Opinions March 28, 2022

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Court of Appeals of Indiana
Munster Steel Co., Inc. v. CPV Partners, LLC and Centennial Village, LLC
Civil plenary. Affirms summary judgment awarded to CPV Partners, LLC and Centennial Village, LLC against Munster Steel Co, Inc. after finding that the transfer of property that Munster Steel had sold to CPV and Centennial between the Developer and the town had not been a sale, but an equitable mortgage. Finds Munster Steel has waived any argument that the development agreement was ambiguous and the evidence available shows that the town parties and the developer intended the transfer to be an equitable mortgage.

Chelsea Denise Marksberry v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms Chelsea Marksberry’s conviction for Level 1 felony neglect of a dependent resulting in death. Finds sufficient evidence to support her convictions.

David Budd v. Review Board of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (mem. dec.)
Agency action. Affirms the dismissal of David Budd’s appeal of a decision by the Review Board of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development by an administrative law judge. Finds that Budd has waived his claim by failing to present a cogent argument and that, waiver aside, the Board did not deny Budd a reasonable opportunity for a fair hearing. Finds that Budd has not presented a cogent argument on appeal.

Darryl Britt Evans v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Darryl Evans’ aggregate 15-year sentence with eight years executed, three years in community correction and four years suspended for conviction of Level 4 felony unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon, Level 6 felony possession of marijuana, Level 6 felony maintaining a common nuisance, and two counts of Level 6 felony neglect of a dependent. Finds sufficient evidence to support Evans’ maintaining a common nuisance conviction. Finds that his due process rights were not blatantly violated or that it was impossible for the jury to consider fairly the SVF and marijuana counts. Also finds the trial court did not abuse its discretion in ordering Evans’s sentences to be served consecutively.

Corey Rucker v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Corey Rucker’s conviction of Level 5 felony failure to register as a sex offender and his seven-year sentence, which included an enhancement for being a habitual offender. Finds his sentence is not inappropriate and that there was sufficient evidence to support the conviction.

Levonuia Riley v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Levonuia Riley’s sentence for conviction for Level 6 felony theft and the imposition of his previously suspended sentence as a result of his probation revocation in a previous case. Finds Riley’s theft offense and character do not merit revision under the Appellate Rule 7(B) standard. Finds Riley’s arguments fail regarding the sanction for his probation revocation.

Indiana Family and Social Services Administration v. Connor Blessing, by and through his legal guardians, Thomas Blessing and Victoria Blessing-Wade (mem. dec.)
Civil plenary. Reverses in part the Boone Circuit Court’s conclusion that Connor Blessing had been prejudiced as a result of Indiana Family and Social Services Administration’s denial of his request to cover his Applied Behavioral Analysis therapy expenses stemming from his Autism Spectrum Disorder on the sole basis that an administrative rule limited that coverage to individuals under 21. Reverses only on the issue that the trial court lacked authority to direct any particular coverage-related determination other than to set aside the age restriction retroactive to the date Blessing made his request. Remands to FSSA for further proceedings consistent with the determination that the age restriction is unlawful.

Ricky Allan Brown v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Ricky Brown’s 66-year and 11-month prison sentence for four counts of Level 1 felony child molesting, one count of Level 4 felony child molesting and one count of Level 6 felony dissemination of matter harmful to minors for molesting his 7-year-old daughter and showing her sexual videos. Finds the incredible dubiosity doctrine does not apply. Finds his sentence is not inappropriate.

E.R. v. Review Board of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (mem. dec.)
Agency action. Affirms the Review Board of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development’s decision affirming an administrative law judge’s decisions after E.R. failed to participate in the hearing before the ALJ. Finds E.R. has failed to demonstrate good cause for her failure to appear.

Bland’s Wrecker Service v. George Savanhu (mem. dec.)
Small claims. Affirms the Monroe Circuit Court’s decision in favor of George Savanhu against Bland’s Wrecker Service and the denial of Bland’s subsequent motion to correct error. Finds Bland’s appellate challenge to the small claims court’s determination amounts to a request to reweigh the evidence before the small claims court.

Jeramie Wayne Lowe v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Jeramie Wayne Lowe’s conviction of Level 5 felony operating a vehicle after a lifetime suspension, Level 6 felony strangulation and Class A misdemeanor domestic battery and his aggregate seven-year sentence in the Indiana Department of Correction. Finds Lowe has not shown that his sentence is inappropriate in light of the nature of his offenses and character. Finds his consecutive sentences are justified.

Edward J. Warren v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Edward Warren’s two-year sentence for Level 6 felony battery by bodily waste and Class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement. Finds his sentence is not inappropriate.

Dustin Eugene Race v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Dustin Race’s six-year sentence for Level 5 felony reckless homicide after breaking a no-contact order to protect his girlfriend and driving into a bridge abutment, killing her. Finds the trial court did not abuse its discretion when imposing its sentence and finds that the sentence was not inappropriate.

Anthony Zoeller v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms in part, reverses in part Anthony Zoeller’s convictions for Level 2 felony dealing in methamphetamine; Level 4 felony possession of methamphetamine; Level 3 felony dealing in a narcotic drug; Level 5 felony possession of a narcotic drug; and Level 6 felony resisting law enforcement. Reverses Zoeller’s convictions for Count II and Count V on double jeopardy grounds and remands with instructions to the trial court to vacate those two convictions. Also reverses Zoeller’s conviction of Level 3 felony dealing in a narcotic drug and remands to vacate that conviction. Holds that sufficient evidence proves Zoeller packaged the meth for sale and possessed at least five grams of meth. Holds that Indiana Code Section 35- 48-1-16.5 is constitutional.

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