Opinions May 6, 2020

  • Print
Listen to this story

Subscriber Benefit

As a subscriber you can listen to articles at work, in the car, or while you work out. Subscribe Now
This audio file is brought to you by
Loading audio file, please wait.
  • 0.25
  • 0.50
  • 0.75
  • 1.00
  • 1.25
  • 1.50
  • 1.75
  • 2.00

The following Indiana Supreme Court opinion was posted after IL deadline on Tuesday:
In the Matter of R.L. (Minor Child); J.R. (Mother) v. Indiana Department of Child Services and Child Advocates, Inc.
Juvenile CHINS. Reverses the Marion Superior Court finding that R.L. is a child in need of services and dismisses the CHINS petition with prejudice. Finds that under Matter of Eq.W., 124 N.E.3d 1201 (Ind. 2019), the Department of Child Services was barred from filing a successive CHINS petition after the first petition was dismissed with prejudice.

Wednesday’s opinions
Indiana Supreme Court
In The Matter of Scott Joseph Lennox
Attorney discipline. Disbars Kosciusko County attorney Scott Joseph Lennox, who was under prior suspension for noncooperation and continuing legal education noncompliance. Lennox, who pleaded guilty to felony theft and fraud on a financial institution, was found to have stolen from client trust accounts and numerous other counts of attorney misconduct constituting 15 rule violations.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Indianapolis Power & Light Company, a Subsidiary of the AES Corporation v. Joshua Gammon and Nicole Gammon
Civil Tort. Reverses the Marion Superior Court’s denial of the motion for summary judgment filed by Indianapolis Power & Light Company. Finds IPL did not have a duty to insulate power lines because precedent holds electric companies have a narrower duty when the lines are high above the ground and do not pose a threat to the general public. Notes Joshua Gammon was electrocuted, not as a member of the general public, but rather when he was doing his job installing aluminum along a roof. Holds Gammon’s claim IPL did not comply with National Electrical Safety Code is irrelevant because Indiana courts have rejected the contention that administrative regulations establish a duty.

Romello Jevon Webb v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Reverses Romello Webb’s convictions in Hendricks Superior Court of Level 2 felony attempted robbery resulting in serious bodily injury and Level 3 felony attempted robbery resulting in bodily injury in connection with a shooting during a drug deal gone bad. Finds insufficient evidence to prove that Webb was the shooter.

Tiffany Holsapple v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms in part the Madison Circuit Court’s lift of a stay on Tiffany Holsapple’s 16-year sentence and order that she serve that sentence following her termination from a problem-solving court program. Finds the trial court had discretion to determine an appropriate sanction. However, reverses in part after finding the trial court was not obligated to impose the sanction stated in a strict liability agreement between the state and Holsapple upon finding a violation. Remands for the trial court to determine the appropriate sanction, including but not necessarily limited to ordering full execution of her stayed sentence.

Justin Noelker v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms Justin Noelker’s 15-year sentence for conviction of Level 3 felony robbery and his admission of being a habitual offender. Finds the Wayne Circuit Court did not err in denying his motion to dismiss because, due to delays attributable to Noelker, the time period under the Interstate Agreement on Detainers had not yet expired when he was brought to trial.

Indiana Department of Child Services v. Justin Morgan
Civil tort. Reverses the Morgan Superior Court’s denial of summary judgment for the Indiana Department of Child Services in Justin Morgan’s lawsuit alleging the agency knowingly and negligently placed his son Brayson in a situation that endangered his life and was responsible for his injuries and death. Finds Morgan’s tort claim notice was untimely filed.

Stacy R. Goldman v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Stacy Goldman’s aggregate eight-year sentence for conviction in Vanderburgh Superior Court of Level 4 felony child solicitation and two counts of Level 4 Felony sexual misconduct with a minor. Finds the sentence is not inappropriate, but finds the child solicitation convictions violate double jeopardy. Reverses in part and remands with instructions to vacate the conviction and sentence for one of the two counts of child solicitation.

Mekielle Pullins v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms in part, reverses in part Mekielle Pullins’ sentence for conviction in Marion Superior Court of two counts of aggravated battery as Level 3 felonies. Reverses the imposition of her probation condition, and remands to delete the condition except as to L.D.

David Anthony Geiger v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms David Geiger’s four-year aggregate sentence for conviction of Level 5 felony dealing in methamphetamine, Level 5 felony dealing in a narcotic drug and Level 6 felony neglect of a dependent. Finds the Clark Circuit Court did not abuse its discretion in not adopting the sentence recommended by the state, and Geiger’s sentence is not inappropriate considering the nature of his offenses and his character.

In re the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of: D.B., M.S., D.S. (Minor Children), and L.B. (Mother) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
Juvenile termination. Affirms the termination of L.B.’s parental rights to three of her children. Finds the Vanderburgh Superior Court’s order terminating her parental rights was not clearly erroneous. Finds sufficient evidence to support the order.

Brian L. Paquette v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Brian Paquette’s 42½-year sentence for conviction of Level 3 felony resisting law enforcement, two counts of Level 4 felony operating a vehicle causing death and Level 6 felony operating a vehicle causing serious bodily injury. Finds his sentence is not inappropriate in light of his character and that the Pike Circuit Court did not abuse its discretion when it did not find certain mitigators.

Gerardo Hurtado v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Gerardo Hurtado’s conviction in Bartholomew Superior Court of Level 6 felony resisting law enforcement. Finds sufficient evidence to rebut Hurtado’s claim of duress as it pertained to his conduct giving rise to his conviction.

Taylor Marshall v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms the revocation of Taylor Marshall’s probation and order to serve the entirety of her previously suspended sentence. Finds no reversible error in the Fayette Circuit Court’s evidentiary rulings during the probation revocation hearing. Finds sufficient evidence from which the trial court could properly conclude that Marshall violated the terms of her probation. Also finds the trial court did not abuse its discretion when it required Marshall, as the sanction for her probation violation, to serve the entirety of her suspended sentence in the DOC.

Kejbir Singh Bal v. Shivali Bal (mem. dec.)
Domestic relation with children. Affirms the Hamilton Superior Court’s decree dissolving Kejbir Bal’s marriage to Shivali Bal. Finds that husband cannot now ask for a reconsideration of what property went into the marital pot with respect to the marital-residence equity and the Lexus. Also finds that attributing an average $1,750 weekly income to husband was not clearly erroneous.

Please enable JavaScript to view this content.

{{ articles_remaining }}
Free {{ article_text }} Remaining
{{ articles_remaining }}
Free {{ article_text }} Remaining Article limit resets on
{{ count_down }}