Opinions March 8, 2023

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The following opinions were posted after IL deadline on Tuesday:
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Little Sandy Coal Company, Inc. v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue
Appeal from the United States Tax Court. Judge James Halpern.
Tax. Affirms the ruling of the commissioner of Internal Revenue, affirmed by the United States Tax Court, disallowing Little Sandy Coal Company Inc.’s requested research tax credit and the assessment of a tax deficiency. Finds Little Sandy Coal claimed more tax credit than it could prove and failed to offer a principled way to determine what portion of the employee activities for each vessel constituted elements of a process of experimentation.

Indiana Supreme Court
Town of Linden, Indiana, et al. v. Darrell Birge and Sandra Birge
Civil plenary. Vacates the Montgomery Circuit Court’s order finding that improvements to a drain caused repeated flooding to a couple’s farmland. Finds the flooding amounted to a “permanent condition.” Also finds the right of entry under Indiana Code section 36-9-27-33 does not exempt the county from liability for a takings claim. Remands to the trial court for further factual findings and for a final determination of damages, if any.

Wednesday opinions
Court of Appeals of Indiana
In re the Paternity of C.R. Korey B. Ricciardi v. Christina Feiock (mem. dec.)
Juvenile paternity. Reverses the Johnson Circuit Court’s order finding father Korey B. Ricciardi in contempt and any associated sanctions, including those related to makeup visits and that Ricciardi pay $1,500 to mother Christina Feiock’s attorney. Finds Ricciardi’s conclusion that Feiock was not entitled to midweek parenting time was not unreasonable. Also finds Ricciardi did not willfully disobey the court’s order. Finally, finds Ricciardi has demonstrated prima facie error.

J.C. v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Juvenile. Affirms the order committing J.C. to the Indiana Department of Correction. Finds that the court’s ordered placement is consistent with J.C.’s best interests and the safety of the community. Also finds no abuse of discretion.

Christine Cosme and Roy Cosme v. Debora A. Warfield Clark, Dan Churilla, d/b/a/ Churilla Insurance, and Erie Insurance Exchange (mem. dec.)
Civil tort. Affirms the denial of Roy and Christine Cosme’s motion to correct error, filed after the Lake Superior Court granted Churilla Insurance and Erie Insurance Exchange’s motion for judgment on the evidence. Finds the trial court did not abuse its discretion in finding that the Cosmes failed to present sufficient evidence to qualitatively prove their claim against Churilla. Also finds that the Cosmes’ intended inference as to Erie — that the policy was in effect at the time of the accident — cannot logically be made from the evidence presented during their case-in-chief, and the trial court did not abuse its discretion in finding that the Cosmes had failed to present sufficient evidence to qualitatively prove their claim that Eric had acted in bad faith. Finally, finds the Cosems could not prove that they were entitled to an award of punitive damages.

Daryl Lamar Dale v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Daryl Lamar Dale’s convictions of criminal trespass and resisting law enforcement, both Class A misdemeanors. Finds the evidence was sufficient to support both convictions.

Jermond A. King v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Jermond A. King’s conviction of domestic battery as a Level 6 felony. Finds the trial court did not err in denying King’s motion for a directed verdict. Also finds sufficient evidence supports the conviction.

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