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Thursday, August 18, 2016

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

For publication opinions today (2):

In J.B. Hunt Transport, Inc., and Terry L. Brown, Jr. v. The Guardianship of Kristen Zak, a 32-page opinion, Judge Baker writes:

In January 2006, Terry Brown was driving a semi tractor-trailer for his employer. While traveling on I-65 in snowy conditions, Brown lost control of the semi, which ended up jackknifed and disabled in the median. An hour later, a vehicle in which Kristen Zak was a passenger slid off of the same part of I-65 and crashed into Brown’s semi in the median. As a result of the accident, Zak suffered permanent, serious brain damage. Her guardians filed a complaint alleging negligence on the part of Brown and his employer.

J.B. Hunt Transport, Inc. (Hunt) and Terry L. Brown, Jr. (Brown) (collectively, the appellants) appeal following a jury verdict in favor of the Guardianship of Kristen Zak (Guardianship) on Guardianship’s negligence claim. * * *

We find that there were multiple questions of fact that needed to be answered by a jury, and we find no basis on which to second-guess the jury’s answers. We also find no questions of law warranting reversal. Therefore, we affirm.

In In the Matter of: A.H. (Minor Child), Child in Need of Services, and A.H. (Mother) v. The Ind. Dept. of Child Services , a 12-page opinion, Judge Baker writes:
When a parent is unwilling or unable to provide help to his or her child, Indiana’s Department of Child Services can seek the “coercive intervention” of a court to compel that parent to provide help through a Child in Need of Services (CHINS) adjudication, but this intrusion of the coercive power of the State into family life is “reserved for families who cannot meet those needs without coercion—not those who merely have difficulty doing so.” In re S.D., 2 N.E.3d 1283, 1285 (Ind. 2014). Nor is that power appropriately applied to a parent who seeks reasonable care for her traumatized child, merely because that care is ultimately unsuccessful through no fault of the parent.

A.H. (Mother) appeals the juvenile court’s order finding her daughter, also initialed A.H. (Child), to be a CHINS. Mother argues that the evidence is insufficient to support the CHINS adjudication. Finding no evidence that the coercive power of the court is necessary to ensure Child receives care, we reverse.

NFP civil decisions today (1):

Hamilton County Convention Center, LLC v. Lee R. Johnson (mem. dec.)

NFP criminal decisions today (1):

Tasha Subili v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Posted by Marcia Oddi on August 18, 2016 11:02 AM
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions