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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Ind. Decisions - Court of Appeals issues 3 today (and 18 NFP)

For publication opinions today (3):

In Karen S. (Topper) Spivey v. Charles E. Topper , a 12-page opinion, Chief Judge Baker writes:

Karen Spivey is disabled to an extent that she cannot support herself. Consequently, the trial court ordered Charles Topper, Karen’s ex-husband, to pay spousal maintenance for a finite period of time—six months. Karen’s treating physician, however, provided undisputed testimony that he could not say that the new medications she had recently begun taking would enable her to be employed in six months. Under these circumstances, we find, among other things, that the trial court abused its discretion by awarding spousal maintenance for a predetermined, finite period of time.

Appellant-petitioner Karen S. (Topper) Spivey appeals from the trial court’s decree of dissolution of her marriage to appellee-respondent Charles E. Topper. Karen argues that the trial court erroneously (1) found that she was incapacitated but capped the length of the spousal maintenance award at six months and awarded her an insufficient amount of maintenance, (2) credited Charles for the parties’ debts to his parents and uncle, (3) valued the marital residence at $72,000, and (4) awarded Karen only 54% of the marital estate. Finding that the trial court abused its discretion in awarding spousal maintenance for a finite amount of time and finding no other error, we affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand with instructions consistent with this opinion.

In Gerry Ray Rogers v. Laura Lynn Rogers , a 21-page, 2-1 opinion, Chief Judge Baker writes:
Today we are asked to decide whether the trial court properly exercised its discretion in permitting a mother to move from Lafayette to Texas and retain physical custody of her two children in accordance with our Relocation Statute. Under the circumstances here, we hold that the trial court correctly determined that the mother complied with the provisions of the Relocation Statute and properly found that the children’s father failed to establish that the move was not in the children’s best interests.

Appellant-respondent Gerry Ray Rogers (Gerry) appeals the trial court’s modification of a custody order that was entered in favor of his former wife, appellee-petitioner Laura Lynn Rogers (Laura), which permitted the relocation of the parties’ minor children to Texas. Specifically, Gerry argues that the order approving the relocation was erroneous because Laura purportedly failed to comply with the requirements of the Relocation Statute. Moreover, Gerry claims that the evidence established that relocation was not in the best interests of the children. Finding no error, we affirm the judgment of the trial court. * * *

BAILEY, J., concurs.
KIRSCH, J., dissents with opinion. [which concludes] The preamble to the Indiana Parenting Guidelines states that the Guidelines “are based on the premise that it is usually in a child’s best interest to have frequent, meaningful and continuing contact with each parent. It is assumed that both parents nurture their child in important ways, significant to the development and well being of the child.” Mother’s move to Texas will make such contact and such nurturing impossible.

In William Pete Casper v. L.E. Isley & Sons, Inc. , a 9-page opinion, Judge Sharpnack writes:
Janet Casper, on behalf of the estate of William Pete Casper (“the Estate”), appeals the order of the Full Worker’s Compensation Board of Indiana (“the Board”) dismissing the Estate’s claim against Casper’s former employer, L.E. Isley & Sons, Inc. (“Isley”). The Estate raises one issue, which we revise and restate as whether the Board’s dismissal of the Estate’s application for worker’s compensation pursuant to Ind. Code § 22-3-7-36(b) was premature. We affirm.
NFP civil opinions today (4):

Roy Sinko and Grace Sinko v. Indy Power Coatings, LLC & Sherman Park, LP (NFP) - "This incident does not amount to an assumption of a duty on the part of Indy Powder. First and foremost, it does not involve the area in which Sinko allegedly fell. Additionally, it was a single incident of a tenant informing a landlord of work that needed to be done and then aiding the landlord in obtaining people to make the repair. Based upon the foregoing discussion and authorities, we conclude, as did the trial court, that Indy Powder owed no duty to Sinko. Thus, the trial court properly entered summary judgment in favor of Indy Powder."

Donald "Jeff" Scott v. Chronicle Tribune (NFP) - "Based on the foregoing, we conclude the trial court did not err in granting Chronicle’s Motion for Summary Judgment, thereby determining as a matter of law Scott’s discharge from Chronicle was not retaliatory in nature. Affirmed."

Christopher Wilson v. Chronicle Tribune (NFP) - "Based on the foregoing, we conclude the trial court did not err in granting Chronicle’s Motion for Summary Judgment, thereby determining as a matter of law Wilson’s discharge from Chronicle was not retaliatory in nature."

Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of C.B., I.B., S.B.; Charlene Burns v. Marion County Office of Family & Children and Child Advocates (NFP) - "For the foregoing reasons, we affirm the trial court’s termination of Mother’s parental rights to C.B. and S.B."

NFP criminal opinions today (14):

Marcus D. Reed v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Karey Sledge v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Sylvester Bonds v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Arnold Cade v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Leroy Smith v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Leslie Simmons v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Gary W.Studer v. State of Indiana (NFP)

David L. Allen v. State of Indiana (NFP)

James D. Brown v. State of Indiana (NFP)

James Alexander v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Carmen Duenas v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Brian Baxter v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Steven M. Babcock v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Eric Tellez v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Posted by Marcia Oddi on November 20, 2007 01:44 PM
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions