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Friday, March 10, 2017

Ind. Decisions - Court of Appeals issues 3 opinion(s) today (and 6 NFP memorandum decision(s))

For publication opinions today (3):

In James E. Manley v. Keith Butts , a 9-page opinion, Judge Pyle writes:

James E. Manley (“Manley”), pro se, appeals the Henry Circuit Court’s order dismissing his petition for writ of state habeas corpus as an unauthorized successive petition for post-conviction relief. Manley contends that his petition was not an unauthorized successive petition for post-conviction relief and that, even if it were, the Henry Circuit Court should have transferred it to his court of conviction in Monroe County. Because Manley’s habeas petition is challenging the validity of his convictions and sentence and because Indiana PostConviction Rule 1(1)(c) requires that, under such circumstances, a trial court is required to transfer the petition to the court where the petitioner was convicted, we reverse the Henry Circuit Court’s dismissal of Manley’s petition and instruct the trial court to transfer the petition to Manley’s conviction court, the Monroe Circuit Court, where it shall be treated as a post-conviction petition. * * *

It seems that the State is putting the cart before the horse. The plain language of Post-Conviction Rule 1(1)(c) rule provides that a trial court, upon receiving a habeas petition challenging a conviction or sentence, “shall transfer the cause to the court in which the conviction took place[.]” P-C.R. 1(1)(c). Thereafter, when the conviction court receives the petition, that court “shall treat it as a petition for relief under [Post-Conviction Rule 1].” Id. Thus, it is up to the conviction court—not the habeas court—to apply Post-Conviction Rule 1(12) to the petition and make a determination of its applicability. See Martin, 901 N.E.2d at 647 n.2 (noting that, where the petitioner’s habeas petition indicated that he had already filed a post-conviction petition, “the court where [the petitioner] was convicted and sentenced may ultimately determine that Ind. Post-Conviction Rule 1(12), which governs successive petitions for postconviction relief, is applicable”). Accordingly, we reverse the Henry Circuit Court and remand with instructions to transfer Manley’s petition to the Monroe Circuit Court.

In The Estate of Robert Curtis, Sr., by its Personal Representative Theresa Brady v. Geico Geneeral Insurance Company , an 11-page opinion, Judge Baker writes:
Drake Matovich and Robert Curtis engaged in a physical altercation in a grocery store parking lot. Curtis was severely injured and eventually died, allegedly as a result of the altercation. Matovich and Curtis’s estate entered into an agreed judgment, pursuant to which Matovich admitted liability and assigned his claims against his automobile insurer, GEICO General Insurance Company (GEICO), to Curtis. GEICO filed a declaratory judgment action against Curtis, seeking a declaration that the altercation was not covered under GEICO’s insurance policy with Matovich because Matovich was not “using” the covered vehicle at the time of the incident. The trial court granted GEICO’s summary judgment motion. On appeal, both parties make multiple arguments, but we find one dispositive—whether this altercation was covered by the policy as a matter of law. Finding that it was not, we affirm. * * *

Here, in contrast [to Argonaut], when Matovich exited his vehicle to confront Curtis, engaging in a protracted and physical confrontation with the other man, he no longer had an active relationship with his vehicle. His vehicle no longer played a role in the incident; instead, it was merely an altercation between the two men. Furthermore, we cannot conclude that the reasonable expectations of the parties at the time they entered into the Policy would have included coverage for a physical altercation that merely happened to occur near the covered vehicle. As a result, we find that the trial court properly granted summary judgment in favor of GEICO based on a conclusion that, as a matter of law, Matovich was not “using” his vehicle at the time of the altercation with Curtis. Because no coverage exists under the Policy, Curtis is not entitled to relief.

In Imre L. Falatovics v. Amy L. Falatovics, a 5-page opinion, Judge Crone writes:
For the third time, this matter comes before us for review. Imre L. Falatovics (“Husband”) and Amy L. Falatovics (“Wife”) were divorced. Following the issuance of the dissolution decree, Wife filed an appeal and Husband filed an Indiana Trial Rule 60(B) motion (“Trial Rule 60(B) Motion”) to set aside the dissolution decree. After this Court reversed a portion of the dissolution decree and remanded, another appeal ensued. Once this Court’s opinion was certified, Wife moved to dismiss Husband’s Trial Rule 60(B) Motion and his addendum to his Trial Rule 60(B) Motion (“Addendum”) (sometimes collectively referred to as “Trial Rule 60(B) Motions”). The trial court granted Wife’s motion and dismissed Husband’s Trial Rule 60(B) Motions.

Husband now appeals the dismissal of his Trial Rule 60(B) Motions. He argues that the trial court erred in finding that he failed to follow the proper procedure for bringing his Trial Rule 60(B) Motions. He also asserts that Wife is barred by the doctrines of laches and/or invited error from arguing that he failed to follow the proper procedure. Finally, he also contends that his constitutional rights were violated because he did not receive an evidentiary hearing on his motions. Wife contends that Husband’s appeal is frivolous and in bad faith and

We conclude that trial court did not err in finding that Husband failed to follow the proper procedure. We further conclude that neither laches nor invited error applies and that Husband was not deprived of his constitutional rights. We affirm the judgment and deny Wife’s request for attorney’s fees.

NFP civil decisions today (0):

NFP juvenile and criminal decisions today (6):

Scott A. Estep v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Charles Carlos Chatman v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Gerald Donaldson v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Jeremy Perry v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Darren Dwayne Langdon v. State of Indiana

Lacie K. Hall v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Posted by Marcia Oddi on March 10, 2017 11:05 AM
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions