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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Ind. Decisions - Court of Appeals issues 3 today (and 7 NFP)

For publication opinions today (3):

In Ray Evans v. Eric L. Thomas, a 7-page opinion, Judge Bradford writes:

Appellant-Respondent Ray Evans appeals from the trial court’s issuance of a protection order (“PO”) at the request of Appellee-Petitioner Eric Thomas. Evans contends that the trial court abused its discretion in denying his motion for continuance, that Thomas’s petition did not allege conduct sufficient to support a PO, that the trial court was required to conduct an evidentiary hearing, and that Evans’s due process rights were violated by the trial court’s issuance of the PO. We affirm.
In Charles Hall v. State of Indiana , a 10-page opinion, Judge Crone writes:
A deputy with the Crawford County Sheriff‟s Department attempted to initiate a traffic stop of a vehicle driven by Charles Hall. Hall, who was driving with a suspended license and also had an active methamphetamine lab in his vehicle, led the deputy on a high speed chase. Hall ultimately drove the vehicle off the road, left it in a field, and fled on foot. When the deputy found the vehicle, he had another deputy conduct an inventory search in preparation for impoundment. When the deputy discovered evidence of a methamphetamine lab in the vehicle, he turned the search over to the State Police‟s clandestine lab team. The search uncovered an active methamphetamine lab, finished methamphetamine, and various precursors. Hall was ultimately convicted of and sentenced on four offenses: dealing in methamphetamine, possession of precursors, operating a vehicle after a lifetime suspension, and resisting law enforcement. The trial court imposed an aggregate sentence of twenty-four years.

On appeal, Hall argues that the inventory search violated his Fourth Amendment rights, and therefore the evidence obtained from the vehicle should have been excluded. He also argues that his sentence is inappropriate. We conclude that Hall abandoned his vehicle; therefore, the search did not implicate the Fourth Amendment. In light of Hall‟s highly dangerous conduct and his lengthy record of convictions relating to driving and/or drug use, Hall has not persuaded us that his sentence is inappropriate. Therefore, we affirm.

In R.W. v. State of Indiana , a 13-page opinion, Judge Friedlander writes:
R.W. appeals the true finding that he committed an act that would constitute the offense of Attempted Burglary,1 a class B felony, if committed by an adult. On appeal, R.W. presents the following issue for review: Did the juvenile court err in admitting the taped statement of a custodial interrogation of R.W.? * * *

In short, we find no evidence indicating that Mother consented to the waiver of R.W.’s rights. Absent a valid waiver of rights, it was error to admit R.W.’s confession.

Having determined that the juvenile court erred in admitting the confession, we must now determine whether that error was fundamental. * * *

In summary, we conclude that the juvenile court committed fundamental error in admitting R.W.’s videotaped confession, which constituted the only evidence of the element of intent to commit a felony with respect to the allegation of burglary under Count 1. Therefore, the true finding under Count 1 must be reversed. We affirm the juvenile court’s finding that the State’s evidence established the allegation in Count 2 that R.W. committed acts that would constitute the offense of criminal mischief. Further, because we reversed the true finding on Count 1, with which the finding in Count 2 was “merged”, we remand with instructions to enter a true finding with respect to the merged Count 2.

NFP civil opinions today (2):

Daniel E. Stuckman, Sr. and Daniel E. Stuckman, Jr. v. Kosciusko County Board of Zoning Appeals and the Estate of Gary Stuckman (NFP)

Matt B. Helmen, M.D. v. Mary and Ronald McDaniel, Individually and as Administrators of the Estate of Christopher L. McDaniel, Deceased, and Phillip Lam, M.D. (NFP)

NFP criminal opinions today (5):

Holly Horst (Greczek) v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Scott Wayne Steele v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Cary L. Patrick v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Wesley Hood, Sr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)

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

Posted by Marcia Oddi on September 25, 2012 12:20 PM
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions