Indiana Court of Appeals

Term of imprisonment reduced by half after COA rules sentence does not fit the crime

October 23, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
A man who pleaded guilty to child molesting had his sentence halved by the Indiana Court of Appeals on the grounds that the sentence imposed by the trial court was an outlier.
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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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  1. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

  2. "Meanwhile small- and mid-size firms are getting squeezed and likely will not survive unless they become a boutique firm." I've been a business attorney in small, and now mid-size firm for over 30 years, and for over 30 years legal consultants have been preaching this exact same mantra of impending doom for small and mid-sized firms -- verbatim. This claim apparently helps them gin up merger opportunities from smaller firms who become convinced that they need to become larger overnight. The claim that large corporations are interested in cost-saving and efficiency has likewise been preached for decades, and is likewise bunk. If large corporations had any real interest in saving money they wouldn't use large law firms whose rates are substantially higher than those of high-quality mid-sized firms.

  3. The family is the foundation of all human government. That is the Grand Design. Modern governments throw off this Design and make bureaucratic war against the family, as does Hollywood and cultural elitists such as third wave feminists. Since WWII we have been on a ship of fools that way, with both the elite and government and their social engineering hacks relentlessly attacking the very foundation of social order. And their success? See it in the streets of Fergusson, on the food stamp doles (mostly broken families)and in the above article. Reject the Grand Design for true social function, enter the Glorious State to manage social dysfunction. Our Brave New World will be a prison camp, and we will welcome it as the only way to manage given the anarchy without it.

  4. When I hear 'Juvenile Lawyer' I think of an attorney helping a high school aged kid through the court system for a poor decision; like smashing mailboxes. Thank you for opening up my eyes to the bigger picture of the need for juvenile attorneys. It made me sad, but also fascinated, when it was explained, in the sixth paragraph, that parents making poor decisions (such as drug abuse) can cause situations where children need legal representation and aid from a lawyer.

  5. Some in the Hoosier legal elite consider this prayer recommended by the AG seditious, not to mention the Saint who pledged loyalty to God over King and went to the axe for so doing: "Thomas More, counselor of law and statesman of integrity, merry martyr and most human of saints: Pray that, for the glory of God and in the pursuit of His justice, I may be trustworthy with confidences, keen in study, accurate in analysis, correct in conclusion, able in argument, loyal to clients, honest with all, courteous to adversaries, ever attentive to conscience. Sit with me at my desk and listen with me to my clients' tales. Read with me in my library and stand always beside me so that today I shall not, to win a point, lose my soul. Pray that my family may find in me what yours found in you: friendship and courage, cheerfulness and charity, diligence in duties, counsel in adversity, patience in pain—their good servant, and God's first. Amen."

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