« Ind. Decisions - "Appeals panel affirms $32.5M judgment for I-65 crash victim" | Main | Ind. Decisions - 7th Circuit decides Wis. union case today involving inflatable rats »

Friday, August 19, 2016

Ind. Decisions - Court of Appeals issues 3 opinion(s) today (and 3 NFP memorandum decision(s))

For publication opinions today (3):

In Amir Basic and Gerard Arthus v. Numan A. Amouri, Mohamad H. Mohajeri, Mohammad Aslam Chaudhry, Adnan Khan, Imdad Zackariya, Mohammad Sirajuddin, Sarah Shaikh, Aijaz Shaikh, Ismail Al-Ani, et al., a 12page opinion with 2 pro se appellants, Judge Crone writes:

Amir Basic and Gerard Arthus (collectively “Appellants”) appeal the dismissal of their claims against the Imam of the Islamic Society of Michiana, Inc. (“ISM”), as well as members of the boards of directors and trustees, Numan A. Amouri, Mohamad H. Mohajeri, Mohammad Aslam Chaudhry ... (collectively “Appellees”), stemming from Basic’s removal from the ISM board of directors. As best we can discern, Appellants challenge the trial court’s findings that it lacked subject matter jurisdiction and that Appellants lacked standing as well as its decision to quash certain subpoenas. Appellees request damages, including appellate attorney’s fees, pursuant to Indiana Appellate Rule 66(E). Finding that Appellants have violated numerous provisions of Appellate Rule 46, including the failure to present cogent argument, we conclude that they have waived all issues for appeal. And finding that Appellants acted in procedural bad faith, we grant Appellees request for damages. Therefore, we affirm and remand for a determination of these damages. * * *

In sum, Appellants were required to follow the rules of appellate procedure and failed to comply. Their appendix is defective, and their brief is practically devoid of discernible legal argument. Instead, the brief is laced with unseemly invective that permeates its entire fifty-eight pages. Their argumentative facts section and blistering handwritten remarks on the face of the appealed order reveal a flagrant disregard for the rules of appellate procedure. In other words, Appellants have demonstrated procedural bad faith. Based on the foregoing, we conclude that an award of damages, including appellate attorney’s fees, is appropriate in this case and grant Appellees’ request for such damages. See Srivastava, 779 N.E.2d at 61 (awarding attorney’s fees based on pro se litigant’s bad faith). Accordingly, we affirm and remand for a determination of Appellees’ damages pursuant to Appellate Rule 66(E).

In Joshua Perry Cruse v. C.C., a 12page, 2-1 opinion, Judge Baker writes:
Joshua Cruse appeals the protective order entered by the trial court preventing him from having contact with his ex-wife, C.C., except to communicate regarding their children. Cruse argues there is insufficient evidence supporting the protective order. We agree, and reverse. * * *

Vaidik, C.J., concurs. Najam, J., dissents with separate opinion. [that begins, on p. 7] I respectfully dissent. C.C. presented sufficient evidence to show that the Order of Protection was warranted because Cruse had placed C.C. in fear of physical harm and also had committed stalking. In particular, the evidence and the reasonable inferences from the evidence show that Cruse engaged in threatening behavior directed at C.C. and repeatedly harassed C.C. such that she reasonably and actually felt intimidated by his conduct. While the majority is correct that some of C.C.’s testimony referred to Cruse’s conduct towards her friends and colleagues, C.C. was present for each of the incidents, and a reasonable fact-finder could conclude that Cruse’s conduct was directed at her.

In Jessi Apollos v. State of Indiana, a 6-page opinion, Judge Baker writes:
Jessi Apollos appeals her conviction for Criminal Trespass,1 a class A misdemeanor. Apollos argues that there is insufficient evidence supporting the conviction. We agree, and reverse and remand with instructions to vacate the conviction. * * *

The State need not disprove every conceivable contractual interest, but it must disprove contractual interests reasonably apparent from the circumstances under which the trespass allegedly occurred. Lyles v. State, 970 N.E.2d 140, 143 (Ind. 2012). A “contractual interest” is the right to be present on another’s property, arising from an agreement between two parties that creates an obligation to do or not do a particular thing. Semenick v. State, 977 N.E.2d 7, 10 (Ind. Ct. App. 2012). A lease need not be in writing to be a binding agreement. Barber v. Echo Lake Mobile Home Cmty., 759 N.E.2d 253, 255 (Ind. Ct. App. 2001).

In this case, both Apollos and Francois understood that an agreement existed, pursuant to which Apollos would live at Francois’s residence in exchange for rent and/or childcare services for Francois’s daughter. ... The precise terms may not have been agreed upon, but both parties understood that an agreement existed. Even if Apollos had breached that agreement by failing to make a rent payment, the lease—and Apollos’s contractual interest in the property—did not automatically terminate. * * *

Because it is undisputed that Apollos and Francois both understood that they had agreed that Apollos would live in Francois’ residence in exchange for money and/or childcare services, we find that the evidence does not establish beyond a reasonable doubt that Apollos did not have a contractual interest in the property. In other words, we find that the State failed to disprove contractual interests reasonably apparent from the circumstances under which the trespass allegedly occurred. Consequently, we reverse the criminal trespass conviction for insufficient evidence.

NFP civil decisions today (0):

NFP criminal decisions today (3):

Quintin Mayweather-Brown v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

O'Shun Untha Grace v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Nicholas Burchett v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Posted by Marcia Oddi on August 19, 2016 12:04 PM
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions