Opinions Oct. 28, 2019

Indiana Supreme Court
State of Indiana v. Tyson Timbs
27S04-1702-MI-70
Miscellaneous. Vacates and remands for the Grant Superior Court to determine, based on the Indiana Supreme Court’s framework, whether Tyson Timbs has cleared the hurdle of establishing gross disproportionality in the civil forfeiture of his Land Rover. Finds a use-based in rem fine is excessive if (1) the property was not an instrumentality of the underlying crimes, or (2) the property was an instrumentality, but the harshness of the punishment would be grossly disproportional to the gravity of the underlying offenses and the owner’s culpability for the property’s misuse. Also finds that Timbs’ Land Rover was an instrumentality of the underlying offense of drug dealing. Justice Geoffrey Slaughter dissents with separate opinion.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Kriston M. Scott v. Gerald J. Corcoran, III
19A-DR-444
Domestic relation. Affirms in part, finding the Lake Circuit Court did not abuse its discretion in denying Kriston Scott’s motion for further extension of time or petition for attorney fees. Also finds the trial court did not err in finding Gerald J. Corcoran, III overpaid Scott. Reverses in part, finding the trial court clearly erred in denying Scott’s petition for rule to show cause for Corcoran’s failure to pay child support in accordance with the parties’ agreed decree. Remands with instructions to file a contempt finding against Corcoran for failure to pay child support, vacate judgment entered against Scott, determine whether contempt sanctions are appropriate, and to grant Corcoran $20,483.23 in credit toward his future irregular child support obligation.

Commitment of N.B. v. Indiana University Health Bloomington Hospital (mem. dec.)
19A-MH-1162
Mental health. Dismisses N.B.’s appeal of the Monroe Circuit Court’s grant of Indiana University Health Bloomington Hospital’s petition for involuntary commitment and the trial court’s forced medication order. Finds N.B.’s involuntary commitment orders are moot.

In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of N.F. (Minor Child); S.F. (Father) v. Indiana Department of Child Services, and Child Advocates, Inc. (mem. dec.)
19A-JT-770
Juvenile termination. Affirms the termination of S.F.’s parental rights to his minor child, N.F. Finds S.F. was not denied his right to due process as the result of the Department of Child Services’ inability to provide him with services while incarcerated.

Gail L. Bratcher and Edmond R. Rivera v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. (mem. dec.)
19A-MF-1404
Mortgage foreclosure. Dismisses Gail Bratcher and Edmond Rivera’s appeal of the Harrison Circuit Court’s order regarding several pending motions in a foreclosure action filed by Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. Finds the homeowners have not secured appellate jurisdiction.

D’andrae Robinson v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
19A-CR-1240
Criminal. Affirms D’andrae Robinson’s consecutive sentences of 60 years for his conviction of murder, six years for Level 4 felony burglary and three years for Level 5 felony robbery. Finds the Marion Superior Court did not abuse its discretion when it sentenced him.

Barry Allen Montgomery v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
19A-CR-430
Criminal. Reverses Barry Montgomery’s conviction of Class A misdemeanor false informing. Remands upon the review and the state’s concession that Montgomery did not knowingly, voluntarily and intelligently waive his right to a jury trial.

Erica S. Mays v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
19A-CR-1157
Criminal. Affirms Erica Mays’ aggregate 7½-year sentence for conviction of two counts of Level 6 felony counts of theft and felony possession of cocaine; Class A misdemeanor criminal trespass; Class B misdemeanor false informing; and two counts of Class C misdemeanor possession of paraphernalia. Finds her sentence is not inappropriate in light of the nature of the offenses and her character.

Indiana Tax Court

Hebron-Vision, LLC v. Porter County Assessor
18T-TA-19
Tax. Reverses the Indiana Board of Tax Review’s final determination that Hebron-Vision, LLC failed to establish that it qualified for a charitable purposes exemption for the 2012 through 2015 tax years. Concludes the board’s finding that Hebron-Vision used Misty Glen Apartments for its own profit rather than charitable purposes to be unsupported by substantial evidence, arbitrary and capricious. Also finds the board erred, among other things, in concluding that the evidence failed to establish that Misty Glen’s rental rates were below market and that they were not in need of charity.

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