Indiana Court of Appeals

COA: Judge’s late recusal not reversible error

October 23, 2012
Dave Stafford
An Adams Circuit Court judge who learned that he had previously represented a defendant on trial in his courtroom acted appropriately when he recused himself but denied a mistrial, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Court affirms judgments in pollution case, remands for determination of credit due

October 23, 2012
IL Staff
The Indiana Court of Appeals found no errors in a trial court’s ruling in a dispute over insurance coverage to clean up a pollution spill at a westside Indianapolis business, but it sent the case back to the trial court for a determination of credit due an insurer.
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Court of Appeals rules that blinking turn signal not enough to support drug conviction

October 19, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
Finding that the continuous use of a turn signal without turning does not justify a traffic stop, the Indiana Court of Appeals threw out a conviction for possession of marijuana.
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Prosecutor error insufficient to reverse murder conviction

October 19, 2012
Dave Stafford
A prosecutor improperly presented facts that were not in evidence and inflamed the passions and prejudices of jurors in a murder trial, but his improper conduct didn’t rise to the level of reversible error, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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Judges order habitual offender enhancement vacated

October 18, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A post-conviction court erred when it denied a defendant’s request for post-conviction relief to vacate a habitual offender enhancement, finding a case decided after the man’s direct appeal applies retroactively.
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Statute granting DCS immunity applies to nearly all of family’s claims

October 17, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A case involving the Department of Child Services before the Indiana Court of Appeals Wednesday provided the court with two issues of first impression – the interpretation of a statute relating to the agency, and the liberty interests that may reside with extended family members involved in the lawsuit.
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COA affirms $55k judgment for couple who purchased wind turbine

October 17, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found that a St. Joseph Superior judge applied the correct legal standard in determining that a company breached a contract with a couple that purchased a wind turbine that failed to live up to the company’s claims.
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Judges uphold family has no right of access through neighbor’s property

October 17, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A family claiming that for more than 50 years they had an easement to access portions of their land through a neighbor’s property lost before the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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Pyle takes oath at robing ceremony

October 16, 2012
Dave Stafford
Indiana’s newest Court of Appeals judge also holds the distinction of being the only official appointed twice by Gov. Mitch Daniels.
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Court upholds conviction for theft of water heater

October 16, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals dismissed a man’s argument that he didn’t know he couldn’t take a water heater from an Indianapolis apartment complex to scrap, finding that the evidence supports his theft conviction.
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Indiana justices accept 2 cases

October 15, 2012
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court will weigh in on whether communications during mediation can be used as extrinsic evidence.
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Judges reaffirm 2 Weinberger patients’ psychological evaluations

October 12, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
In reaffirming a Lake Superior Court decision that granted former doctor Mark Weinberger’s motion that two men suing him undergo psychological examinations, the Indiana Court of Appeals clarified that there is no requirement that a trial court must compel an involuntary psychiatric evaluation when faced with similar facts and circumstances as in the instant cases.
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Delayed ordinance publication doesn’t affect power to annex

October 12, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Landowners challenging the annexation of portions of land in Hamilton County to the city of Westfield lost their appeal before the Indiana Court of Appeals. The remonstrators claimed the city’s delayed publication of annexation ordinances should have barred the annexation.
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COA affirms 5 child molesting convictions

October 11, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The admission of testimony by a licensed clinical psychologist at a man’s child molestation trial in Steuben County was not a fundamental error, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Thursday.
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Court rules in favor of state in taking of property for I-69

October 11, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
For the second time in less than a month, the Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed the state’s taking of property in southwestern Indiana for construction of Interstate-69.
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Court upholds imposition of court costs

October 10, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found a man’s pro se motion to correct erroneous sentence was not the proper channel to challenge the imposition of court costs following his murder trial.
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COA split over whether DCS has authority to interview sibling

October 10, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
An Indiana Court of Appeals judge reached the opposite conclusion of her colleagues Wednesday in finding that the Department of Child Services lacks the statutory authority to conduct a forensic interview of a non-subject child residing in the same home as a child who has claimed abuse by a resident family member.
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Criminal recklessness code covers firing gun into car

October 9, 2012
Dave Stafford
A car is a “place people are likely to gather,” the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday, unanimously affirming a Class C felony criminal recklessness conviction and eight-year sentence for a man who fired a gun into car in which a former gang ally was a passenger in Goshen.
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COA finds church member’s lack of brotherly love not sufficient to uphold conviction

October 9, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
A criminal conviction that resulted from church member’s demand for quiet during a worship service has been overturned by the Indiana Court of Appeals on the grounds that the evidence was insufficient to sustain the conviction.
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Divided appeals court tosses Boonville annexation

October 9, 2012
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a trial court decision that upheld an annexation by the city of Boonville, finding that the trial court erred in counting separate state-owned parcels of a highway for purposes of remonstrance.
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COA will not reweigh California environmental cleanup decisions

October 9, 2012
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that it would not reweigh California court decisions in favor of insurers who had no responsibility to cover environmental cleanup costs at former Thomson plants.
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Court of Appeals reverses and remands inmate’s request for kosher meals

October 9, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
A Pendleton Correctional Facility inmate will not be able to collect monetary damages against employees of the Indiana Department of Correction, but his request for kosher meals will get a second review.  
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Divided appeals court affirms disabled firefighter’s enhanced PERF benefit

October 9, 2012
Dave Stafford
A Brownsburg firefighter is entitled to disability benefits that a trial court enhanced after an appeal from the local pension board, a divided court of appeals panel ruled Tuesday.
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Divided court affirms sentence that exceeds statutory authority

October 9, 2012
Dave Stafford
A man who pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges and whose sentence exceeded statutory authority must nonetheless serve the term, a divided Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
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Appeals court affirms rejection of HOA ‘abusive junk fee’

October 5, 2012
Dave Stafford
A Morgan County man who took no action to defend a judgment in his favor nevertheless prevailed in the Indiana Court of Appeals on Friday. The judges upheld a trial court ruling that rejected a homeowners association charge it called an “abusive junk fee.”
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  1. I can understand a 10 yr suspension for drinking and driving and not following the rules,but don't you think the people who compleate their sentences and are trying to be good people of their community,and are on the right path should be able to obtain a drivers license to do as they please.We as a state should encourage good behavior instead of saying well you did all your time but we can't give you a license come on.When is a persons time served than cause from where I'm standing,its still a punishment,when u can't have the freedom to go where ever you want to in car,truck ,motorcycle,maybe their should be better programs for people instead of just throwing them away like daily trash,then expecting them to change because they we in jail or prison for x amount of yrs.Everyone should look around because we all pay each others bills,and keep each other in business..better knowledge equals better community equals better people...just my 2 cents

  2. I was wondering about the 6 million put aside for common attorney fees?does that mean that if you are a plaintiff your attorney fees will be partially covered?

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  4. I expressed my thought in the title, long as it was. I am shocked that there is ever immunity from accountability for ANY Government agency. That appears to violate every principle in the US Constitution, which exists to limit Government power and to ensure Government accountability. I don't know how many cases of legitimate child abuse exist, but in the few cases in which I knew the people involved, in every example an anonymous caller used DCS as their personal weapon to strike at innocent people over trivial disagreements that had no connection with any facts. Given that the system is vulnerable to abuse, and given the extreme harm any action by DCS causes to families, I would assume any degree of failure to comply with the smallest infraction of personal rights would result in mandatory review. Even one day of parent-child separation in the absence of reasonable cause for a felony arrest should result in severe penalties to those involved in the action. It appears to me, that like all bureaucracies, DCS is prone to interpret every case as legitimate. This is not an accusation against DCS. It is a statement about the nature of bureaucracies, and the need for ADDED scrutiny of all bureaucratic actions. Frankly, I question the constitutionality of bureaucracies in general, because their power is delegated, and therefore unaccountable. No Government action can be unaccountable if we want to avoid its eventual degeneration into irrelevance and lawlessness, and the law of the jungle. Our Constitution is the source of all Government power, and it is the contract that legitimizes all Government power. To the extent that its various protections against intrusion are set aside, so is the power afforded by that contract. Eventually overstepping the limits of power eliminates that power, as a law of nature. Even total tyranny eventually crumbles to nothing.

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