Indiana Court of Appeals

Landowners may be on hook for contamination caused by tenants

March 11, 2015
Dave Stafford
Lawyers say an appeals court ruling last year means landowners who learn of contamination on their property may be held liable for damages even if they did nothing to directly contribute to the pollution.
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Court reverses denial of termination of parental rights due to possible conflict

March 10, 2015
Dave Stafford
A trial court erred when it denied a mother’s consensual termination of parental rights petition against the father due to concerns of a potential risk of conflict of interest involving the mother’s legal counsel.
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Court wrongly denied expungement of dismissed conviction

March 10, 2015
Dave Stafford
A man’s 1999 misdemeanor battery conviction that was dismissed when he completed his one-year probation sentence must be expunged, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday, reversing a trial court that denied his petition.
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Appeals panel affirms East Chicago library board must repay insurance premiums

March 9, 2015
Dave Stafford
A trial court properly ruled for the state when it ordered East Chicago Library Board members to repay more than $136,000 in health, dental, vision and life insurance premiums since state law says those members serve without compensation, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday.
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COA upholds $10,000 fine for failure to cooperate with discovery

March 9, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A trial court that slapped a transportation company with a $10,000 sanction and ordered its president jailed if the fine was not paid did not commit an error, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled.
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Failure to conduct indigency hearing results in remand

March 6, 2015
Dave Stafford
A trial court that imposed a $340 probation fee on a defendant sentenced on misdemeanor convictions must be revisited because the court failed to conduct a hearing on the defendant’s ability to pay.
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20-year sentence for $60 drug deal reduced as excessive

March 6, 2015
Dave Stafford
The 20-year executed sentence a Kokomo man received after pleading guilty to selling an undercover police officer 10 hydrocodone pills for $6 each was excessive, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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State appeals ruling blocking fenced hunting preserve rules

March 6, 2015
 Associated Press
The Indiana attorney general's office is appealing a court ruling that state wildlife officials overstepped their authority in trying to shut down Indiana’s high-fenced deer-hunting preserves.
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Court affirms $100,000 in attorney fees to bank for defending groundless claim

March 5, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A woman who claimed a bank acting as trustee breached its fiduciary duties by selling stock of JP Morgan Chase over the course of several years is still on the hook for more than $100,000 in attorney fees and costs to the trustee, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed Thursday. The COA agreed Susan Moeder brought a groundless claim against Salin Bank and Trust Co. after it sought to resign as trustee.
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Judges tweak offender’s amount of credit time awarded

March 4, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court incorrectly calculated the amount of credit for the time a man had served prior to the revocation of his probation as well as the sentence imposed after the revocation, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Ex-IMPD officer’s convictions upheld in 2010 fatal accident

March 4, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Former Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officer David Bisard, convicted of drunken-driving offenses after he struck three motorcyclists while responding to a non-emergency call, was not entitled to a mistrial based on juror misconduct issues, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.
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COA finds man justly fired for violating sexual harassment policy

March 3, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the decision by an administrative law judge that a nurse was not fired for just cause. The COA noted surprise that the man's claims he was joking when he made sexually inappropriate comments to co-workers led the ALJ to decide the actions did not amount to violation of his employer's sexual harassment policy.
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Man, not state, had priority in breeder’s award proceeds

March 3, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A Marshall County trial court erred when it granted summary judgment in favor of the Indiana Department of Revenue on a man’s attempt to collect breeder’s award proceeds owed to another man who had outstanding tax warrants.
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COA affirms attorney fees in frivolous suit challenging Logansport P3 deal

March 2, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A woman’s lawsuit that claimed the city of Logansport had to pass an ordinance formally adopting the Public-Private Agreements Act before entering into a P3 deal was frivolous and in bad faith, thus justifying the award of attorney fees to the city, the Court of Appeals affirmed.
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Woman may pursue negligence claim against pharmacist

March 2, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals sidestepped the question of whether a previous decision is valid when determining that a woman who brought a medical malpractice claim against a hospital can pursue a negligence claim against the hospital’s pharmacist. The plaintiff did not present that negligence claim before the medical review panel.
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Applications open to replace Friedlander on Court of Appeals

March 2, 2015
Dave Stafford
Qualified applicants interested in being considered for a pending vacancy on the Indiana Court of Appeals may apply online through April 27.
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Wife wins appeal of division of marital estate

February 27, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals agreed with a wife in a divorce proceeding that the trial court erred in how it calculated and divided the marital estate. The lower court incorrectly attributed the value of Florida real estate to the wife’s share of the marital pot as well as failed to credit her for paying the parties’ tax debt.
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Search of home of man in community corrections based on reasonable suspicion

February 27, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court acted within its discretion in admitting evidence seized from a man’s home, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Friday. The police search was justified by reasonable suspicion that the man engaged in criminal activity and a search condition contained in his agreement with community corrections.
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Because enhancement vacatur altered sentence, COA vacates plea agreement

February 27, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Because removing a defendant’s habitual offender enhancement altered the sentence the parties had bargained for, the Indiana Court of Appeals ordered the trial court to vacate the entire plea agreement.
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Treatment facility sufficiently showed man was a danger to others

February 26, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a man’s 90-day involuntary commitment in a mental health facility because the treatment facility presented sufficient evidence that the man posed a substantial risk of harming others and was therefore dangerous.
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Ex-Chandler commission member’s lawsuit continues after COA ruling

February 26, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The member of a town’s advisory plan commission who was appointed to a four-year term, then unanimously recalled, will be allowed to go forward with his lawsuit stemming from his removal, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Grant of judicial review following license suspension reversed

February 26, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Because an Indiana driver did not take advantage of an available statutory method for challenging the suspension of her license before filing a petition for judicial review, the Court of Appeals reversed the grant of judicial review that ruled in her favor.
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COA ruling revives non-union subcontractor’s Antitrust Act claim

February 26, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A non-union subcontractor presented evidence establishing a genuine issue of material fact that the company awarded a contract to build a new school violated Indiana’s Antitrust Act by unlawfully restraining open and free competition for the public project, the Court of Appeals held Thursday.
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COA interprets Uniform Premarital Act for first time

February 26, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A premarital agreement entered into by a pregnant teenage girl and her future husband who was twice her age was unconscionable when the agreement was executed in 1995, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Thursday in an issue of first impression.
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Marion County small claims court bill passes Senate

February 25, 2015
Dave Stafford
A proposal that would leave the long-criticized Marion County township small claims courts intact with modest changes has cleared the Indiana Senate. The bill would raise the limit on disputes from the current $6,000 to $8,000.
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