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Friday, December 11, 2015

Ind. Decisions - Court of Appeals issues 4 opinion(s) today (and 8 NFP memorandum decision(s))

For publication opinions today (4):

In Wayne Patton v. Jessica Patton, a 12-page opinion, Judge Bradford writes:

Appellant-Respondent Wayne Patton (“Father”) and Appellee-Petitioner Jessica Patton (“Mother”) were divorced in January of 2013. Mother was granted sole legal and physical custody of the couple’s son W.P., born on February 9, 2007. Since 2011, Father’s visitation with W.P. has been supervised, and in 2012, Father was convicted of child seduction for fondling the breasts of his teenage daughter, who, incidentally, is now emancipated. In 2014, Father moved to modify parenting time with W.P. and child support, seeking to have the supervision requirement lifted and his support obligation reduced to reflect the fact that one of three children was now emancipated.

Mother requested that a psychological evaluation of Father be performed, after which the evaluator found indications of defensiveness and poor judgment and decision-making. The evaluator also expressed doubts regarding Father’s psychological functioning. Following a hearing, the trial court denied Father’s motion for modification of visitation and child support obligation. Because we conclude that the trial court abused its discretion in refusing to alter Father’s child support obligation, we affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand with instructions.

In Jason J. Maraman v. City of Carmel, Indiana , an 11-page opinion with a pro se appellant, Judge May writes:
Jason Maraman challenges his citation for speeding. As the Carmel city ordinance under which Maraman was ticketed was void, the trial court should have granted Maraman’s motion to dismiss. We must accordingly reverse.

[ILB: reasoning is worth reading]

As the ordinance under which Carmel wished to prosecute Maraman was invalid, Maraman’s motion to dismiss should have been granted. We must therefore reverse.

In R.P. Leasing, LLC, Robert C. Waite, and Ilene A. Waite v. Chemical Bank, a 13-page opinion, Judge Najam writes:
Viewing the facts in the light most favorable to R.P. Leasing, as we must, see, e.g., Jobes v. Tokheim Corp., 657 N.E.2d 145, 147 (Ind. Ct. App. 1995), there is conflicting evidence on a material issue of the fair market value of the Michigan property, making summary judgment inappropriate in this case, see Reed, 980 N.E.2d at 303. * * *

Because there is conflicting designated evidence on the material issues of the fair market value of the Michigan property and the true amount of the indebtedness on the Note, the trial court erred in granting summary judgment to the Bank. * * *

The trial court did not err in denying R.P. Leasing’s request for attorney’s fees.

In Rex S. Lovett v. State of Indiana , an 11-page, 2-1 opinion, Judge Bailey writes:
Rex Lovett (“Lovett”) filed a petition for relief from sex offender registration requirements under Indiana’s Sex Offender Registration Act (“SORA”). The trial court denied his petition. Lovett appeals, arguing that the registration requirement is unconstitutional as applied to him because it violates the ex post facto clause of the Indiana Constitution. Because Lovett was, at the time of and as a result of his original offense, subject to sex offender reporting requirements in another state, we conclude that an ongoing requirement to register in Indiana is not an additional, ex post facto punishment under the Indiana Constitution. * * *

Lovett was subject to registration requirements in the State of Washington from the date of his conviction; it is not adding to his punishment to require continued registration in Indiana. And he should not be allowed to evade these requirements simply by relocating to Indiana, when the sole basis for that evasion would be a conviction date for a crime committed outside Indiana. We therefore affirm the judgment of the trial court. Affirmed.

Mathias, J., concurs.
Baker, J., dissents with separate opinion. [that begins, at p. 9] I respectfully dissent. In Wallace v. State, 905 N.E.2d 371 (Ind. 2009), our Supreme Court held that mandatory sex offender registration is punitive, and that application of SORA to an offender who had committed his offense prior to the enactment of SORA violated the ex post facto prohibition of the Indiana Constitution. * * *

While I see the logic in the State’s position on this issue, as well as the majority’s decision, the case law could not be clearer. Our Supreme Court, plus three panels of this Court, have plainly held that the date of primary importance is the date of the original conviction. Notwithstanding the state of the law at the time Lovett moved to Indiana, he is a resident of this State and “is entitled to the protections afforded to him by the Indiana Constitution. Therefore, even though he would be required to register as a sex offender under [Washington’s] laws, Indiana’s law controls.” Hough, 978 N.E. 2d at 510. Lovett was convicted of a sex offense before Indiana enacted SORA. Therefore, I believe that requiring him to register as a sex offender would violate Indiana’s constitutional prohibition against ex post facto laws; I would affirm the trial court’s judgment.

NFP civil decisions today (2):

Caroline Briggs v. Abdullah Alkhalidi (mem. dec.)

Mark Cotton, et al. v. FSPI Empl Profit Sharing Plan, 401K (mem. dec.)

NFP criminal decisions today (6):

Shaun Combs v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Walter Pittman v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Terry L. Rork, Jr. v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Robin Maze v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

DeShawn Belcher v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Derek Mason v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Posted by Marcia Oddi on December 11, 2015 12:53 PM
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions