Opinions June 5, 2014

June 5, 2014
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The Indiana Tax Court released the following opinions after IL deadline Wednesday:
Jaklin Idris and Dariana Kamenova v. Marion County Assessor
Tax. Finds the Indiana Board of Tax Review did not err in upholding the 2006 assessment of Idris’ and Kamenova’s condominium unit. Rejects their claims 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; and that the board erred in upholding their assessment given the assessor’s improper use of the “one unit multiple units” classification.

Nick Popovich v. Indiana Department of State Revenue (NFP)
Tax. Reaffirms decision to deny Popovich’s second motion to compel because he had not complied with the requirements of Ind. Trial Rule 26(F).

Thursday’s opinions
Indiana Supreme Court

Victor Ponce v. State of Indiana
Post conviction. Reverses the denial of Ponce’s petition for post-conviction relief, which contended that the Spanish translation of the rights he was waiving by entering the plea was so inaccurate his plea was not entered knowingly, intelligently and voluntarily. In this case Ponce carried his initial burden of demonstrating that at the guilty plea hearing he was not properly advised of the constitutional rights he was waiving by pleading guilty. And the state failed to show that the record as a whole nonetheless demonstrated that Ponce understood his constitutional rights and waived them. Remands for further proceedings.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Larry D. Russell, Jr. v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Reverses sentence following guilty plea to five counts of Class C felony neglect of a dependent and two counts of Class C felony criminal confinement. The plea agreement and sentence were based on the faulty premise that Russell’s sentence must be limited to 10 years under I.C. 35-50-1-2(c). Remands for Russell to have the option to ratify and proceed with the current plea agreement without the illegal sentencing limitation; if he does not exercise that option within 30 days after this opinion has been certified, the plea agreement shall be vacated.

Curtis Oakes v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Keith Scruggs v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

The Indiana Tax Court posted no opinions by IL deadline Thursday. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals issued no Indiana decisions by IL deadline.



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  1. I think the cops are doing a great job locking up criminals. The Murder rates in the inner cities are skyrocketing and you think that too any people are being incarcerated. Maybe we need to lock up more of them. We have the ACLU, BLM, NAACP, Civil right Division of the DOJ, the innocent Project etc. We have court system with an appeal process that can go on for years, with attorneys supplied by the government. I'm confused as to how that translates into the idea that the defendants are not being represented properly. Maybe the attorneys need to do more Pro-Bono work

  2. We do not have 10% of our population (which would mean about 32 million) incarcerated. It's closer to 2%.

  3. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  4. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  5. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.