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Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Ind. Decisions - Court of Appeals issues 2 today (and 5 NFP)

For publication opinions today (2):

In Robert O. Hedrick v. Angela R. Gilbert, a 15-page opinion, Judge Baker writes:

Robert Hedrick appeals from the trial court’s order, which: (1) declined to modify Hedrick’s original child support agreement with his ex-wife, Angela Gilbert, which provided that they would each bear 50% of the cost of their child’s postsecondary educational expenses, (2) found Hedrick in contempt and issued a sanction as a result, and (3) required Hedrick to pay a portion of Gilbert’s attorney fees. Gilbert filed a motion to dismiss the appeal, arguing that it was untimely filed. Finding that the appeal was timely filed, that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying Hedrick’s petition to modify the original child support agreement or in finding Hedrick in contempt for failing to comply with that original order, and that the trial court erroneously entered an attorney fee award against Hedrick, we affirm in part and reverse in part. * * *

Additionally, we acknowledge the authority that stands for the proposition that in a divorce case, a gross disparity of income between the parties can support an award of attorney fees to the party with lesser income available. See, e.g., Tompa v. Tompa, 867 N.E.2d 158, 166 (Ind. Ct. App. 2007). In this case, however, at the time of the modification hearings, there was not such a gross disparity in the income of Hedrick and Gilbert that an attorney fee order was warranted on this basis. Consequently, we find that the award of attorney fees was erroneous and reverse the trial court’s order to that extent only.

In State of Indiana v. Jacob A. Wroe, a 14-page opinion, Judge Baker writes:
The State of Indiana appeals the trial court’s order granting Jacob Wroe’s motion to suppress all evidence related to a polygraph examination Wroe had taken, including the stipulation to its admissibility signed by Wroe and the State. Although we acknowledge the concerns raised by Wroe regarding the agreement that he signed, and have significant reservations about the reliability of polygraph examinations and their admissibility in court, we are compelled by precedent to reverse the trial court’s order. * * *

Notwithstanding the language of the Stipulation, Sanchez is still the law of the land. Therefore, should the State decide to refile charges against Wroe, the trial court still retains the discretion afforded by Sanchez to consider the examiner’s qualification and the testing herein. This opinion has focused solely on the first prong of the Sanchez test and should not be interpreted to relate to any of the other three prongs. We also note that in the end, it will be the jury’s province to consider and weigh all evidence, including the polygraph examination results.

NFP civil opinions today (0):

NFP criminal opinions today (5):

Homer Ballard v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Lance Brownlee v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Monica L. Ritter v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Todd A. Garland v. State of Indiana (NFP)

William Mallory v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Posted by Marcia Oddi on September 9, 2014 01:18 PM
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions