Indiana Court of Appeals

Letter to victim’s mother supports lesser misdemeanor charge

August 7, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A defendant’s rambling letter to a victim’s mother was not enough to uphold his convictions for attempted obstruction of justice and invasion of privacy, but it was sufficient to support a lesser charge.
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Pawnshop owner not victim of prosecutorial misconduct

August 7, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A prosecutor’s comments to a witness about what would have been helpful did not shift the burden of producing evidence onto the defendant, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled.
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Guilty plea stands despite ineligibility for habitual charge

August 7, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Although a man was wrongly charged as a habitual substance offender, the Indiana Court of Appeals determined the facts do not support his claim that his counsel was ineffective and he did not knowingly enter a guilty plea.
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Reversal: VORP cannot be ordered in sentence

August 7, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday that offenders may not be ordered to participate in the Victim-Offender Reconciliation Program, reversing a sentence and remanding to the trial court for a restitution hearing.
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Failure to read contract no protection against liability

August 6, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A coal mine superintendent failed to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that he should not be held liable because he did not understand the contract he signed.
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Wiretap and defamation claims against South Bend councilman allowed to move forward

August 4, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Overturning the trial court’s dismissal, the Indiana Court of Appeals is allowing the complaint claiming a South Bend city councilman violated the federal wiretap act and committed defamation to proceed.
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Reversal: Insurer’s acceptance of payment reinstated policy

August 4, 2015
Dave Stafford
A Porter County man won his argument that his insurer’s acceptance of a late payment kept his homeowners coverage in force, after which a garage fire caused damage exceeding $80,000. Now, the insurer also may have to pay bad-faith and punitive damages.
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Uncertain of meth’s status, COA tosses syringe conviction

August 4, 2015
Dave Stafford
A man who was convicted of two felonies for injecting himself with methamphetamine should not have been convicted of unlawful possession of a syringe, because it’s unclear whether meth qualifies as a legend drug, a Court of Appeals panel ruled Tuesday.
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Judge’s description not impermissible judicial testimony

August 4, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A Marion County judge who described the testimony to jurors as “heartfelt” did not overstep the prohibition against the judiciary acting as a witness.
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Victim’s statements were dying declaration, COA rules

July 31, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected the argument that the victim, who was shot multiple times and eventually did die, could not have made a dying declaration because paramedics repeatedly told him he would live.
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No evidence of officer’s injury voids restitution order

July 31, 2015
Dave Stafford
An Indianapolis trial court abused its discretion by ordering a man convicted in a physical altercation with police to pay more than $27,000 in restitution despite a lack of evidence he caused injuries that resulted in those medical bills.
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Convictions based on ‘very same behavior’ do not violate double jeopardy

July 30, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A man was unable to overcome heavy precedent and convince the Indiana Supreme Court his convictions violated the state prohibition against double jeopardy.
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Trial court erred in ruling defendant waived counsel

July 30, 2015
Dave Stafford

A defendant who pleaded with a judge to try to obtain possibly exculpatory video evidence he said his public defender refused to seek did not, by his conduct, waive his right to counsel, the Indiana Court of Appeals determined Thursday.

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Dissenting judge implies majority reweighed evidence in custody reversal

July 29, 2015
Dave Stafford
A dissenting judge on an Indiana Court of Appeals panel that Wednesday reversed a child custody order implied the majority reweighed evidence to reach its conclusion.
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COA hands remonstrators another defeat

July 29, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed another annexation ruling, this time finding the town of Whitestown can move forward with plans to incorporate a portion of Perry Township.
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Aunt denied custody of CHINS niece in foster care

July 29, 2015
Dave Stafford
An aunt who repeatedly sought to gain custody of her 4-year-old niece the Department of Child Services placed in foster care got no relief from the Indiana Court of Appeals Wednesday.
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Altice selected to succeed Friedlander on Court of Appeals

July 29, 2015
Dave Stafford
Marion Superior Judge Robert R. Altice Jr. was named to the Indiana Court of Appeals July 17 by Gov. Mike Pence.
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COA clears way for broader use of postnuptial agreements

July 29, 2015
Michael Kohlhaas, Jim Reed
A February decision by the Indiana Court of Appeals makes postnuptial agreements a more attractive option for married couples who, considering divorce, decide instead to reconcile.
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Material alteration of terms sufficient for dismissal of foreclosure

July 28, 2015
Dave Stafford
A trial court properly ruled against a financial institution in a mortgage foreclosure action because terms of the surety’s contract were materially altered over time, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
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Unsupported search warrant voids drug conviction

July 24, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals Friday threw out a man’s cocaine dealing conviction, holding that a search warrant that led to charges against him should not have been issued.
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COA affirms conviction, sentence in pizza deliveryman’s slaying

July 23, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals Thursday upheld the 65-year sentence and convictions a jury rendered against an Indianapolis man who robbed, shot and killed a pizza deliveryman at a southside apartment complex.
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Winning plaintiff agrees prejudgment interest award not warranted

July 22, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A real estate investor who was successful in her protracted feud with her real estate broker acknowledged an error in the calculation of her award and induced the Indiana Court of Appeals to make a reversal.
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COA: Post-conviction court too speedy in its denial of petition

July 22, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A post-conviction court which denied a petition even before the state had responded has been ordered by the Indiana Court of Appeals to go back, slow down and do it over.
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COA: Petitioner entitled to tax deed after completing all steps

July 21, 2015
Dave Stafford
An entity that bought two properties at a tax sale fulfilled all the requisite steps to acquire ownership of the parcels, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled, rejecting an appeal from the trust that previously owned the properties.
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Involuntary commitment vacated for lack of evidence

July 20, 2015
Dave Stafford
An Indianapolis woman was improperly ordered committed for mental illness, but there was insufficient evidence she was gravely disabled, a panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday. The decision further emphasizes the need for clear and convincing evidence of grave disability to support a commitment.
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  1. Why in the world would someone need a person to correct a transcript when a realtime court reporter could provide them with a transcript (rough draft) immediately?

  2. If the end result is to simply record the spoke word, then perhaps some day digital recording may eventually be the status quo. However, it is a shallow view to believe the professional court reporter's function is to simply report the spoken word and nothing else. There are many aspects to being a professional court reporter, and many aspects involved in producing a professional and accurate transcript. A properly trained professional steno court reporter has achieved a skill set in a field where the average dropout rate in court reporting schools across the nation is 80% due to the difficulty of mastering the necessary skills. To name just a few "extras" that a court reporter with proper training brings into a courtroom or a deposition suite; an understanding of legal procedure, technology specific to the legal profession, and an understanding of what is being said by the attorneys and litigants (which makes a huge difference in the quality of the transcript). As to contracting, or anti-contracting the argument is simple. The court reporter as governed by our ethical standards is to be the independent, unbiased individual in a deposition or courtroom setting. When one has entered into a contract with any party, insurance carrier, etc., then that reporter is no longer unbiased. I have been a court reporter for over 30 years and I echo Mr. Richardson's remarks that I too am here to serve.

  3. A competitive bid process is ethical and appropriate especially when dealing with government agencies and large corporations, but an ethical line is crossed when court reporters in Pittsburgh start charging exorbitant fees on opposing counsel. This fee shifting isn't just financially biased, it undermines the entire justice system, giving advantages to those that can afford litigation the most. It makes no sense.

  4. "a ttention to detail is an asset for all lawyers." Well played, Indiana Lawyer. Well played.

  5. I have a appeals hearing for the renewal of my LPN licenses and I need an attorney, the ones I have spoke to so far want the money up front and I cant afford that. I was wondering if you could help me find one that takes payments or even a pro bono one. I live in Indiana just north of Indianapolis.

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