Opinions May 11, 2022

The following 7th Circuit Court of Appeals opinion was published after IL deadline on Tuesday:
Legend’s Creek Homeowners Association, Inc. v. Travelers Indemnity Company of America
20-3163, 21-1288 and 21-2196
Appeals from United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division. Chief Judge Tanya Walton Pratt.
Civil. Affirms summary judgment for Travelers Indemnity Company of America, finding Legend’s Creek Homeowners Association filed its lawsuit after the two-year window for bringing a legal action had closed. Finds Legend’s Creek could have filed a lawsuit even as Travelers was cooperating and processing the claims. Also finds Travelers did not waive the two-year limit when it did not expressly tell the homeowners association it might rely on the policy’s contractual deadlines and when it did not respond to an email asking about the deadline to apply for replacement cost benefits. Finally, finds the district court properly disposed of the appraisal process and award, and the two-year deadline in the contract applied to any legal action, including the motion to compel an appraisal.

 Wednesday opinions
Court of Appeals of Indiana
Marquis David Young v. State of Indiana
21A-CR-2341
Criminal. Reverses Marquis Young’s conviction of murder and two counts of attempted murder. Finds insufficient evidence to support the convictions. Judge Terry Crone dissents with separate opinion.

State of Indiana v. Bryan Lyons
21A-CR-2187
Criminal. Affirms the Lawrence Superior Court’s ruling to suppress any evidence that came from the polygraph administered to the defendant, Bryan Lyons, and his post-polygraph statements. Finds the state violated Indiana Trial Rule 37(B)(2) by failing to disclose to the defense in a timely manner that Lyons’ polygraph had been changed to non-stipulated and, therefore, was not admissible in court. Remands for further proceedings. 

Jesse James Duckworth v. State of Indiana (mem. dec)
21A-CR-2161
Criminal. Affirms Jesse James Duckworth’s convictions of Level 2 and Level 3 felony dealing in methamphetamine, and his 25-year sentence. Finds the Huntington Superior Court didn’t abuse its discretion when it tried Duckworth in absentia. Also finds Duckworth has not met his burden to establish his sentence is inappropriate.

Gamron Tedford v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
21A-CR-1377
Criminal. Affirms Gamron Tedford’s conviction for murder. Finds the Marion Superior Court didn’t err responding to a jury question regarding self-defense. Also finds any error in the admission of evidence was harmless.

Derek Cerny v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
21A-CR-2306
Criminal. Affirms Derek Cerny’s convictions of Class A misdemeanor theft and possession of a controlled substance. Finds the state produced sufficient evidence. Also finds the Parke Circuit Court didn’t abuse its discretion in denying Cerny’s motion for judgment on the evidence, and any error the trial court may have made regarding evidentiary rulings was harmless. Finally, Cerny’s convictions don’t violate prohibitions against double jeopardy.

Christina Ann Helsley v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
21A-CR-2465
Criminal. Affirms the revocation of Christina Ann Helsley’s probation. Finds the Shelby Superior Court didn’t abuse its discretion when it revoked her probation and ordered her to serve the balance of her suspended sentence.

Richard Smith v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
21A-CR-2851
Criminal. Affirms Richard D. Smith’s sentence of eight years in the Indiana Department of Correction after he pleaded guilty to possession of methamphetamine, illegal possession of a syringe and possession of a narcotic drug, each as a Level 6 felony, possession of a controlled substance as a Class A misdemeanor and being a habitual offender. Finds the Wabash Circuit Court didn’t abuse its discretion by failing to consider certain mitigating circumstances. Also finds the sentence wasn’t inappropriate.

In the Matter of the Civil Commitment of: J.H., J.H. v. Health and Hospital Corporation d/b/a Sandra Eskenazi Mental Health Center (mem. dec.)
21A-MH-2862
Mental health. Dismisses an appeal by J.H. regarding a temporary order of commitment issued by the Marion Superior Court. Finds the appeal is moot in light of T.W. v. State, 121 N.E.3d 1039 (Ind. 2019), reh’g denied. Also finds that even if the appeal wasn’t moot, the order would’ve been affirmed. Judge Derek Molter concurs in result without separate opinion.

In the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of K.S. & A.S. (Minor Children), and R.S. (Father) & E.K. (Mother) v. Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
21A-JT-2093
Juvenile termination of parental rights. Affirms the termination of father R.S. and mother E.K.’s parental rights over their children, K.S. and A.S. Finds the evidence in the record supports three findings challenged by R.S. Also finds the Clark Circuit Court’s findings support its conclusions that the conditions under which the children were removed from the parents’ care wouldn’t be remedied and that termination of parental rights was in the children’s best interests.

Thomas Wagner v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
21A-CR-2416
Criminal. Affirms the denial of Thomas Wagner’s counsel’s second request for a continuance, which resulted in Wagner being sentenced to 11 years for convictions of Level 4 felony dealing in methamphetamine, Level 3 felony dealing in a narcotic drug and Class B misdemeanor possession of marijuana. Finds the Vanderburgh Circuit Court didn’t abuse its discretion.

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