Opinions March 21, 2022

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The following Indiana Tax Court opinion was posted after IL deadline Friday:
Riley-Roberts Park, LP v. Joseph O’Connor, in his official capacity as Marion County Assessor
Tax. Reverses the Indiana Board of Tax Review’s final determination upholding the revocation of Riley-Roberts Park’s charitable purposes exemption for the 2010 tax year and a finding that its real property was not owned, occupied and predominately used for charitable purposes during the 2010 through 2016 tax years. Finds the Marion County Property Tax Assessment Board of Appeals did not have the statutory authority to revoke Riley-Roberts’ 2010 charitable purposes exemption. Remands to the Indiana board for actions consistent with the Tax Court’s opinion. 

Monday opinions
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social v. Zimmer Biomet Holdings, Inc.
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division. Judge Damon R. Leichty.
Civil. Affirms the Northern Indiana District Court’s ruling, granting the motion to dismiss filed by Zimmer Biomet Holdings Inc. Finds the district court did not abuse its discretion in dismissing the case for forum non conveniens because the Mexican courts presented a viable alternative forum and the bulk of the witnesses and evidence are located in Mexico. Also finds Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social’s argument regarding the United Nations Convention Against Corruption fails because Congress did not implement the treaty.

Court of Appeals of Indiana
Seth Mann, Steven E. Hillman, Douglas Carter, and the Indiana State Police v. Catherine J. Arnos, as Personal Representative of the Estate of Lucius D. Washington, Deceased, and Cameron Deshonta Washington
Civil tort. Reverses the Marion Superior Court’s order denying summary judgment to Indiana State Police, trooper Seth Mann, Major Steven E. Hillman and Superintendent Douglas Carter. Finds the estate of Lucius D. Washington failed to establish an issue of fact material to its fraudulent concealment theory claims. Also finds the estate’s federal civil rights claims are either waived or fail on the merits.

Joseph T. Buti v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms Joseph T. Buti’s conviction for Level 5 felony stalking. Finds sufficient evidence supports Buti’s conviction.

Edwin Cardona v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Edwin Cardona’s conviction of Level 1 felony child molesting and his 30-year sentence. Finds the Marion Superior Court did not err when it denied Cardona’s request for surrebuttal and his ensuing motion for a mistrial. Also finds Cardona has not established that the trial court abused its discretion in its consideration of the aggravating circumstance in deciding to impose the advisory 30-year sentence.

Jason Lee Collins v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Jason Collins’ conviction of Level 5 felony reckless homicide and his four-year sentence. Finds that the deputy prosecuting attorney did not commit misconduct. Also finds the state presented evidence sufficient to rebut Collins’ claim of self-defense. Finally, finds the St. Joseph Superior Court did not abuse its discretion when it sentenced Collins.

Shelben Terrell Curtis v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms the denial of Shelben Curtis’ petition for post-conviction relief from his aggregate 50-year sentence for Class B felony aggravated battery and Class A felony voluntary manslaughter. Finds the Lake Superior Court did not clearly err in rejecting Curtis’ post-conviction claims that his trial counsel was ineffective.

A.G. v. M.S. (mem. dec.)
Protective order. Affirms the denial of A.G.’s motion to correct error, which challenged the issuance of a protective order in favor of M.S. Denies M.S.’s request for appellate attorney fees. Finds A.G. has not shown jurisdictional defect and has not established her claim of insufficiency of the evidence to justify issuance of a protective order.

Christopher Hardebeck v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Christopher Hardebeck’s convictions of dealing in methamphetamine, as a Level 2 felony, possession of methamphetamine, as a Level 6 felony, possession of paraphernalia, as a Class C misdemeanor and possession of a controlled substance, as a Class A misdemeanor. Finds the police pat-down of Hardebeck following the Terry stop was not an unreasonable search under either the federal or state constitutions. Also finds the Hamilton Superior Court did not err in admitting evidence obtained from Hardebeck’s person and vehicle following the pat-down.

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