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Tax Court denies assessor's motion to dismiss appeal

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Indiana Tax Judge Martha Wentworth denied the Marion County assessor’s motion to dismiss two petitioners' original tax appeal, finding the parties properly served a copy of the petition with the attorney general’s office.

Jaklin Idris and Dariana Kamenova wanted to appeal the Indiana Board of Tax Review’s final determination in which it upheld the 2006 assessment of Idris’ and Kamenova’s real property. Idris went to the Tax Court clerk’s office and provided the clerk with four copies of a notice of claim and two copies of a notice of appearance. The clerk’s office sent the information to the Board of Tax Review and the attorney general instead of Idris personally mailing or delivering them.

The Marion County assessor argues that Idris didn’t comply with Indiana Code 6-1.1-15-5(b)(2) and Tax Court Rule 16(C) because the clerk served a copy of the petition on the AG’s office but Idris was required to do so.

The plain language of I.C. 6-1.1-15-5(b)(2)(B) is silent as to how a party is to serve the attorney general. Wentworth interpreted the statute’s silence to mean that it does not matter how service is accomplished, as long as it is made.

Under Tax Court Rule 16, the attorney general must be served “by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested.” Wentworth wrote that the purpose of this rule is to ensure that there is evidence of service and receipt, and the evidence in the instant case shows that the assessor’s office and AG’s office both received and acknowledged the petition filed by Idris.

“Idris’s reliance on the Clerk as the means to effect service did not run afoul of statutory requirements for initiating an original tax appeal under Indiana Code § 6-1.1-15-5 because that statute recites no preference for any particular method of service,” Wentworth wrote in Jaklin Idris and Dariana Kamenova v. Marion County Assessor, No. 49T10-1108-TA-49.

 “Moreover, while Idris’s method of service admittedly did not comply with Tax Court Rule 16(C), it was consistent with the spirit and purpose of the rule. Finally, the Court’s conclusion is consistent with its prior decisions that reasoned that the decisive inquiry for proper service is whether the documents to be served were timely mailed, not who mailed them.”
 

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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