Opinions June 22, 2021

The following Indiana Supreme Court opinion was posted after IL deadline Monday:
Jordan Allen Temme v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Reverses the order that Jordan Temme be reincarcerated after he was erroneously released from prison. Finds that Temme is entitled to credit time as if he were still incarcerated during the period spent erroneously at liberty. Remands for the Vanderburgh Superior Court to calculate any credit time owed to Temme. Notes that if time remains to be served after credit time is awarded, Temme must be recommitted to the appropriate authority.

Tuesday opinions
Indiana Supreme Court
State of Indiana v. Justin Jones
Criminal. Reverses an order requiring a confidential informant in Justin Jones’ case to have a face-to-face interview with opposing counsel. Finds that an informant’s identity is inherently revealed through their physical appearance at a face-to-face interview. Also finds that when a defendant requests such an interview, the state has met its threshold burden to show the informer’s privilege applies. Finally, finds the Marion Superior Court did not apply the established balancing test before ordering disclosure. Remands.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Michael W. Wise Sr. v. The GEO Group, Inc., Lt. Dunn, Mark Sevier, N. Ong, Neal Fetz, and S. Longnecker (mem. dec.)
Small claims. Affirms the Henry Circuit Court’s entry of judgment against Michael W. Wise and in favor of the New Castle Correctional Facility on Wise’s small claims action against the prison alleging a package he was set to receive was lost in the mail and requesting $1,500 in damages. Finds the trial court properly considered affidavits and did not err in denying his motion to compel. Also finds Wise presented no evidence to rebut the prison’s evidence that it placed the package in the mail.

In the Matter of the Irrevoable Trust of Mary Ruth Moeder, Susan Moeder v. Robert W. York, Temporary Trustee of the Mary Ruth Moeder Trust (mem. dec.)
Trust. Affirms the Marion Superior Court’s holding that the trustee of the Mary Ruth Moeder Revocable Living Trust could distribute trust assets to and for the benefit of Mary Moeder’s son, John, including payment of creditors. Finds the trial court did not err in including findings from a February 2012 order in its August 2020 order. Also finds that because res judicata claims brought by Susan, Moeder’s daughter, were litigated and decided in a previous order, Susan is precluded from relitigating them on appeal. Finally, finds an award of appellate attorney fees is appropriate because Susan’s appeal was frivolous, without merit and in bad faith. Remands to the trial court with instructions to determine and award an appropriate amount of appellate attorney fees.

Princess Daniels-Porter v. City of West Lafayette (mem. dec.)
Civil tort. Affirms the Tippecanoe Superior Court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of the city of West Lafayette and against Princess Daniels-Porter on her complaint filed after a police car struck her as she crossed the street. Finds that while Daniels-Porter may not be solely responsible for what happened, her negligence was at least a slight cause of the harm she suffered. Also finds that under contributory negligence law, Daniels-Porter’s claim against the city is barred as a matter of law.

Jesse King v. J.T. (mem. dec.)
Protective order. Affirms an ex parte order against Jesse King for protection and subsequent orders for protection following a hearing. Finds King’s due process rights were not violated. Also finds J.T. presented evidence of probative value to establish by a preponderance of the evidence that King’s actions would cause a reasonable person to suffer emotional distress and actually caused her to suffer emotional distress, which supports the issuance of an order for protection.

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