Opinions Feb. 21, 2019

February 21, 2019

The following Indiana Tax Court opinion was posted after IL deadline Wednesday:
 Vassil Marinov & Venetka Marinova v. Tippecanoe County Assessor

Tax. Affirms the Indiana Board of Tax Review’s final determination of the assessed value of Vassil and Venetka Marinova’s real property for the 2014 tax year. Finds the assessed value of the property is correct and that the Marinovs failed to rebut the assessor’s prima facie case. 

Thursday opinions
Indiana Court of Appeals 
Ryan A. Benefiel v. Junko M. Stalker

Juvenile paternity. Affirms the Hamilton Circuit Court’s order that Ryan Benefiel pay $20,000 in attorney’s fees incurred by Junko Makiah Stalker during their paternity action. Finds Benefiel’s behavior caused additional attorney fees to be incurred by Stalker. Also finds the parties’ economic conditions support an award of attorney’s fees. 

In the Matter of: K.A.H., a Child in Need of Services, and A.V.U. (Mother) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services
Juvenile CHINS. Affirms the adjudication of K.H. as a child in need of services. Finds the determination was not clearly erroneous. 

Commissioner of the Indiana Department of Environmental Management v. Eagle Enclave Development, LLC
Miscellaneous. Reverses the denial of the Indiana Department of Environment Management’s motion to dismiss. Finds the Vanderburgh Superior Court erred when it did not dismiss Eagle Enclave Development’s second counterclaim that IDEM abused its discretion by denying Eagle’s request to modify an agreed order and when the trial court did not dismiss Eagle’s third counterclaim that IDEM lacked jurisdiction over a private pond. Also finds the second counterclaim should have been dismissed because Eagle did not seek timely review of the OEA’s order and the third counterclaim should have been dismissed because Eagle had not exhausted its administrative remedies. Finally, finds the Court of Appeals does not need to address IDEM’s contention that the trial court erred when it did not dismiss Eagle’s first counterclaim since Eagle has abandoned that counterclaim. Remands with instructions for the trial court to dismiss Eagle’s three counterclaims.  

Marigold Overshiner and Earl Overshiner, Individually and as Parents and Guardians of their Minor Daughter, Kaitlyn Overshiner, et al. v. Hendricks Regional Health and Ian Johnston, M.D.
Civil tort. Affirms the Putnam Circuit Court’s entry of a directed verdict against the Overshiners. Finds the plaintiffs’ medical expert did not establish his familiarity with what the standard of care was for babies born with Rh disease.   

Lakesha L. Norington v. Richard Brown, Warden (mem. dec.)
Civil tort. Affirms the denial of Lakesha Norington’s petition for writ of habeas corpus and the transfer of her case to the Marion Superior Court. Finds the Sullivan Circuit Court did not err when it treated her petition as a petition for post-conviction relief. Also finds the trial court was required to transfer her petition to the Marion Superior Court based on where she initially filed her petition. 

James Michael Wilcutt v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms the denial of James Wilcutt’s motion to dismiss. Finds the Harrison Superior Court did not err in its denial of his motion to dismiss. Remands for further proceedings. 

In the Matter of the Termination of Parental Rights of: I.H., and E.H. (Mother) v. Indiana Department of Child Services and Child Advocates, Inc. (mem. dec.)
Juvenile termination of parental rights. Affirms the termination of E.H.’s parental rights to her minor child I.H. Finds the Department of Child Services presented clear and convincing evidence to support the termination. 

Lawrence M. Davis v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Lawrence Davis’ convictions of 17 counts of child molesting-related convictions and his aggregate 122 ½ -year sentence.  Finds there was sufficient evidence to prove the convictions. Also finds the Allen Superior Court did not abuse its discretion in excluding Davis’ inadmissible evidence. Finally, finds Davis’ sentence is not inappropriate. 

Aaron E. Isby v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms the Madison Circuit Court’s denial of Aaron Isby’s motion to correct erroneous sentence. Finds addressing Isby’s claims requires consideration of matters outside the face of the sentencing order and that Isby’s claims have already been considered and rejected. 

John S. Ensign v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms John Ensign’s conviction for two counts of Level 5 felony burglary and one count of Level 6 felony theft and his sentence to an aggregate of six years. Finds there is sufficient evidence to support the convictions. Also finds the sentence is not inappropriate.  

Nathan Edward Brown v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Nathan Brown’s four-year sentence for convictions of two counts of Level 6 felony battery on a public safety official. Finds the sentence is not inappropriate. Remands with instructions to correct the discrepancy between the sentencing order and the abstract of judgment concerning credit for accrued time 

Anthony P. Buehner v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Anthony Buehner’s conviction for murder. Finds the admission of challenged evidence was harmless because there was independent evidence of guilt such that there was not substantial likelihood that the challenged evidence contributed to the jury’s verdict. 

M.R. v. B.C. (mem. dec.)
Protective order. Affirms the Cass Superior Court’s entry of a protective order for B.C. against M.R. Finds there is sufficient evidence to support the order. Also finds any error in the admission of evidence was harmless. Judge Paul Mathias concurs in result with separate opinion.