to determine whether modification of the agreement is in child’s best interests based on the previously presented evidence, not the GAL’s findings. Affirms the award of 10 makeup visits to the grandfather as a contempt sanction against the mother.

Sara Russell v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Reverses Sara Russell’s conviction of Level 6 felony escape. Finds that since Russell committed a misdemeanor, she wasn’t eligible for home detention as a direct commitment. Concludes a home detention order didn’t exist and dismisses the charge.

In the Involuntary Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of: C.S. (Minor Child), and K.S. (Mother) v. Indiana Department of Child Services
Juvenile termination. Affirms the termination of K.S.’s parental rights to her minor child, C.S. Finds evidence supports the trial court’s finding that the continued parental relationship poses a threat to Child, that the termination is in the child’s best interests, and that admission of a court appointed special advocates’ report was not a due process violation.

Knesha T. Carruthers v. State of Indiana (meme. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Knesha T. Carruthers’ conviction for murder. Finds the Elkhart Superior Court did not abuse its discretion in declining to instruct the jury on the offense of voluntary manslaughter.

Justin B. Stumler v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Justin B. Stumler’s 17-year sentence for conviction of  Level 2 felony dealing in methamphetamine followed by a consecutive one-year sentence for his conviction of Level 6 felony auto theft. Finds that Stumler’s sentence is not inappropriate in light of the offense and his character.

Warren E. Parks v. Chris Williams, et al.
Miscellaneous. Affirms the grant of summary judgment to Putnamville officials Angela Hooker, Sarah Eads, and Chris Williams in a suit brought against them by prisoner Warren Parks. Finds no genuine question of material fact exists as to whether Parks’ constitutional rights were violated and such a violation is an essential element of his § 1983 action.

In the Matter of: R.H. and R.M. (Minor Children), and S.H. (Father) v. Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
Juvenile CHINS. Affirms the Allen Superior Court’s order granting custody of S.H.’s biological children R.H. and R.M. to his parents J.H. and B.P.H. Finds that the trial court did not abuse its discretion and DCS engaged in reasonable efforts.

Terry Scott Marcum v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Terry Scott Marcum’s 35-year sentence with five years suspended to probation for Level 1 felony child molesting. Finds his sentence is not inappropriate in light of the nature of his offense and his character.

Susan Jane Brown v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Susan Brown’s 17 ½-year sentence for Level 2 felony voluntary manslaughter. Finds her sentence is not inappropriate.

Ryan T. Halligan v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Ryan T. Halligan’s conviction for Level 1 felony attempted murder. Finds Halligan’s sentence is not inappropriate in light of the nature of his offense and his character.

Austin Shoemaker v. Aubrey Shoemaker (mem. dec.)
Domestic relations with children. Affirms an order of the Henry Circuit Court declining to exercise jurisdiction in Austin Shoemaker’s child custody dispute with his wife Aubrey Shoemaker based upon the domestic violence prevention provision of Indiana Code Section 31-21-5-8(b)(1). Finds the husband has failed to demonstrate that the trial court abused its discretion by declining to exercise jurisdiction over the custody dispute between the husband and wife.

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