Opinions Nov. 30, 2022

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The following 7th Circuit Court of Appeals opinion was posted after IL deadline on Tuesday:
United States of America v. Ronald Colbert
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division. Chief Judge Tanya Walton Pratt.
Criminal. Affirms the denial of Ronald Colbert’s motion to suppress evidence found on his person during a traffic stop. Finds officers had reasonable suspicion to support a Terry frisk under the totality of the circumstances.

Wednesday opinions
Court of Appeals of Indiana
In Re the 2020 Madison County Tax Sale; James A. Crowe and Phyllis Lynn Crowe v. Savvy IN, LLC
Petition for tax deed. Reverses the denial of Dr. James A. Crowe and Phyllis Lynne Crowe’s motion for relief from judgment following the Madison Circuit Court’s order to issue tax deeds. Finds the Crowes presented testimony that they did not receive notice regarding their right to redeem the property in question following the 2020 tax sale or Savvy IN, LLC’s request for tax deeds, and that their signatures did not appear on the certified mail receipts. Remands to provide the Crowes with 30 days to redeem the parcels.

 Crystal LaMotte v. Stephen R. LaMotte, Jr.
Domestic relations. Reverses the denial of mother Crystal LaMotte’s motion to correct error requesting a new final hearing in the dissolution of her marriage to father Stephen LaMotte Jr. Finds Crystal’s due process rights were violated. Remands with instructions for the Marion Superior Court to hold a new dissolution hearing.

Johnthan Quarles v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Reverses Johnthan Quarles’ conviction of Level 2 felony robbery resulting in serious bodily injury. Finds the Marion Superior Court abused its discretion by admitting evidence obtained from a notebook, and the improper admission into evidence of the notebook pages affected Quarles’ substantial rights. Also finds there is sufficient evidence to support the guilty verdict, so Quarles is subject to retrial on the robbery charge. Remands for a new trial. Judge Elizabeth Tavitas dissents with separate opinion.

In Re: The Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of C.M., B.K., and V.K. (Minor Children); A.A. (Mother) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
Juvenile termination of parental rights. Affirms the termination of mother A.A.’s parent-child relationships with C.M., B.K. and V.K. Finds there is sufficient evidence to support the Vermillion Circuit Court’s decision to terminate the parent-child relationships.

Timothy Swetcoff and Gina Swetcoff v. Knollwood Homeowners Association, Inc. (mem. dec.)
Civil plenary. Affirms the order on the Knollwood Homeowners Association’s motion to correct error awarding additional attorney fees. Finds Timothy and Gina Swetcoff’s violations of Indiana Appellate Rules 46 and 50 have resulted in an inadequate basis for review, so they have waived their claim that the St. Joseph Circuit Court erred in awarding attorney fees.

Richard Arnet Kendricks, Jr. v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Richard Kendrick Jr.’s conviction of Class A misdemeanor operating a vehicle while intoxicated endangering a person. Finds there is sufficient evidence to support Kendrick’s conviction.

Craig A. Fields v. Jane Allerton and Michael Allerton (mem. dec.)
Domestic relations. Affirms the Delaware Circuit Court’s orders on father Craig Fields’ petition to modify child support and on grandparents Jane and Michael Allerton’s petition for determination of amounts due for delinquent support, reimbursement of health care expenses and post-secondary educational support. Finds the trial court did not err when it modified Fields’ child support obligation or calculated his child support arrearage. Also finds the trial court did not err when it ordered Fields to reimburse the Allertons for medical expenses and for $500 toward a laptop for A.D. Finally, finds the trial court did not err when it ordered Fields to pay $3,500 for the Allertons’ attorney fees.

Troyon Ramon Scott v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Troyon Ramon Scott’s conviction of murder and his 65-year sentence. Finds that even if the St. Joseph Superior Court erred by not permitting Scott or his attorney to directly question the prospective jurors, Scott has not established that any such error made it impossible for him to receive a fair trial. Also finds Scott has not sustained his burden of establishing that his total sentence is inappropriate in light of the nature of the offense and his character.

In the Matter of: B.T. (Minor Child), and A.H. (Mother) v. Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
Juvenile CHINS. Affirms the order adjudicating mother A.H.’s child, B.T., as a child in need of services and the Madison Circuit Court’s subsequent dispositional order. Finds the court’s CHINS determination is supported by the evidence. Also finds the conditions imposed upon A.H. in the dispositional decree are consistent with the best interests of B.T., are not overly restrictive and provide A.H. with a reasonable opportunity to participate.

Macey Ann Cunningham v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Remands the revocation of Macey Cunningham’s probation and the order that she serve seven years of her previously suspended sentence in the Indiana Department of Correction. Finds the Vigo Superior Court erred by not awarding Cunningham credit for the time she spent in a work release facility awaiting disposition.

In the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of: A.P., J.P., M.P., L.P. (Minor Children), and T.P. (Mother) v. Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
Juvenile termination of parental rights. Affirms the involuntary termination of mother T.P.’s parental rights to A.P., J.P., M.P. and L.P. Finds T.P. has not shown good cause for a continuance, nor has she shown that the Adams Circuit Court abused its discretion in denying her motion for a continuance or that she is entitled to reversal on due process grounds.

In the Involuntary Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of: M.S. and M.M. (Minor Children), and Mi.S. (Father) v. Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
Juvenile termination of parental rights. Affirms the involuntary termination of father Mi.S.’s parental rights to M.S. and M.M. Finds reversal is not warranted based on the denial of Mi.S.’s motion to dismiss. Also finds the Vanderburgh Superior Court did not clearly err in finding a reasonable probability exists that the conditions resulting in the children’s removal and the reasons for placement outside of Mi.S.’s care will not be remedied. Finally, finds clear and convincing evidence supports the trial court’s determination that there is a reasonable probability that the continuation of the parent-child relationship poses a threat to the children’s well-being, and that termination is the children’s best interests.

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