Indiana Court of Appeals

DCS did not have sufficient evidence for CHINS adjudication

June 29, 2017
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Department of Child Services failed to present any evidence that a newborn’s mother did not have stable housing or that her actions seriously endangered her child, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday in reversing a child in need of services adjudication.
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‘Taken aback’ by Eskenazi’s bid for fees, COA rules for committed man

June 27, 2017
Dave Stafford
A divided Indiana Court of Appeals struck a special condition that a man who had been subject to a mental health order of commitment not use alcohol or drugs. The court also criticized the hospital for seeking legal fees in the case from the Marion County Public Defender Agency.
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Double sentencing enhancements don’t violate precedent

June 26, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled double enhancements that added 25 years to a man’s sentence did not violate precedent because each was given for a different offense.
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Probation department must reimburse offender’s fees

June 23, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Marion County probation department must reimburse an offender’s probation fees after the Indiana Court of Appeals held the trial court erred by allowing the probation department, and not the court, to impose such fees.
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Summary judgment affirmed for Conour associate in legal malpractice case

June 23, 2017
Olivia Covington
A former associate of now-disgraced Indianapolis attorney William Conour scored a victory in the Indiana Court of Appeals Friday when the court found he did not breach a duty to one of Conour’s clients who accused him of providing inaccurate or misleading information.
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Appellate court says paved asphalt can be a ‘deadly weapon’

June 23, 2017
Olivia Covington
Determining that the paved surface of a parking lot can be considered a “deadly weapon” in the context of certain cases, the Indiana Court of Appeals on Friday affirmed a man’s conviction for felony battery.
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COA remands dispute over attorney fees owed to doctor

June 22, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
A cardiologist who was denied his request for attorney fees totaling $450,000 will get a second chance to make his argument after the Indiana Court of Appeals found the trial court abused its discretion in awarding nearly $423,000 less.
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Prosecutor’s involvement in judge’s re-election committee doesn’t require recusal

June 22, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Howard County prosecutor’s membership on a sitting judge’s re-election campaign committee did not require the judge to recuse himself in two separate cases, two panels of the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
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Man who did not knowingly waive representation to get new trial

June 21, 2017
Olivia Covington
A southern Indiana man will receive a new trial for his invasion of privacy charges after the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday the trial court failed to advise him of the dangers of proceeding pro se.
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Man's 72-year sentence for child molestation upheld

June 21, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed a man’s 72-year sentence for molesting his young daughter, finding the trial court did not consider identical facts at sentencing hearings on two separate charges.
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Fort Wayne TV station seeks to broadcast doctor’s sentencing hearing

June 21, 2017
Jennifer Nelson
A Fort Wayne television station has filed an appeal challenging a Huntington Circuit judge’s order denying its request to air a trial court recording of a doctor’s sentencing hearing for felony sexual battery.
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Court impermissibly entered convictions on 3 resisting law enforcement counts

June 21, 2017
Olivia Covington
An Indiana trial court should not have entered convictions against a man on three counts of resisting law enforcement stemming from a single incident, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled in a Wednesday opinion instructing the trial court to change the man’s convictions and resentence him accordingly.
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COA: attorney fees and litigation costs allowed in child’s wrongful death

June 20, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
In a case of first impression, the Indiana Court of Appeals upheld the award of attorney fees in a child’s wrongful death case.
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Split COA affirms northern Indiana utility rate increase

June 20, 2017
Olivia Covington
A northern Indiana utility company can increase its rates after a divided Indiana Court of Appeals held Tuesday that the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission followed the appropriate statutory guidelines in approving the rate hike.
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Treble damages upheld in stepmother’s conversion of safe deposit box funds

June 20, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed a determination that a northern Indiana woman illegally converted the funds in the safe deposit box her husband shared with his adult children and that the children are entitled to treble damages.
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Court must revisit issue of prospective juror’s demeanor in Batson challenge

June 20, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Marion Superior Court must revisit the issue of whether a prospective juror’s body language made his dismissal appropriate after the Indiana Court of Appeals decided Tuesday it would be inappropriate to credit the state’s assertion without findings that the dismissal was not based on race.
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High court strikes down extension of community caretaking role to non-vehicle searches

June 20, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Supreme Court on Tuesday struck down a portion of an Indiana Court of Appeals opinion that extended the law enforcement community caretaker role beyond questions regarding seizures of a vehicle. The justices did affirm the man's cocaine conviction, however, finding his constitutional arguments failed. 

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COA: County entities did not owe duty under foreseeability analysis

June 19, 2017
Olivia Covington
A southern Indiana county and its parks and recreation and health departments did not owe a duty to a man who contracted a deadly infection while at a county park, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Monday, reversing the denial of summary judgment to the governmental entities.
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COA: Chiropractors not qualified to render opinions on ‘complex’ causation issues

June 14, 2017
Olivia Covington
A medical malpractice case against a Franklin County chiropractor must proceed to trial after the Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday that chiropractors, including those on medical review panels, are not qualified to render opinions on the cause of injuries when a case involves a “complex” causation issue.
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Experts say Court of Appeals ruling leaves death penalty in limbo

June 14, 2017
Dave Stafford
Legal experts from Indiana’s law schools said the decision casts uncertainty on the death penalty going forward, though they said by no means is the court’s ruling a moratorium on future executions.
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COA reaffirms legal malpractice suit may proceed

June 13, 2017
Olivia Covington
After granting rehearing to clarify the difference between the instant legal malpractice case and previous malpractice caselaw, the Indiana Court of Appeals on Tuesday reaffirmed its previous decision to deny summary judgment to a northern Indiana law firm.
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COA rules against contractor hurt on IU jobsite

June 13, 2017
Olivia Covington
A construction manager and product manufacturer did not have a duty to a construction contractor injured on an Indiana University jobsite in October 2012, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
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Court affirms division of marital estate in divorce

June 13, 2017
Dave Stafford
A trial court’s division of a marital estate that was challenged by both the husband and wife was affirmed Tuesday by the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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Desire for second boat lift not enough to override prior orders

June 13, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Court of Appeals swatted away an appeal of a dispute between pier owners, finding previous trial court orders resulting from more than 26 years of litigation over access to a lake clearly stated when a pier’s location can be changed.
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Conviction upheld for man who berated ex after protective order

June 13, 2017
Dave Stafford
A man who called his ex and offered a “one time only deal” regarding parenting time with their son after the woman obtained a protective order failed to convince judges on appeal that his invasion of privacy conviction should be reversed.
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  2. The appellate court just said doctors can be sued for reporting child abuse. The most dangerous form of child abuse with the highest mortality rate of any form of child abuse (between 6% and 9% according to the below listed studies). Now doctors will be far less likely to report this form of dangerous child abuse in Indiana. If you want to know what this is, google the names Lacey Spears, Julie Conley (and look at what happened when uninformed judges returned that child against medical advice), Hope Ybarra, and Dixie Blanchard. Here is some really good reporting on what this allegation was: http://media.star-telegram.com/Munchausenmoms/ Here are the two research papers: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0145213487900810 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0145213403000309 25% of sibling are dead in that second study. 25%!!! Unbelievable ruling. Chilling. Wrong.

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  4. Mr. Levin says that the BMV engaged in misconduct--that the BMV (or, rather, someone in the BMV) knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged fees but did nothing to correct the situation. Such misconduct, whether engaged in by one individual or by a group, is called theft (defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the other person of the property's value or use). Theft is a crime in Indiana (as it still is in most of the civilized world). One wonders, then, why there have been no criminal prosecutions of BMV officials for this theft? Government misconduct doesn't occur in a vacuum. An individual who works for or oversees a government agency is responsible for the misconduct. In this instance, somebody (or somebodies) with the BMV, at some time, knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged. What's more, this person (or these people), even after having the error of their ways pointed out to them, did nothing to fix the problem. Instead, the overcharges continued. Thus, the taxpayers of Indiana are also on the hook for the millions of dollars in attorneys fees (for both sides; the BMV didn't see fit to avail itself of the services of a lawyer employed by the state government) that had to be spent in order to finally convince the BMV that stealing money from Indiana motorists was a bad thing. Given that the BMV official(s) responsible for this crime continued their misconduct, covered it up, and never did anything until the agency reached an agreeable settlement, it seems the statute of limitations for prosecuting these folks has not yet run. I hope our Attorney General is paying attention to this fiasco and is seriously considering prosecution. Indiana, the state that works . . . for thieves.

  5. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.

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