Opinions Nov. 20, 2023

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Court of Appeals of Indiana
Steven Slater, Jr. v. State of Indiana
22A-CR-3060
Criminal. Affirms Steven Slater’s convictions in Allen Superior Court of Level 6 felony possession of methamphetamine and Class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement, his adjudication as a habitual offender, and the revocation of his probation as a result of his new convictions. Finds the state presented sufficient evidence to support Slater’s convictions. Also finds his aggregate eight-year sentence in F6-1027 is not inappropriate given the nature of his offenses and his character. Finally, finds the trial court did not abuse its discretion in ordering Slater to serve the entirety of his previously suspended sentence.

In the Matter of the Adoption of K.M.T.S. (Minor Child); B.S. (Father) v. R.F. (mem. dec.)
23A-AD-1362
Adoption. Affirms the Henry Circuit Court’s order granting R.F.’s petition to adopt B.S.’s biological child, K.S. Finds the trial court’s finding that father’s consent to the adoption is not required is not clearly erroneous.

Jackie L. Haines III, Individually and as Parent of H.H., A Minor Child, Deceased, and Nicholas Dandurand, Personal Representative of the Estate of H.H. v. Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
23A-CT-652
Civil tort. Affirms the Madison Circuit Court’s dismissal of Jackie Haines III and Nicholas Dandurand’s survival claim against the Indiana Department of Child Services and the grant of summary judgment to DCS on a wrongful-death claim. Finds that because the plaintiffs did not provide notice of the survival claim in accordance with the Indiana Tort Claims Act, the claim is barred. Also finds that because Haines failed to name Jennifer Harris as a party to his Child Wrongful Death Act claim, the trial court did not err in granting summary judgment to DCS on that claim.

Timothy Glen Bryan v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
23A-CR-944
Criminal. Affirms Timothy Bryan’s eight-year sentence for child molesting, a Class C felony. Finds the trial court did not abuse its discretion when sentencing Bryan, and his eight-year sentence is not inappropriate in light of the nature of his offense or his character.

Douglas R. Hayden v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
23A-CR-1417
Criminal. Affirms the Jefferson Superior Court’s order revoking Douglas Hayden’s probation and ordering Hayden to serve the majority of his previously suspended sentence. Finds the trial court did not abuse its discretion by revoking Hayden’s probation and ordering him to serve 775 days of his previously suspended sentence in the Indiana Department of Correction.

John Couch v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
23A-CR-972
Criminal. Reverses John Couch’s conviction in Marion Superior Court of Class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement. Finds the state did not prove that Couch acted forcibly when he resisted arrest, so the evidence is insufficient to sustain his conviction for resisting law enforcement.

Jesse Lee Risley v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
22A-CR-02971
Criminal. Affirms the Vanderburgh Circuit Court’s order that Jesse Risley begin paying the restitution ordered as part of his criminal sentence for Level 3 felony aggravated battery. Finds Risley timely filed a notice of appeal following the trial court’s final judgment regarding his payment of restitution. Also finds Risley’s allegation of error fails as the trial court acted within its discretion when it refused to decrease the amount of restitution that he had to pay to Cody Utley.

Jamar Banks v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
23A-PC-769
Post-conviction relief. Affirms the Allen Superior Court’s denial of Jamar Banks’ petition for post-conviction relief. Finds Banks did not receive ineffective assistance of counsel.

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