Indiana Court of Appeals

Negative drug test, prior accusations don’t change molester’s convictions

August 25, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals Monday affirmed the child molesting convictions and 30-year sentence of a man who claimed he was prejudiced because the trial court declined to admit a drug test from the victim showing she had no marijuana in her system.
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COA affirms man’s speedy trial request not violated

August 21, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals Thursday affirmed the 25-year sentence handed down to a man whose erratic driving led police to pull his vehicle over and discover cocaine on the passenger. The judges found his right to a fast and speedy trial was not violated and the evidence supports that he jointly possessed the cocaine.
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Duke can charge ratepayers for time construction delayed on Edwardsport plant

August 21, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed grant of Duke Energy Indiana’s request to include the amount spent during an 80-day delay in construction of the coal gasification plant in Edwardsport in a rate adjustment rider. Several parties intervened, claiming construction delays attributable to Duke should not be chargeable to ratepayers.
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Companies can’t recover attorney fees from general contractor

August 20, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The judgments awarded against the general contractor in the construction of a Portage movie theater are supported by the evidence, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed Wednesday. But, the trial court should not have awarded the contractors who sued attorney fees under the mechanic’s lien statute.
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Journey’s Account Statute applies to proposed medical malpractice complaint

August 20, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals Wednesday affirmed that the Journey’s Account Statute applies to revive a proposed medical malpractice complaint filed on behalf of a woman’s granddaughter as her guardian.
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Scholarship at Indiana Tech pays tribute to Abraham Lincoln

August 19, 2014
IL Staff
Indiana Tech Law School has created the endowed Sara Vaughn Gabbard Scholarship which will award two law students a scholarship for participating in and winning an annual Abraham Lincoln writing competition organized by the school.
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COA affirms child should be raised with half-siblings

August 19, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the petition to adopt a child by a couple who have already adopted her half-siblings. Although the couple temporarily dropped their petition to adopt, the judges agreed it is in the child’s best interests to be raised with her siblings.
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Court clarifies attorney fee recovery under Trial Rule 34(C)(3)

August 19, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals Tuesday decided that under Indiana Trial Rule 34(C)(3), refusing to comply with a discovery request solely because the parties can’t agree on an appropriate amount to pay does not constitute reasonable resistance to a discovery request.
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Suit alleging unconstitutional school fees fails in COA

August 18, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A Marion County mother who sought damages for having to pay certain fees for her children to attend public school lost her appeal before the Indiana Court of Appeals Monday. The judges agreed with the lower court that the state constitution does not permit her claim for monetary damages.
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COA: Auditor complied with notice statutes in tax sale

August 18, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a 2013 order by a trial court that tax sale deeds be issued, agreeing that the Marion County auditor complied with the statutes dealing with notices surrounding tax sales.
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Court affirms boy should stay in Indiana with father

August 15, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Noting that its decision should not be viewed as a punishment for either parent, a trial court denied a mother’s request to move to California with  her son and ordered the boy remain in Indiana with his father. The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed Friday, finding the father presented evidence that supported the trial court’s decision.
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Father’s lack of parenting experience does not support CHINS finding

August 15, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the adjudication of a toddler as a child in need of services after finding the Department of Child Services did not establish that the child’s father is unlikely to meet the child’s needs absent court intervention based on his lack of parenting experience and previous diagnosis of having post-traumatic stress disorder.
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Court orders man’s records expunged

August 15, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The statute in effect when a man petitioned to have his Class D felony conviction records expunged said the trial court “shall order” the expungement if all statutory requirements have been met. As a result, the trial court erred in denying Michael Kevin Mallory’s petition based on testimony of his victims.
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COA affirms belt considered a deadly weapon in domestic battery case

August 15, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The belt used by a man to repeatedly strike his girlfriend qualifies as a deadly weapon and supports elevating his battery conviction to a Class C felony, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Friday.
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Trial court must consider husband’s interest in land in divorce case

August 14, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has ordered a trial court to take another look at the marital pot of a northern Indiana couple, finding the lower court should have included the husband’s ownership interest in two parcels of land he owns as a joint tenant with his brother.
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COA finds officer had no reason to make woman sit in squad car after stop

August 14, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
 A police officer was not justified in requesting that the woman he pulled over for an expired driver’s license sit in his squad car while he decided how to proceed in the matter, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday.
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Court orders more proceedings in foreclosure action

August 14, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
An Elkhart County man successfully convinced the Indiana Court of Appeals to reverse the denial of his motion to set aside default judgment in a foreclosure action. The man argued he relied on information from the bank that he could proceed with a short sale and the foreclosure proceeding would be put on hold.
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Justices uphold sentence, clarify previous caselaw

August 13, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court accepted a case to address the proposition that relying on an element of the offense as an aggravating factor when sentencing is no longer prohibited. The justices believe that the Court of Appeals has applied this position too broadly.
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Court reduces attorney fees awarded to pay firm by $1 million

August 13, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals Wednesday found that an estate of a man with dependents can recover attorney fees under the General Wrongful Death Statute, but the trial court erred in how it calculated the amount the law firm will receive.
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Court affirms termination of parental rights without case plan

August 12, 2014
Dave Stafford
Morgan County parents, including a father who dealt meth to a confidential informant while his wife and three minor children were present, lost an appeal of their termination of parental rights Tuesday.
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Payment of ‘ad valorem’ taxes sustain ownership in mineral interest

August 11, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Reversing the trial court’s ruling, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded that a woman’s payment of “ad valorem” taxes on a mineral interest in Posey County prevented the lapse of her partial ownership.
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Argumentative passenger’s public intoxication conviction reversed

August 11, 2014
Dave Stafford
A passenger in a car that a police officer stopped after seeing an arm and object hanging out of the car window, followed by the sound of shattering glass, was improperly convicted of public intoxication, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday.
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COA: Sentencing court must hear inmate’s habeas petition

August 11, 2014
Dave Stafford
A man serving a 60-year murder sentence at the Pendleton Correctional Facility must seek relief in the court where he was sentenced, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday.
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Evidence does not support stand-your-ground defense

August 11, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A man’s attempt to bolster his defense by using Indiana’s stand-your-ground law was rejected because the evidence did not support his claim.
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Insurer loses appeal over matter litigated elsewhere

August 8, 2014
Dave Stafford
An insurance company may not recover in Marion Superior Court claims paid for an auto accident after a St. Joseph court ruled a driver was not at fault in the crash.
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  1. My daughter was taken from my home at the end of June/2014. I said I would sign the safety plan but my husband would not. My husband said he would leave the house so my daughter could stay with me but the case worker said no her mind is made up she is taking my daughter. My daughter went to a friends and then the friend filed a restraining order which she was told by dcs if she did not then they would take my daughter away from her. The restraining order was not in effect until we were to go to court. Eventually it was dropped but for 2 months DCS refused to allow me to have any contact and was using the restraining order as the reason but it was not in effect. This was Dcs violating my rights. Please help me I don't have the money for an attorney. Can anyone take this case Pro Bono?

  2. If justice is not found in a court room, it's time to clean house!!! Even judges are accountable to a higher Judge!!!

  3. The small claims system, based on my recent and current usage of it, is not exactly a shining example of justice prevailing. The system appears slow and clunky and people involved seem uninterested in actually serving justice within a reasonable time frame. Any improvement in accountability and performance would gain a vote from me. Speaking of voting, what do the people know about judges and justice from the bench perspective. I think they have a tendency to "vote" for judges based on party affiliation or name coolness factor (like Stoner, for example!). I don't know what to do in my current situation other than grin and bear it, but my case is an example of things working neither smoothly, effectively nor expeditiously. After this experience I'd pay more to have the higher courts hear the case -- if I had the money. Oh the conundrum.

  4. My dear Smith, I was beginning to fear, from your absense, that some Obrien of the Nanny State had you in Room 101. So glad to see you back and speaking truth to power, old chum.

  5. here is one from Reason magazine. these are not my words, but they are legitimate concerns. http://reason.com/blog/2010/03/03/fearmongering-at-the-splc quote: "The Southern Poverty Law Center, which would paint a box of Wheaties as an extremist threat if it thought that would help it raise funds, has issued a new "intelligence report" announcing that "an astonishing 363 new Patriot groups appeared in 2009, with the totals going from 149 groups (including 42 militias) to 512 (127 of them militias) -- a 244% jump." To illustrate how dangerous these groups are, the Center cites some recent arrests of right-wing figures for planning or carrying out violent attacks. But it doesn't demonstrate that any of the arrestees were a part of the Patriot milieu, and indeed it includes some cases involving racist skinheads, who are another movement entirely. As far as the SPLC is concerned, though, skinheads and Birchers and Glenn Beck fans are all tied together in one big ball of scary. The group delights in finding tenuous ties between the tendencies it tracks, then describing its discoveries in as ominous a tone as possible." --- I wonder if all the republicans that belong to the ISBA would like to know who and why this outfit was called upon to receive such accolades. I remember when they were off calling Trent Lott a bigot too. Preposterous that this man was brought to an overwhelmingly republican state to speak. This is a nakedly partisan institution and it was a seriously bad choice.

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