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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Ind. Decisions - Court of Appeals issues 5 opinion(s) today (and 2 NFP memorandum decisions)

For publication opinions today (5):

In In the matter of: L.E., et al; G.E. v. Indiana Department of Child Services , a 9-page opinion, Judge Pyle writes:

G.E. appeals the juvenile court’s denial of her petition to expunge a substantiated report of child neglect regarding her children. She claims that she presented clear and convincing evidence that she was unlikely to be a future perpetrator of neglect and that there was no reason to justify the retention of the record by the Department of Child Services (“DCS”), thus satisfying the requirements of INDIANA CODE § 31-33-27-5. Concluding that G.E. did not carry her burden of presenting clear and convincing evidence satisfying the statutory requirements, we affirm the juvenile court’s denial of G.E.’s expungement petition. We affirm.
In Norman Wagler, Nathan Wagler, and Janet Wagler v. West Boggs Sewer District, Inc., an 8-page opinion, Judge Crone writes:
The Waglers unsuccessfully litigated their appeals all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which denied certiorari in 2014.

The trial court issued two contempt orders against Norman and two contempt orders against Nathan and Janet based on their failure to comply with the judgments requiring them to connect to the sewer system. * * *

[On appeal] they claim that a 2012 amendment to Indiana Code Section 8-1-2-125 exempts them from having to connect to the sewer system. We conclude that this is an impermissible collateral attack on the underlying judgments and therefore summarily affirm the contempt orders. West Boggs contends that it is entitled to recover appellate attorneys’ fees from the Waglers pursuant to Indiana Appellate Rule 66(E) because of the frivolousness and vexatiousness of their appeal. We agree and therefore remand for a calculation of appellate attorneys’ fees to which West Boggs is entitled.

In Mike Winters v. City of Evansville, a 12-page opinion, Judge Crone writes:
On appeal, Winters contends that the Merit Commission’s decision is not supported by substantial evidence and is arbitrary and capricious, which is another way of saying that the decision is patently unreasonable. Winters raises three issues: (1) the chief’s motivation for seeking termination was improper; (2) the two commissioners who voted in favor of termination based their decision on improper considerations; and (3) the punishment is disproportionate to the conduct. We resolve these issues as follows: (1) because the chief did not participate in the Merit Commission’s decision to terminate Winters, his motivation for seeking termination is irrelevant; (2) the commissioners did not base their decision on improper considerations; and (3) the Merit Commission’s decision to terminate Winters for his unjustified and unprovoked grabbing of the student’s crotch is supported by substantial evidence and is not arbitrary and capricious, or patently unreasonable. Therefore, we affirm.
In A.A. v. State of Indiana, a 12-page opinion (which may have been intended to be NFP, judging from the footers), Judge Crone writes:
A.A., a juvenile, appeals a true finding that he committed dangerous possession of a firearm, a class A misdemeanor if committed by an adult. He challenges the trial court’s decision to admit the firearm during the factfinding hearing, claiming that it was the product of an unconstitutional patdown during an investigatory traffic stop. Finding that the patdown was lawful under both the United States and Indiana Constitutions, we conclude that the trial court acted within its discretion in admitting the firearm. As such, we affirm the true finding.
In Brent Cole v. State of Indiana, a 22-page opinion, Judge Pyle writes:
On appeal, Cole argues that the trial court committed fundamental error by admonishing or instructing the jury during the trial and that the State failed to present sufficient evidence to rebut his claim that he committed his offenses in self-defense. We find that: (1) Cole has waived any claim of error in regard to the admonition; (2) he invited any alleged error by specifically agreeing to the content of the trial court’s admonition; and (3) the State presented sufficient evidence that Cole was the initial aggressor and then re-engaged with the victim. As a result, we affirm his convictions.
NFP civil decisions today (1):

Reinforcing Services Company, LLC, Steven Estes, and Wesco Wind, LLC v. Whaley Steel Corp. and James Whaley (mem. dec.)

NFP criminal decisions today (1):

J.V. v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Posted by Marcia Oddi on April 15, 2015 10:14 AM
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions