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Thursday, October 02, 2014

Ind. Decisions - Court of Appeals issues 2 today (and 6 NFP)

For publication opinions today (2):

In Certain Martinsville Annexation Territory Landowners v. City of Martinsville, a 9-page opinion, Judge Kirsch writes:

The Appellants are remonstrators (“the Remonstrators”) who appeal the trial court’s order denying their remonstrance, affirming the City of Martinsville’s (“the City”) annexation ordinance, and approving the annexation of certain land surrounding the City. The Remonstrators raise several issues on appeal; however, we find the following issue dispositive: whether the appeal should be dismissed as moot because the annexation has become final, and there is no effective relief that this court can render to the Remonstrators. We dismiss. * * *

ROBB, J., concurs.
BAKER, J., concurs with separate opinion. [that begins, on p. 8] I fully concur in the opinion and write separately only to express my concerns regarding the time period during which remonstrators may request a stay. Here, we dismiss the Remonstrators’ appeal as moot because they failed to request a stay before the annexation became effective. While I agree that we must do so when an annexation becomes final, I fear that a clerk of the municipality may be able to finalize an annexation without allowing a reasonable time for remonstrators to request a stay.

In Robert Campbell v. State of Indiana , a 9-page opinion, Judge Riley writes:
Campbell raises one issue on interlocutory appeal, which we restate as follows: Whether the trial court abused its discretion by granting the State’s Motion to Withdraw from Plea Agreement. * * *

Campbell, the State, and the trial court are in agreement that Indiana courts have not yet decided this precise situation. Thus, Campbell relies on firmly established case law that holds the State may only withdraw from a plea agreement prior to the trial court’s acceptance, as long as the defendant has not relied to his detriment on the plea agreement and the State has not materially benefitted from the deal. See Mendoza v. State, 869 N.E.2d 546, 552 (Ind. Ct. App. 2007), trans. denied. Because the trial court had already accepted the Plea Agreement and entered a judgment of conviction at the time of the breach, Campbell contends that the trial court had no authority to rescind the Plea Agreement. Rather, Campbell maintains that the trial court was obligated to enforce the Plea Agreement by imposing a sentence in accordance with its terms. We disagree. * * *

If we were to adopt Campbell’s argument that upon the trial court’s acceptance of a plea agreement, the State may not withdraw under any circumstances and the trial court must proceed directly to sentencing, the floodgates would be thrown wide open for criminal defendants to make duplicitous promises to prosecutors in order to reduce their own penal exposure, knowing that their negotiated sentences would be preserved regardless of their non-compliance. Such a holding would “undermine the integrity and credibility of the criminal justice system.” Id. Accordingly, even though the trial court had already accepted the Plea Agreement and entered a judgment of conviction, we conclude that Campbell’s subsequent breach warranted the State’s withdrawal from the Plea Agreement prior to the imposition of any sentence.

Based on the foregoing, we conclude that the trial court did not abuse its discretion by granting the State’s Motion to Withdraw from Plea Agreement, vacating the judgment of conviction, and ordering the case to proceed to trial.

NFP civil opinions today (2):

In re the Involuntary Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of: R.L. (Minor Child) and T.L. (Father) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)

Denny Gene Inman and Lois Inman v. Charles L. Turner and Jennifer C. Turner (NFP)

NFP criminal opinions today (4):

Rodney Paul Sniadecki v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Donald Worth v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Nanette Zawadzki v. State of Indiana (NFP)

David Oxley v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Posted by Marcia Oddi on October 2, 2014 10:59 AM
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions