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Friday, May 15, 2015

Ind. Decisions - Court of Appeals issues 3 opinion(s) today (and 6 NFP memorandum decisions)

For publication opinions today (3):

In Fight Against Brownsburg Annexation, et al. v. Town of Brownsburg, Indiana, et al., a 26-page opinion, Judge Najam concludes:

The trial court had subject matter jurisdiction to determine the sufficiency of FABA’s remonstrance petition under Indiana Code Section 36-4-3-11. We hold that a Trial Rule 12(B)(1) motion is not a proper vehicle for challenging the sufficiency of a remonstrance petition under Section 36-4-3-11, and the trial court erred when it dismissed FABA’s petition for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. The remonstrance petition is sufficient on its face, and we reverse and remand for a hearing on the merits. On remand, should Brownsburg challenge the validity of the signatures in support of FABA’s petition at the merits hearing, we hold that: (1) any otherwise valid signatures of owners obtained prior to publication of the annexation ordinance are to be counted; and (2) only one owner need have signed on behalf of each parcel.[15] Finally, FABA’s remonstrance petition is not moot. Reversed and remanded for further proceedings.
[15] We note that the General Assembly has passed new legislation, effective July 1, 2015, that overhauls the annexation process in Indiana. See S.B. 330, 119th Gen. Assemb., Reg. Sess. (Ind. 2015). The most significant change is that, under a new statute, Indiana Code Section 36-4-3-11.3, an annexation ordinance is void if a remonstrance petition is signed by at least 65% of owners of land in the annexed territory or by the owners of at least 80% in assessed valuation of the land in the annexed territory. Another new statute, Indiana Code Section 36-4-3-11.1(c), provides that, after a proposed annexation ordinance is published, the municipality must “give notice of the applicability of the remonstrance process” to affected landowners. And Indiana Code Section 36-4-3-11.2(c)(1) provides that signatures in support of a remonstrance petition must be dated, and they must be dated no earlier than the date of the notice provided under Section 11.1. Finally, the new statute provides that “[o]nly one (1) person having an interest in each single property as evidenced by the tax duplicate is considered an owner of property and may sign a remonstrance petition.” I.C. § 36-4-3-11.2(e)(2).
In Carlton Hart v. State of Indiana, a 12-page opinion, Judge Pyle writes:
Carlton Hart (“Hart”) appeals his convictions, after a jury trial, for murder, Class B felony criminal confinement, and Class B felony conspiracy to commit criminal confinement. On appeal, Hart argues that the evidence was insufficient to support his convictions as an accomplice and that the trial court erroneously allowed the State to redact details of a peace treaty he brokered between rival rap groups from his statements to police. Concluding that the evidence supported Hart’s convictions as an accomplice and that the trial court did not err in excluding the details of the peace treaty, we affirm Hart’s convictions.
In Dewayne M. Townsend v. State of Indiana, a 12-page opinion, Sr. Judge Sharpnack writes:
Dewayne M. Townsend appeals from his conviction of one count of residential entry as a Class D felony, challenging the admission of a witness’s prior consistent statements and the sufficiency of the evidence. We affirm.
NFP civil decisions today (2):

In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of: R.J.J., T.J., and R.L.J. (Minor Children) and R.A. (Father) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)

In Re: The Estate of Margaret S. Jones: John A. Jones, Jr. v. Joyce E. Schaefer and Suzanne D. VanGombos, Alexandra Margaret Windle, Sean Frances Windle, Charlene J. Windle (mem. dec.)

NFP criminal decisions today (4):

Scott Wolf v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Christian Ricker v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Terry W. Waugh, Jr. v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

James Miske, Jr. v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Posted by Marcia Oddi on May 15, 2015 10:37 AM
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions