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Wednesday, February 05, 2014

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

For publication opinions today (3):

In H.H. v. A.A. , a 15-page opinion, Judge Bradford writes:

Appellant-Petitioner H.H. (“Mother”) filed a notice of intent to relocate from Bartholomew County to Hawaii with G.A. (the “Child”). Appellee-Respondent A.A. (“Father”) objected to the relocation of the Child. The trial court denied Mother’s request to relocate with the Child following an evidentiary hearing. Mother appeals. Upon review, we conclude that Mother has shown a good faith and legitimate reason for proposing the relocation, but that the trial court did not clearly err in finding that relocation was not in the Child’s best interests. Accordingly, we affirm.
In Everett Sweet v. State of Indiana, an 11-page opinion, Judge Najam writes [ILB emphasis]:
The State petitions for rehearing following this court’s December 6, 2013, opinion, in which we affirmed the post-conviction court’s denial of Sweet’s petition for post-conviction relief. While the State prevailed in our original appeal, in its petition for rehearing the State asserts that we mistakenly relied on our Supreme Court’s opinion in Norris v. State, 896 N.E.2d 1149 (Ind. 2008), rather than our Supreme Court’s opinion in Helton v. State, 907 N.E.2d 1020 (Ind. 2009). The State is correct. Norris involved a petition for post-conviction relief filed pursuant to Indiana Post-Conviction Rule 1(a)(4), whereas Helton, like Sweet’s appeal, involved a petition filed pursuant to Rule 1(a)(1). Accordingly, we grant the State’s petition, vacate our prior opinion, and substitute our prior opinion with this opinion on rehearing. We again affirm the post-conviction court’s denial of Sweet’s petition for post-conviction relief.
In Timothy Ladana Hazelwood v. State of Indiana , an 8-page opinion, Judge Mathias writes:
Timothy Ladana Hazelwood (“Hazelwood”) filed a petition in Marion Circuit Court seeking to rescind the lifetime suspension of his driving privileges. The trial court denied the petition, concluding that Indiana Code sections 9-30-10-14 and 9-30-10-15 prohibited it from reinstating Hazelwood’s driving privileges because he had been convicted of Class C felony operating a vehicle after his license had been forfeited for life. On appeal, Hazelwood claims that this statutory provision is unconstitutional as applied to him. Concluding that driving is a privilege and not a right and that the suspension of Hazelwood’s driving privileges is not punitive, we affirm. * * *

Hazelwood claims that the license reinstatement statute is not unconstitutional on its face but only as applied to him. * * *

Here, Hazelwood claims that by preventing him from ever having his driving
privileges reinstated, the State is effectively continuing to punish him for his previous traffic-related offenses. This, he claims, violates the constitutional provisions providing for rehabilitative, not retributive, justice; the provisions providing that penalties must be proportional to the crime; and the provisions prohibiting cruel and unusual punishment. * * *

Hazelwood’s arguments regarding these constitutional provisions are premised on his claim that the suspension of his driving privileges for life constitutes “punishment.” Indeed, Hazelwood argues at some length that his lifetime suspension is a punishment. However, it is well settled that the suspension of driving privileges is not a punishment. * * *

Because the suspension of Hazelwood’s driving privileges is not a punishment, his constitutional claims that the suspension is a disproportionate punishment and a cruel and unusual punishment necessarily fail. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the trial court denying Hazelwood’s petition for reinstatement of his driving privileges.

NFP civil opinions today (1):

Christopher King v. Karen Patrick (NFP)

NFP criminal opinions today (2):

Alexander Trueblood v. State of Indiana, County of Marion, City of Indianapolis (NFP)

Steven Winters v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Posted by Marcia Oddi on February 5, 2014 01:54 PM
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions