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Opinions Sept. 6, 2017

September 6, 2017

The following Indiana Tax Court opinion was posted after IL deadline Tuesday:
John and Sylvia von Erdmannsdorff v. Indiana Department of State Revenue
49T10-1112-TA-93
Tax. Rules in favor of John and Sylvia von Erdmannsdorff. Finds the methods the Erdmannsdorffs used to create reconstructed inventories were not improper. Also finds the Indiana Department of State Revenue’s cost of goods sold estimates were inconsistent with undisputed facts. Finally, finds the proposed assessments against the von Erdmannsdorffs should have been based on evidence presented during an administrative protest and original tax appeal.

Wednesday opinions
Indiana Court of Appeals
Larry W. Newton, Jr. v. State of Indiana
18A05-1612-PC-2817
Post conviction. Affirms the denial of Larry W. Newton Jr.’s petition for post-conviction relief. Finds his sentence to life without parole is not unconstitutional under the Eighth Amendment.

RQAW Corporation v. Dearborn County, Indiana
58A01-1704-PL-745
Civil plenary. Affirms the grant of summary judgment to Dearborn County on RQAW Corp.’s breach of contract claim and grant of the county’s motion for judgement on the pleadings on RQAW’s unjust enrichment claim. Finds there was no enforceable contract for the phases coming after the pre-design study, so there can be no breach of contract with regard to those phases. Also finds it is clear from the face of the pleadings that RQAW “cannot in any way succeed under the operative facts and allegations made therein.”

Thomas A. Roper v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
09A04-1704-CR-718
Criminal. Affirms Thomas A. Roper’s sentence to eight years executed in the Indiana Department of Correction for his conviction of intimidation with the use of a deadly weapon as a Class C felony. Finds the Cass Superior Court did not abuse its sentencing discretion in considering mitigation factors. Also finds Roper’s sentence is not inappropriate in light of the nature of the offense and his character.

Grange Mutual Insurance Company and Fieldstar, Inc. v. Faye L. Kessler and William J. Kessler, et al. (mem. dec.)
22A01-1702-CT-376
Civil tort. Affirms the Floyd Superior Court’s denial of Fieldstar Inc. and Grange Mutual Insurance Co.’s joint motion for summary judgment. Finds the designated evidence does not demonstrate Fieldstar is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.

Steven Cunningham v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
49A02-1703-CR-419
Criminal. Affirms Steven Cunningham’s convictions for Class A misdemeanor trespass and Class B misdemeanor public intoxication. Finds the state presented sufficient evidence to prove the charges.

Brian K. Ellison v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
69A04-1705-CR-986
Criminal. Affirms the revocation of Brian K. Ellison’s probation. Finds the record unambiguously shows the Ripley Superior Court declined to accept Ellison’s plea agreement and that he was aware of that fact and was advised of his rights before he personally agreed to proceed despite the court’s rejection of the proposed plea agreement. Also finds Ellison admitted to the alleged violations in open court, which rendered a fact-finding hearing unnecessary.

A.C. v. Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
49A02-1704-JC-804
Juvenile. Dismisses A.C.’s appeal of the modification of a dispositional decree to order her to participate in home-based therapy. Finds the issue is moot as the underlying children in need of services case has been closed and A.C.’s three minor children have been placed backed in her care, custody and control.

Johnny Ray Jenkins v. Keith Butts (mem. dec.)
33A05-1703-MI-478
Miscellaneous. Affirms the dismissal of Johnny Ray Jenkins’ petition challenging the revocation of his parole. Finds that because he admitted to a parole violation, Jenkins cannot be heard to complain there was no such violation.

Charles N. Peete v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
20A03-1704-CR-807
Criminal. Affirms Charles N. Peete’s sentence to an aggregate of 27 years for his conviction of Level 4 felony burglary and his adjudication as a habitual offender. Finds Peete’s sentence is not inappropriate in light of the nature of the crime and his character.

Victoria Mellado v. Zachary Holt (mem. dec.)
31A01-1705-DR-1000
Domestic relation. Affirms the denial of Victoria Mellado’s petition to modify custody of her daughter. Finds the Harrison Circuit Court considered all factors in Indiana Code 31-17-2-8 but did not find a substantial change in any of them. Also finds the trial court did not err in finding Mellado failed to prove there has been a substantial change in any of the factors.

In the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of: E.L.R. and E.J.R. (Minor Children) and J.R. (Father) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
27A02-1704-JT-694
Juvenile. Affirms the termination of J.R.’s parental rights to his minor children, E.L.R. and E.J.R. Finds the Indiana Department of Child Services presented sufficient evidence to support the termination of his parental rights.

Donald Charles Freeman, Jr. v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
82A01-1701-CR-19
Criminal. Affirms Donald Charles Freeman Jr.’s convictions for armed robbery as a Level 3 felony, resisting law enforcement as a Level 6 felony and resisting law enforcement as a Class A misdemeanor. Finds Freeman waived his foundation objection to Exhibit 37 by failing to raise it in trial, but waiver notwithstanding, any error in the admission of it was harmless. Also finds Freeman’s two resisting law enforcement convictions do not violate double jeopardy. Remands for clarification that Freeman’s sentence for the counts in this cause are to run concurrently to each other and consecutively to the sentence in cause number 82C01-1301-FB-34.

In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of T.L. & C.S. (Children) and M.L. (Mother); M.L. (Mother) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
12A04-1703-JT-496
Juvenile. Affirms the denial of M.L.’s motion for relief from judgment. Finds the Clinton Circuit Court’s advisement of M.L.’s rights and waivers thereof was sufficient under Indiana Code 31-25-1-12, so she has not demonstrated fundamental error that could justify relief from judgment.

Daveaun D. Carson v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
02A03-1612-CR-2895
Criminal. Affirms Daveaun D. Carson’s conviction of Level 3 felony robbery. Finds the state presented sufficient evidence as John Burley’s testimony was not incredibly dubious.

Christopher A. Coyle v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
62A04-1608-CR-1887
Criminal. Affirms the denial of Christopher Coyle’s motion to suppress evidence obtained during a search of his property. Finds the search did not violate the Fourth Amendment or Article 1, Section 11 of the Indiana Constitution.

In the matter of the Supervised Estate of Gary L. Steinmetz, deceased, with personal representative Ruth Steinmetz v. Daryl Steinmetz (mem. dec.)
15A05-1704-ES-701
Estate, supervised. Dismisses the denial of a petition to probate Gary L. Steinmetz’s purported will. Finds the order from which Ruth Steinmetz appeals is neither a final judgment nor an appealable interlocutory order.

In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of M.M. and N.H., Minor Children, A.H. (Mother) v. Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
79A02-1704-JT-749
Juvenile. Affirms the termination of A.H.’s parental rights over her minor children, M.M. and N.H. Finds the totality of the evidence supports the trial court’s conclusion that termination of A.H.’s parental rights is in the children’s best interests.

Michael Bryant McDonald v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
48A02-1703-CR-662
Criminal. Affirms the revocation of Michael McDonald’s work release placement and the imposition of his previously suspended sentence following the violation of his probation. Finds the trial court did not abuse its discretion by admitting Jaime Shaw’s statements to Deputy Derek Saylor.

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