Indiana Court of Appeals

National fraternity not entitled to summary judgment in wrongful death case

May 8, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The national organization of a Wabash College fraternity where a freshman pledge died after a night of heavy drinking is not entitled to summary judgment on the student’s parents’ claims arising from his wrongful death, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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On the road, jurists give public access to appellate cases

May 8, 2013
Dave Stafford
It’s no accident that on a college campus in Richmond recently, the Indiana Supreme Court heard a case that involves allegations of hazing and potential liability for an incident at a Wabash College fraternity.
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Entering a guilty plea is not a mitigating factor, COA rules

May 7, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Although a Shelby County man successfully argued that signing an “Advisement of Rights and Waiver” document did not bar him from appealing his sentence, he failed to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that the trial court abused its discretion when sentencing him.
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Court erred in barring expert witness in decade-old software suit

May 7, 2013
Dave Stafford
A trial court erred when it excluded the expert testimony of a witness who sought to address damages for a software company whose former employees allegedly violated non-compete clauses.
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COA affirms mom’s termination of rights despite ‘clean screen’ given to judge

May 7, 2013
Dave Stafford
An Indianapolis mother with a history of drug abuse and domestic violence failed to persuade the Indiana Court of Appeals to reverse the termination of her parental rights, even though she introduced herself to the presiding judge after oral arguments and had a student deliver to the judge evidence of a clean drug screen taken a day earlier.
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Store owner’s ‘Spice law’ prosecution may proceed, COA rules

May 6, 2013
Dave Stafford
The state may press criminal charges under the state’s synthetic drug law against a Hamilton County defendant who unsuccessfully argued to the Indiana Court of Appeals that the law was vague and represents an unconstitutional delegation of legislative authority to the Board of Pharmacy.
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Clothing labels and security tags not considered hearsay evidence

May 2, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that clothing from the store H & M that bore the company name and security tags attached to the clothing could be admitted at a woman’s trial for theft from the store on Black Friday.
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COA: Successive Prosecution Statute not applicable to theft case

May 2, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A Howard Superior judge properly refused to dismiss theft charges against a man because, despite the defendant’s arguments to the contrary, the Howard County charges were not previously prosecuted in Miami County.
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State must seek EPA approval before reclassifying ethanol plants

April 30, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Even though the Environmental Protection Agency changed a rule to exclude ethanol plants from the category of chemical process plants which would affect emissions permitting, Indiana had to seek approval from the federal agency before it could reclassify the ethanol production facilities.
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Evidence does not support CHINS finding

April 30, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a trial court’s determination that an infant is a child in need of services after finding the parents have improved their living situation that led to their three other children being removed. 
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Judges affirm dismissal of city’s counterclaim without prejudice

April 30, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals held Tuesday that a dismissal based on the failure to provide an appraisal with an offer to purchase property for road work improvements was not an adjudication on the merits, allowing a city’s counterclaim for appropriation of the property to be dismissed without prejudice.
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Right to Farm Act bars CAFO nuisance claim, appeals court rules

April 30, 2013
Dave Stafford
A Gibson County farmer may not bring a nuisance claim against a neighboring dairy that dramatically expanded its operations to what he called a “factory-like ‘mega-farm,’” the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Suspended attorney stripped of quiet title to foreclosed home he repaired

April 30, 2013
Dave Stafford
A suspended Gary attorney who was awarded a quiet title to an abandoned, foreclosed property after he entered a house without authorization and began to maintain it was stripped of the title Tuesday by the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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COA: No error in denying reckless homicide instruction

April 30, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The evidence presented at trial did not support a defendant’s request to instruct the jury on reckless homicide as a lesser offense of murder, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Lawyers’ divorce battle divides COA on joint custody ruling

April 30, 2013
Dave Stafford
A lengthy divorce proceeding involving two Fort Wayne attorneys that raised numerous issues on appeal was mostly affirmed Tuesday, but a dissenting judge cautioned that joint custody was not in the interest of the of the feuding parents’ daughter.
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Law firm not entitled to summary judgment on complaint seeking payment

April 30, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Finding that there are genuine issues of material fact as to whether an employee was acting on his own behalf or on behalf of his company when he sought a law firm’s services, the Indiana Court of Appeals ordered more proceedings on the firm’s complaint for payment.
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Summary judgments on federal preemption are reversible error

April 30, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Court of Appeals has found an exterminator and the insecticide maker should not have been granted summary judgments on the issue of federal preemption.
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Vincennes did not breach contract with men’s basketball coach

April 30, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals concluded Tuesday that summary judgment should have been granted in favor of Vincennes University on a former basketball coach’s lawsuit alleging breach of contract after the university did not renew his contract for the following year.
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Child support case presents issue of first impression

April 26, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals was presented with an issue for the first time: whether a child support order should be reduced for the time a child is living on campus when a court has found that the child has repudiated the non-custodial parent, and on that basis refused to enter an educational support order.
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Court split over whether petition for review should be dismissed

April 26, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The dissenting judge in a case involving the dismissal of a company’s petition for judicial review of a decision by the Alcohol and Tobacco Commission believed the petition must be dismissed based on the language of the Administrative Orders and Procedures Act. The majority ordered resolution of the issue on the merits.
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Man entitled to benefits for injuries sustained on the job

April 26, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Finding that a construction supervisor’s receipt of unemployment benefits didn’t preclude him from eligibility for temporary total disability benefits, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a total award of more than $61,000 to the injured worker.
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COA: Glove not enough to convict man of burglary

April 25, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Worried that upholding a man’s conviction based solely on DNA presence on a glove found at a crime scene would create a precedent for criminals to frame someone else, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a burglary conviction out of St. Joseph County. 
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Court affirms murder conviction of man who killed stepdaughter

April 24, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A southern Indiana man was not able to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that the court should overturn his convictions of murder and other charges for stabbing his stepdaughter.
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Habitual traffic violator’s conviction upheld

April 24, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Inaction by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles to update a man’s driving record to reflect his lifetime suspended license is not enough to nullify a statutory requirement that his lifetime suspension be imposed, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.
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COA: Driving to avoid potholes isn’t enough to stop car

April 24, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld the suppression of evidence in a man’s drunken-driving case, finding police did not have reasonable suspicion to pull the man over because he was driving left of center on a county road to avoid poor road conditions.
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