This case arises out of a church’s failure to apply for a property tax exemption for several years and the Marion County Treasurer’s and the Marion County Auditor’s (“Marion County”) repeated attempts to place the property on its tax sale list to collect the resulting delinquent taxes and fees. After Marion County sold a parcel of land owned by Revival Temple Apostolic Church (“Revival Temple”) in a tax sale in 2005, Revival Temple repurchased the property with funds borrowed from Huntington National Bank (“Huntington Bank”). After the trial court granted a motion to set aside the tax sale in 2006, Marion County refused to refund the full repurchase price. Huntington Bank filed a contempt action against the county, alleging that Marion County willfully violated orders issued by the trial court in 2003 and 2004 that deemed the property ineligible for tax sale and willfully violated the trial court’s 2006 order setting aside the tax sale by refusing to refund the repurchase price. The trial court found Marion County in contempt of all three orders, ordered it to refund the entire repurchase price, prohibited the county from placing the property on the tax sale list during future years, and awarded Huntington Bank attorneys’ fees and costs. On appeal, Marion County argues the trial court abused its discretion in finding it in contempt of the 2003 and 2004 orders because the orders did not unambiguously prohibit it from placing the property on the tax sale list in the future. Marion County also argues that the trial court abused its discretion in finding it in contempt of the 2006 order because the trial court lacked subject matter jurisdiction to order the refund of property taxes already paid. Finally, Marion County argues that the trial court lacked subject matter jurisdiction to prohibit it from placing Revival Temple’s property on the Marion County tax sale list in all future years.
Conclusion (slip op. at 17): The trial court abused its discretion in finding Marion County in contempt of the 2003, 2004, and 2006 orders. Further, the trial court lacked subject matter jurisdiction to prohibit Marion County from placing Revival Temple’s property on the Marion County tax sale list in future years. Finally, because we reverse each of the trial court’s contempt findings, we reverse the award of attorneys’ fees and costs to Huntington Bank. Reversed.
DisclaimerADVERTISING MATERIAL www.boselaw.com/disclaimer
- Amish Litigants Forced to Honor Agreement
- Indiana Appellate Civil Case Law Summary (May 2012)
- U.S. Supreme Court Strikes Down FCC’s Indecency Determinations Against Fox And ABC
- Indiana Appellate Civil Case Law Summary (February 2012)
- Extraordinary Stay Against Newspaper Publication Should Raise Concern
- absolute privilege Advertising Injury Alternative Fee amish anonymous speech Antitrust Appeals Boehm Censorship CERCLA Class Actions Commercial Lines Policy Communications Law Defamation Discovery discovery tools Duty to Defend environmental cleanup FCC First Amendment Free Speech Indecency Indiana indiana court of appeals Indiana Supreme Court Internet Law Journalist's Privilege Justice Life Insurance Media Law Newsgathering objections public utility religious Res Judicata Sevnth Circuit sewer district Shepard Technology United States Supreme Court