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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Ind. Decisions - Court of Appeals issues 3 today (and 6 NFP)

For publication opinions today (3):

In Lorraine (Carpenter) Miller v. Karl Carpenter , a 20-page opinion, Judge Crone writes:

Lorraine (Carpenter) Miller (“Mother”) and Karl Carpenter (“Father”) were previously married and have two children in common. The divorce decree, which incorporated the parties’ settlement agreement, gave Mother sole legal custody and primary physical custody of the children. Father had parenting time for about 127 overnights per year, but took a parenting time credit of only ninety-eight overnights. About two years later, Father petitioned for joint legal custody, an increase in parenting time, and a decrease in child support. After a hearing, the trial court granted Father the requested relief. The decrease in child support was based on Mother’s increase in income, Mother’s decrease in child care costs, and an increase in the parenting time credit.

On appeal, Mother argues that the trial court erred by: (1) granting Father joint legal custody when the evidence did not support all the pertinent factors that must be considered; (2) modifying Father’s parenting time to such an extent that it was a de facto modification of physical custody; and (3) decreasing Father’s child support obligation when it should have imputed additional income to him and retained the agreed-upon parenting time credit of ninety-eight overnights. We agree with Mother that Father failed to show a substantial change in circumstances supporting a modification of legal custody and therefore reverse the trial court on that issue. However, we conclude that the trial court did not make a de facto modification of physical custody. To modify parenting time, only a showing of the children’s best interests was required, and the evidence supports the trial court’s conclusion that the modification was in the children’s best interest. We also conclude that the trial court did not abuse its discretion by concluding that evidence of imputed income was too speculative, that Father should receive a larger parenting time credit due to the increased number of overnights that he has with the children, and that his previous support obligation exceeds the Indiana Child Support Guidelines amount by more than 20%. Therefore, we affirm the trial court’s order as to the parenting time and child support issues.

In Earl Arnold, Sr. v. Rose Acre Farms, Inc., an 8-page opinion, Judge Darden concludes:
In short, Clemans is consistent with the rule that an employee is in the course of employment when he is traveling from one part of the employer‟s premises to another. It does not stand for the proposition that an employee may be eligible for benefits from injuries occurring when traveling a public road from his home to his employer‟s sole piece of property. Thus, Clemans does not support Arnold‟s position that he was injured “in the course of” employment as he traveled to work on a public road.

Arnold has failed to show that the Board erred in determining that he was not injured in the course of his employment with Rose Acres. Affirmed.

In Hane C. Harris v. State of Indiana, a 13-page opinion, Judge Crone writes:
Hane C. Harris repeatedly molested the young daughter of his girlfriend. A jury found Harris guilty of class A felony child molesting, class C felony child molesting, and class D felony child solicitation. The jury also found Harris to be a habitual offender. The trial court sentenced Harris to a total sentence of eighty-one years, with seventy-nine years executed. On appeal, Harris claims that he was denied his right to confrontation guaranteed by both our federal and state constitutions because the victim was permitted to testify at trial via closed-circuit television. Harris also contends that the trial court abused its discretion in imposing consecutive sentences. Finding no constitutional violations and further concluding that Harris has not established that the trial court abused its discretion in imposing consecutive sentences, we affirm. However, we remand for correction of the sentencing order regarding the habitual offender enhancement.
NFP civil opinions today (3):

Cynthia J. Biddle, as Personal Rep. of the Estate of Edgar E. Biddle, Deceased v. Joseph W. Laskowski and Barbara J. Laskowski (NFP)

Term. of Parent-Child Rel. of A.F.-M (Minor Child); A.M. (Mother) and B.S.M. (Father) v. The Indiana Dept. of Child Services (NFP)

Karyl Pogue v. Kim Rawlings and Deborah S. Rawlings (NFP)

NFP criminal opinions today (3):

Kevin K. Cotton v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Stacy I. Cottrill v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Steffin T. McFall v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Posted by Marcia Oddi on March 27, 2012 12:02 PM
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions