Opinions Dec. 30, 2015

December 30, 2015

Indiana Court of Appeals
Charles S. Whitham v. State of Indiana

Criminal.  Affirms Whitham’s conviction of Class A felony attempted murder but sua sponte reverses his remaining convictions of Class B felony aggravated battery, Class B felony battery, Class C felony battery and Class D felony strangulation because each of these were a lesser-included offense to his conviction for attempted murder. Remands for the trial court to vacate these offenses.

Risha D. Warren v. Board of School Trustees of the Springs Valley Community School Corporation
Civil plenary. The trial court erred by granting summary judgment in favor of the school board as to Warren’s Open Door Law claim. Remands for further proceedings on that claim. Affirms summary judgment for the school board on Warren’s claims of breach of contract and defamation. Also affirms denial of Warren’s motion to compel.

Isaiah H. Rogers v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Level 1 felony rape and Class A misdemeanor domestic battery.

Jesse Abrams v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Reverses and remands for the trial court to rescind the $50 public defender fee imposed at sentencing.

Scott Ezman v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Class D felony conviction of receiving stolen property.

Brian Keith Roach v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class D felony child solicitation and Class D felony sexual misconduct with a minor as a lesser-included offense of sexual battery.

L.B. v. A.L. (mem. dec.)
Adoption. Affirms grant of A.L.’s petition to adopt L.B.’s biological child.

In Re Paternity of E.R.B. Michael Bruzzese v. Rachel Kensinger (mem. dec.)
Juvenile. Affirms order that E.B. attend school near mother’s residence and the adjustment to the parenting schedule such that every two weeks E.B. would spend eight days with mother and six days with father.

Nick Adams v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms four-year sentence following conviction of Level 5 felony operating a vehicle while privileges are forfeited for life.

Edward Jones, Jr. v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms order Jones serve four years of his previously suspended sentence following his second probation violation.

Charles D. Craft v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms conviction and sentence for Class A felony child molesting.

Tommy E. Foster v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to Class C felony child solicitation and finding that Foster is a habitual offender.

Lamont Hudgins v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Level 4 felony being a prisoner in possession of a deadly weapon.

Magic Circle Corp. d/b/a Dixie Chopper, Arthur Evans, Wesley Evans, Jeffrey Haltom v. Simon Wilson, Gary Morgan, and Crowe Horwath LLP (mem. dec.)
Civil plenary. Affirms dismissal of the plaintiffs’ complaint for fraud against Simon Wilson and Gary Morgan.

Indiana Tax Court
Mirko Blesich v. Lake County Assessor

Tax. Affirms final determination of the Indiana Board of Tax Review that valued Blesich’s real property in St. John at $300,000 for the 2007 through 2010 tax years. Blesich did not present evidence to support his claim that his property should be valued at less than $300,000 for those years.

Mirko Blesich v. Lake County Assessor
Tax. Affirms final determination of the Indiana Board of Tax Review that valued Blesich’s real property in Schererville at $205,000 for the 2010 tax year. The board did not err in rejecting a settlement letter as evidence supporting Blesich’s requested valuation and the board did not err in disregarding Blesich’s appraisal.

Marion County Assessor v. Washington Square Mall, LLC, DeBartolo Realty Partnership, LP, and Simon Capital, LP
Tax. In its final determination, the Indiana Board of Tax Review found that Simon’s expert used capitalization rates that were higher than those indicated in the investor surveys and comparable sales data, and, as a result, his rates were not supported by the evidence. The board then ignored this finding and adopted all of his values anyway, which was an abuse of discretion. Remands for further proceedings.