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Friday, September 11, 2015

Ind. Decisions - Court of Appeals issues 5 opinion(s) today (and 1 NFP memorandum decisions)

For publication opinions today (5):

In Robert Blackford v. Boone County Area Plan Commission and Boone County Drainage Board, a 26-page opinion, Judge Pyle writes:

Appellant-Defendant, Robert Blackford (“Blackford”), who is a former prosecutor and represented himself pro se, appeals the trial court’s denial of his oral request for a continuance made on the day of trial. The trial court denied Blackford’s request, held the bench trial, and entered judgment in favor of Appellees-Plaintiffs, Boone County Area Plan Commission (“the Plan Commission”) and Boone County Drainage Board (“the Drainage Board”) (collectively, “Boone County”). Blackford argues that the trial court abused its discretion by denying his continuance request. Given Blackford’s failure to show good cause or prejudice, we conclude that the trial court did not abuse its discretion. We affirm.
In Sheila Sasso and Mary Sasso v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, a 16-page opinion, Judge Najam writes:
Sheila Sasso appeals the trial court’s entry of summary judgment for State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company (“State Farm”) on State Farm’s complaint for declaratory judgment. Sheila presents several issues for our review, which we consolidate and restate as the following two issues:
1. Whether Indiana’s Guest Statute, Indiana Code Section 34-30-11-1 (2014), prohibits Sheila’s negligence claim against her mother, Mary Sasso, for Sheila’s injuries arising from an automobile accident in Mary’s car while Mary was driving.
2. Whether the Guest Statute violates the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution or Article 1, Sections 12 and 23 of the Indiana Constitution. * * *

In sum, under the plain text of Indiana’s Guest Statute, Mary is not liable to Sheila for the injuries Sheila incurred as a result of an automobile accident in which she was a guest in Mary’s vehicle. Further, under controlling law the Guest Statute does not violate either the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution or Article 1, Section 12 of the Indiana Constitution. And we hold that the Guest Statute does not violate Article 1, Section 23 of the Indiana Constitution. As such, State Farm was entitled to summary judgment on its declaratory judgment action, and we affirm the trial court. Affirmed.

In Gregory Reef v. Asset Acceptance, LLC, a 7-page opinion, Judge Robb writes:
Gregory Reef, pro se, appeals the trial court’s award of summary judgment in favor of Asset Acceptance, LLC. On appeal, Reef contends that the evidence designated by Asset Acceptance was not sufficient to allow the court to enter summary judgment. We conclude that the documents designated by Asset Acceptance were not properly authenticated and do not entitle it to summary judgment. Therefore, we reverse. * * *

In sum, we conclude that an adequate foundation was not laid for the documents designated by Asset Acceptance, and Asset Acceptance’s only designated affidavit did not comply with Trial Rule 56(E). Consequently, Asset Acceptance failed to properly designate evidence in support of its motion for summary judgment, and the trial court’s award of summary judgment was inappropriate. Reversed.

In Kelli Sprunger v. John A. Egli, M.D., an 11-page opinion, Judge Robb writes:
In December 2008, thirteen-month-old Alissa Guernsey was placed in foster care with relative caregivers. She died just over three months later from injuries consistent with child abuse. During Guernsey’s placement in foster care, John Egli, M.D. (“Dr. Egli”), was Guernsey’s primary physician.

Kelli Sprunger, Guernsey’s biological mother, subsequently filed a medical malpractice action against Dr. Egli alleging failure to diagnose and report child abuse. Concluding that Indiana does not recognize a private right of action for failure to report child abuse, the trial court granted summary judgment in favor of Dr. Egli on August 7, 2014.

Sprunger now appeals, arguing that her claim is premised not on a failure to report, but rather a failure to make a correct diagnosis. We agree with the trial court’s conclusion that Sprunger essentially alleges a failure to report child abuse and hold that the characterization of the claim as medical malpractice does not escape the threshold question of whether the reporting statutes confer a private right of action. As we have already determined that there is no private right of action for failure to report child abuse in Indiana, C.T. v. Gammon, 928 N.E.2d 847, 853-54 (Ind. Ct. App. 2010), we affirm the trial court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of Dr. Egli. [ILB: See C.T., pp. 9-12]

In R.B. v. State of Indiana, a 9-page opinion, Judge Najam writes:
R.B. appeals his adjudication as a delinquent for dangerous possession of a firearm, as a Class A misdemeanor when committed by an adult. R.B. raises two issues for our review:

1. Whether his mother, T.B., had authority under the Fourth Amendment to consent to a police search of R.B.’s bedroom in T.B.’s house.

2. Whether the juvenile court abused its discretion when it admitted R.B.’s subsequent confession to law enforcement officers, which, according to R.B., was fruit of the poisonous tree following the purportedly illegal search of his bedroom.

As a matter of first impression in Indiana, we hold that it is reasonable under the Fourth Amendment for an officer to rely on the voluntary consent of a minor’s parent to search the minor’s bedroom inside the parent’s home. Accordingly, we affirm the juvenile court’s adjudication of R.B. as a delinquent.

NFP civil decisions today (0):

NFP criminal decisions today (1):

Jordan Gray v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Posted by Marcia Oddi on September 11, 2015 01:26 PM
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions