Indiana Court of Appeals

COA upholds convictions of man who targeted Burmese

July 27, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
An Alabama man was unable to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that he was not behind several attacks on members of the Burmese community in Indianapolis two years ago. The judges affirmed Danny Cherry’s 80-year sentence for various crimes, including attempted murder.
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Majority: Trooper’s questioning violated Seatbelt Enforcement Act

July 27, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
A state trooper’s recollection of a woman’s name on a national drug registry does not provide an independent basis of reasonable suspicion justifying him to investigate more than a seat belt violation that initiated the traffic stop, the Indiana Court of Appeals held in a 2-1 decision. As such, the judges reversed the woman’s motion to suppress evidence that led to a drug charge.
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Father must still pay part of son’s college expenses, COA holds

July 27, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals agreed that a teenager has not repudiated his relationship with this estranged father and affirmed the trial court’s ruling that the boy, his mother, and his father must each pay a third of his college expenses.
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COA hears arguments in $25 million wrongful death verdict

July 27, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
In a wrongful death case argued before the Indiana Court of Appeals Tuesday, the panel considered the questions of when are damages too high and when should an appellate court set aside a jury’s verdict?
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Caseworker vs. DCS

July 27, 2016
Dave Stafford
Despite a caseworker’s lawsuit against the Indiana Department of Child Services, her employer says she’s right: There aren’t enough caseworkers to handle the exploding growth in cases of Indiana children and families in crisis. But that’s where the agreement ends.
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COA reduces rapist’s sentence by 10 years

July 26, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Although an offender was successful in asserting the trial court erred in merging his sentences and applying an enhancement, he failed to respond to the state’s arguments for remedy which provided just a 10-year reduction to his 90-year aggregate sentence.
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Man loses appeal over search that led to cocaine charges

July 26, 2016
Dave Stafford
A man on trial for Class A felony counts of dealing cocaine and conspiracy to deal cocaine lost his appeal Tuesday seeking to suppress evidence found in a search of his car.
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COA: Needles near bottle cap support drug conviction

July 26, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
A defendant was unable to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that the evidence was insufficient to conclude that he intended to use the two syringe needles found in his clothes to inject heroin.
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Lake Michigan property line dispute arguments set

July 25, 2016
Dave Stafford
A dispute over whether the public has a right to walk the beach along Lake Michigan or private property extends to the water’s edge will be heard by the Indiana Court of Appeals Sept. 5.
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Man’s resisting conviction after domestic violence call reversed

July 25, 2016
Dave Stafford
Police responding to a domestic violence call weren’t legally exercising their duties when they entered the alleged perpetrator’s house without his consent, used a Taser on him and charged him with resisting law enforcement, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday.
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Farmers win reversal in drainage appeal against town

July 25, 2016
Dave Stafford
Montgomery County farmers who claimed work done by a town to improve its stormwater drainage ruined their acreage won reversal Monday of a trial court ruling against them.
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Man’s ineffective assistance of counsel claim fails

July 22, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a man’s assertion that he received ineffective assistance of counsel because his attorney didn’t object to the validity of the order placing him on probation.
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COA admonishes prosecutor’s misconduct, doesn’t reverse conviction

July 22, 2016
Dave Stafford
A prosecutor’s suggestion to the jury during an attempted rape trial that a defense attorney influenced a witness was misconduct, but not sufficient to warrant reversal of the defendant’s conviction, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday. But the court also called out the prosecutor and warned him.
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Reversal: HHGregg prevails in appeal over managers’ bonuses

July 22, 2016
Dave Stafford
HHGregg senior managers are not entitled to share in $40 million in life insurance proceeds from the 2012 death of executive chairman of the board Jerry Throgmartin, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday, reversing a trial court ruling in the managers’ favor.
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COA: Buyers had notice property was under lease

July 22, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed that because sellers of a Crawford County property had recorded their assignment of lease in the recorder’s office, buyers of the property had actual or constructive notice that the sellers didn’t own the land.
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Wal-Mart shoplifter’s resisting conviction affirmed

July 22, 2016
Dave Stafford
A man who fled from police and later was arrested after he and another man had been spotted allegedly shoplifting from a Lafayette Wal-Mart store was properly convicted of Class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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COA tosses feticide conviction, says statute doesn’t apply to self abortion

July 22, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Legislature did not intend for the state’s feticide statute to apply to pregnant women or illegal abortions, including the one a northern Indiana woman executed by taking drugs ordered from Hong Kong, the Court of Appeals held Friday.
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COA upholds mother’s neglect conviction for causing son’s health issues

July 21, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals, acknowledging differing expert testimony in a mother’s neglect of a dependent case, declined to reweigh the evidence and upheld her Class B felony conviction.
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Recommendation of plea document passes ‘duck test’

July 21, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
Citing the “duck test” credited to Hoosier poet James Whitcomb Riley, the Indiana Court of Appeals held that a “recommendation of plea” document was a plea agreement the trial judge was free to accept or reject.
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Judges affirm grant of senior living facility’s arbitration motion

July 21, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
Although a senior living facility “inexplicably” failed to keep a copy of an arbitration agreement signed by a resident, the facility produced enough extrinsic evidence to conclude an enforceable arbitration agreement exists, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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COA: Woman, not bank, entitled to foreclosure surplus funds

July 21, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court misapplied the law regarding disbursement of surplus sale proceedings from a sheriff’s sale when it ordered the full surplus to the bank that owned the first mortgage on the home, the Indiana Court of Appeals held. The law requires the surplus to go to the mortgage debtor.
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DCS agrees more caseworkers needed, argues against suit

July 20, 2016
Indiana’s Legislature and governor have failed to provide resources to ensure sufficient case managers to protect children and families, a lawyer representing the Department of Child Services told the Indiana Court of Appeals Wednesday. But she argued a caseworker’s lawsuit against the agency was the wrong way to enforce state law requiring those workers have no more than 17 cases each.
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On rehearing, judges find investigator’s photos admissible

July 20, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals granted rehearing to a case involving a lawsuit brought by a man injured by a sheriff deputy’s vehicle while he walked along the side of the road. The divided court held certain evidence, including an investigator’s affidavit and photos, are admissible at trial.
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COA: School’s insurance doesn’t cover student who injured teacher

July 20, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
Although the Indiana Court of Appeals disagreed with parts of a trial court’s ruling in an insurance coverage dispute, the judges affirmed the ruling that the insurance policy of a school where a student injured her teacher during class is not the primary insurance in the teacher’s personal injury suit.
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Website set up for COA judges facing retention vote

July 18, 2016
IL Staff
Indiana’s state courts have established a website with information about four Indiana Court of Appeals judges facing retention on the November ballot.
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