Opinions Oct. 21, 2021

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Indiana Court of Appeals
In the Matter of K.W. and R.W. (Children in Need of Services) and D.W. (Father) v. Indiana Department of Child Services
Juvenile CHINS. Affirms the determination that father D.W.’s children, K.W. and R.W., are children in need of services. Finds the fact-finding hearing and dispositional hearing were continued for good cause pursuant to Indiana Trial Rule 53.5. Also finds the evidence supports the Marion Superior Court’s conclusion that the children are CHINS.

Burkhart Advertising, Inc. v. Howard County Board of Zoning Appeals, City of Kokomo, Indiana, and Greg Sheline (mem. dec.)
Civil plenary. Affirms the partial dismissal of Burkhart Advertising Inc.’s complaint against the Howard County Board of Zoning Appeals, the city of Kokomo and Greg Sheline, individually and as planning director of the city of Kokomo’s Planning Commission, and the entry of partial final judgment in favor of the appellee-plaintiffs. Finds the Howard Superior Court did not err in dismissing the challenges to the BZA decision, including the petition for judicial review, or in the entry of judgment pursuant to Trial Rule 54(B).

Nathan C. Cook v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Post-conviction. Affirms the denial of Nathan C. Cook’s petition for post-conviction relief. Finds the post-conviction court did not err in denying Cook’s claims of ineffective assistance of trial and appellate counsel. Also finds the post-conviction court did not err in its discovery decisions.

J2 Systems and Supply, LLC v. Palmer Properties, LLC and White Castle Systems, Inc. (mem. dec.)
Civil plenary. Affirms the entry of judgment in favor of Palmer Properties LLC and White Castle Systems Inc. declaring that an easement granted to White Castle in a lease agreement between the appellees is enforceable against J2 Systems and Supply LLC, the subsequent purchaser of the property on which the easement is located. Finds that because J2 Systems had actual notice of White Castle’s easement on the Keystone Avenue property, the easement is valid and enforceable. Also finds J2 Systems is not entitled to a portion of the rent White Castle is obligated to pay under the terms of its lease agreement with Palmer.

Ian Ladwuane Rawls v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Ian Ladwuane Rawls’ four convictions for robbery, each as a Level 3 felony; his two convictions for intimidation, each as a Level 5 felony; his conviction for resisting law enforcement as a Class A misdemeanor and his conviction for operating a motor vehicle without a license as a Class C misdemeanor. Finds there was no error in the admission of evidence, let alone fundamental error.

In the Matter of the Commitment of D.E. v. Evansville State Hospital, Indiana Family and Social Services, Division of Mental Health and Addiction (mem. dec.)
Mental health. Affirms D.E.’s continued regular mental health commitment to an institution. Finds D.E. was not denied due process when the Brown Circuit Court denied his request to participate in the hearing in person. Also finds there was sufficient evidence supporting the trial court’s determination that D.E. is a danger to others and therefore in need of continued confinement.

In the Matter of: J.A. (Minor Child) and E.A. (Father) and Z.E. (Stepmother) v. Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
Juvenile CHINS. Affirms the determination that J.A. is a child in need of services, and the dispositional order as it relates to services in which stepmother Z.E. is required to participate. Finds the Bartholomew Circuit Court’s unchallenged findings supporting the CHINS adjudication. Also finds the trial court did not abuse its discretion in ordering Z.E. to participate in multiple services.

Brandi Kay Smith v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms the revocation of Brandi Kay Smith’s probation and the order for her to serve the remainder of her previously suspended sentence in the Indiana Department of Correction. Finds the Shelby Superior Court did not abuse its discretion.

Kyle Daniel Sexton v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Kyle Sexton’s 26-year sentence for his conviction of possession of methamphetamine as a Level 3 felony, enhanced by his status as a habitual offender. Finds Sexton’s sentence is not inappropriate given his significant criminal history, his lengthy history of substance abuse and the fact that he was on probation at the time of the instant offense.

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