Indiana Court of Appeals
David L. Jenner and Vickie Jenner v. Bloomington Cellular Services, Inc. and Crown Castle South LLC.
Miscellaneous. Divided panel affirms a trial court ruling finding the Jenners’ tax deed for a Bloomington property housing a cell tower void for lack of statutory compliance. Judge L. Mark Bailey in the majority opinion holds because Crown Castle South LLC satisfied the statutory definition of a person with a substantial interest of public record in the property, it was entitled to notice under the tax sale statutes, and the trial court did not err when in concluded the Jenners’ failure to provide notice required the deed be voided. Majority finds trial court did err in concluding the Jenners were on inquiry notice of Crown Castle’s intent, as there is no such statutory requirement. Chief Judge Nancy Vaidik concurs with separate opinion, but would affirm the trial court in all aspects, as Crown Castle’s interest in the property had been recorded. Judge Margret Robb dissents and would reverse the trial court’s grant of Crown Castle’s motion for relief from judgment on different grounds. She doesn’t believe the Legislature intended that even when a title company doesn’t find a recorded interest in a property that an average citizen should be expected to in order to secure a tax deed.
Ivan Jones v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Divided panel reverses and remands for a new sentencing hearing, finding the trial court’s failure to inquire directly of Ivan Jones whether he wished to exercise his right of allocution was fundamental error. Remands with instructions for a new sentencing hearing. Chief Judge Nancy Vaidik dissents. She would affirm the trial court, finding that, in this case, Jones had been informed of his right of allocution, and the failure to ask is not fundamental error.
Lamar Wooden v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of murder, finding there was not prosecutorial misconduct rising to fundamental error when a prosecutor during closing argument suggested that Lamar Wooden had a burden of proof or that the state was required to present exculpatory evidence.