Opinions Aug. 16, 2017

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Indiana Tax Court
William E. Schmidt, Jr. and Danielle Schmidt v. Indiana Department of State Revenue
Tax. Reverses the Indiana Department of State Revenue’s proposes assessments. Finds William and Danielle Schmidt have rebutted the presumption of validity afforded to the department’s proposed assessments. Also finds the Schmidts are not liable for Indiana AGIT, penalties or interest during the 2009, 2010 and 2012 tax years, and they are entitled to the refund claimed.

Indiana Court of Appeals
In re Petition of Wiper Corporation for Tax Deed,Wiper Corporation v. Patricia E. Godwin, Barbara S. Sanders, Joseph Kaufman, James Zwickel, Thad Fischer, Trent Fischer, and Trina Fischer Boden
Miscellaneous. Reverses the Warrick Circuit Court’s order denying Wiper Corp. a refund for its tax sale purchase and applying the purchase money to the property owners’ delinquent tax obligations, and the trial court’s decision to award attorney fees and costs based on Wiper’s misconduct. Affirms the trial court’s decision not to impose sanctions against Wiper’s attorney and to deem certain issues moot in a prior order. Finds the trial court had no legal authority to deny the refund. Also finds the award of attorney fees and costs should be limited to fees and costs incurred before Feb. 25, 2013. Finally, finds the property owners have waived the questions of sanctions and moot issues. Remands.

In the Matter of the Involuntary Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of S.C. (Minor Child) and T.M. (Mother) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
Juvenile termination of parental rights. Affirms the involuntary termination of T.M.’s parental rights to her child, S.C. Finds the Allen Superior Court did not clearly err in concluding there is a reasonable probability that the conditions that resulted in S.C.’s removal from T.M.’s care or the reasons for the placement outside T.M.’s home will not be remedied. Also finds the trial court did not clearly err in concluding that termination of the parent-child relationship was in S.C.’s best interests and that adoption was a satisfactory plan for child care and treatment.

Norbert Machan v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Norbert Machan’s conviction for Level 5 felony escape. Find the evidence is sufficient to support Machan’s conviction. Also finds Machan has waived and otherwise failed to establish his claim that the statute defining “lawful detention” is unconstitutionally vague.

In the Matter of F.M. a Child Alleged to be a Delinquent Child, F.M. v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Juvenile. Affirms the modification of F.M.’s disposition decree and order that he be placed in the Indiana Department of Correction, Juvenile Division. Finds the juvenile court did not abuse its discretion.

Brilan Keith Williams v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Brilan K. Williams’ conviction of Class A misdemeanor carrying a handgun without a license. Finds the evidence was sufficient to support Williams’ conviction.

Darnell Loven Johnson v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms the revocation of Darnell L. Johnson’s community corrections placement and his probation. Finds the Madison Circuit Court did not abuse its discretion by ordering Johnson to serve his entire 30-month sentence, including the previously suspended term, in the Department of Correction.

Travis Allen v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Travis D. Allen’s conviction for Class A misdemeanor domestic battery. Finds the state presented sufficient evidence to rebut Allen’s self-defense claim.

Chapel Ridge Investments, LLC v. U.S. Bank National Association, As Trustee for the Registered Holders of ML-CFC Commerical Mortgage Trust 2006-4, et al. (mem. dec.)
Mortgage foreclosure. Reverses the grant of summary judgment in favor of U.S. Bank National Association with respect to damages due to non-payment of a loan and the order for a sheriff’s sale. Affirms the grant of summary judgment in all other respects. Finds Chapel Ridge Investments LLC has not demonstrated it was prejudiced by the Trial Rule 56(I) alteration of time. Also finds the trial court should have stricken a portion of the Second Coupe Affidavit, which was contrary to Trial Rule 56(E), but the trial court did not otherwise abuse its discretion in denying Chapel Ridge’s motion to strike. Finally, finds the reversal of the damages means there is no final foreclosure judgment. Remands for further proceedings.

Octavio D. Gonzalez v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Octavio Daniel Gonzalez’s conviction for murder. Finds the evidence was sufficient to support his conviction. Also finds the Marion Superior Court did not commit fundamental error in admitting DNA evidence.

Jerry Turner v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Jerry Turner’s conviction of one count of possession of a narcotic drug as a Level 4 felony. Finds the statements in the affidavit submitted in support of the search warrant were sufficiently reliable and timely to support the Marion Superior Court’s finding of probable cause and its admission of the evidence obtained as a result of service of the warrant. Also finds the trial court’s oral entry of judgment and sentence conflict with its written records. Remands with instructions to enter a new written sentencing order and to correct the docket.

Marten Transport, Ltd., a Foreign Corporation, and Caroline Hurst v. Kathleen E. Lucas (mem. dec.)
Civil tort. Affirms the Lake Superior Court’s entry of judgment in favor of Kathleen E. Lucas for $2.5 million and against Marten Transport Ltd. and Caroline Hurst in Lucas’ personal injury claim. Finds the trial court did not err.

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