Opinions May 26, 2020

The following Indiana Tax Court opinions were posted after IL deadline Friday:
CVS Corporation #2519-01, taxpayer v. Jerome Prince, in his official capacity as Lake County Assessor and CVS Corporation #0434-01, taxpayer v. Jerome Prince, in his official capacity as Lake County Assessor
19T-TA-4 and 19T-TA-5
Tax. Reverses the Indiana Board of Tax Review’s final determination of the assessed value of CVS stores in Schererville (#2519-01) and Hobart (#0434-01), finding that in both instances the board abused its discretion by denying CVS’ motions to voluntarily dismiss its appeal prior to a hearing on the merits. Remands to the board with instructions that the board dismiss the appeals and reinstate CVS’ original assessed values for the Schererville store for the 2007-2014 tax years and for the Hobart store for the 2012-2016 tax years.

Tuesday opinions
Indiana Court of Appeals
Community Health Network, Inc. v. Heather McKenzie and Daniel McKenzie, individually and as parents and natural guardians of J.M. and O.M., John McKenzie, Deborah West, Michael West, and Katrina Gray
19A-CT-873
Civil tort. Affirms and reverses in part the denial of Community Health Network Inc.’s Trial Rule 12(B)(1) motion to dismiss the complaint brought by Heather McKenzie, Daniel McKenzie, John McKenzie, Deborah West, Michael West, J.M. and O.M., and Community’s motion for summary judgment. Finds the appellees’ claims do not fall within the purview of the Medical Malpractice Act, and the Marion Superior Court properly denied Community’s motion to dismiss. Also finds genuine issues of material fact preclude summary judgment in Community’s favor on the claims involving respondeat superior, negligent training, supervision and retention, and negligence. Finally, finds Community is entitled to judgment as a matter of law, in part, on the respondeat superior claim. Remands with instructions to grant summary judgment in favor of Community on the appellees’ invasion of privacy/intrusion claim.

 Trent Dean McPhearson v. State of Indiana
19A-MI-3035
Miscellaneous. Grants Trent McPhearson and the state of Indiana’s joint petition for rehearing. Finds McPhearson’s case is moot because he has received the relief he initially sought: removal from Indiana’s Sex and Violent Offender Registry. Vacates the Indiana Court of Appeals’ original opinion in the matter.

Richard N. Bell v. Vacuforce, LLC (mem. dec.)
19A-PL-2008
Civil plenary. Affirms the denial of Richard Bell’s motion to set aside the Marion Superior Court’s dismissal of his complaint against Vacuforce LLC for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, and the order for Bell to pay Vacuforce’s attorney fees. Finds Bell cannot show the trial court abused its discretion when it denied his motion to set aside the dismissal under Trial Rule 60(B)(1). Also finds Bell has waived his challenge to the trial court’s award of attorney fees. Finally, finds Vacuforce is entitled to appellate attorney fees under the parties’ agreement. Remands for a determination of the appropriate award of appellate attorney fees.

Francisco Antonio Perez v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
19A-CR-2785
Criminal. Affirms Francisco Perez’s three-year sentence for his conviction of Level 5 felony sexual misconduct with a minor. Finds his sentence is not inappropriate.

In Re the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of: D.L.S. and N.S. (Minor Children), and G.P. (Mother) v. Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
19A-JT-2877
Juvenile termination of parental rights. Affirms the termination of mother G.P.’s parent-child relationship with her two minor children. Finds the juvenile court did not err by concluding that the Department of Child Services proved by clear and convincing evidence that continuation of the parent-child relationship would be a threat to the well-being of the children, and that termination is in the children’s best interests.

Town of West Terre Haute v. Jonathan Stevens, Sr. (mem. dec.)
19A-CT-2754
Civil tort. Affirms the Vigo Superior Court’s grant of a petition for judicial review filed by Jonathan Stevens, reversing the town of West Terre Haute’s decision terminating him from his employment as a police officer after he was arrested and charged with Level 6 felony domestic battery committed in the presence of a child less than 16 and Class B Misdemeanor disorderly conduct. Finds that Stevens was denied procedural due process. Also finds the trial court properly overturned the disciplinary decision of the Safety Board.

E.P. v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
19A-JV-3020
Juvenile. Affirms E.P.’s adjudication as delinquent for committing dangerous possession of a firearm. Finds that reversal is not warranted under Article 1, Section 11 of the Indiana Constitution or under the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Kewan Ramseur v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
19A-CR-1513
Criminal. Affirms Kewan Ramseur’s conviction for Level 2 felony dealing in cocaine. Finds an officer had reasonable suspicion to support the canine sniff, which did not violate Ramseur’s rights under the Fourth Amendment. Also finds the Whitley Circuit Court did not abuse its discretion in admitting the evidence.

Joseph Bradford Reed v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
20A-CR-68
Criminal. Affirms Joseph Reed’s 5 ½ -year sentence for his conviction of Level 5 felony operating a vehicle as a habitual traffic violator suspended for life. Finds Reed has not sustained his burden of establishing that his sentence with 2 ½-years suspended to probation is inappropriate in light of the nature of the offense and his character.

Shawn Lyndell Lewis v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
19A-CR-2727
Criminal. Affirms Shawn Lewis’ conviction for Level 6 felony theft. Finds the evidence is sufficient to support the conviction.

Anthony Pape v. R2C Crown Point, Inc. (mem. dec.)
19A-SC-2426
Small claims. Affirms the entry of judgment in the amount of $3,033.96 in favor of R2C Crown Point Inc. against Anthony Pape. Finds the small claims court did not abuse its discretion in concluding Pape waived his right to arbitrate.

William R. Simpkins v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
19A-CR-2990
Criminal. Affirms the partial revocation of William Simpkins’ probation and the imposition of all but 180 days of his previously-suspended sentence. Finds the Jefferson Superior Court did not abuse its discretion.

Godfrey Osunwusi v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
19A-CR-2461
Criminal. Affirms Godfrey Osunwusi’s aggregate four-year and three-month sentence for his convictions of Level 5 felony intimidation; Level 6 felony residential entry; Level 6 felony criminal recklessness; and Level 6 felony domestic battery. Finds the Marion Superior Court did not abuse its discretion in sentencing Osunwusi, and the sentence is not inappropriate.

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