Opinions Sept. 2, 2015

September 2, 2015

Indiana Supreme Court
David Anderson, Joe Wray, John Kennard, Commissioners, and Board of Trustees, Brown County Fire Protection District v. Susanne Gaudin, Janet Kramer, and Ruth Reichmann
Civil plenary. Reverses summary judgment finding that a county board of commissioners lacked authority to amend an ordinance that previously established a countywide fire protection district. Majority concludes that under the Home Rule Act, boards of county commissioners are authorized to amend fire protection districts, even if an amendment dissolves the district. The opinion written by Justice Brent Dickson was joined by Justice Mark Massa and Chief Justice Loretta Rush; Justice Steven David concurred with a separate opinion. Justice Robert Rucker dissented and would affirm the trial court judgment in favor of property owners.

Gary Allen Gibson v. State of Indiana

Criminal. Reverses conviction and concurrent two-and-a-half-year sentence for criminal confinement by removal, as a Class D felony. Finds the evidence was insufficient to support the conviction. Affirms conviction and 16-year-sentence for aggravated battery, as a Class B felony.

Indiana Tax Court
Paul J. Elmer and Carol A. N. Elmer v. Indiana Department of Revenue
Tax. Denies the Indiana Department of Revenue’s motion for summary judgment. Finds genuine issues of material facts. Plans to order the parties to file a join status report under a separate cover.

Indiana Court of Appeals
In the Matter of D.B. (Minor Child), a Child in Need of Services: D.B.(Father) v. The Ind. Dept. of Child Services, and Child Advocates, Inc.
Juvenile CHINS. Reverses juvenile court’s order finding D.B. to be a Child in Need of Services. Disregards the portion of the CHINS determination that rested on the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children. Finds under the plain language of the statute, the ICPC only applies to the placement of a child in foster care or possible adoption. Judge Brown dissents, pointing out that the statute’s Article VIII does not prevent the ICPC’s application to placements with non-resident parents.

In Re the Adoption of E.A., M.A. v. D.B.
Adoption. Affirms denial of biological father M.A.’s appeal of a trial court decree granting the adoption of E.A. by stepfather D.B. M.A.’s consent to the adoption was not required because E.A. had been in the custody of another person for a period of at least one year during which M.A. failed without justifiable cause to communicate with E.A. when able to do so.

Ryan Nieves v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms conviction and aggregate 90-year sentence for eight counts of child molesting, all Class A felonies, and one count of child molesting, a Class C felony.