Opinions March 3, 2022

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The following opinions were posted after IL deadline Wednesday:
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Birch | Rea Partners, Inc. v. Regent Bank, Stonegate Bank, and Home BancShares, Inc. 
21-2118, 21-2307
Appeals from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, Fort Wayne Division. Judge Holly Brady.
Civil. Affirms the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana’s grant of Regent Bank’s motions for summary judgment as to probable cause and malice against Birch | Rea Partners Inc., as well as Birch’s motion for summary judgment on Regent’s counterclaim for attorney fees. Also affirms the denial of Regent’s motion for damages as moot and Birch’s motion to strike two affidavits used by Regent. Finds Birch cannot establish the elements of a successful malicious-prosecution claim. However, also finds Birch’s lawsuit was not frivolous under Indiana law as alleged by Regent.

Valerie Cortez v. Cook Incorporated, et al. 
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division. Judge Richard Young.
Civil. Affirms the Indiana Southern District Court’s grant of Cook Incorporated, et al.’s motion to dismiss Valerie Cortez’s claim of product liability as untimely, holding that the allegations in the complaint were insufficient to demonstrate fraudulent concealment and therefore the statute was not tolled. Finds that because the product liability claims in Cortez’s case are subject to a statute of repose, and fraudulent concealment cannot extend the time to file claims for such a statute, the claims in this case are untimely.

Indiana Supreme Court
In re the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of I.L., O.L., V.N., and M.P.N. (Minor Children) and S.T. (Mother); S.T. (Mother) v. Indiana Department of Child Services
Juvenile termination of parental rights. Grants transfer, adopts and incorporates by reference Part I of the Court of Appeals of Indiana’s opinion as Supreme Court precedent, holding that mother S.T.’s constitutional due process rights were not violated when her parental rights were terminated following a remote video hearing. Finds the Court of Appeals correctly decided the due process issue. Summarily affirms the Court of Appeals opinion in all other respects.

Thursday opinions
In the Matter of the Marriage of: Kristi M. McClendon v. Richard L. Triplett
Domestic relations. Affirms the modification of custody of K.T. and D.T. in favor of father Richard Triplett. Finds mother Kristi McClendon failed to demonstrate that she was prejudiced by the denial of her motion to continue, that the Adams Circuit Court abused its discretion by allowing K.T. to testify without her parents in the courtroom, that the trial court’s denial of her motion to exclude testimony of three witnesses was erroneous or that the trial court erred by granting Triplett’s motion for modification of physical and legal custody.

Walter E. Patrick, III v. April J. Henthorn
Civil tort. Affirms the grant of summary judgment in favor of April J. Henthorn on Walter E. Patrick III’s complaint for negligence following an automobile accident. Finds that because the designated evidence demonstrates that Henthorn suffered a medical emergency that was not reasonably foreseeable, she affirmatively negated one element of Patrick’s negligence claim. Also finds the Johnson Superior Court did not err in entering summary judgment for Henthorn.

Derek Oechsle v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Derek Oechsle’s conviction of murder and his aggregate 55-year sentence. Finds the Marion Superior Court did not err by giving Final Instruction No. 19 on self-defense instead of the pattern jury instruction on self-defense. Also finds the state adequately rebutted Oechsle’s self-defense claim. Finally, finds his sentence is not inappropriate in light of the nature of the offense and the character of the offender.

Edward Lee Perry v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Edward Perry’s conviction of Level 5 felony burglary and his five-year sentence. Finds there was sufficient evidence to support the conviction. Also finds Perry’s sentence is not inappropriate.

In re the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of K.G. (Minor Child) and S.A. (Mother) S.A. (Mother) v. Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
Juvenile termination of parental rights. Affirms the termination of mother S.A.’s parental rights to K.G. Finds the Wayne Superior Court did not err when it concluded there is a reasonable probability that the conditions resulting in K.G.’s removal and continued placement outside the home will not be remedied.

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