Opinions April 6, 2022 – The Indiana Lawyer

Opinions April 6, 2022
The following opinions were posted after IL deadline Tuesday:
Indiana Supreme Court
ResCare Health Services, Inc., v. Indiana Family & Social Services Administration—Office of Medicaid Policy and Planning
Miscellaneous. Affirms the Marion Superior Court’s finding that ResCare Health Services Inc. could not be reimbursed through Medicaid for the costs of nonformulary over-the-counter medications and the trial court’s rejection of ResCare’s takings claim, but reverses the ruling that ResCare did not sufficiently plead its request for declaratory judgment. Finds requiring ResCare to file a separate claim for declaratory judgment does not promote judicial economy and, as shown by the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration’s consistently refuting the issue, the state had sufficient notification of ResCare’s declaratory judgment request. Remands for the trial court to consider ResCare’s declaratory judgment request on the merits.

Indiana Tax Court
Marion County Assessor v. College Park Club, Inc.
Tax. Affirms the Indiana Board of Tax Review’s final determination granting College Park Club Inc.’s real property a common area property tax exemption under Indiana Code § 6-1.1-10-37.5 for tax years 2016 and 2017. Finds the Marion County assessor has not demonstrated that the Indiana board’s final determination constituted an abuse of discretion.

Wednesday opinions
Court of Appeals of Indiana
State of Indiana v. Lamar Fox
criminal. Reverses the grant of Lamar Fox’s motion to suppress. Finds the home detention contract Fox signed explicitly stated he waived his Fourth Amendment and state constitutional rights. Also finds State v. Ellis, 167 NE3d 285 (Ind. 2021), applies.

Dax A. Bunch v. State of Indiana
criminal. Reverses the denial of Dax Bunch’s petition to restore his right to possess a firearm after he pleaded guilty to Class B misdemeanor battery for acts committed against his then-wife. Finds Bunch’s conviction qualified as a crime of domestic violence, and the Owen Circuit Court was the proper venue regardless of whether his federal or state right to possess a firearm, or both, was revoked. Also finds Indiana Code § 35-47-4-7 applied, and Bunch properly relied on IC 35-47-4-7(b) in his attempt to have his right to possess a firearm restored. Requests for further proceedings.

Richard L. Miekow v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
criminal. Affirms and remands Richard L. Miekow’s sentence to 1,090 days, with 730 days executed in the Indiana Department of Correction and the rest suspended to probation, for his conviction of Level 6 felony unlawful possession of a syringe and his admission to being a habitual offender. Finds it’s clear the Vermillion Circuit Court intended to recommend Miekow as a good candidate for Purposeful Incarceration because it expressed that intent in both its oral and written sentencing statements. Remands to allow the trial court to correct the discrepancy between the sentencing order and abstract of judgment regarding its intent to recommend Miekow for Purposeful Incarceration and to consider a sentence modification.

Tamara Lucas v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
criminal. Affirms the Shelby Superior Court’s order changing Tamara Lucas’s placement from home detention to incarceration. Finds the state provided ample evidence supporting the trial court’s finding that Lucas violated multiple terms of her community corrections placement. Also finds the court trial did not abuse its discretion when it ordered her to serve the remainder of her sentence in the Indiana Department of Correction.

Irie Young v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
criminal. Affirms the Allen Superior Court’s order revoking Irie Young’s probation. Finds the state proved by the preponderance of the evidence that young violated his probation by committing new offense of invasion of privacy after receiving actual notice of the entry of the protective order in favor of his estranged wife MY

MR v. Review Board of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (mem. dec.)
Agency action. Affirms the Review Board of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development’s affirmation of an administrative law judge’s denial of MR’s request for unemployment benefits. Finds the record supports the review board’s findings, and MR has failed to establish that its conclusion is unreasonable.

Todd L. Flora v. Marsha M. Flora (mem. dec.)
Domestic relations with children. Affirms and reverses in part the denial of Todd Flora’s motion to correct error, which challenged an order dissolving his marriage to Marsha Flora with respect to the property division, parenting time and child support. Finds the dissolution decree does not include findings of fact to support the equalization order, and the stated reason for deviation from an Indiana Child Support Guideline calculation of parental income lacks evidentiary support. Also finds the deviation from the presumptive 50-50 split of the marital pot is supported by sufficient factual findings and the findings are supported by the evidence of record. Finally, finds the order that the parties split the 2020 tax refund unequally contrary to their agreement, but Todd has not demonstrated an abuse of discretion with respect to the requirement that he provide appropriate accommodations as a condition of overnight parenting time or with regard to the allocation of child tax exemptions and credits. Remands with instructions to split any 2020 tax refund equally and issue Trial Rule 52 findings of fact and conclusions of law thereon relative to the property distribution and child support award.

Bobby Joe Depoy, Jr. v. Rachel Ann Richter (mem. dec.)
Domestic relations, no children. Affirms the dissolution of the marriage between Bobby Joe Depoy Jr. and Rachel Ann Richter. Finds the Miami Circuit Court did not abuse its discretion in dividing the marital estate and denying the Bobby’s request for spousal maintenance.

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