Opinions March 3, 2021

The following Indiana Supreme Court opinion was posted after IL deadline Tuesday:
In the Matter of the Adoption of I.B. (Minor Child): J.P. v. V.B.

Adoption. Affirms the Hamilton Superior Court’s ruling that biological mother J.P.’s consent was not required for the adoption of her child I.B. because, for a period of one year, she failed to communicate significantly with her child and failed to support her child when able and required to do so. Finds the trial court’s determinations were supported by sufficient evidence.

Wednesday’s opinions
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Jason Perry v. Mary R. Sims, PhD, H.S.P.P., et al.
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division. Chief Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson.
Civil. Affirms summary judgment for the medical personnel who involuntarily administered the medication Haldol to Jason Perry and the denial of Perry’s request for the appointment of counsel. Finds the forced medication did not violate the Eighth or 14th amendments. Also finds the district court did not err in denying Perry’s requests for counsel, and there is not “a reasonable likelihood that the presence of counsel would have made a difference in the outcome of the litigation.”

Indiana Court of Appeals
K.G., by her Parent and Next Friend, Melody Ruch, and Melody Ruch, Individually v. Morgan Smith, New Augusta North Public Academy, and Metropolitan School District of Pike Township.

Civil tort. Affirms and reverses in part the grant of summary judgment to New Augusta North Public Academy and the Metropolitan School District of Pike Township as to all claims Melody Ruch brought in her individual capacity. Finds Ruch cannot recover for emotional distress that results from a teacher sexually abusing Ruch’s daughter because the facts here do not satisfy the requirements of either the modified impact rule or the bystander rule. Declines to fashion a new rule to fit Ruch’s circumstances, finding Article 1, Section 12 of the Indiana Constitution does not require the Court of Appeals to carve out a remedy where none exists. Finally, finds the Marion Superior Court erred in granting summary judgment in the school defendants’ favor on all claims Ruch brought individually because the defendants did not seek summary judgment on her claim for economic damages. Remands for further proceedings.

In re: Petition to Docket Trust of Arthur Louis Swingle and Partha Lou Swingle, Duane A. Swingle v. David Swingle and Diana Jeffries (mem. dec.)
Trust. Affirms the grant of summary judgment to David Swingle and Diana Jeffries in a dispute with Duane Swingle relating to a trust established by the parties’ parents. Finds the Ripley Circuit Court did not err.

In re the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of V.N., D.N., S.N., & J.N. (Minor Children), and M.N. (Mother) v. Indiana Department of Child Services
Juvenile termination of parental rights. Affirms the involuntary termination of mother M.N.’s parental rights to Ju.N., V.N., D.N. and S.N. Finds the Greene Circuit Court did not commit fundamental error when it did not sua sponte continue the termination fact-finding hearing.

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