« Ind. Courts - Interim Commercial Courts Rules issued | Main | Ind. Courts - Some initial notes from Commercial Courts seminar this morning, including news of the Tax Court Task Force »

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Ind. Decisions - Court of Appeals issues 4 opinion(s) today (and 2 NFP memorandum decision(s))

For publication opinions today (4):

In Molly A. Melton v. Indiana Athletic Trainers Board, David Craig, A.T., in his official and individual capacity, Larry Leverenz, A.T., in his official and individual capacity, et al. , a 19-page opinion, Judge Brown writes:

Molly A. Melton appeals orders of the trial court granting a motion to dismiss and a motion for judgment on the pleadings in favor of the Indiana Athletic Trainers Board (the “Board”), David Craig, A.T., Larry Leverenz, A.T., Scott Lawrance, A.T., Jennifer VanSickle, John Miller, M.D., John Knote, M.D., each in their individual and official capacities, and the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency (the “IPLA”, and collectively with the Board and the other named parties, the “Appellees”). The motion was filed following the Board’s decision finding Melton in default and ordering that her Indiana athletic training license be indefinitely suspended for a period of at least seven years. Melton raises a number of issues, one of which we find dispositive and revise and restate as whether the court erred in dismissing Melton’s complaint filed under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 pursuant to Ind. Trial Rule 12(C). We reverse and remand. * * *

The Board’s entry of the Notice of Proposed Default following the September 17, 2013 hearing, in which Melton’s counsel appeared, deprived Melton of her opportunity to be heard “at a meaningful time and in a meaningful manner,” which is the fundamental requirement of due process. Mathews, 424 U.S. at 333, 96 S. Ct. at 902. Under the circumstances, we must reverse the court’s grant of the Appellees’ 12(C) Motion dismissing Melton’s Section 1983 claim, remand with instructions to vacate the Board’s Order, and order the Board to provide Melton with an administrative hearing concerning the complaint filed against her Indiana athletic training license which comports with the dictates of due process.

In Betty Thurman and Carolyn Duncan v. Kimberly L. Skinner , a 10-page opinion, Judge Baker writes:
Betty Thurman and Carolyn Duncan (the Sisters) appeal the trial court’s order on their petition to determine the heirship of their brother, Lloyd Dyer (Lloyd), who died intestate. The trial court found that Kimberly Skinner (Kimberly) is Lloyd’s daughter and is entitled to inherit as his sole heir. The Sisters argue that there is insufficient evidence supporting this conclusion. They also argue that the trial court erred by denying their motion for Kimberly to undergo a DNA test to establish (or refute) her claim that Lloyd was her father. Finding sufficient evidence and finding no other error, we affirm. * * *

We find that the evidence in the record readily supports the trial court’s conclusion that Lloyd acknowledged Kimberly as his child. We decline the Sisters’ requests to reweigh the evidence and assess witness credibility. We affirm the trial court’s conclusion that Kimberly is entitled to inherit from Lloyd as though he and Linda were married at the time of Kimberly’s birth. * * *

In this case, the Sisters are not seeking to establish paternity. The purpose for which they seek genetic testing—to determine heirship—is not a valid reason to request genetic testing. Moreover, the results of any genetic or blood test would be irrelevant to the trial court’s ultimate determination under Indiana Code section 29-1-2-7(b). Consequently, we find no error in the trial court’s denial of the motion for genetic testing.

In Andrew Shotts v. State of Indiana, a 24-page opinion, Judge Baker writes:
Andrew Shotts appeals his conviction and sentence for Unlawful Possession of a Firearm by a Serious Violent Felon, a Class B Felony. Shotts argues that he was seized in violation of the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution and that evidence obtained as a result of this seizure should not have been admitted at trial. Finding that Shotts’s seizure was authorized pursuant to the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Michigan v. Summers, 452 U.S. 692 (1981), we find no error in the trial court’s refusal to exclude evidence obtained as a result of the seizure. We also find that the trial court did not err in sentencing Shotts and that his sentence is not inappropriate. Accordingly, we affirm the trial court and remand for the limited purpose of vacating Shotts’s conviction and sentence for Visiting a Common Nuisance, a Class B misdemeanor, as the charge had been dismissed before trial.
In Christopher Cowans v. State of Indiana, a 12-page opinion, Judge Baker writes:
Christopher Cowans appeals his conviction for Level 6 Felony Resisting Law Enforcement. He argues that the trial court abused its discretion when it refused his tendered instruction on mistake of fact. Finding that Cowans’s belief is better characterized as a mistake of law than of fact, we affirm. [Interesting discussion re "fleeing" to avoid arrest.]
NFP civil decisions today (0):

NFP criminal decisions today (2):

Hubert Wheat v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Jariel Patterson v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Posted by Marcia Oddi on April 27, 2016 01:15 PM
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions