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Opinions Dec. 30, 2013

December 30, 2013
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The following Indiana Tax Court was posted after IL deadline Friday:
Joseph & Jeanne Hutcherson v. Robin L. Ward, Hamilton County Assessor
49T10-1302-TA-10
Tax. Denies Hamilton County assessor’s motion to dismiss the Hutchersons’ claims and reverses the Indiana Board of Tax Review’s determination that the Hutchersons’ petitions to correct error for 2004 through 2007 were untimely. Finds the Petition to Correct Error Statute contains no provisions limiting the length of time a taxpayer has to file a petition. Remands for action consistent with the court’s opinion.

Monday's opinions
Indiana Court of Appeals
Rico Nathaniel Morst v. State of Indiana (NFP)
84A01-1305-CR-226
Criminal. Affirms revocation of Morst’s probation.

Jeremiah Joseph Skirvin v. State of Indiana (NFP)
55A01-1305-CR-232
Criminal. Affirms aggregate sentence of 55 years for two counts of sexual misconduct with a minor, as Class B felonies; one count of sexual misconduct with a minor, as a Class C felony; and being adjudicated as a habitual offender.

State of Indiana v. Tammy Sue Harper (NFP)
79A02-1303-CR-272
Criminal. Reverses order from the Tippecanoe Circuit Court modifying the sentence of Harper. Although the prosecuting attorney did not tell the trial court whether it approved of or objected to the sentence modification, the COA held that according to the “clear language” of Indiana Code 35-38-1-17, the prosecutor must approve of a sentence modification if the convicted person has served more than 365 days of his or her sentence.

George Williams v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1304-CR-326
Criminal. Affirms conviction of attempted murder as a Class A felony.

In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of D.M. (Minor Child) and D.D. (Father) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)
49A05-1305-JT-258
Juvenile. Affirms termination of father D.D.’s parental rights.

Indiana Supreme Court and Indiana Tax Court did not post any opinions by IL deadline. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals did not submit any Indiana opinions by IL deadline.
 

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  1. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.

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  5. For some strange reason this story, like many on this ezine that question the powerful, seems to have been released in two formats. Prior format here: http://www.theindianalawyer.com/nominees-selected-for-us-attorney-in-indiana/PARAMS/article/44263 That observed, I must note that it is quite refreshing that denizens of the great unwashed (like me) can be allowed to openly question powerful elitists at ICE MILLER who are on the public dole like Selby. Kudos to those at this ezine who understand that they cannot be mere lapdogs to the powerful and corrupt, lest freedom bleed out. If you wonder why the Senator resisted Selby, consider reading the comments here for a theory: http://www.theindianalawyer.com/nominees-selected-for-us-attorney-in-indiana/PARAMS/article/44263

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