Tuesday, September 08, 2015
Ind. Decisions - Upcoming oral arguments this week and next
This week's oral arguments before the Supreme Court (week of 9/8/15):
Tuesday, September 8
- 9:00 AM - Antonio Garcia v. State of Indiana (49S05-1505-CR-335) Officers stopped Garcia for traffic violations and arrested him of a class C misdemeanor for driving without a license. A patdown search revealed a small metallic cylinder; an officer recognized the cylinder as the type that usually contained either illegal substances or properly prescribed medication. The officer opened the container and found inside a part of a pill containing hydrocodone that had not been prescribed to Garcia. The Marion Superior Court denied Garcia’s motion to suppress the pill at the bench trial, and Garcia was convicted of a class D felony for possession of a controlled substance. The Court of Appeals held that opening the container was an unreasonable search under the Indiana Constitution, and reversed the conviction. Garcia v. State, 25 N.E.3d 786 (Ind. Ct. App. 2015), vacated. Asserting in part that this decision creates a split in authority, the State of Indiana petitioned to transfer. The Supreme Court has granted the petition to transfer the case and has assumed jurisdiction over the appeal.
ILB: This was a Feb. 3, 2015 COA decision (3rd case), "a case that hinges on whether a police officer legally can open a pill container found in the pocket of a person who is under arrest," per this NWI Times story.
- 9:45 AM - Shane Keller v. State of Indiana (88A04-1404-CR-168) In the Washington Superior Court, Keller was convicted of two counts of class B burglary for taking items from a “dwelling.” See Ind. Code §§ 35-43-2-1 & 35-31.5-2-107. The Court of Appeals determined the evidence was insufficient to support the jury’s verdict and remanded with instructions to reduce the convictions to class C felonies. See Keller v. State, 25 N.E.3d 807 (Ind. Ct. App. 2015), vacated. The Supreme Court has granted a petition to transfer the case and has assumed jurisdiction over the appeal.
ILB: This was a Feb. 9, 2015 decision, see ILB summary here (3rd case)
- 10:30 AM - AM General, LLC v. James Armour (71S03-1507-PL-407) When a company sued seeking a declaration that its tendering a promissory note satisfied its obligation to pay a former employee under their employment contract, the St. Joseph Superior Court granted the former employee summary judgment and held that the promissory note did not constitute payment and the company breached the contract. The Court of Appeals reversed and remanded, finding a material issue of fact. AM General, LLC v. Armour, 27 N.E.3d 817 (Ind. Ct. App. 2015), vacated. The Supreme Court has granted a petition to transfer the case and has assumed jurisdiction over the appeal.
ILB: This was a March 20, 2015, 201 COA opinion, involving an employment agreement.
Next week's oral arguments before the Supreme Court (week of 9/14/15):
Thursday, September 17
- 9:00 AM - Timothy McNamara, Tamara Goodfellow, and Teresa Melton v. Zollman Farms, Inc., Testamentary Trust of Jack D. Roller, and Thomas Michael Carr (36S05-1506-PL-367) The Jackson Superior Court entered a judgment for the defendants on the plaintiffs' complaint alleging the path they use to reach their landlocked tract has become a public road by use under Indiana Code section 8-20-1-15 (Supp. 1987). The Court of Appeals reversed. McNamara v. Zollman Farms, Inc., No. 36A05-1404-PL-180 (Ind. Ct. App. Jan. 13, 2015) (NFP mem. dec.), vacated. The Supreme Court has granted a petition to transfer the case and has assumed jurisdiction over the appeal.
- 9:45 AM - Jeffrey Hewitt v. Westfield Washington School Corporation, Board of Trustees of Westfield Washington School Corp., et al. (29S04-1506-PL-377) After being discharged from his position as an elementary school principal, the plaintiff brought this action against the school corporation and others, contending the defendants breached his contract and deprived him of due process. The Hamilton Superior Court granted summary judgment to the defendants. The Court of Appeals reversed. Hewitt v. Westfield Washington Sch. Corp., 24 N.E.3d 459 (Ind. Ct. App. 2014), reh’g denied. The Supreme Court has granted a petition to transfer the case and has assumed jurisdiction over the appeal.
ILB: This was a Dec. 30, 2014 COA opinion, where the Court concluded:
The School has failed to carry the “onerous burden” of showing that there are no genuine issues of material fact and that the School is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law on Hewitt’s breach of contract and due process claims. Accordingly, the trial court erred in granting summary judgment in favor of the School. We therefore remand for further proceedings.
- 10:30 AM - Scott A. Hitch v. State of Indiana (49S02-1506-CR-376) After a jury convicted Hitch of battery, the trial court determined Hitch had committed “domestic violence” according to Indiana Code 35-38-1-7.1 (requiring a court to make the determination) and Indiana Code 35-31.5-2-78 (defining “domestic violence”). As a result, Hitch was prohibited from possessing a firearm under a federal law. The Court of Appeals determined this increased the penalty for the battery offense beyond the prescribed statutory maximum in violation of Blakely v. Washington, 542 U.S. 296 (2004), and reversed the trial court’s domestic violence determination. Hitch v. State, 24 N.E.3d 974 (Ind. Ct. App. 2015), vacated. The Supreme Court has granted a petition to transfer the case and has assumed jurisdiction over the appeal.
ILB: This was a Jan. 8, 2015 opinion (2nd case) where the COA ruled:
Hitch argues that the trial court’s domestic violence determination infringed upon his Sixth Amendment right to a jury trial when it found a fact that increased the penalty for his conviction beyond the statutory maximum in violation of Blakely v. Washington, 542 U.S. 296 (2004). Finding that the trial court’s determination that Hitch committed a crime of domestic violence required it to find a fact that increased the penalty for Hitch’s conviction beyond the statutory maximum, we reverse.
Webcasts of Supreme Court oral arguments are available here.
This week's oral arguments before the Court of Appeals (week of 9/8/15):
- No arguments currently scheduled.
Next week's oral arguments before the Court of Appeals (week of 9/14/15):
Monday, September 14
- 1:00 PM - Price v. State (29A04-1408-CR-405) Amy Ann Price was convicted of four counts of Class B felony burglary. The court imposed four consecutive eight-year sentences, but it suspended three years of each sentence. On appeal, Price argues that the trial court erroneously denied her motion to suppress her confession and the evidence found in her purse because the State violated her constitutional rights under Article 1, Section 11 of the Indiana Constitution by searching her purse without giving her a Pirtle warning. She also argues that she was prejudiced by the court's jury instructions, which allegedly misled the jury by emphasizing specific evidence that implied her guilt. The Scheduled Panel Members are: Chief Judge Vaidik, Judges May and Barnes. [Where: Court of Appeals Courtroom (WEBCAST)]
ONLY those Court of Appeals oral arguments presented in the Supreme or Court of Appeals Courtrooms will be accessible via videocast. [Note: This may be changing...]
The past COA webcasts which have been webcast are accessible here.
NOTE: For a printable version of this list of upcoming oral arguments, click on the date in the next line. Then select "Print" from your browser.
Posted by Marcia Oddi on September 8, 2015 07:40 AM
Posted to Upcoming Oral Arguments