Opinions March 20, 2023

The following 7th Circuit Court of Appeals opinion was posted after IL deadline on Friday:
Toya R. Crain v. Denis R. McDonough, Secretary of Veterans Affairs
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division. Judge Richard Young.
Civil. Affirms the grant of the Veterans’ Administration’s motion for summary judgment. Finds Toya Crain failed to demonstrate she shares enough common factors with other chiefs for meaningful comparison in pay grades. Also finds Crain failed to identify weaknesses in the VA’s reasoning for her reassignment.

Monday opinions
Court of Appeals of Indiana
Rupinder Thind v. Delaware County, Indiana
Civil plenary. Affirms the grant of Delaware County’s motion for a preliminary injunction but reverses the order imposing costs and fines on Rupinder Thind. Finds the Delaware Circuit Court did not err in entering the preliminary injunction. Also finds the imposition of fines and costs was premature.

Spokane Kart Racing Association, Northwest Karting Association f/k/a NW Gold Cup, and Mike Schorn v. American Kart Track Promoters Association, Inc., and Tim Wilkerson
Civil plenary. Affirms the Marion Superior Court’s denial of the motion to dismiss. Finds that the out-of-state parties purposely availed themselves of the privilege of conducting activities within Indiana and that the trial court has specific jurisdiction over them. Judge Elizabeth Tavitas dissents with separate opinion.

Thomas DeCola v. Dennis L. & Joyce J. Steinhilber and Wendell E. & Betty L. Werner
Civil plenary. Affirms the Porter Circuit Court’s entry of summary judgment in favor of Dennis L. & Joyce J. Steinhilber and Wendell E. & Betty L. Werner. Finds the trial court correctly concluded that there is no genuine issue of material fact with respect to whether the Steinhilbers have any legal interest in Thomas DeCola’s property. Also finds the trial court did not err in granting the two motions for summary judgment in favor of the appellees.

In the Matter of the Adoption of L.D. and M.D., Minor Children, M.H. v. M.D. (mem. dec.)
Adoption. Affirms the Hamilton Superior Court’s denial of stepfather M.H.’s petition to adopt L.D. and M.D. Finds the trial court did not err in its order.

Patricia Rexroat v. Mark Constantine for Specific Performance (mem. dec.)
Civil plenary. Affirms the judgment in favor of Mark Constantine on his claim against the Estate of Robert L. Stogsdill for specific performance of a contract to devise. Finds the Boone Superior Court properly permitted witnesses to testify about the existence of the contract to devise. Also finds Constantine’s testimony was admissible under the Dead Man’s Statute and was not time-barred or precluded by the Statute of Frauds. Finally, finds the trial court properly ordered specific performance of the contract to devise, its findings were not clearly erroneous and the agreement did not violate public policy.

Jennifer Diane Lucas by Diane Zeiss Nevitt, Guardian v. Rebecca J. Swinford, State of Indiana, and City of Fishers (mem. dec.)
Civil tort. Affirms the grant of summary judgment to Rebecca Swinford. Finds Jennifer Lucas did not establish the existence of a genuine issue of material fact as to the essential element of proximate cause.

Kyle McArthur Taylor v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Kyle McArthur Taylor’s conviction for level 4 felony child molesting. Finds no reversible error in the admission and exclusion of evidence. Also finds Taylor has waived his Sixth Amendment claim.

Megan M. Smith v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Vacates Megan Smith’s conviction of Class A misdemeanor domestic battery. Finds there was sufficient evidence to support the conviction, but also finds that reversible error occurred when the Knox Superior Court failed to reset for a jury trial. Remands for a jury trial.

Stephen K. Bolin v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms the revocation of Stephen Bolin Jr.’s probation and the order that he serve 365 days of his previously suspended sentence, then be returned to probation. Finds the Vermillion Circuit Court did not abuse its discretion.

Central Market of Indiana, Inc. v. Hinsdale Bank, N.A. as Successor in Interest to Countryside Bank (mem. dec.)
Mortgage foreclosure. Affirms and reverses in part the grant of summary judgment in favor of Hinsdale Bank & Trust Co. Finds the Lake Superior Court did not abuse its discretion by not dismissing Hinsdale’s summary judgment motion, and its grant of summary judgment on Hinsdale’s complaint was proper. Also finds Hinsdale is not entitled to additional attorney fees for the out-of-state causes on the premise that they were integral to the enforcement of the loan agreement and promissory note. Remands for a hearing on appropriate attorney fees, which excludes the attorney fees based on Hinsdale’s involvement in the out-of-state cases.

Tony Ray Noffsinger, Sr. v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Tony Noffsinger’s convictions of two counts of Level 1 felony child molesting but reverses his conviction of Level 5 felony sexual misconduct with a minor. Finds the state proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Noffsinger committed the two challenged acts of Level 1 felony child molesting. Also finds that the state failed to establish the age for the purposes of Noffsinger’s Level 5 felony sexual misconduct with a minor conviction. Reverses Level 5 felony sexual misconduct with a minor conviction.

Jesse T. Meckley v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Jesse Mechley’s sentence to an aggregate of 30 years, with six years suspended, for Level 1 felony child molesting and two counts of sexual misconduct with a minor as Level 4 felonies. Finds the sentence is not inappropriate.

Anthony Martin v. Allen County Sheriff’s Department, et al. (mem. dec.)
Civil tort. Affirms the denial of Anthony Martin’s motion for a mistrial based on the jury seeing him in prison attire and restraints via Zoom. Finds Martin has not shown an abuse of discretion.

Toriono Terrell Johnson v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Toriono Terrell Johnson’s convictions of Level 1 felony attempted murder, Class B misdemeanor possession of marijuana and Level 4 felony unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon, his adjudication as a habitual offender, and his 52½-year sentence. Finds the state presented sufficient evidence beyond a reasonable doubt to support Johnson’s conviction for attempted murder. Also finds the trial court did not abuse its discretion in sentencing Johnson. Finally, finds Johnson’s sentence is not inappropriate.

Matthew L. Holland v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Matthew Holland’s sentence to an aggregate of 30 years for Class B felony criminal confinement, Class B felony prisoner possessing dangerous device or material and Class B felony attempted aggravated battery. Finds Holland’s sentence is not  inappropriate in light of his character and the nature of the offenses.

David Singleton v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms the Allen Superior Court’s denial of David Singleton’s motion to correct error, filed after his motion for leave to file a belated appeal was denied and after the trial court denied his motion to set aside his guilty plea on the morning of sentencing. Finds Singleton was not faultless for the delay in seeking an appeal and was not diligent in doing so.

Please enable JavaScript to view this content.

{{ articles_remaining }}
Free {{ article_text }} Remaining
{{ articles_remaining }}
Free {{ article_text }} Remaining Article limit resets on
{{ count_down }}