Supreme Court of Indiana Decisions 2016

Kyle Bess v. State of Indiana
Date: December 16, 2016
Docket Number: 09S02-1609-CR-484
State v. Hancock  
Date: December 16, 2016
Docket Number: 39S05-1604-CR-182

Justia Opinion Summary: The State charged Defendant with two counts of unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon (SVF) and several other offenses. The SVF charges were based on the State’s allegation that Defendant had previou...

In re Marriage of Reynolds  
Date: December 6, 2016
Docket Number: 29S04-1612-DR-636

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2010, Father and Mother divorced. Mother later filed a motion for rule to show cause (contempt motion) alleging that Father should be held in contempt for failing to comply with the dissolution degree and a subsequent...

In the Matter of: Divina K. Westerfield
Date: December 6, 2016
Docket Number: 49S00-1505-DI-321
Osborne v. State  
Date: November 29, 2016
Docket Number: 29S02-1608-CR-433

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated in a manner that endangers a person and operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of at least 0.08. Defendant filed a motion to suppress, clai...

Cruz-Salazar v. State  
Date: November 29, 2016
Docket Number: 49S05-1611-CR-626

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was charged with felony possession. Defendant filed a motion to suppress, arguing that the police violated the Fourth Amendment and Article I, Section 11 of the Indiana Constitution when they opened his car doo...

ESPN, Inc. v. University of Notre Dame Police Department  
Date: November 16, 2016
Docket Numbers: 71S05-1606-MI-359, 71S05-1606-MI-359, 71S05-1606-MI-359

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2014, an investigative reporter with ESPN requested incident reports from the Notre Dame Security Police Department (Department) involving 275 student-athletes. The Department denied the request, asserting that Notre...

Rogers v. Martin  
Date: October 26, 2016
Docket Number: 02S05-1603-CT-114

Justia Opinion Summary: Angela Martin and Brian Brothers co-hosted a house party at which alcohol was served. As the party was winding down, Brothers and two guests, Jerry Chambers and Paul Michalik, got into a fistfight. Martin found Michalik...

Goodwin v. Yeakle's Sports Bar & Grill, Inc  
Date: October 26, 2016
Docket Number: 27S02-1510-CT-627

Justia Opinion Summary: After a shooting that occurred at a bar, Plaintiffs filed a complaint against the bar alleging negligence. The trial court entered summary judgment in favor of the bar, concluding that the shooter’s criminal acts were un...

Victor Karp v. State of Indiana
Date: October 25, 2016
Docket Number: 15S04-1610-CR-555
State v. Collier  
Date: October 25, 2016
Docket Number: 49S04-1610-PC-554

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant pled guilty to possession of cocaine as a class D felony. In 2007, Appellant filed a pro se petition for post-conviction relief alleging ineffective assistance of counsel. The court summarily denied Appellant’s...

In the Matter of: Terry Lee Smith
Date: October 25, 2016
Docket Number: 91S00-1603-DI-136
Patchett v. Lee  
Date: October 21, 2016
Docket Number: 29S04-1610-CT-549

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant negligently struck Plaintiff’s vehicle, causing Plaintiff injuries that required medical treatment. Defendant admitted she was liable for the accident but contested the reasonable value of Plaintiff’s medical c...

Chuck W. Adams, Charles E. Howard, et al. v. ArvinMeritor, Inc., et al.
Date: October 12, 2016
Docket Number: 49S02-1610-PL-532
Lewis v. State  
Date: October 4, 2016
Docket Number: 45S00-1601-LW-32

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of murder, murder in the perpetration of criminal deviate conduct, and related crimes. The State sought a sentence of life without parole, but in the penalty phase, the jury wa...

Griffith v. State  
Date: September 29, 2016
Docket Number: 27S00-1503-LW-145

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of murder, robbery, and conspiracy to commit robbery. Defendant was sentenced to life imprisonment without possibility of parole. Defendant appealed, alleging several claims of...

Bell v. State  
Date: September 29, 2016
Docket Number: 49S02-1609-CR-511

Justia Opinion Summary: After a bench trial, Defendant was found guilty of Class B misdemeanor criminal mischief. After sentencing, the trial court held a separate hearing to determine the amount of restitution Defendant owed. The court ultimat...

Bess v. State  
Date: September 14, 2016
Docket Number: 09S02-1609-CR-484

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant pleaded guilty to one count of child solicitation as a Level 5 felony. The offense carried a sentencing range of one to six years, with three years being the advisory sentence. The trial court sentenced Defenda...

D.A. v. State  
Date: September 1, 2016
Docket Number: 48S02-1604-MI-183

Justia Opinion Summary: D.A. filed a petition for the expungement of several criminal conviction records. The trial court granted the petition and ordered the expungement of certain records related to D.A.’s convictions. Thereafter, Petitioner...

In the Matter of: Harold E. Bean
Date: September 1, 2016
Docket Number: 49S00-1601-DI-2
Day v. State  
Date: August 29, 2016
Docket Number: 24S05-1606-CR-358

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant and his wife were on the brink of divorce when Defendant screamed in his wife’s face and spat in her eye. Defendant was found guilty of B-misdemeanor disorderly conduct for knowingly or intentionally engaging i...

Burnell v. State  
Date: August 23, 2016
Docket Number: 29S02-1512-CR-707

Justia Opinion Summary: Kristy Burnell’s driver’s license was administratively suspended on the grounds that Burnell failed to submit to a chemical test. Burnell sought judicial review. The trial court declined to set aside the suspension, conc...

R.S. v. Marion County Dep’t of Child Servs. & Child Advocates, Inc.  
Date: August 16, 2016
Docket Number: 49S04-1606-JT-350

Justia Opinion Summary: After Child was found to be a child in need of services as to Mother and Father, Department of Child Services filed a petition to terminate Father’s parental rights. After a termination hearing, the trial court concluded...

Weaver v. State  
Date: August 4, 2016
Docket Number: 32S04-1608-CR-415

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was convicted for refusing to identify himself to a law enforcement official. A majority of the court of appeals reversed, concluding that there was insufficient evidence to support the conviction. One judge di...

In re Hon. William I. Garrard  
Date: August 3, 2016
Docket Number: 98S00-1607-JD-381

Justia Opinion Summary: Respondent, Senior Judge William I. Garrard, was arrested and convicted for operating while intoxicated endangering a person. As a result of his conviction, the Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications brought a jud...

State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. v. Jakubowicz  
Date: July 26, 2016
Docket Number: 45S05-1605-CT-253

Justia Opinion Summary: Carol Jakubowicz and her two minor sons were involved in a car accident with Ronald Williams that resulted in injuries to the Jakubowiczs. Jakubowicz filed suit on behalf of herself and her sons against Williams. More th...

In the Matter of: Joseph C. Lehman
Date: July 21, 2016
Docket Number: 20S00-1507-DI-431
Jay Classroom Teachers Ass’n v. Jay School Corp.  
Date: July 21, 2016
Docket Number: 49S05-1603-PL-113

Justia Opinion Summary: Pursuant to 2011 amendments to statutes addressing collective bargaining for teachers and their employees, when parties failed to reach a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) regarding salaries and wages, the Indiana Ed...

In the Matter of: Timohty S. Durham
Date: July 20, 2016
Docket Number: 49S00-1212-DI-672
Victor Roar v. State of Indiana
Date: July 12, 2016
Docket Number: 49S02-1607-CR-372
Bradley v. State  
Date: July 7, 2016
Docket Number: 49S05-1602-CR-83

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was arrested and charged with several drug-related offenses. Defendant filed a motion to suppress all evidence seized as a result of a search of his home conducted without a warrant. The trial court largely den...

In the Matter of Charles P. White
Date: June 28, 2016
Docket Number: 49S00-1203-DI-156
Clippinger v. State  
Date: June 28, 2016
Docket Number: 71S00-1510-LW-590

Justia Opinion Summary: After a bench trial, Defendant was convicted of two counts of murder and of being a serious violent felon in possession of a firearm. After a separate sentencing phase, the trial court sentenced Defendant to serve two li...

Pattison v. State  
Date: June 22, 2016
Docket Number: 27S05-1603-CR-115

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was charged with operating a vehicle with an alcohol concentration equivalent (ACE) of 0.08 or more. At trial, the judge instructed the jury to presume Defendant’s ACE at the time of the offense based on a chem...

Hale v. Indiana  
Date: June 16, 2016
Docket Number: 35S02-1601-CR-37

Justia Opinion Summary: Thomas Hale appealed his conviction for dealing in methamphetamine, on the sole grounds that the trial court abused its discretion in failing to grant him, at public expense, depositions of two State’s witnesses. After r...

Andy Mohr West v. Ind. Secretary of State, Auto Dealer Services Div.  
Date: June 2, 2016
Docket Number: 49S02-1511-PL-668

Justia Opinion Summary: In an effort to benefit from a growing customer base in Hamilton County, Ed Martin Toyota requested, and Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. planned to approve, that Ed Martin relocate from its Anderson, Madison County loca...

Allen v. Allen  
Date: June 1, 2016
Docket Number: 13S01-1601-DR-53

Justia Opinion Summary: David Allen (Father) and Kimberly Allen (Mother) divorced in 2002. The parties agreed to share custody of their two children, with Father paying child support to Mother. The parties’ settlement agreement and dissolution...

In the Matter of: Elton D. Johnson
Date: May 18, 2016
Docket Number: 71S00-1408-DI-544
Suggs v. State  
Date: April 28, 2016
Docket Number: 02S03-1508-CR-510

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was found guilty of domestic battery as a level 6 felony and battery as a level 6 felony. The level 6 battery conviction arose from Defendant’s assault on a woman whose brother had previousl...

Town of Fortville v. Certain Fortville Annexation Territory Landowners  
Date: April 28, 2016
Docket Number: 30S01-1510-MI-626

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2014, the Town of Fortville adopted an ordinance and resolution annexing 644 acres (the “Annexation Territory”) of land adjacent to the municipality. A number of landowners (“Remonstrators”) comprising ninety-three pe...

Allen v. State  
Date: April 28, 2016
Docket Number: 49S05-1601-CR-46

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was convicted of four traffic offenses related to his driving while intoxicated and his lack of a driver’s license. Defendant’s trial took place almost three years after his arrest. On appeal, Defendant argued...

Siner v. Kindred Hosp. Ltd. P’ship  
Date: April 28, 2016
Docket Number: 49S05-1604-CT-219

Justia Opinion Summary: Eighty-three-year-old Geraldine Siner was admitted to Kindred Hospital in 2007 for treatment of aspiration pneumonia. Geraldine’s children, John Siner and Kathy Siner, later arranged for a transfer to Methodist Hospital....

Sanford v. State  
Date: April 27, 2016
Docket Number: 49S05-1604-PC-210

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant pleaded guilty to two counts of murder, one count of class A felony robbery, and one count of class B felony burglary for crimes he committed when he was thirteen years old. Appellant was sentenced to an aggreg...

A.C. v. Ind. Dep’t of Child Servs.  
Date: April 26, 2016
Docket Number: 02S04-1604-JT-207

Justia Opinion Summary: After an adjudication determining that each of three children - N.G., L.C. and M.C. - was a Child in Need of Services, the Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS) filed petitions seeking the involuntary termination of...

Bowman v. State  
Date: April 26, 2016
Docket Number: 21S04-1510-CR-604

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of dealing in a narcotic drug within 1,000 feet of school property, a class A felony, and of being a habitual substance offender. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) Defend...

Gaff v. Indiana-Purdue Univ. of Fort Wayne  
Date: April 22, 2016
Docket Number: 02S03-1604-PL-201

Justia Opinion Summary: In this employment termination discrimination case, Plaintiff claimed, inter alia, that he had been harassed, discriminated, and retaliated against on the basis of his sex. The trial court granted summary judgment to Pla...

Horton v. State  
Date: April 21, 2016
Docket Number: 79S02-1510-CR-628

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was charged with two D-felony counts of strangulation and two counts of domestic battery, one of which was elevated to a D-felony based on a prior domestic battery conviction. Defendant moved to bifurcate the D...

Citizens Action Coalition of Ind. v. Koch  
Date: April 19, 2016
Docket Number: 49S00-1510-PL-607

Justia Opinion Summary: The Energy and Policy Institute made three separate requests to Indiana House Representative Eric Koch under the Indiana Access to Public Records Act (APRA) seeking copies of Koch’s correspondence with various business o...

Gibson v. State  
Date: April 12, 2016
Docket Number: 22S00-1206-DP-360

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant pleaded guilty to murdering Stephanie Kirk. Following a sentencing hearing, the trial court sentenced Defendant to death. Defendant appealed his death sentence. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) there was...

Hitch v. State  
Date: April 12, 2016
Docket Number: 49S02-1506-CR-376

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was found guilty of battery as a class A misdemeanor. Under the provisions of Ind. Code 35-38-1-7.7(a), the trial court also determined that Defendant committed a crime of “domestic violence...

In re Custody of M.B.  
Date: April 12, 2016
Docket Number: 65S04-1604-MI-180

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2014, the Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS) filed a petition alleging that M.B., a minor child, was a child in need of services (CHINS). While the CHINS case was still pending, M.B.'s paternal aunt and uncle...

Whistle Stop Inn, Inc. v. City of Indianapolis  
Date: April 11, 2016
Docket Number: 49S02-1604-MI-175

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2005, Indianapolis passed a non-smoking ordinance (“Ordinance”) banning smoking in public businesses but providing certain exemptions. A 2012 amendment removed the exemption for bars and taverns that had liquor licens...

Ammons v. State  
Date: April 5, 2016
Docket Number: 45S03-1604-CR-167

Justia Opinion Summary: In 1998, Appellant committed child molesting in Indiana. Appellant was released in 2006 and completed parole the next year. In 2009, Appellant moved to Iowa, where he was subject to a registration requirement. When Appel...

Ackerman v. State  
Date: April 5, 2016
Docket Number: 49S00-1409-CR-770

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2013, Defendant was charged with second degree murder for the death of a toddler that occurred in 1977. During a bench trial, the court admitted into evidence an autopsy report. The autopsy was performed by a patholog...

City of Beech Grove v. Beloat  
Date: April 5, 2016
Docket Number: 49S02-1604-CT-165

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff fell and injured herself when she stepped into a hole on one of the streets in Beech Grove City, Indiana. Plaintiff subsequently filed a negligence complaint against the City. The City asserted that it was immu...

State v. Taylor  
Date: March 30, 2016
Docket Number: 46S04-1509-CR-552

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was arrested for suspected murder. During Defendant’s pre-interrogation with his lawyer, police officers and a prosecutor eavesdropped as Defendant and his attorney discussed the location of evidence and defens...

Eckelbarger v. State  
Date: March 29, 2016
Docket Number: 90S02-1603-CR-157

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was convicted of class B felony dealing in methamphetamine (by delivery) (Counts I and II), one count of class B felony dealing in methamphetamine (by manufacture) (Count III), and one count of class D felony p...

State v. Buncich  
Date: March 22, 2016
Docket Number: 45S00-1409-PL-587

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2014, the General Assembly enacted Ind. Code 3-11-1.5-3.4 (the Statute), which created a Small Precinct Committee in Lake County and directed it to identify precincts with 500 active voters or fewer that may be amenab...

State v. Int’l Bus. Machines Corp.  
Date: March 22, 2016
Docket Number: 49S02-1408-PL-513

Justia Opinion Summary: The State and International Business Machines, Corp. (IBM) entered into a ten-year, $1.3 billion Master Services Agreement (MSA) to modernize and improve Indiana’s welfare eligibility system. The State terminated the MSA...

Sallee v. State  
Date: March 16, 2016
Docket Number: 03S00-1504-LW-237

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of murdering four people. Defendant was sentenced to life without parole for each of the four counts of murder, with the sentences to run consecutively. On appeal, Defendant ch...

Wahl v. State  
Date: March 15, 2016
Docket Number: 29S04-1510-CR-605 and 29S02-1510-CR-606

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendants, a married couple, were each convicted of involuntary manslaughter. After they were sentenced, Defendants filed a motion to correct error seeking a mistrial based on one juror’s affidavit d...

Saundra S. Wahl v. State of Indiana and Daniel P. Wahl v. State of Indiana
Date: March 15, 2016
Docket Numbers: 29S04-1510-CR-605, 29S02-1510-CR-606
Steele-Giri v. Steele  
Date: March 15, 2016
Docket Number: 45S04-1512-DR-682

Justia Opinion Summary: When Father and Mother initially divorced they had joint legal and physical custody of their minor child. The trial court subsequently granted an agreed order giving primary physical custody to Father. The parties contin...

McElfresh v. State  
Date: March 3, 2016
Docket Number: 32S01-1511-CR-667

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was charged with twelve counts of various sex offenses. The charges arose from allegations made by three young girls. While Defendant was in jail awaiting his guilty plea hearing, he wrote an “intimidating and...

Jackson v. State  
Date: March 2, 2016
Docket Number: 48S02-1509-CR-554

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was convicted of C-felony “corrupt business influence,” the formal name of the Indiana Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, for his involvement in three armed robberies during the course o...

Myers v. Crouse-Hinds Div. of Cooper Indus., Inc.  
Date: March 2, 2016
Docket Numbers: 49S00-1502-MI-119, 49S00-1501-MI-35, 49S00-1501-MI-36

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiffs, two separate couples, brought suit seeking damages stemming from asbestos-caused diseases. Several Defendants in each case moved for summary judgment. In the first lawsuit, which led to two interlocutory appe...

Blaize v. State  
Date: March 1, 2016
Docket Number: 26S00-1410-LW-771

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of murder, attempted murder, felony murder, and related crimes. The trial court imposed life without parole for the murder conviction and a term of years for the remaining conv...

Wilford v. State  
Date: February 26, 2016
Docket Number: 49S02-1602-CR-110

Justia Opinion Summary: Police impounded Defendant’s car from a parking lot because he was arrested for driving while suspended, the car’s windshield and bumper were damaged, and the registered owner was not present. When police inventoried the...

Tyson v. State  
Date: February 25, 2016
Docket Number: 45S03-1509-CR-528

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2002, Defendant was adjudicated delinquent in Texas for a sex offense. Defendant was required to register in Texas as a sex offender until 2014. In 2006, Indiana amended the Sex Offender Registry Act’s definition of s...

State v. Zerbe  
Date: February 25, 2016
Docket Number: 49S05-1509-MI-529

Justia Opinion Summary: In 1992, Defendant was convicted in Michigan of a sex offense. Michigan and Indiana later enacted laws requiring convicted sex offenders to register with local law enforcement. Pursuant to Michigan’s Sex Offender Registr...

Ward v. State  
Date: February 19, 2016
Docket Number: 49S02-1602-CR-96

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was charged with battering J.M., his girlfriend. While she was being treated for her injuries, J.M. told a paramedic and forensic nurse that Defendant was the source of her injuries. J.M. was reported missing s...

A.A. v. Ind. Dep’t of Child Servs.  
Date: February 18, 2016
Docket Number: 02S04-1602-JT-93

Justia Opinion Summary: The trial court terminated the parental rights of Mother and Father to their daughter, determining that there was a reasonable probability that the conditions that resulted in the child’s removal will not be remedied and...

Bonnell v. Cotner  
Date: February 16, 2016
Docket Number: 66S03-1509-PL-530

Justia Opinion Summary: After Tom Bonnell bought a strip of land from the Pulaski County Board of Commissioners, Ruby and Douglas Cotner filed this suit to quiet title, claiming that they had previously acquired ownership of a second of that la...

Mid-America Sound Corp. v. Ind. State Fair Comm’n  
Date: January 28, 2016
Docket Number: 49S02-1601-CT-51

Justia Opinion Summary: The Indiana State Fair Commission manages the Indiana State Fair. Since the 1990s, the Commission has utilized Mid-America Sound to provide equipment for the concerts and other events that take place at the Fair. In Augu...

Keller v. State  
Date: January 25, 2016
Docket Number: 88S04-1506-CR-354

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of two counts of Class B felony burglary, among other crimes. The burglary convictions resulted from breaking and entering into an old farmhouse. The Supreme Court reversed the...

Town of Zionsville v. Town of Whitestown  
Date: January 22, 2016
Docket Number: 06A01-1601-PL-36

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2010, acting under the Government Modernization Act (GMA), the Town of Zionsville reorganized with the unincorporated areas of Eagle Township and all of Union Township. In 2013, the Town of Whitestown adopted an ordin...

Garcia v. State  
Date: January 21, 2016
Docket Number: 49S05-1505-CR-335

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was lawfully placed under arrest for driving without a valid driver’s license. Before the police officer placed Defendant in his police cruiser, he conducted a pat-down search of Defendant’s clothing to check f...

Kastin E. Slaybaugh v. State of Indiana
Date: January 20, 2016
Docket Number: 79S02-1601-CR-28
Beasley v. State  
Date: January 14, 2016
Docket Number: 49S02-1601-CR-20

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of the murder of James Allen and the attempted murder of Gerald Beamon. Defendant appealed, arguing that the trial court erred in admitting Beamon’s testimony that Allen told B...

James Beasley v. State of Indiana
Date: January 14, 2016
Docket Number: 49S04-1601-CR-19
R.E. v. M.S.
Date: January 6, 2016
Docket Number: 49S05-1601-PO-6
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