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Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Ind. Decisions - Court of Appeals issues 1 opinion(s) today (and 4 NFP memorandum decision(s))

For publication opinions today (1):

In State of Indiana v. Douglas Woods Johnston, a 9-page opinion, Judge Baiuley writes:

The State of Indiana (“the State”) appeals the denial of a motion to correct error, which challenged an order granting the petition of Douglas Woods Johnston (“Johnston”) to relieve him of registration requirements under the Indiana Sex Offenders Registry Act, Indiana Code Section 11-8-8-1, et seq., (“SORA”). The State presents the sole issue of whether Johnston was granted relief in contravention of statutory authority. We reverse. * * *

Here, the petition did not comply with the requirements of subsection (k). It was not submitted under penalties of perjury and one of Johnston’s convictions was omitted. The chronological case summary does not reflect the provision of requisite notice to the DOC and the Attorney General. In his petition and at the hearing, Johnston made no claim that he was subject to ex post facto punishment. Nor did Johnston argue at the hearing that he had satisfied his statutory burden of proof with respect to subsection (g). Rather, counsel urged: “The most significant thing to me seem[s] to be his last conviction in 2006, where he was convicted and found guilty but mentally ill, and I think that kind of sums up the whole thing.” (Tr. at 13.) Counsel then argued that “the most important thing” was facilitating Johnston’s relationships with his mental health treatment providers “in some hope for a better quality of life.” (Tr. at 13.) In culmination, the trial court did not make particular findings relative to a change in the law as described in subsection (g) nor did the trial court address ex post facto punishment. * * *

Lacking a proper statutory-based petition for relief, the trial court should have granted the State’s request for dismissal of Johnston’s petition.

Conclusion. Because Johnston’s inadequate petition should have been dismissed, the denial of the motion to correct error was an abuse of the trial court’s discretion. Reversed and remanded with instructions that the trial court dismiss the matter without prejudice subject to further proceedings in the event Johnston files a sufficient petition.

NFP civil decisions today (1):

In the Term. of the Parent-Child Relationship of: E.S., Ed.B. and El.B. (Minor Children), and B.B. (Father) v. The Ind. Dept. of Child Services (mem. dec.)

NFP criminal decisions today (3):

Michael Williams v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Marcus Sanders v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Cody Mikework v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Posted by Marcia Oddi on December 13, 2016 11:57 AM
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions