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Thursday, May 07, 2015

Ind. Decisions - Court of Appeals issues 3 opinion(s) today (and 5 NFP memorandum decisions)

For publication opinions today (3):

In In Re the Marriage of: Teasha J. Harris v. Anthony J. Harris , a 13-page opinion, Judge Baker writes:

Teasha Harris (Wife) appeals the trial court’s denial of her motion to correct error. She argues that the trial court erred in determining that it lacked personal jurisdiction over Anthony Harris (Husband) as to the division of certain marital assets. She also argues that the trial court erred in determining that Husband’s military pension was not a marital asset. Finding that Husband had consented to the trial court’s jurisdiction over him in regard to all matters necessary to the disposition of this cause, we reverse the portions of the trial court’s judgment that were affected by this determination. However, we affirm the trial court’s judgment that Husband’s military pension was not a marital asset. Accordingly, we remand to the trial court for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.
In Jonathan Grott, Sr. v. State of Indiana , a 12-page opinion, Judge Baker writes:
Jonathan Grott appeals his conviction for Auto Theft, a class D felony, claiming that the evidence is insufficient to sustain his conviction. Finding that the evidence is sufficient, we affirm. * * *

On appeal, Grott frames his argument in general terms. He argues that this is “a civil case—pure and simple” and characterizes his dispute with Enterprise as “simply a misunderstanding.” He contends that “it was an abuse of discretion to even charge this as a criminal cause” and that “prosecutor offices [should not] be free collection attorneys to large corporations.” On the other hand, Grott concedes that failure to return a rental car by the agreed-upon return date can, in appropriate circumstances, rise to the level of auto theft. * * *

There is no serious dispute that Grott had direct and physical control over the vehicle at the relevant times; indeed, his whole argument on this issue is simply that Enterprise could have taken it out of his possession whenever it wanted to do so. But no one else was physically in possession of the vehicle while Grott was. That Enterprise had the authority to repossess the vehicle does not mean that Grott was not in possession of it. Thus, Grott had actual possession of the vehicle, and his argument to the contrary is without merit.

In Leonard L. Suggs v. State of Indiana, an 8-page opinion, Judge Baker writes:
Leonard Suggs appeals his convictions for Domestic Battery, a Level 6 felony, and Battery, a Level 6 felony. Suggs contends that the evidence is insufficient to support his convictions. Finding sufficient evidence, we affirm. * * *

Suggs’s sole argument on appeal is that the evidence is insufficient to support a conclusion that Warren was his family or household member. * * *

In this case, Warren and Suggs were related because Suggs’s aunt was married to Warren’s brother. While we acknowledge that this is an attenuated familial relationship, in looking at the many broad factors set forth by the legislature in defining “family or household member,” it is apparent that the legislature intended this to be a far-reaching term. In other words, the legislature attempted to capture as many types of familial and household relationships as possible, acknowledging that these types of relationships can arise even without a direct blood connection. * * *

Under these circumstances, we find that a reasonable juror could infer from these facts that Warren is a family or household member of Suggs. In other words, the evidence is sufficient to support Suggs’s conviction for Level 6 felony battery.

NFP civil decisions today (2):

In Re the Marriage of: Adena Vanderwielen v. Adam Vanderwielen (mem. dec.)

In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of E.M. (minor child) and L.M. v. Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)

NFP criminal decisions today (3):

Darrin C. Martin v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Henry Shorter v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Raymond Stewart v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Posted by Marcia Oddi on May 7, 2015 11:03 AM
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions