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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Ind. Decisions - Court of Appeals issues 5 today (and 12 NFP)

For publication opinions today (5):

In Term. of the Parent-Child Rel. of: S.S., J.S., and C.S. (Minor Children) and, T.S. (Mother) v. The Indiana Dept. of Child Services, a 15-page opinion, Judge Baker writes:

In this case, appellant-respondent T.S. (Mother) argues that she was denied due process when the juvenile court terminated her parental rights to three of her children after denying her motion for a continuance. More particularly, Mother contends that she should have been permitted additional time to be present at the termination hearing because she resides in Florida. * * *

Although Mother’s interest in the care and custody of her children is significant, the State’s interest in protecting these children is also very significant in light of Mother’s inability to protect herself from domestic abuse and to properly attend to the Children’s medical and mental needs. When this is balanced against the low risk of error because Mother was represented by counsel, voluntarily left Indiana, and was aware of the termination hearing, we conclude that she was not denied due process when the juvenile court denied her motion to continue. Accordingly, we affirm.

In Stephen G. Smith v. Board of School Trustees of the Monroe County Community School Corporation, an 18-page opinion, Sr. Judge Barteau writes:
Stephen G. Smith appeals the trial court’s order affirming the decision of the Board of School Trustees of the Monroe County Community School Corporation (“Board”) to terminate Smith’s teaching contract. We affirm. * * *

For the reasons stated, we conclude that there is substantial evidence to support the Board’s decision and that the Board followed proper procedures in cancelling Smith’s contract.

In Hickory Creek at Connersville v. Estate of Otto K. Combs, a 10-page opinion, Judge Vaidik writes:
According to the doctrine of necessaries, each spouse is primarily liable for his or her independent debts. To the extent that the debtor spouse is unable to satisfy his or her own necessary expenses, the law will impose limited secondary liability upon the financially superior spouse by means of the doctrine of necessaries.

In this case, Marianne Combs, a Medicaid recipient, died in a nursing home, but no estate was opened for her. The nursing home did not open a creditor’s estate for Marianne in order to preserve its claim. When Marianne’s spouse died a little over a year later, the nursing home filed a claim for her expenses against his estate. We find that according to the doctrine of necessaries, a creditor must first seek satisfaction from the income and property of the spouse who incurred the debt and only if those resources are insufficient may a creditor seek satisfaction from the non-contracting spouse.

In Terry L. Sturgis, Sr. v. State of Indiana, a 14-page opinion, Sr. Judge Barteau writes:
Terry L. Sturgis, Sr., appeals his convictions of murder, a felony, IC 35-42-1-1 (2007); two counts of criminal confinement, both as Class B felonies; IC 35-42-3-3 (2006); eight counts of battery, four as Class B felonies, three as Class C felonies, and one as a Class A misdemeanor, IC 35-42-2-1 (2009); and two counts of neglect of a dependent, both as Class D felonies, IC 35-46-1-4 (2007). We affirm.

Sturgis raises six issues, which we consolidate and restate as:
I. Whether the trial court abused its discretion in limiting Sturgis’s cross-examination of a witness.
II. Whether there is sufficient evidence to sustain Sturgis’s conviction for murder.
III. Whether some of Sturgis’s convictions for battery violate Indiana’s constitutional protection against double jeopardy.

In Timothy W. Parish v. State of Indiana, a 12-page opinion, Judge Vaidik writes:
Timothy W. Parish represented himself at trial and was convicted of two counts of Class D felony strangulation and one count of Class D felony domestic battery. Parish now appeals arguing that the trial court abused its discretion in denying him counsel at public expense and that he did not knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily waive his right to counsel. We find that the trial court properly denied Parish’s request for counsel at public expense because he had $130,000 in equity in his house. However, we find that the facts and circumstances of this case do not warrant a knowing and intelligent waiver of Parish’s right to counsel because the trial court did not advise him of the dangers and disadvantages of self-representation. We therefore reverse and remand for a new trial.

NFP civil opinions today (5):

D.D. v. D.P. (NFP)

Angela Spurgeon v. Review Board of the Indiana Dept. of Workforce Development and French Lick Professional Management, Inc. (NFP)

C.S. v. Review Board of the Indiana Dept. of Workforce Development (NFP)

Nephrology Specialists, P.C., Shahabul Arfeen, M.D., Sanjeev Rastogi, M.D., Maher Ajam, M.D., and Raied Abdullah, M.D. v. Asim Chughtai, M.D., Rafael Fletes, M.D., et al. (NFP)

Jacob K. Smith v. County of Hancock, Indiana (NFP)

NFP criminal opinions today (7):

Timothy Alex Lear v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Jeffrey Baker v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Noel Stack v. State of Indiana (NFP)

S.L. v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Noah Mani v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Gerry Lucas v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Leonard Shaw v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Posted by Marcia Oddi on June 27, 2013 10:57 AM
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions