Indiana Court of Appeals

Open government advocates find victory in Groth decision

January 25, 2017
Olivia Covington
Not much was changed in terms of government transparency when the Indiana Court of Appeals rejected former Gov. Mike Pence’s argument that the Indiana executive branch’s responses to open record requests are exempt from judicial review. But, according to open government advocates, that lack of change is actually a good thing.
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Indiana Court Decisions

January 25, 2017
IL Staff
Read recent appellate court decisions.
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COA: Company cannot withhold ‘voluntary’ deductions from ex-employee's pay

January 23, 2017
Olivia Covington
A plumbing and electrical company cannot impose “voluntary” tax deductions on a former employee’s final paycheck without statutory authority, nor can it force that employee to pay a $1,000 insurance deductible after an auto accident, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Monday.
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COA: Trial court lacked jurisdiction to order BMV to act

January 23, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals found in favor of the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles Monday after finding that a litigant’s failure to comply with the Administrative Order and Procedures Act left a trial court without jurisdiction to order the BMV to act on the litigant’s petition.
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Sexual assault nurse’s testimony qualifies under medical hearsay exceptions

January 20, 2017
Olivia Covington
A Huntington County man who molested his young relative cannot challenge the admission of the testimony of the nurse who examined the victim because the testimony qualified under the medical treatment exception to hearsay rules, the Indiana Court of Appeals decided.
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IMPD officer was qualified as an expert in stalking case

January 20, 2017
Olivia Covington
An Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department sergeant was qualified as an expert to testify about Facebook records and digital trails that led to a man’s multiple convictions for felony stalking, the Indiana Court of Appeals decided Friday.
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COA overturns judgment in favor of credit card debt collector

January 20, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed judgment in favor of a credit card debt collector after determining that the collector failed to establish that it owned the account it was trying to collect on.
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Statute of limitations bars medical negligence case

January 19, 2017
Olivia Covington
After a dermatology appointment left a Marion County woman with facial discoloration that never went away as her doctor said it would, the woman sought damages in a negligence complaint. However, because she failed to prove that she “later learned” that her injury was worse than she thought, the Indiana Court of Appeals held that the woman’s claim cannot proceed in court because it was not timely filed.
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COA: Only property owned prior to final separation can be included in marital pot

January 19, 2017
Olivia Covington
Only property that is owned or acquired before the date a dissolution petition is filed in a divorce proceeding can be included in the marital pot, the Indiana Court of Appeals found Thursday in an opinion that overturned a lower court’s decision to include stock options vested after the date of a couple’s final separation in the marital pot.
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COA: Exigent circumstances justified warrantless search

January 19, 2017
Olivia Covington
An Indiana State Police detective did not violate a man’s constitutional rights when he searched a bag in the man’s vehicle without a warrant because there were exigent circumstances that made the warrantless search reasonable, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Thursday.
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COA rejects woman’s claim that accident occurred outside chemical test period

January 18, 2017
A woman who drove drunk into a mobile home causing significant damage lost her appeal Wednesday after arguing the state’s blood draw occurred outside the three-hour window under statute and thus did not prove her blood alcohol level at the time of the accident.
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Judges affirm man’s handgun conviction

January 18, 2017
Jennifer Nelson
A Vanderburgh Circuit judge tendered a proper jury instruction on the charge of carrying a handgun without a license, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday in affirming a man’s conviction.
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Trial court erred in granting new trial in electrocution estate dispute

January 18, 2017
Dave Stafford
A trial court erred in ordering a new trial after a jury returned a general verdict in favor of the estate of an electrician who wired a barn where a teenager was electrocuted in 2010, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.
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Trial court abused discretion in ordering indigent juvenile to pay restitution

January 17, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Marion Superior Court erred when it ordered a juvenile delinquent to pay restitution to his theft victim after the court noted in its dispositional order that the juvenile offender was unable to pay, the Indiana Court of Appeals found Tuesday.
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Electronic copies of warrants are equal to paper copies

January 17, 2017
Olivia Covington
An electronic version of a signed search warrant is legally considered the equivalent of a paper warrant, the Indiana Court of Appeals has held, so a man’s constitutional rights were not violated when an officer drew his blood after showing him only a photo of a warrant in an email.
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Courts cannot force contact with extended family members other than grandparents

January 17, 2017
Olivia Covington
Courts do not have the authority to force parents to allow their children to have contact with members of their extended family, aside from grandparents, the Indiana Court of Appeals decided Tuesday.
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COA affirms rulings in division of military pension

January 13, 2017
Dave Stafford
A man who sought to void trial court orders that granted his ex-wife a portion of his military pension lost his interlocutory appeal Friday.
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Delinquency affirmed as COA tosses timeliness appeal

January 13, 2017
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals Friday rejected an argument that a juvenile delinquency case should have been dismissed because a fact-finding hearing wasn’t conducted within 60 days of the delinquency petition.
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Divided COA: Man can't use RFRA to avoid taxes

January 13, 2017
Olivia Covington
A divided Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday that a Marion County man cannot avoid paying income taxes using a religious freedom defense, with the majority writing that the controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act allows for the collection of taxes in the furtherance of a compelling government interest.
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COA upholds constitutionality of CHINS reunification exception

January 12, 2017
Dave Stafford
A statute providing exceptions to the requirement that the Department of Child Services make reasonable efforts to preserve and reunify families involved in CHINS cases survived a constitutional challenge Thursday.
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COA vacates arbitration award for lack of agreement

January 12, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals vacated an arbitration award Thursday after determining that an arbitration agreement did not exist, thus making the arbitration proceedings between a Lake County couple and an automotive company pointless.
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COA: Revocation of sex offender’s probation was not an abuse of discretion

January 11, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Harrison Superior Court did not abuse its discretion when it revoked a convicted sex offender’s probation after he contacted people under 18 years of age and lived within one mile of his victim in violation of the terms of his probation, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday.
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State judicial leaders present budget proposals at first Ways and Means meeting

January 11, 2017
Olivia Covington
Indiana’s top judicial leaders made their cases for additional funding in the next two years on Wednesday, with the biggest funding boost requested to support continued court technology initiatives.
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COA upholds child support order in peculiar case involving non-biological son

January 11, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
A divorce involving a troubled husband, unfaithful wife and a 12-year lie unraveled into a child support and paternity dispute that ended with a split Indiana Court of Appeals ordering the non-biological father to provide financial assistance. Any other ruling, the majority reasoned, would leave the minor without a dad.
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COA considers liability in sheriff’s office suicide case

January 10, 2017
Olivia Covington
After the wife of a Harrison County sheriff’s deputy killed herself with her husband’s gun while he was off duty, the sheriff’s office and her estate began debating a single question: was the deputy acting in the line of duty when his wife committed suicide?
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