Opinions Jan. 28, 2020

Indiana Supreme Court
Blake B. Hartman v. BigInch Fabricators & Construction Holding Company, Inc.
Civil plenary. Affirms the grant of summary judgment in Parke Circuit Court to BigInch Fabricators & Construction Holding Company Inc. Finds there is no blanket rule prohibiting agreements that call for open-market concepts to apply to compulsory, closed-market transactions. Also finds that the shareholder’s agreement’s valuation term clearly contemplates a fair market valuation of Blake Hartman’s shares in BigInch, so a third-party appraiser could apply minority and marketability discounts.

Indiana Court of Appeal
John Woodcock v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms John Woodcock’s convictions of felony murder and Level 5 felony battery by means of a deadly weapon and his sentence to an aggregate of 62 years. Finds Woodcock’s convictions in Marion Superior Court do not violate the principles of substantive double jeopardy. Also finds his conviction for battery is supported by sufficient evidence. Finally, finds his sentence is not inappropriate.

Roadsafe Holdings, Inc. d/b/a Roadsafe Traffic Systems v. Walsh Construction Company
Civil tort. Affirms the entry of summary judgment in favor of Walsh Construction Company against Roadsafe Holdings, Inc. d/b/a Roadsafe Traffic Systems, whom Walsh sued in a third-party complaint in Lake Superior Court alleging breach of Roadsafe’s duty to defend and indemnify Walsh in litigation brought by Boguslaw Maczuga. Finds the judgment was not erroneous and that the trial court did not err in any respect argued by Roadsafe.

B.R. v. State of Indiana
Juvenile. Reverses B.J.’s adjudication as a delinquent in Marion Superior Court for acts which, if committed by an adult, would constitute carrying a handgun without a license, a Class A misdemeanor. Finds the evidence was insufficient to find that B.R. constructively possessed the handgun.

Chad Albert Staat, et al. v. Indiana Department of Transportation
Civil tort. Affirms and reverses in part the grant of summary judgment to the Indiana Department of Transportation on a complaint brought by Chad Staat and Julie Staat and the denial of the Staats’ subsequent motion to correct error. Finds that INDOT did not demonstrate its entitlement to weather-related immunity. Also finds that material factual issues remain as to breach. Notes that the Staats conceded that INDOT is immune from liability for any alleged design defect. Remands for further proceedings in Dearborn Superior Court. Judge Elizabeth Tavitas concurs in result with separate opinion.

Houseworks, Inc. d/b/a Houseworks v. AT Altus Echelon IN, LLC (mem. dec.)
Civil plenary. Affirms the grant of partial summary judgment to AT Altus Echelon IN, LLC and the denial of summary judgment to Houseworks Inc. in a lease dispute in Marion Superior Court. Finds that Altus met its initial burden of showing the absence of a genuine issue of material fact regarding Housework’s liability for damage to a shopping center. Also finds that genuine issues of material fact remained as to whether Houseworks’ repair effort was reasonable.

Amanda K. Blades v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Amanda Blades’ sentence to 270 days for her conviction of Level 6 felony unlawful possession of a syringe and the revocation of her probation in a separate cause. Finds Blades’ sentence is not inappropriate. Also finds the Brown Circuit Court did not abuse its discretion when it ordered her to serve 180 days of her previously suspended sentence in the separate cause.

Termination: T.D. v. Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
Juvenile termination of parental rights. Affirms the termination of mother T.D.’s parent-child relationship with her son, B.O. Finds there is sufficient evidence to support the Jasper Circuit Court’s decision to terminate the parent-child relationship.

Raymond L. Gillham v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms the revocation of Raymond Gillham’s probation. Finds there was sufficient evidence to support the revocation in Morgan Superior Court.

Terry L. Jones v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms the denial of Terry Jones’ motion to suppress. Finds Jones has forfeited his ability to challenge the Elkhart Superior Court’s denial of his motion to suppress by pleading guilty.

John Blaylock and Stephanie Blaylock v. Russell Harkness (mem. dec.)
Affirms the small claims court’s entry of judgment against John and Stephanie Blaylock in the amount of $675. Finds the judgment of the St. Joseph Superior Small Claims Court is not clearly erroneous.

The following Indiana Tax Court opinion was posted after IL deadline Wednesday: B.L. Reever Transport, Inc., Charles Paar, d/b/a Sandman Services, and Leland Wilkins, d/b/a Lost River Trucking v. Indiana Department of State Revenue 
Tax. Denies the Indiana Department of State Revenue’s Indiana Trial Rule 12(B) motion to dismiss after B.L. Reever Transport Inc., Sandman Services and Lost River Trucking appealed the denial of their request for a refund on the motor carrier fuel tax in the 2016 and 2017 tax years. Finds no defect in the Tax Court’s subject matter jurisdiction. Also rejects the department’s claims that the motor carriers failed to state a claim for relief.

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