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Judge: Assessor waived objection

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The Indiana Tax Court denied the Jefferson County assessor’s request that a couple’s appeal of the assessment of their residential real property be dismissed, finding the assessor waived her objection to the timeliness of the couple’s administrative record request.

When the Larry and Sharon Jones filed their complaint with the Indiana Tax Court on Aug. 28, 2013, they did not include a request that the Indiana Board of Tax Review prepare a certified copy of the administrative record. Under Indiana Tax Court Rule 3, they had until Sept. 27, 2013, to file a separate request for the administrative record to be prepared.

In Larry G. Jones and Sharon F. Jones v. Jefferson County Assessor, 39T10-1308-TA-68, the Jefferson County assessor argued in her motion to dismiss that because the Joneses failed to meet that September deadline, they “have not properly initiated their action before this Court” so the complaint should be dismissed.

“In this case, it would have been revealed by the end of September that the Joneses had not filed a separate request for the administrative record in compliance with Indiana Tax Court Rule 3. Nonetheless, the Assessor waited until mid-December to raise an objection,” Judge Martha Wentworth wrote. “Additionally, the Assessor and her attorney had already had numerous communications with the Court by that point, as they had filed her answer on October 2, participated in the telephonic case management conference on October 23, and had filed the October 29 response opposing the Joneses’ motion for default judgment. Given these particular facts, the Court finds that the Assessor has waived her objection to the timeliness of the Joneses’ administrative record request.”

“The Court hereby instructs the Joneses to file no later than April 28, 2014, a request for the Indiana Board to prepare a certified copy of its administrative record in the case. In accordance with Indiana Tax Court Rule 3(E), the Joneses shall then file the record with the Clerk of the Tax Court within thirty (30) days after they have received notification from the Indiana Board that the record has been prepared. Once the Court receives the Indiana Board’s record, it will schedule another telephonic case management conference to discuss the need for additional briefing and oral argument.”
 

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