Opinions Dec. 7, 2023

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The following Indiana Tax Court opinion was published after IL deadline on Wednesday:
Camelot Company, LLC v. Bartholomew County Assessor
21T-TA-11
Tax. Affirms the Indiana Board of Tax Review’s final determination that Camelot Company LLC is not entitled to a change in its 2018 land assessment, but reverses the discrete finding that Camelot’s 2018 property tax appeal was not timely filed. Finds Camelot has not demonstrated that Indiana Code §§ 6-1.1-4-4.2 and -13.6 prohibited the assessor from using the Bartholomew County land order that was “approved” by the Property Tax Assessment Board of Appeals in February 2018 to value its land as of the Jan. 1, 2018, assessment date. Also finds the board erred in finding Camelot’s appeal was not timely.

Thursday opinions
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Heather Tutwiler v. Kilolo Kijakazi, Acting Commissioner of Social Security
22-2808
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, Fort Wayne Division. Senior Judge William C. Lee.
Civil. Affirms the district court’s order affirming the denial of benefits for Heather Tutwiler. Finds the administrative law judge’s decision was supported by substantial evidence and was not otherwise contrary to law.

Court of Appeals of Indiana
Joseph Chapo, Sherry Chapo, and Deputy Big Shot, LLC v. Jefferson County Plan Commission
23A-CT-467
Civil tort. Affirms the Jefferson Circuit Court’s judgment in favor of the Jefferson County Plan Commission. Finds Joseph and Sherry Chapo are barred from challenging the Board of Zoning Appeals’ 2012 decision. Also finds the sanctions were proper.

Michael P. Greene v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
23A-CR-635
Criminal. Affirms Michael Greene’s six-year aggregate sentence for Level 5 felony failure to register as a sex offender, being a habitual offender and probation violation. Finds Greene’s sentence is not inappropriate in light of the nature of his offense and his character.

Caitilin Ashley v. Richard F. Ashley Jr. (mem. dec.)
23A-DR-667
Domestic relations. Affirms and reverses in part the judgment in the dissolution of the marriage of Caitlin and Richard Ashley. Finds Caitlin’s continued challenges to the timeliness of the amended arbitration order are barred by the law of the case doctrine, and with one exception, her appellate arguments fail. Also finds the arbitrator miscalculated the division of the proceeds from the sale of 3755 Washington Blvd. Remands for correction of the judgment and for further proceedings.

Reginald L. Johnson, Jr. v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
23A-CR-691
Criminal. Affirms Reginald Johnson Jr.’s conviction of unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon as a Level 4 felony. Finds the Morgan Superior Court did not err in instructing the jury.

Abiyel Tsegai v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
23A-CR-989
Criminal. Affirms Abiyel Tsegai’s conviction of Level 6 felony theft. Finds the evidence most favorable to the state supports Tsegai’s conviction.

Robert Thurman v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
23A-CR-1020
Criminal. Affirms Robert Thurman’s convictions of Level 3 felony methamphetamine dealing, Level 5 felony methamphetamine dealing, Level 5 felony methamphetamine possession, Level 6 felony unlawful possession of a syringe and Class C misdemeanor possession of paraphernalia. Finds the Clark Circuit Court did not err in the admission of evidence.

In re the Involuntary Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of: K.M.R. and K.S.R. (Minor Children) and S.R. (Mother) and D.O. (Father) v. Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
23A-JT-1047
Juvenile termination of parental rights. Affirms the Lake Superior Court’s order involuntarily terminating mother S.R. and father D.O.’s parental rights to their minor children. Finds the evidence before the trial court clearly and convincingly establishes that there is a reasonable possibility that the conditions that resulted in the removal of the children and their continued placement outside either parent’s home will not be remedied. Also finds the trial court’s conclusion that termination is in the children’s best interests is amply supported by the evidence and findings.

Shawn D. Rogers v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
23A-CR-1085
Criminal. Affirms Shawn Rogers 30-year sentence in prison for Level 1 felony child molesting. Finds Rogers has not shown that his advisory sentence is inappropriate in light of the nature of the offense and the character of the offender.

In the Matter of the Commitment of M.H., M.H. v. Sandra Eskenazi Mental Health Center (mem. dec.)
23A-MH-1100
Mental health. Dismisses M.H.’s appeal of the validity of the commitment order. Finds the appeal is moot because the collateral consequences doctrine does not appeal. Also finds M.H. has not demonstrated that the appellate court should address the merits under the public interest exception.

In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of J.S., Mother and W.S., Minor Child, J.S. v. Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
23A-JT-1289
Juvenile termination of parental rights. Affirms the involuntary termination of mother J.S.’s parental rights to W.S. Finds J.S.’s procedural due process rights were not violated when W.S. was initially removed from her care.

In the Matter of the L.S. and N.S. Children Alleged to be in Need of Services, E.C. (Mother) and J.C. (Stepfather) v. Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
23A-JC-1318
Juvenile CHINS. Affirms the Switzerland Circuit Court’s finding the children of mother E.C. and father J.C. are children in need of services. Finds E.C. and J.C. have not shown that the trial court’s CHINS finding was clearly erroneous.

In the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of: J.B., J.W., and H.W. (Minor Children), and I.W. (Father) v. Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
23A-JT-1499
Juvenile termination of parental rights. Affirms the involuntary termination of father I.W.’s parental rights to his minor children, J.B., J.W. and H.W. Finds I.W. is not entitled to reversal on the grounds of an alleged due process violation.

Cheryl Johnson v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
23A-CR-1531
Criminal. Affirms Cheryl Johnson’s conviction of Level 4 felony possession of methamphetamine. Finds the jury could have reasonably inferred from the evidence that Johnson had constructively possessed the meth recovered from a dresser drawer.

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