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Justices grant two transfers

January 1, 2007
The Indiana Supreme Court has decided to consider whether trial courts can order restitution without determining a defendant's ability to pay, and an annexation case involving land in Boone County.

Justices granted transfer this week in Brenwick Associates LLC, First Industrial Acquisitions Inc., and Town of Whitestown, Indiana v. Boone County Redevelopment Commission and the Board of Commissioners of Boone County, Indiana, No. 06A04-0611-CV-682; and Jeffrey Pearson v. State of Indiana, No. 45A03-0610-CR-507.

In Brenwick, the court will get involved in a land dispute involving Whitestown's desire to annex 1,425 acres of potentially lucrative property in Perry Township. The Court of Appeals in July ruled unanimously that Whitestown has control of the land it moved to annex in July 2006; land that Boone County's redevelopment commission soon tried to grab by creating an Economic Development Area for that proposed annexation property.

Appellate judges applied Indiana's "first in time, first in right" caselaw allowing Whitestown control since it acted first. Also at issue in the case was whether remonstrators were aggrieved for purposes of the judicial review statute.

In Pearson, the court will consider a case involving an East Chicago police officer who'd taken money from the local Fraternal Order of Police Lodge, where he was treasurer. He'd written unauthorized checks to himself from the death benefit account.

Pearson pleaded guilty to misdemeanor conversion and was ordered to pay about $52,686 in restitution as part of his probation. The Court of Appeals reversed and remanded the case, holding that the trial court erred when it failed to determine Pearson's ability to pay the ordered amount.
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