Opinions March 13, 2020

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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Hamza Dridi, a/k/a Alex
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division. Judge William Lawrence.
Criminal. Affirms Hamza Dridi’s six-year prison sentence for charges of conspiring to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act and interstate transportation of stolen property, but reverses his $1,811,679.25 restitution order. Finds the Indiana Southern District Court erred both by not making specific factual findings prior to sentencing Dridi and by not adequately demarcating the scheme before imposing in restitution. Also finds only the second error affected Dridi’s substantial rights. Vacates the restitution order and remands the issue of restitution for further proceedings consistent.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Staff Source, LLC v. Christine A. Wallace, Milan Kesic, Slobodan Kesic, The Resolve Group, LLC, and Resolve HR, LLC
Civil plenary. Affirms the Lake Superior Court’s orders granting the motion for attorney fees filed by Christine Wallace, Milan Kesic, Slobodan Kesic, The Resolve Group LLC and Resolve HR, as well as the order finding them entitled to a certain amount of fees – $25,128.38 for Wallace and $51,135 for the other defendants. Finds the trial court did not abuse its discretion. Grants the defendants’ request for appellate attorney fees. Remands for a determination of reasonable appellate attorney fees.

M.R., A Child Alleged to Be a Delinquent v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Juvenile. Affirms the St. Joseph Probate Court’s modification of its dispositional order ordering M.R. to be committed to the Department of Correction. Finds the juvenile court did not abuse its discretion in committing M.R. to the DOC.

Saurabh Bagchi and Somali Chaterji v. Amberleigh Village Homeowners Association, Inc. (mem. dec.)
Civil plenary. Affirms the Tippecanoe Circuit Court’s judgment in favor of the Amberleigh Village Homeowners Association Inc. ordering Saurabh Bagchi and Somali Chaterji to modify the fence they constructed around their front and back yards to comply with restrictive covenants of the subdivision in which they live. Finds the plans and specifications for the fence were never formally submitted for the HOA’s approval and that the HOA may enforce the covenants against the property owners, despite that it has been more than four years since the fence was built.

In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of S.L. (Minor Child) and D.K. (Mother) v. Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
Juvenile termination of parental rights. Affirms the termination of mother D.K.’s parental rights to her child, S.L. Finds the juvenile court’s finds that the conditions resulting in S.L.’s removal and continued placement outside D.K.’s home would not be remedied and that termination of the mother’s parental rights is in the child’s best interests are supported by sufficient evidence.

Tywun Johnson v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
19A-CR-2476Criminal. Affirms Tywun Johnson’s convictions for Class A misdemeanor operating a vehicle while impaired endangering a person and Class A misdemeanor driving while suspended. Finds sufficient evidence to support the conviction.

In the Matter of the Paternity of X.R., Stephen Reid v. Julie Bodkin (Hodges) (mem. dec.)
Juvenile paternity. Affirms the award of sole legal custody of X.R. to Julie Bodkin. Finds Stephen Reid has failed to show that the Floyd Circuit Court abused its discretion in awarding sole legal custody to Bodkin, and thus failed to demonstrate prima facie error. Also finds the trial court did not violate Reid’s due process rights.

Richard Prewitt v. Jerry Neace (mem. dec.)
Civil plenary. Reverses the Jackson Superior Court’s grant of Jerry Neace’s motion and entry of default judgment against Richard Prewitt. Finds Neace relinquished his ability to move for a default judgment. Also finds the matter should be tried on the merits. Remands for further proceedings.

Eddie Bluitt v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Eddie Bluitt’s aggregate eight-year sentence for his convictions of Level 4 felony dealing in a narcotic drug and Level 5 felony dealing in a narcotic drug. Finds the Mario Superior Court did not err by rejecting Bluitt’s proffered mitigators, and that his sentence is not inappropriate.

Michael Baldwin v. Value Real Estate Holdings, LLC (mem. dec.)
Civil tort. Affirms the Marion Superior Court’s judgement in favor of Value Real Estate Holdings LLC on Michael Baldwin’s complaint. Finds the trial court did not abuse its discretion by denying Baldwin’s motion to compel, and Baldwin’s remaining arguments regarding a mistrial and the jury verdict are waived.

Cody Brown v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms, vacates and reverses in part Cody Brown’s convictions for Level 1 felony neglect of a dependent resulting in death and Level 2 felony battery to a person less than 14 years of age resulting in death. Remands with instructions to vacate the Level 2 felony conviction based on double jeopardy concerns. Finds no abuse of discretion in admitting letters Brown wrote during his interview with a detective. Also finds his 32-year sentence is not inappropriate, and the Clinton Circuit Court did not abuse its discretion in sentencing him.

In the Matter of the Paternity of A.G. (Minor Child): A.H. (Mother) v. J.G. (Father) (mem. dec.)
Juvenile paternity. Affirms the modification of mother A.H.’s physical custody of her child, A.G. to the child’s father, J.G. Finds A.H. has not shown a deprivation of her due process rights, nor has she demonstrated an abuse of the Hendricks Circuit Court’s discretion.

April L. Christal v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms April Christal’s convictions for Level 6 felony possession of methamphetamine and Class B misdemeanor possession of marijuana. Finds the Blackford Superior Court did not err by admitting evidence obtained from the traffic stop.

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