Opinions May 21, 2018

May 21, 2018

The following opinions were posted after IL deadline on Friday:
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Carleton Harris v. Allen County Board of Commissioners

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, Fort Wayne Division. Chief Judge Theresa L. Springmann.
Civil. Affirms the grant of summary judgment in favor of the Allen County Board of Commissioners on Carleton Harris’ complaint for alleged violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Finds Harris failed to present adequate evidence to show the board was his employer for the purpose of the complaint.

Indiana Tax Court
Nova Tube Indiana II LLC v. Clark County Assessor

Tax. Reverses the Indiana Board of Tax Review’s final determination upholding the assessment of Nova Tub Indiana II’s real property for the 2011, 2012 and 2013 tax years. Finds the board did not abuse its discretion in finding Nova Tube’s Clark County property sold in a market value transaction in May 2014. Also finds the Clark County Assessor did not meet her initial burden of proving her assessment increases were correct. Remands to the board to instruct the appropriate assessing officials to assess the property in a manner consistent with the court’s opinion.

Monday's opinions
Indiana Court of Appeals
Sheila Gonzalez and Rod Gonzalez v. Sara Ritz, Northern Indiana Public Service Company, Porter County Drug Task Force, and Town of Chesterton

Civil tort. Reverses the grant of summary judgment in favor of the Town of Chesterton and the Porter County Drug Task Force on Sheila and Rod Gonzalez’s negligence claim. Finds the designated evidence does not inevitably lead to the inference that Sheila was contributorily negligent. Remands for trial.

Michael A. Mullett and Patricia N. March v. Duke Energy Indiana, LLC, Nucor Steel-Indiana, Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor
Agency. Affirms the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission’s approval of Duke Energy Indiana, LLC’s request to recover the cost of lost production payable to the Benton County Wind Farm from ratepayers over a 12-month period. Finds substantial evidence supports the commission’s order.

Julian Byrd v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Julian Byrd’s aggregate 16-year sentence for his convictions of Level 3 felony armed robbery and Level 5 felony battery with a deadly weapon. Finds the St. Joseph Superior Court did not abuse its discretion when it considered Byrd’s criminal history during sentencing.

Joshua A. Guntle v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Joshua Guntle’s five-year sentence for his conviction of dealing in methamphetamine as a Level 5 felony. Finds Guntle’s sentence is not inappropriate.

In re the Paternity of G.H. and J.H. (Minor Children): R.H. v. H.W. (mem. dec.)
Juvenile paternity. Affirms the denial of R.H.’s petition to modify custody of his two children with H.W. Finds the Cass Circuit Court did not abuse its discretion.

In re: Estate of Lester Frank Sumrall, Deceased Lester L. Sumrall v. Angela N. Grabowski (mem. dec.)
Estate, supervised. Affirms the judgment in favor of Angela N. Grabowski, who challenged Lester L. Sumrall’s request for Lester Frank Sumrall’s estate to be opened and administered. Finds the evidentiary issues that would stem from attempting to establish ownership of personal property that has been distributed over the course of more than 20 years would undoubtedly result in prejudice to those adverse to Lester L. Sumrall’s position.
Mark Kinsey v. Julia Kinsey (mem. dec.)
Domestic relation. Affirms the denial of Mark Kinsey’s motions to modify custody and to hold Julia Kinsey in contempt, and the order modifying child support. Finds the Tippecanoe Circuit Court did not err.