Indiana Court of Appeals

Auto theft conviction of man who did not return rental car upheld

May 7, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A Porter County man convicted of auto theft argued that his failure to return a rental car was a civil case and misunderstanding with the rental company, but the Court of Appeals upheld his Class D felony conviction.
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Website domain dispute pulled from justices’ calendar

May 5, 2015
Dave Stafford
A dispute over a website address that had been scheduled for oral arguments Wednesday before the Indiana Supreme Court has been settled, an attorney involved in the case said.
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COA orders judgment in favor of woman on adverse possession claim

April 30, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Because there is evidence that both the woman who purchased land from a trust and the trustee paid taxes on a disputed 1.8 acres of land for at least 10 years, the woman’s claim for adverse possession of the land should be granted, the Indiana Court of Appeals held.
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Court OKs admission of tweets, reverses criminal gang activity conviction

April 30, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
In a case of first impression regarding the authentication of social media posts, the Indiana Court of Appeals held that the testimony from the defendant's girlfriend that the Twitter account belonged to her boyfriend, as well as content from that account, sufficiently showed the defendant was the author of its tweets.
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Man’s conviction from controlled drug buy upheld

April 30, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
An Anderson man who was criminally convicted for selling drugs to a confidential informant waived both his arguments on appeal, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday. And, the judges found no fundamental error in a jury instruction given or the admission of cash found on the defendant by police.
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COA orders woman’s sentence revised to include credit time

April 30, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found Thursday that a trial court incorrectly calculated the sentence a woman should serve in the Department of Correction after she had her probation revoked.
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Revised sentence modification statute not applicable in defendant’s case

April 30, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court did not err in denying a man’s petition to modify his sentence after finding that the current version of the sentencing modification statute is not applicable to his sentence, which he began serving in 1989. The Indiana Court of Appeals panel relied on a January decision by its colleagues to affirm the denial of Mitchell Swallows’ petition.
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Appellate court records make switch to Odyssey May 4

April 29, 2015
IL Staff
Beginning next week, basic case information on appeals before the Indiana Supreme Court and Court of Appeals will be available to the public through the Odyssey docket. The Indiana Tax Court made the switch in December.
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Wiretap evidence properly admitted at murder trial

April 29, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a man's conviction of murdering his stepfather, finding that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in admitting wiretap evidence in which the defendant told a friend he was involved in the killing.
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Brothers’ murder convictions upheld by COA

April 29, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Two brothers convicted in the murder of a man with whom they previously had an altercation are not entitled to a new trial based on one juror's concerns for her safety after recognizing someone sitting in the gallery, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday.
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COA affirms new trial on motorcyclist’s negligence claim

April 28, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court did not abuse its discretion when it set aside a jury verdict allocating 70 percent of fault to a motorcyclist who hit a dog that darted in front of his bike, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled. The motorcyclist was injured in the accident and sued the dog's owners.
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Appeals court declines to revise battery sentence

April 28, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Even though a trial court did not specify why it imposed consecutive sentences for a man convicted of two counts of battery - one as a Level 6 felony and the other a Class A misdemeanor - the Indiana Court of Appeals found the rationale for consecutive sentences is apparent on the face of the record.
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Mother’s failure to timely contest adoption dooms appeal

April 28, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A woman who failed to give notice to the court within 30 days after learning her child's stepmother sought to adopt the child could not convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that her due process was denied in the matter.
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8 apply to be next COA judge

April 27, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court released the names of the eight people who want to replace Court of Appeals Judge Ezra Friedlander after he retires from the bench in August.
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Woman’s battery conviction reversed due to fatal variance

April 27, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A couple arrested after they screamed and resisted arrest at a local Department of Child Services' office after learning their child was being removed from their care had all but one of their convictions from the incident upheld by the Indiana Court of Appeals Monday.
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Judges dismiss appeal over deposition prep time

April 24, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Because a trial court's decision to deny ordering the defendants to pay for the time the plaintiffs' expert witness spends preparing for his defense deposition is not a final judgment, the plaintiffs should have appealed under Ind. Appellate Rule 14(B). Since they did not, the Indiana Court of Appeals dismissed their appeal.
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Bank wins partial victory in suit stemming from overdraft fees

April 23, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A bank being sued by customers over how it orders transactions – allegedly to maximize profits from overdraft fees – is entitled to summary judgment on most of the state claims alleged by customers in a class-action lawsuit, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday.
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Handgun properly admitted at juvenile’s hearing

April 23, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A handgun discarded by a teen after seeing a marked police car – and later picked up by the officer who saw the teen throw the gun into a yard – was properly admitted at his delinquency hearing, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed.
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Court reverses convictions from robbery due to double jeopardy concerns

April 22, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Three of a man’s eight convictions stemming from his robbery of acquaintances were reversed or reduced because  the convictions or elevated classes were based on the same elements of the crime, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday.
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Attorney did not breach any duty owed to Conour clients

April 22, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
An Indianapolis attorney who spent several years working in a firm with attorney William Conour satisfied his legal duty to clients of Conour based on his lack of knowledge of any specific wrongdoing by Conour related to the clients, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled. Conour is currently in federal prison for stealing from client settlement funds.
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Hospital's 41(E) motion not timely filed, rules COA

April 22, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals decided in a case of first impression that a hospital, which filed its Ind. Trial Rule 41(E) motion to dismiss on the same day the plaintiff resumed prosecution of the case, did not timely file its motion.
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COA: Man can petition for sentence modification under new statute

April 22, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals decided Wednesday that a man sentenced in 2006 could petition for a sentence modification under a new 2014 statute that no longer required prosecutorial consent. But the judges decided that his petition for sentence modification should be denied.
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Teen must pay restitution despite terminated probation

April 22, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
In a case of first impression, the Indiana Court of Appeals held that an Indianapolis teen is still required to pay restitution to the person he was involved in an auto accident with, even though the juvenile court discharged him from probation.
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Criminal code revision gives no sentence relief for prior $30 theft

April 21, 2015
Dave Stafford
A LaGrange County man sentenced to two years executed for convictions of Class D felony counts of theft and attempted theft got no relief from his argument that the criminal code revisions enacted after his conviction would have been more lenient.
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COA tosses treble damages since access was not denied

April 21, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A feuding neighbor who twice entered the property next to hers to unplug a sump pump will not have to pay treble damages because the Indiana Court of Appeals found she did not commit criminal trespass.
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  1. Applause, applause, applause ..... but, is this duty to serve the constitutional order not much more incumbent upon the State, whose only aim is to be pure and unadulterated justice, than defense counsel, who is also charged with gaining a result for a client? I agree both are responsible, but it seems to me that the government attorneys bear a burden much heavier than defense counsel .... "“I note, much as we did in Mechling v. State, 16 N.E.3d 1015 (Ind. Ct. App. 2014), trans. denied, that the attorneys representing the State and the defendant are both officers of the court and have a responsibility to correct any obvious errors at the time they are committed."

  2. Do I have to hire an attorney to get co-guardianship of my brother? My father has guardianship and my older sister was his co-guardian until this Dec 2014 when she passed and my father was me to go on as the co-guardian, but funds are limit and we need to get this process taken care of quickly as our fathers health isn't the greatest. So please advise me if there is anyway to do this our self or if it requires a lawyer? Thank you

  3. I have been on this program while on parole from 2011-2013. No person should be forced mentally to share private details of their personal life with total strangers. Also giving permission for a mental therapist to report to your parole agent that your not participating in group therapy because you don't have the financial mean to be in the group therapy. I was personally singled out and sent back three times for not having money and also sent back within the six month when you aren't to be sent according to state law. I will work to het this INSOMM's removed from this state. I also had twelve or thirteen parole agents with a fifteen month period. Thanks for your time.

  4. Our nation produces very few jurists of the caliber of Justice DOUGLAS and his peers these days. Here is that great civil libertarian, who recognized government as both a blessing and, when corrupted by ideological interests, a curse: "Once the investigator has only the conscience of government as a guide, the conscience can become ‘ravenous,’ as Cromwell, bent on destroying Thomas More, said in Bolt, A Man For All Seasons (1960), p. 120. The First Amendment mirrors many episodes where men, harried and harassed by government, sought refuge in their conscience, as these lines of Thomas More show: ‘MORE: And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Paradise for doing according to your conscience, *575 and I am damned for not doing according to mine, will you come with me, for fellowship? ‘CRANMER: So those of us whose names are there are damned, Sir Thomas? ‘MORE: I don't know, Your Grace. I have no window to look into another man's conscience. I condemn no one. ‘CRANMER: Then the matter is capable of question? ‘MORE: Certainly. ‘CRANMER: But that you owe obedience to your King is not capable of question. So weigh a doubt against a certainty—and sign. ‘MORE: Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But if it is flat, will the King's command make it round? And if it is round, will the King's command flatten it? No, I will not sign.’ Id., pp. 132—133. DOUGLAS THEN WROTE: Where government is the Big Brother,11 privacy gives way to surveillance. **909 But our commitment is otherwise. *576 By the First Amendment we have staked our security on freedom to promote a multiplicity of ideas, to associate at will with kindred spirits, and to defy governmental intrusion into these precincts" Gibson v. Florida Legislative Investigation Comm., 372 U.S. 539, 574-76, 83 S. Ct. 889, 908-09, 9 L. Ed. 2d 929 (1963) Mr. Justice DOUGLAS, concurring. I write: Happy Memorial Day to all -- God please bless our fallen who lived and died to preserve constitutional governance in our wonderful series of Republics. And God open the eyes of those government officials who denounce the constitutions of these Republics by arbitrary actions arising out capricious motives.

  5. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

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