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Tax Court affirms 2006 assessment appealed pro se

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Although sympathetic to a mother and daughter’s plight, the Indiana Tax Court affirmed the 2006 assessment of a downtown Indianapolis condominium. The judge pointed out that pro se litigants are held to the same standards as licensed attorneys.

Jaklin Idris and Dariana Kamenova owned the 2,135 square-foot condo unit in a building with two bars on the first three floors and residential condos on the second three floors. The condo was assessed at $395,900 for the 2006 tax year.

Idris appealed, and Kamenova argued before the Indiana Board of Tax Review in 2011 that the assessment should be $270,000 based on excessive noise, foul odors and persistence crime. She also claimed their unit was over-assessed and presented the Marion County Tax Reports and real estate listings for those units.  The board declined to reduce the assessment.

On appeal in Jaklin Idris and Dariana Kamenova v. Marion County Assessor, 49T10-1108-TA-49, Idris claimed that the board abused its discretion in finding that Kamenova failed to establish that their property was entitled to an obsolescence adjustment and in determining that the assessments of the three other units in their building failed to show that their property was over-assessed. Idris also argued that the board erred in upholding their assessment given the assessor’s improper use of the “one unit multiple units” classification.

Senior Judge Thomas Fisher noted that the record in the case shows that Kamenova did not offer any quantification or any other evidence to substantiate her claim that certain factors had diminished the value of her property by $125,900. And her evidence regarding the other units in the building did not establish that her assessment should be reduced because Kamenova did not provide any meaningful analysis as to the comparability of those properties nor did she attempt to explain how her unit was the same or different from those units.

Fisher found the plaintiffs waived the “one unit multiple units” classification argument because there is no evidence on the record that the assessor used such a classification and this argument was not presented to the Indiana Board of Tax Review.

“Kamenova’s and Idris’s presentations to both the Indiana Board and the Court reflect some of the challenges taxpayers have in understanding the complexities of our property tax system. While the Court is sympathetic to their plight, it is bound to apply the laws as written because pro se litigants are held to the same rules and standards as licensed attorneys,” Fisher wrote in upholding the assessment.
 

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    "Pro se litigants are held to the same rules and standards as licensed attorneys,”.

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  1. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  2. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  3. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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