Supreme Court of Indiana Decisions 2018

Livingston v. State  
Date: December 28, 2018
Docket Number: 18S-CR-623

Justia Opinion Summary: Finding this to be a rare and exceptional criminal case, the Supreme Court reduced Defendant’s sentence pursuant to Appellate Rule 7(B), holding that the sentence imposed was inappropriate in light of Defendant’s offense...

In the Matter of Kirmille D. Lewis
Date: December 28, 2018
Docket Number: 18S-DI-102
State v. Reinhart  
Date: December 5, 2018
Docket Number: 18S-MI-286

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the trial court granting Defendant’s petition for specialized driving privileges, holding that the proper venue for seeking relief when the petitioner “forfeits” driving privileges...

Richardson's RV, Inc. v. Indiana Department of State Revenue  
Date: December 5, 2018
Docket Number: 18S-TA-22

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the Tax Court determining that Richardson’s RV owed no Indiana sales tax because it took RVs it sold to certain out-of-state customers into Michigan before handing over the keys...

Schuler v. State  
Date: December 4, 2018
Docket Number: 31S00-1703-LW-134

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant’s conviction of murder and felony murder but remanded this matter for a more specific sentencing statement consistent with the dictates of Harrison v. State, 644 N.E.2d 1243, 1262 (In...

Barcroft v. State  
Date: December 3, 2018
Docket Number: 18S-CR-135

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the trial court’s judgment finding Defendant guilty but mentally ill (GBMI), holding that the evidence led only to the conclusion that Defendant was insane when the crime was committed. Defend...

Town of Ellettsville, Indiana Plan Commission v. DeSpirito  
Date: November 29, 2018
Docket Number: 53S01-1709-PL-612

Justia Opinion Summary: In this property dispute, the Supreme Court retained Indiana’s common-law rule prohibiting the unilateral relocation of fixed easements and affirmed the trial court’s entry of judgment for Joseph DeSpirito on his petitio...

In the Matter of Tia R. Brewer
Date: November 16, 2018
Docket Number: 18S-DI-299
Weisheit v. State  
Date: November 7, 2018
Docket Number: 10S00-1507-PD-413

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the post-conviction court denying Appellant’s petition for post-conviction relief alleging that his trial and appellate counsel were ineffective, holding that, although counsel...

Gittings v. Deal  
Date: November 2, 2018
Docket Number: 18S-TR-231

Justia Opinion Summary: In this property dispute between stepsiblings Brenda Sue Gittings and William Deal, the Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed and remanded in part the judgment of the trial court, holding that William was not entit...

In the Matter of Larry W. Rogers
Date: November 2, 2018
Docket Number: 64S00-1704-DI-251
Campbell Hausfeld/Scott Fetzer Co. v. Johnson  
Date: November 1, 2018
Docket Number: 18S-CT-548

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the trial court granting summary judgment in favor of Defendant on Plaintiff’s defective design claim, holding that, under the facts and circumstances of this case, Plaintiff’s misuse of a tool...

Daniels v. FanDuel, Inc.  
Date: October 24, 2018
Docket Number: 18S-CQ-134

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court accepted a certified question from the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and answered that online fantasy sports operators that condition entry to contests on payment and distribute...

In the Matter of Edward R. Hall
Date: October 18, 2018
Docket Number: 98S00-1703-DI-152
Wamsley v. Tree City Village  
Date: October 11, 2018
Docket Number: 18S-CT-502

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the orders of the trial court setting aside the default judgment against certain defendants and denying Plaintiff’s motion to correct error, holding that the defendants made the requisite showi...

B.T.E. v. State  
Date: October 11, 2018
Docket Number: 36S05-1711-JV-711

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the trial court adjudicating B.T.E. a juvenile delinquent on two counts, including attempted aggravated battery, for plotting to shoot up and blow up his high school, holding th...

Wright v. State  
Date: October 4, 2018
Docket Number: 18S-CR-166

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant’s convictions of four counts of felony child molesting, holding that the attenuation doctrine can apply under the Indiana Constitution and that Defendant’s statements to law enforceme...

Dycus v. State  
Date: October 3, 2018
Docket Number: 18S-CR-488

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that the requirement set forth in Pirtle v. State, 323 N.E.2d 634 (Ind. 1975), that an advisement of rights be given prior to police obtaining consent to a search from a person in custody does not...

NIPSCO Industrial Group v. Northern Indiana Public Service Co.  
Date: September 25, 2018
Docket Number: 18S-EX-334

Justia Opinion Summary: Under traditional rate regulation, an energy utility must first make improvements to its infrastructure before it can recover their cost through regulator-approved rate increases to customers. The process is an expensive...

State of Indiana v. Norfolk Southern Railway Co.  
Date: September 24, 2018
Docket Number: 18S-IF-193

Justia Opinion Summary: Indiana’s blocked-crossing statute bars railroads from blocking railroad-highway grade crossings for more than 10 minutes, except in circumstances outside the railroads’ control. Ind. Code 8-6-7.5-1. Violations are Clas...

Cox v. Evansville Police Department  
Date: September 13, 2018
Docket Number: 18S-CT-447

Justia Opinion Summary: In this case brought against two women who were sexually assaulted by two on-duty police officers, the Supreme Court held that the officers’ city employers may be liable under the scope-of-employment rule, traditionally...

R.R. v. State  
Date: September 13, 2018
Docket Number: 18S-JV-230

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the determination of the trial court finding that R.R., a juvenile, violated his probation and adjudicating him a delinquent for auto theft and false informing, holding that the trial court vio...

In the Matter of Trista A. Hudson
Date: August 29, 2018
Docket Number: 64S00-1705-DI-325
Jackson v. State  
Date: August 24, 2018
Docket Number: 18S-CR-113

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue was what, if any, ability a trial court has to resentence a criminal defendant on felonies underlying a criminal gang enhancement, see Ind. Code 35-50-2-15, when an appellate court has reversed that enhancement...

Boggs v. State  
Date: August 23, 2018
Docket Number: 18S-CR-430

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant’s conviction for Level 1 felony child molestation, holding that proof of the slightest penetration of the sex organ, including penetration of the external genitalia, is sufficient to...

In the Matter of Glenn E. Davis, Jr.
Date: August 22, 2018
Docket Number: 18S-DI-95
In the Matter of Michael Jeffries
Date: August 21, 2018
Docket Number: 18S-DI-94
In re Honorable Ryan D. Johanningsmeier  
Date: August 10, 2018
Docket Number: 18S-JD-351

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that the Honorable Ryan D. Johanningsmeier, Judge of the Knox Superior Court 2, engaged in judicial misconduct by his conduct in, and his failure to recuse from, a friend’s traffic-infraction case....

In the Matter of Charles R. Huston
Date: August 8, 2018
Docket Number: 18S-DI-258
In the Matter of Marcus E. Ellison
Date: August 8, 2018
Docket Number: 71S00-1704-DI-187
Edmonds v. State  
Date: June 29, 2018
Docket Number: 18S-CR-50

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue was whether multiple felony convictions are authorized by Ind. Code 35-44.1-3-1 where a single act of resisting law enforcement while operating a vehicle causes the death of one person and serious bodily injurie...

Paquette v. State  
Date: June 29, 2018
Docket Number: 63S04-1709-CR-570

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue was whether a defendant can be convicted of multiple felony resisting law enforcement charges when those charges stem from a single incident of resisting. Defendant pleaded guilty to three felony counts of resi...

Hamilton Southeastern Utilities, Inc. v. Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission  
Date: June 27, 2018
Docket Number: 18S-EX-49

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeals dismissing the Indiana Utility and Regulatory Commission (the Commission) in this appeal from the Commission’s decision authorizing a rate and charges incre...

State v. Larkin  
Date: June 27, 2018
Docket Number: 46S04-1711-CR-701

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgments of the lower courts dismissing Defendant’s charge of voluntary manslaughter. In dismissing the charge, both of the lower courts found (1) the Criminal Rule 4(C) period within whi...

In the Matter of Douglas L. Krasnoff
Date: June 27, 2018
Docket Number: 49S00-1603-DI-148
J.R. v. State  
Date: June 25, 2018
Docket Number: 18S-JV-285

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court summarily affirmed the parts of the opinion of the court of appeals that addressed and rejected J.R.’s challenge to a pat-down search and remanded to the juvenile court to vacate the delinquency adjudic...

Fansler v. State  
Date: June 21, 2018
Docket Number: 27S02-1710-CR-672

Justia Opinion Summary: The trial court did not err in admitting Defendant’s incriminating statements made in a motel room during the course of a custodial interrogation without an electronic recording of those statements. Defendant was charge...

Durden v. State  
Date: June 20, 2018
Docket Number: 18S-CR-329

Justia Opinion Summary: Because Defendant’s affirmative actions at trial resulted in a violation of his right to an impartial jury, the invited-error doctrine required that Defendant’s conviction be affirmed. After a second trial, Defendant wa...

NIPSCO Industrial Group v. Northern Public Service Co.  
Date: June 20, 2018
Docket Number: 18S-EX-334

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue was the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission’s preapproval of approximately $20 million in infrastructure investments, for which the Commission authorized increases to NIPSCO Industrial Group’s natural-gas rate...

D.Z. v. State  
Date: June 20, 2018
Docket Number: 18S-JV-295

Justia Opinion Summary: Custodial interrogation for purposes of Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966), at public schools requires police involvement, and so when school officials alone meet with students Miranda warnings are not required. Af...

B.A. v. State  
Date: June 20, 2018
Docket Number: 49S02-1709-JV-567

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue in this case was when public school students are entitled to Miranda warnings at school. B.A., who was thirteen years old, was escorted from a school bus and questioned in a vice-principal’s office in response...

Erie Indemnity Co. v. Estate of Brian L. Harris  
Date: June 19, 2018
Docket Number: 18S-CT-114

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue was whether the term “others we protect” under a decedent’s employer’s commercial auto policy included the decedent. The decedent was killed by an uninsured driver while the decedent was mowing his home’s lawn...

In re Supervised Estate of Gary D. Kent  
Date: June 19, 2018
Docket Number: 55S01-1712-ES-747

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue was whether an agreement between two children, executed before their father’s death, could be enforced using a chapter in the Probate Code providing for the adjudicated compromise of controversies. Father, who...

In the Matter of Fronse W. Smith, Jr.
Date: May 24, 2018
Docket Number: 71S00-1711-DI-707
In the Matter of Stephen W. Schuyler
Date: May 22, 2018
Docket Number: 18S-DI-184
A.A. v. Eskenazi Health/Midtown CMHC  
Date: May 17, 2018
Docket Number: 49S02-1711-MH-688

Justia Opinion Summary: In this involuntary civil commitment proceeding, the trial court accepted an invalid waiver of A.A.’s right to personal appear, and that error was not harmless. A.A.’s attorney waived A.A.’s right to appear, and the inv...

Gresk v. Demetris  
Date: May 10, 2018
Docket Number: 49S02-1711-MI-686

Justia Opinion Summary: The anti-SLAPP statute was inapplicable in this medical malpractice action filed by two minors and their parents against a doctor who reported suspected medical child abuse to the Department of Child Services (DSC). The...

McGrath v. State  
Date: May 1, 2018
Docket Number: 49S04-1710-CR-653

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the trial court’s decision to uphold the rulings of magistrates that issued a warrant to conduct a thermal-imaging search of a private residence and a warrant to search the physical premises, h...

Kirby v. State  
Date: April 27, 2018
Docket Number: 18S-CR-79

Justia Opinion Summary: Indiana’s post-conviction rules did not allow Petitioner to bring a challenge to a statute barring him, as a serious sex offender, from school property in a post-conviction proceeding because Petitioner was challenging a...

In the Matter of Joseph Patrick Hudspeth
Date: April 25, 2018
Docket Number: 41S00-1612-DI-659
Roumbos v. Samuel G. Vazanellis & Thiros and Stracci, PC  
Date: April 12, 2018
Docket Number: 45S03-1710-CT-635

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the trial court’s order granting summary judgment for Defendants - a lawyer and his law firm - in this lawyer malpractice case, holding that Defendants failed to negate the causation element of...

Weida v. State  
Date: April 12, 2018
Docket Number: 79S02-1711-CR-687

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed and remanded in part Defendant’s sentence imposed in connection with his felony incest conviction, holding that one special sex offender probation condition imposed by the...

Garner v. Kempf  
Date: March 26, 2018
Docket Number: 82S01-1705-PL-334

Justia Opinion Summary: Indiana law allows a judgment-creditor to garnish a cash bail bond the judgment-debtor posted in an unrelated criminal matter. Here, Plaintiff obtained a default judgment against Defendant in the superior court. While...

In re Adoption of E.B.F.  
Date: March 23, 2018
Docket Number: 18S-AD-167

Justia Opinion Summary: Under the circumstances of this case, Mother’s consent was necessary to grant the child’s stepmother’s petition to adopt the child. Here, due to her drug addiction, Mother had voluntarily agreed to modify custody. Under...

Care Group Heart Hospital, LLC v. Sawyer  
Date: March 23, 2018
Docket Number: 49S05-1710-PL-671

Justia Opinion Summary: The hospital that paid out a doctor’s ownership interest after his employment as a cardiologist terminated did not breach its agreement with the doctor. Dr. Roderick Sawyer worked as a cardiologist for St. Vincent Medic...

In re Honorable Dean A. Young  
Date: March 14, 2018
Docket Number: 05S00-1706-JD-430

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court found that the Honorable Dean A. Young, a circuit court judge, engaged in judicial misconduct and ordered that Judge Young be suspended from office without pay for six days. The matter was before the S...

T.H. v. State  
Date: March 9, 2018
Docket Number: 18S-JV-80

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed T.H.’s adjudication as a delinquent but remanded the case to the trial court to modify its records to show that T.H. committed an act that would be criminal mischief as a Class B misdemeanor....

In the Matter of Robert John Wray
Date: February 27, 2018
Docket Number: 02S00-1511-DI-648
Robinson v. State  
Date: February 23, 2018
Docket Number: 18S-CR-33

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant pleaded guilty to attempted residential entry and resisting law enforcement. Defendant failed to appear at his sentencing hearing. Counsel moved for a continuance of the sentencing hearing, but the trial court...

Brantley v. State  
Date: February 16, 2018
Docket Number: 18S-CR-98

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant, who was charged with voluntary manslaughter without also being charged with murder, was properly found guilty even where the State conceded the existence of sudden heat to support the standalone charge. On ap...

Phipps v. State  
Date: February 16, 2018
Docket Number: 28S05-1707-CR-499

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue in this case was what constitutes sufficient evidence to prove a person intentionally or knowingly violated a protective order. K.G., the pastor of a small Indiana church, sought a protective order against Defe...

McCallister v. State  
Date: February 15, 2018
Docket Number: 87S00-1609-LW-497

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the trial court convicting Defendant of murder and conspiracy to commit murder and sentencing him to life imprisonment without parole for the murder conviction. The Supreme Cour...

Gunderson v. State  
Date: February 14, 2018
Docket Number: 46S03-1706-PL-423

Justia Opinion Summary: The boundary separating public trust land from privately-owned riparian land along the shores of Lake Michigan is the common-law ordinary high water mark (OHWM). Absent an authorized legislative conveyance, the State ret...

Ward v. Carter  
Date: February 13, 2018
Docket Number: 46S03-1709-PL-569

Justia Opinion Summary: The Department of Correction’s change to Indian’s lethal injection protocol, which added Brevital to the lethal injection cocktail, does not carry the effect of law, and therefore, the new three-drug protocol is not a ru...

L.G. v. S.L.  
Date: January 19, 2018
Docket Number: 18S-AD-32

Justia Opinion Summary: A trial court judge is not required to recuse himself or herself from a case solely because counsel for one of the parties served as a professional reference and wrote a recommendation letter in support of the judge’s ap...

Jessica McCain v. State of Indiana
Date: January 17, 2018
Docket Number: 18S-CR-26
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