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Opinions March 14, 2022 – The Indiana Advocate

Indiana Court of Appeals
Nathan C. Albrecht v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms Nathan C. Albrecht’s 10 counts of Level 5 criminal possession of child pornography and a 21-year sentence. Find Dubois Circuit Court did not err in admitting evidence taken from a hard drive in Albrecht’s home. Concludes that his beliefs are supported by the evidence and that his sentence is appropriate. Judge Terry A. Crone agrees in part and dissents in part in a separate opinion.

Milton Davis vs. Michelle M. Davis (Mem. Dec.)
Domestic relationship, no children. Confirms in part, reverses in part the decree dissolving the marriage of Milton Davis to Michelle Davis by the Marion Superior Court. Finds that the court of first instance had jurisdiction in the matter to issue the decree of dissolution and did not abuse its discretionary power when dividing the matrimonial patrimony into equal shares. Returns and orders the trial court to correct the error in the decree regarding the equalization payment to Michelle of $75,459.30. Finds no abuse of discretion in concluding Milton’s military pension in the marital area and awarding Michelle 50% of husband’s FERS and military pensions.

Christopher Michael Allen Harris v. State of Indiana (dec. memorial)
Criminal. Affirms in part and reverses in part the conviction of Christopher Harris for felony level 5 intimidation with a deadly weapon against Kendall Hooker; Level 5 criminal intimidation with a deadly weapon against Michael Mitchell; Level 6 felony pointing a gun at Mitchell; Class A misdemeanor carrying a handgun without a license; and class B misdemeanor possession of marijuana. Overturns Harris’ Level 6 felony conviction on the grounds of double jeopardy and orders the trial court to vacate it.

In the matter of the guardianship of Carol Stalions, an allegedly incapable adult; Randy Stallions v. Benjamin Stalions1 and Beth Sullivan-Summers (dec. mem.)
Guardianship. Upholds Morgan Superior Court’s dismissal of Randy Stalions’ motion to dismiss the motion to establish guardianship of Carol Stalions filed by Benjamin Stalions and Beth Sullivan-Summers. Finds that the trial court did not abuse its discretion when it determined that Carol did not have sufficient mental capacity on February 28 to execute the February 28 powers of attorney. Also finds that the court did not act as a lawyer and therefore did not violate Randy’s due process right to a fair trial before an impartial decision-maker. Remands with directions that the trial court make an order declaring the powers of attorney dated February 28 null and void and directing that said order be recorded in the Morgan County Recorder’s office.

Kevin R. Newby vs. Richard E. Newby, et al., (Mem. Dec.)
Mortgage foreclosure. Affirms Hamilton Superior Court’s grant of Richard and Edna Newby and Ann Burkett’s claim to enter into a conditional land sale agreement with Kevin Newby. Finds that the trial court did not err in granting summary judgment in favor of the plaintiffs and that the trial court was not precluded from granting summary judgment against Kevin Newby in view of the filing of his wife’s chapter 7 review. Finally, finds no abuse of the trial court’s discretion when it denied Kevin Newby’s request for an extension of time to respond to the motion for summary judgment.

In the matter of the estate of Suzanne M. Neitzel, deceased: Rita Tafelski c. Linda Salmon (Mem. Dec.)
Domain. Confirms the dismissal of the estate of Rita Tafelsk’s mother for lack of prosecution. Finds that the Lake Circuit Court did not abuse its discretion in dismissing the estate.

Jeffrey Lee Howard, Jr. v. Indiana State (dec. brief)
Criminal. Affirms Jeffrey Lee Howard Jr.’s total sentence of 30 months with 18 months executed and served on COS and 12 months suspended probation following the revocation of his probation. Says the Madison Circuit Court’s order that Howard serve the remainder of his previously suspended sentence in the DOC is supported by the record and is well within the discretion of the trial court.

Christina S. Greathouse v. Indiana State (dec. brief)
Criminal. Upholds Christina Greathouse’s 17.5-year felony tier 2 sentence for trafficking methamphetamine. Finds that his sentence is not inappropriate given the nature of the offense and his personality.

In matters of adoption of minor children PB and SB, KD, v. RB and LB
Adoption. Upholds the granting of adoption of KD’s twin daughters, PB and SB, by their maternal grandparents, RB and LB Finds no error in the trial court’s decision that the father’s consent was not required for adoption of children by grandparents. Finds that the attribution of the fees of an appeal lawyer is not justified in this case.

Lamar Rufenbarger v. State of Indiana (dec. brief)
Criminal. Affirms Lamar Rufenbarger’s 10-year sentence for level 4 indecent assault and sexual assault for a level 6 felony. Finds his sentence not inappropriate.