Indiana Court of Appeals

Division of judgment in failed care facility financing affirmed

May 31, 2016
Dave Stafford
A former Indiana lawmaker and his business partners must pay a pro rata share of a deficiency judgment over defaulted financing for a rehabilitation care facility in Liberty, Indiana, the Court of Appeals affirmed Tuesday.
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Although unlicensed in county, contractor still owed for work

May 31, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled a contractor violated the Home Improvement Contracts Act when he misled a family into thinking he was locally licensed and voided the contract between the two. However, the court said he should still be paid for the work he did because the family would be unjustly enriched if he was not paid.
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Contract’s ambiguities win homeowners a reversal

May 31, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Owners of a shabbily built house will get another chance to hold their architects accountable for the construction headaches after the Indiana Court of Appeals found there are questions of material fact that should be considered.
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COA affirms child care worker’s convictions of sex with minors

May 31, 2016
Dave Stafford
A Putnam County man convicted of multiple counts of sex with minors under his care failed to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that evidence against him was improperly admitted in his bench trial.
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Stepfather who proved paternity can’t deprive ex of joint custody

May 31, 2016
Dave Stafford
A man who fathered a child while the mother was married to another man lost his appeal Tuesday that sought relief from a court order concerning the child's custody.
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Indiana Supreme Court deadlocks on protective order case

May 27, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Supreme Court reinstated an Indiana Court of Appeals decision in a protection order case it took on transfer after the four justices deadlocked on how to resolve the case.
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COA upholds adoption venue transfer

May 26, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld transfer of an adoption petition from Greene to Monroe County Circuit Court, ruling Monroe was the preferred venue because of other cases related to the petition that also were happening there.
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COA: Man did not have expectation of privacy after he was tracked by GPS

May 26, 2016
Scott Roberts
Tracking of man by GPS did not violate his Fourth Amendment or Indiana constitutional rights, the Court of Appeals ruled, because he did not have a reasonable expectation of privacy. The appellate court upheld Joseph Sidener's Class C felony burglary conviction and the finding he is an habitual offender.
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COA rules DCS has duty to protect caller’s identity

May 26, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled in a 2-1 decision the Indiana Department of Child Services had a duty to protect a man’s identity after he called the DCS hotline and reported his neighbors’ children as children in need of services.
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COA: Gun evidence lawfully obtained

May 25, 2016
Scott Roberts
In its third Fourth Amendment case in two weeks, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled evidence obtained during a stop of a man who was loitering around an apartment complex and then left suspiciously was lawfully seized. The judges affirmed the trial court’s denial of his motion to suppress on interlocutory appeal.
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Divided COA rules karate kick is an issue of material fact

May 24, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 that a man’s kick in karate class, which injured a woman, constituted an issue of material fact and reversed summary judgment in his favor.
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Property manager not liable in drunken driving crash, COA holds

May 24, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled the property management company of a Camby bar has no duty of care to a woman who was seriously injured in a car accident in which she and the driver were intoxicated.
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Court of Appeals hears woman's appeal of feticide conviction

May 24, 2016
 Associated Press
Indiana appeals court judges grilled an attorney for the state Monday over whether there was evidence a woman found guilty of neglect and feticide in a self-induced abortion knew she had given birth to a live child.
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COA divided over general contractor’s duty to provide safe workplace

May 23, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals voted 2-1 Monday to affirm summary judgment in favor of the general contractor of a Lafayette Gander Mountain project where a subcontractor’s employee was injured. The majority concluded the general contractor did not have a non-delegable contractual duty toward the injured worker.
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COA deals blow to AG’s foreclosure lawyer consumer suit

May 23, 2016
Dave Stafford
An effectively disbarred Florida attorney whose company hired Indiana lawyers to represent people in foreclosures must face a consumer lawsuit brought by the Indiana Attorney General’s Office, but her company is largely exempted, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday.
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Molest conviction affirmed; habitual offender waiver remanded

May 23, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals found a counsel's mistake did not constitute judicial admission in a man's trial when he was found guilty of molesting his stepdaughter. But the appeals court remanded his guilty plea for being a habitual offender, finding he did not waive his right to trial on the issue at court, his attorney did.
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Indiana court to hear woman's appeal of feticide conviction

May 23, 2016
 Associated Press
Attorneys for an Indiana woman found guilty of killing the premature infant she delivered after ingesting abortion-inducing drugs will ask an appeals court Monday to throw out the convictions that led to her 20-year prison sentence.
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'Abusive litigant' loses appeal for damages

May 23, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals denied a prolific litigant's attempt to get more than $30,000 in damages after he claimed a printer he purchased online for less than $75 did not work and then sued for thousands of dollars in damages.
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Felon firearm possession charge affirmed on appeal

May 20, 2016
Dave Stafford
An Indianapolis man convicted of possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon failed to persuade the Indiana Court of Appeals that the search that led to discovery of the gun wasn't supported by reasonable suspicion.
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Man loses home damage appeal that blamed neighbor’s watering

May 20, 2016
Dave Stafford
A man whose Monroe County home was lost to mold contamination lost his appeal of a jury verdict in favor of his neighbor. The homeowner had claimed his neighbor's excessive watering of her lawn caused water damage to the basement of his home.
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COA: Lack of warning signs reinstates suit in fatal crash

May 20, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals found the Hancock County Board of Commissioners was not liable for the way an intersection was designed but found there was an issue of material fact as to whether the county should have installed warning signs there. A man was killed at the intersection in 2009 in a crash with another vehicle, triggering a lawsuit.
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Newborn blood sample case appealed to Indiana’s high court

May 20, 2016
 Associated Press
An Indiana couple seeking the destruction of millions of newborn blood samples stored in a state warehouse is appealing their case to the Indiana Supreme Court. The couple's attorney filed a petition Thursday asking the state high court to take up the case.
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COA: Worker's comp board may overrule medical examiner

May 19, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a Worker's Compensation Board decision that a man did not sustain a cervical injury as a result of a workplace accident. The board was not required to follow treatment recommendations of an independent medical examiner who saw the man after his employer notified him of its intent to terminate temporary total disability benefits.
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COA: Mother’s rights not violated by reasonable efforts order

May 19, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled an order that reasonable efforts to reunify a mother and her daughter were not necessary did not violate her rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act or the Rehabilitation Act and affirmed judgment of the trial court.
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COA upholds contempt charges in video conference

May 19, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a man's contempt of court charges after it found just because a man was on video didn't mean he couldn't commit contempt, and the evidence was enough to uphold the charges.
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  1. Where may I find an attorney working Pro Bono? Many issues with divorce, my Disability, distribution of IRA's, property, money's and pressured into agreement by my attorney. Leaving me far less than 5% of all after 15 years of marriage. No money to appeal, disabled living on disability income. Attorney's decision brought forward to judge, no evidence ever to finalize divorce. Just 2 weeks ago. Please help.

  2. For the record no one could answer the equal protection / substantive due process challenge I issued in the first post below. The lawless and accountable only to power bureaucrats never did either. All who interface with the Indiana law examiners or JLAP be warned.

  3. Hi there I really need help with getting my old divorce case back into court - I am still paying support on a 24 year old who has not been in school since age 16 - now living independent. My visitation with my 14 year old has never been modified; however, when convenient for her I can have him... I am paying past balance from over due support, yet earn several thousand dollars less. I would contact my original attorney but he basically molest me multiple times in Indy when I would visit.. Todd Woodmansee - I had just came out and had know idea what to do... I have heard he no longer practices. Please help1

  4. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  5. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

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