Opinions Oct. 27, 2021

The following Indiana Tax Court opinion was posted after IL deadline Tuesday:
Marion County Assessor v. Kohl’s Indiana, LP
20T-TA-10
Tax. Affirms the Indiana Board of Tax Review’s final determination that reduced the assessments of the Kohl’s department store in the Fashion Mall Commons in Indianapolis. Finds the board did not abuse its discretion by finding the retailer was a taxpayer that could seek administrative review of the assessments. Also finds the board did not abuse its discretion by reducing the property taxes to $4.05 million for the 2011 and 2012 tax years and to $4.10 million for the 2013 and 2014 tax years.

Wednesday opinions
Indiana Court of Appeals
Benjamin Bertucci, Individually and Next Best Friend of Ayana Bertucci, a Minor v. Donald Bertucci and Anita Remijas
21A-CT-360
Civil tort. Affirms partial summary judgement and a cross-motion for attorney fees and costs to Donald Bertucci. Finds Bertucci wasn’t at fault for his granddaughter being bitten by a dog on his jointly owned home in Long Beach. Also finds the LaPorte Superior Court didn’t abuse its discretion. Judge L. Mark Bailey concurs in part and dissents in part with separate opinion.

Jonathan Matthew Nolan v. State of Indiana
21A-CR-305
Criminal. Affirms the Hamilton Superior Court’s order for Jonathan Matthew Nolan to pay restitution to his wife following a domestic violence incident. Finds Nolan waived his right to appeal the order after signing his plea agreement. Also finds the trial court didn’t abuse its discretion.

Karen Woody v. J. Amy Dillard (mem. dec.)
21A-DC-162
Domestic relations with children. Affirms the award of primary physical custody of the parties’ two children to J. Amy Dillard. Finds it’s in the best interests of the children to live with Dillard. Also finds the evidence supports the Monroe Circuit Court’s ruling.

John Ludack v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
21A-PC-662
Post-conviction. Affirms the post-conviction court’s denial of John Ludack’s petition for post-conviction relief. Finds Ludack didn’t demonstrate his trial counsel provided ineffective assistance. Also finds Ludack’s proposed objections to the state’s closing argument at trial would likely have been overruled, thus his trial counsel was not ineffective for choosing to not raise objections. Finally, finds Ludack did not put forth any evidence his trial counsel was aware at the time of his trial of the theories he advanced for impeachment of a witness.

Phillip Bernard Bibbs, Jr. v. State of Indiana (mem. dec)
21A-CR-578
Affirms Phillip Bibbs Jr.’s conviction following a bench trial for Level 6 felony residential entry. Finds the evidence provided in the case was sufficient to support Bibbs’ conviction.

W.O. v. M.D. (mem. dec.)
21A-AD-774
Adoption. Affirms stepfather M.D.’s petition to adopt D.M.-O. Finds the Monroe Circuit Court didn’t abuse its discretion when it denied father W.O.’s motion to continue because he hadn’t demonstrated he was prejudiced by the denial. Also finds the trial court didn’t err when it concluded W.O.’s consent wasn’t necessary and adoption was in the child’s best interests.

T.P. v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
21A-JV-926
Juvenile. Affirms the Martin Circuit Court’s dispositional order placing 15-year-old T.P. in the Indiana Department of Correction for an indeterminate length of time after committing an act that would be Level 5 felony reckless homicide if committed by an adult. Finds T.P. has not demonstrated that the trial court abused its discretion.

Christopher Meyers v. Randolph Palmateer, et al. (mem. dec.)
21A-CT-933
Civil tort. Affirms the Lake Superior Court’s dismissal of Christopher Meyer’s complaint for failing to prosecute a personal injury claim against the defendants in a timely matter. Finds there is ample evidence in the record to support hte trial court’s dismissal order. Also finds Meyers hs failed to establish an abuse of discretion.

M.H. v. J.H. (mem. dec.)
21A-PO-941
Order of protection. Dismisses mother M.H.’s appeal of the issuance of an order of protection in her favor and against her adult son J.H. Finds M.H. has obtained the relief that she sought in her motions to correct error and for rule to show cause that were requested on appeal. Also finds the appeal is moot.

Austin Stephen Bishop v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
21A-CR-953
Criminal. Affirms Austin Bishop’s sentence of 16 years for Level 3 felony rape. Finds the Monroe Circuit Court didn’t abuse its discretion with regard to aggravators and mitigators. Also finds the sentence is not inappropriate.

Curtis Lee Williams v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
21A-CR-1182
Criminal. Affirms Curtis Lee Williams’ sentencing of 910 days with 545 days suspended to probation for Level 6 felony domestic battery in the presence of a child less than 16 years of age. Finds the sentence is not inappropriate.

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