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Friday, August 28, 2015

Ind. Decisions - Court of Appeals issues 5 opinion(s) today (and 7 NFP memorandum decisions)

For publication opinions today (5):

In American Cold Storage NA, et al. v. City of Boonville, a 19-page opinion, Judge Baker writes:

Boonville seeks to annex an area of over 1,000 acres that is adjacent to the city. A group of landowners in the annexation area filed a remonstrance petition. The current appeal is the fourth time this particular annexation ordinance has reached the appellate courts (it has been twice to the Court of Appeals and once to our Supreme Court).

Here, the landowners in the annexed area appeal the trial court’s order finding in favor of Boonville on the remonstrance petition. The landowners argue that the trial court deferred too much to Boonville’s judgment and that the evidence does not support a conclusion that Boonville met its statutory burden of showing either that 60% of the land in the annexed area is “subdivided” or that the annexed area is needed and can be used by Boonville for development in the reasonably near future. Finding that the trial court applied the correct standard and that the evidence is sufficient to support the trial court’s order, we affirm.

In Winona Powder Coating, Inc., and Winona PVD Coatings, LLC v. Spark Energy Gas, LP, a 12-page opinion, Chief Judge Vaidik writes:
Following the deregulation of the natural-gas industry, choice programs emerged to provide Indiana customers with the opportunity to select their gas suppliers. In 2013, Winona Powder, an Indiana company engaged in the powder-coating business, and Winona PVD, an Indiana company engaged in the painting of automobile wheels (collectively “Winona”), entered into agreements to purchase natural gas from Spark Energy Gas through a choice program offered by Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO). When Spark’s invoices were more than Winona expected, Winona filed a complaint with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (the IURC or the Commission). The Commission concluded that it did not have jurisdiction over the case and dismissed it without prejudice.

Winona appeals. Because Spark is not a public utility, the Commission does not have statutory jurisdiction over the case. In addition, neither the Supplier Aggregation Service Agreement (SASA)—including its Code of Conduct—between NIPSCO and Spark, nor the Natural Gas Sales Agreement between Spark and Winona vest the Commission with jurisdiction. We therefore affirm the Commission’s dismissal of the case without prejudice.

In Abdullah Alkhalidi v. Indiana Department of Correction, a 10-page opinion with a pro se appellant, Judge Barnes concludes:
The small claims court had subject matter jurisdiction to consider Alkhalidi’s replevin claim. The DOC, not Alkhalidi, had the burden of proving that Alkhalidi failed to exhaust his administrative remedies before filing his claim. Because the DOC did not prove such, the small claims court erroneously dismissed Alkhalidi’s claim. We reverse and remand.
In In Re: Grandparent Visitation of K.M., F.M. v. K.F., a 21-page opinion, Judges Riley writes:
Appellant-Respondent, F.M. (Mother), appeals the trial court’s Order awarding grandparent visitation of her minor child, K.M. (Child), to Appellee-Petitioner, K.F. (Grandmother). We affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand. * * *

Based on the foregoing, we conclude that the trial court did not err in granting Grandmother’s petition for grandparent visitation. We further conclude that the trial court abused its discretion by ordering a visitation schedule that is excessive and unduly burdensome on both Mother and the Child.

In Jared Allen Mynatt v. State of Indiana , a 10-page opinion, Judge Riley writes:
Mynatt raises one issue on appeal, which we restate as: Whether the trial court abused its discretion in denying Mynatt’s request for counsel during trial. * * *

Here, Mynatt was advised at his pretrial hearing about the dangers of proceeding pro se. Even in light of these warnings, Mynatt was confident that he would successfully defend himself without the assistance of counsel. Mynatt stated that he had managed to have ten felony Counts dismissed for lack of evidence. Mynatt was also not concerned about picking out a jury or serving prison time if found guilty. Moreover, a continuance would have been imminent to enable the newly appointed counsel to become familiar with the case. As such, our analysis of the Koehler factors, in conjunction with Mynatt’s expression that he would adequately represent himself, leads us to conclude that the trial court did not violate Mynatt’s Sixth Amendment right to counsel.

NFP civil decisions today (1):

In the Matter of: B.S. and A.S., Children In Need of Services, and M.S. v. The Ind. Dept. of Child Services (mem. dec.)

NFP criminal decisions today (6):

Robert Shelley v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Thomas D. Sayre v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Ralph Franklin, Jr. v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

David Goodin v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

James Matt Hayes v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Phil L. Honer v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Posted by Marcia Oddi on August 28, 2015 11:13 AM
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions