Opinions Nov. 9, 2021

Indiana Court of Appeals
Financial Center First Credit Union v. Miguel Rivera
Civil collection. Affirms the Marion Superior Court’s denial of Financial Center First Credit Union’s motion to compel arbitration and to stay proceedings. Finds the credit union introduced ambiguity on appeal as to whether it sought to compel arbitration of just Miguel Rivera’s underlying individual claim or of the amended counterclaim as a whole, including the class action allegations. Also finds the credit union cannot arbitrate Rivera’s individual claim because it had already answered the claim and then filed for summary judgment. Finally, finds the credit union cannot arbitrate Rivera’s class action claim because the plain language of the contract states class action claims cannot be arbitrated.

Izetta Dawn Davis-Roper v. The Estate of Glenward August Schroeder, Deceased
Estate, supervised. Reverses the Perry Circuit Court’s order finding that Izetta Dawn Davis-Roper was not an heir in her grandfather Glenward August Schroeder’s estate because she failed to prove that she was the heir of his son. Finds the trial court abused its discretion and committed reversible error when it excluded her tendered Exhibit H, a certified copy of an Alabama reciprocal support action that her mother had filed during her dad’s lifetime determining he owed Davis-Roper a duty of support. Remands for proceedings.

Calvin Z. Jackson v. Washington Municipal Utilities (mem. dec.)
Civil collection. Affirms the grant of Washington Utilities, the city of Washington and the Washington Street Department’s motion for judgment on the pleadings against customer Calvin Jackson. Finds Jackson has waived his claims of trial court error based on his failure to comply with the appellate rules.

In Re: The Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of N.W.B., E.T.B., and M.O.B.; J.A.F. (Mother) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
Juvenile termination of parental rights. Affirms the termination of mother J.A.F’s parent-child relationships with her three sons, N.W.B., E.T.B. and M.O.B. Finds that there is sufficient evidence to support the Allen Superior Court’s decision to terminate the parent-child relationships.

Indiana Department of Homeland Security v. Gattitown Evansville (mem. dec.)
Miscellaneous. Reverses the Vanderburgh Circuit Court’s grant of Gattitown Evansville’s motion for extension of time and its denial of the Indiana Department of Homeland Security’s motion to dismiss. Finds that because Gattitown failed to satisfy the requirements of Indiana Code § 4-21.5-5-13, the trial court did not have discretion to deny DHS’ motion to dismiss. Remands with instructions to grant DHS’ motion to dismiss.

Shawn Patrick Bowie Jr. v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Shawn Patrick Bowie Jr.’s conviction of Level 4 felony possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon. Finds no abuse of the Marion Superior Court’s discretion in admitting evidence of the firearm found in Bowie’s vehicle.

Justin R. Bennett v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Justin Bennett’s conviction for murder. Finds sufficient evidence to refute his self-defense claim and, therefore, to support the murder conviction.

Amanda Lynn Wilson v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Amanda Wilson’s conviction for Class A misdemeanor battery resulting in bodily injury and Class B misdemeanor disorderly conduct. Finds Wilson’s alleged error of being denied her right to a misdemeanor jury trial was invited error.

Janeen L. Walker-Tarver v. Lake Central Plaza, LLC, Meyers Premier Properties, LLC, and Hungry Hound, Inc. (mem. dec.)
Civil tort. Reverses the Lake Superior Court’s grant of summary judgment to Lake Central Plaza LLC, Meyers Property Management and Hungry Hound Inc. in a dispute with Janeen L. Walker-Tarver. Finds that the designated evidence presents a genuine issue of material fact regarding whether the defendants had knowledge of the ongoing problem of dogs coming and going from Hungry Hound kicking rocks onto the pathway and creating a hazard for pedestrians. Also finds a jury must determine whether the defendants had sufficient knowledge and whether they exercised reasonable care to protect Walker-Tarver. Remands for proceedings.

Zaiquiao Ye v. Zhenglin Li (mem. dec.)
Small claims. Affirms the Monroe Circuit Court’s decision in favor of Zhenglin Li in a dispute with Zaiquiao resulting from a driving school car accident. Finds Ye failed to meet her burden to establish that the trial court abused its discretion in admitting evidence and to show that the trial court’s findings constituted clear error.

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