Opinions March 25, 2020

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Indiana Court of Appeals
Guadalupe Pava v. State of Indiana
Affirms Guadalupe Pava’s conviction in Marion Superior Court of battery by a person at least 18 years of age resulting in bodily injury to a person less than 14 years of age as a Level 5 felony. Finds the objective reasonableness standard adopted in Willis v. State,888 N.E.2d 177 (Ind. 2008), would provide sufficient notice of what conduct crosses the line from mere discipline of a child to battery. Also finds Pava has failed to carry her burden of demonstrating that the battery statute is unconstitutionally vague as applied to her specific act of repeatedly striking P.P. with an electrical cord. Finally, finds the state submitted ample evidence to demonstrate beyond a reasonable doubt that Pava used an unreasonable amount of force, thus disproving her defense of parental privilege.

Richard A. Mise v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms Richard Mise’s aggregate 34-year sentence with five years suspended for conviction in Hamilton Superior Court of Class A felony child molesting and Class C felony child molesting. Finds Mise failed to show fundamental error and that his sentence is not inappropriate.

KMC, LLC v. Eastern Heights Utilities, Inc.
Civil collection. Affirms the Greene Superior Court’s entry of summary judgment in favor of Eastern Heights Utilities, Inc. against KMC LLC’s negligence complaint. Finds as a matter of law that Eastern Heights did not have a duty to shut off the water supply to the fire suppression system because it was prohibited by law from doing so. Finds the trial court did not err by entering judgment for Eastern Heights.

Jermaine T. Dearman v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Reverses and vacates Jermaine Dearman’s conviction in Hancock Superior Court of Level 6 felony possession of a controlled substance after he was found to be in possession of vape cartridges containing hash oil. Finds Dearman’s possession of hash oil is not a violation of Indiana Code Section 35-48-4-7.

K.F., et al. v. B.B., et al.; Termination: Adoption Agency v. B.B., et al. (mem. dec.)
Adoption. Affirms the Monroe Circuit Court’s decision that invalidated father B.B.’s and mother J.A.P.’s consent to their child’s adoption. Finds it was reasonable for the trial court to conclude that the birth parents’ consents to adoption were not voluntary, as they both lacked critical and necessary facts that pertained to the impending adoption of their child. Finds that the evidence did not led unerringly to a conclusion opposite of what the trial court reached. Also finds the trial court properly denied Heartland Adoption Agency’s motion for summary judgment. Lastly, finds the adoptive parents failed to show that their attorney’s continued representation prejudiced them in any way.

Bryan Williams v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Bryan Williams’ conviction of murder. Finds the Marion Superior Court did not abuse its discretion in refusing to give Williams’ tendered involuntary manslaughter instruction on the lesser-included offense of reckless homicide. Finds Williams was not entitled to an instruction on voluntary manslaughter, and the trial court did not err in refusing to give one.

D.G. v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Juvenile. Reverses D.G.’s adjudication in Marion Superior Court as a delinquent for committing an act that would constitute Level 3 felony rape if committed by an adult. Finds the state failed to prove that which is necessary to support a true finding.

In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of C.P. and O.P. (Minor Children); R.P. (Father) v. Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
Juvenile termination. Affirms the termination of R.P.’s parental rights to his two children. Finds there is sufficient evidence to support the termination. Finds Father cannot show that the Wells Circuit court erred when it concluded that termination of his rights was in children’s best interests. Also finds the trial court’s findings support its conclusion that the conditions that resulted in children’s removal and the reasons for their placement outside of his home will not be remedied.

Randy Chariton, on behalf of himself and all others similarly situated v. City of Hammond, Indiana Board of Public Works and Safety; et al. (mem. dec.)
Civil tort. Affirms the Lake Superior Court’s order granting the summary judgment motion filed by the City of Hammond, Indiana; the City Board of Public Works and Safety; Ed Krusa, in his official capacity as the board president; Stanley Dostatni, in his official capacity as the board vice president; and Jeffrey Smith, in his official capacity as a member of the board against Randy Chariton, on behalf of himself and others similarly situated. Finds Chariton’s claims are governed by the Indiana Tort Claims Act and that he did not substantially comply with the ITCA notice requirements.

Joshua R. Mackin v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Joshua Mackin’s convictions and aggregate 117-year sentence for conviction of murder and Level 4 felony unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon. Finds no double jeopardy violation and that his sentence imposed in Allen Superior Court is not inappropriate.

In re the Adoption of P.B. and K.B.: T.B. v. E.S. (mem. dec.)
Adoption. Affirms the Delaware Circuit Court’s finding that T.B’s consent was not required for his children’s adoption because he had failed without justifiable cause to communicate with the children for at least one year. Finds that the trial court did not err by concluding that adoption is in the children’s best interests.

Steven Mance v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms the Marion Superior Court’s order that Steven Mance serve 12 years in the Department of Correction following the trial court’s revocation of his placement on probation and in community corrections. Finds the trial court did not abuse its discretion when it ordered Mance to serve time in the DOC. Also finds the trial court did not express a desire for leniency in ordering Mance to return to the Department of Correction.

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