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Thursday, July 18, 2013

Ind. Decisions - Court of Appeals issues 4 today (and 10 NFP)

For publication opinions today (4):

In Auditor of Owen County and Treasurer of Owen County v. Asset Recovery, Inc., a 7-page opinion, Sr. Judge Barteau writes:

The auditor and the treasurer of Owen County (“Owen County”) appeal the trial court’s order granting Asset Recovery, Inc.’s “Verified Petition and Claim for Surplus After Tax Sale.” We reverse and remand. * * *

For the reasons stated, we conclude that the trial court abused its discretion by granting Asset Recovery’s petition for the release of the surplus funds.

In Christopher Halterman v. Adams County Board of Commissioners, Adams County Sheriff, Charles Padgett, Adams County Sheriff's Dept. and Adams County Jail, an 8-page opinion, Judge May writes:
Christopher Halterman appeals a summary judgment for Adams County Sheriff Charles Padgett. He presents two issues for our review: 1. Whether the trial court abused its discretion when it denied Halterman’s motion to strike Dr. Bev House’s affidavit; and 2. Whether the trial court erred when it granted summary judgment in favor of Sheriff Padgett. We affirm.* * *

The trial court did not abuse its discretion when it denied Halterman’s motion to strike the affidavit of Dr. House, and Sheriff Padgett was entitled to summary judgment because Halterman could not show any action or lack thereof by Sheriff Padgett caused Halterman’s injury.

In James Denning v. State of Indiana, an 8-page opinion, Judge May writes:
James Denning was convicted after a bench trial of Class A felony attempted robbery and being an habitual offender. He raises two issues on appeal: 1. Whether the victim’s testimony was incredibly dubious; and 2. Whether Denning should have been convicted of battery resulting in serious bodily injury as a Class C felony instead of attempted robbery as a Class A felony.

As a preliminary matter, the State argues we do not have jurisdiction to consider Denning’s appeal because he filed his notice of appeal before the trial court decided the issue of restitution. We have jurisdiction, and we affirm. * * *

Denning is appealing a final order, as he was not subject to a pending restitution order; his victim’s testimony was not incredibly dubious; and the trial court was not obliged to enter a conviction of a lesser-included offense. We therefore have jurisdiction over this appeal and affirm the trial court.

In Frederick Herron v. State of Indiana, a 10-page opinion, Judge May writes:
Frederick Herron appeals his convictions of two counts of Class A felony dealing in cocaine, one count of Class B felony dealing in cocaine, and a finding that he is an habitual substance offender. He asserts the court abused its discretion when it admitted evidence seized during and after a traffic stop. We affirm. * * *

Officers are permitted to stop a vehicle when they observe a traffic violation, Black v. State, 621 N.E.2d 368, 370 (Ind. Ct. App. 1993), even if the officer may have an ulterior motive of furthering an unrelated criminal investigation. Mitchell v. State, 745 N.E.2d 775, 787 (Ind. 2001). The officers could stop Herron’s car based on their belief the tint on his windows was illegal. Once stopped, we believe the totality of the circumstances known to police demonstrate the reasonableness of the police officers’ decision to arrest Herron for dealing crack cocaine. The two controlled purchases made by the confidential informant corroborated the anonymous tip, and an officer saw in plain view what appeared to be the buy money in Herron’s car. That evidence gave police reasonable belief Herron should be arrested for dealing cocaine, and it was reasonable under our State Constitution for police to search Herron incident to that arrest. See Winebrenner v. State, 790 N.E.2d 1037, 1041 (Ind. Ct. App. 2003) (search reasonable under Art. 1, Sect. 11 where incident to arrest supported by probable cause).

NFP civil opinions today (2):

Marco Puente v. Stark Leasing Company, Inc. (NFP)

In the Matter of the Paternity of: L.M.D. (Minor Child) D.H. v. A.D. (NFP)

NFP criminal opinions today (8):

Troy Thurman v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Clint Bradley a/k/a Sam Jones v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Jeremiah Walls v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Todd D. Kelly v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Bruce Johnson-El v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Kasiim Weaver v. State of Indiana (NFP)

John D. Rogers v. State of Indiana (NFP)

James F. Noel v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Posted by Marcia Oddi on July 18, 2013 10:52 AM
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions