Indiana Court of Appeals

Appellate arguments in cancelled IBM contract set for Nov. 25

November 7, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A panel on the Indiana Court of Appeals will hear arguments later this month on whether the state should have to pay more than $62 million to IBM after cancelling its billion-dollar contract with the company to modernize Indiana’s welfare system.
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COA rejects claim overhaul of Criminal Code shows Class A felonies disproportionate

November 6, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A defendant attempted to persuade the Indiana Court of Appeals that the Class A felony classifications for dealing or possession of cocaine are disproportionate by pointing to the recent revisions to the Criminal Code. The new criminal classifications and sentencing structure that take effect next year no longer include these crimes in the highest level of felonies.
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Woman’s 35-year sentence upheld following death of stepson

November 6, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A Lake Superior judge did not abuse her discretion in sentencing a woman to 35 years for neglect of a dependent after the woman’s stepson died following years of abuse.
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Filings continue to drop, as does funding for Indiana courts

November 6, 2013
Dave Stafford
A sharp decline in infraction and ordinance-violation cases is among factors that resulted in courts around the state collecting considerably less revenue, according to data released in the annual Judicial Service Reports.
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Is a death certificate public information?

November 6, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Differing interpretations of statutory language puts the state of Indiana and the Court of Appeals at odds.
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Unemployment checks no longer part of summer break, COA rules

November 5, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Finding that an addition to the state’s statute did not change the intent of the law, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled that school bus drivers in Anderson were rightly denied their unemployment checks.
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Court of Appeals cites snail mail as reason for overturning summary judgment

November 5, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
While neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night will keep the U.S. Postal Service from its appointed rounds, the Indiana Court of Appeals reminded a lower court that trial rules allow for three extra days when motions are sent by mail.
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Trial court errantly suppressed DUI evidence

November 5, 2013
Dave Stafford
A Marion Superior Court should not have suppressed evidence of intoxication of a man who was taken to a roll-call station on suspicion of drunken driving, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Post-conviction claim allowed in DOC placement change

November 5, 2013
Dave Stafford
Offenders may seek post-conviction relief from Department of Correction placement changes, the Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday after the state revised its view that a claim should be dismissed.
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Appeals court affirms revoked probation after test shows marijuana

November 5, 2013
Dave Stafford
A man ordered to serve 90 days of a suspended one-year sentence for a conviction of misdemeanor marijuana possession wasn’t denied due process when his probation officer admitted evidence of a positive urinalysis, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Aye Chihuahua! Dog’s domain remains Indiana, appeals court rules

November 5, 2013
Dave Stafford
Sofie, the black-and-white Chihuahua-rat terrier mix, stays in Indiana, the Court of Appeals affirmed in a canine custody challenge.
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Rehearing on double-jeopardy appeal leads to same conclusion

November 4, 2013
Dave Stafford
An Indiana Court of Appeals panel was unmoved by a recent Indiana Supreme Court decision, and the appellate panel reaffirmed that a charge of sexual misconduct with a minor should not be dismissed against a defendant acquitted of rape based on the same incident.
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Retailer properly terminated lease, COA rules in reversal

November 4, 2013
Dave Stafford
A retail chain that closed an underperforming store in a Hendricks County shopping center had a contractual right to do so under its lease, the Indiana Court of Appeals held in reversing a judgment in favor of the plaza owner.
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Appeals panel rules former same-sex partner has standing to seek visitation

October 31, 2013
Dave Stafford
A former same-sex domestic partner of a woman who gave birth to a child has standing to seek visitation, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday, reversing a trial court in an opinion begging lawmakers to speak to the rights of same-sex couples in parenting disputes.
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Man arrested for public intox at gas station has conviction reversed

October 31, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Based on the language of the recently amended statute defining public intoxication, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a man’s conviction due to lack of evidence that he endangered his life or the life of someone else.
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COA decides not to take video recording issue on interlocutory appeal

October 31, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals Thursday decided that it was improper for it to accept a man’s appeal of his motion seeking to exclude video recordings of video files found on his phone. The judges accordingly dismissed David Wise’s appeal.
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Woman’s convictions did not subject her to double jeopardy

October 31, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A woman who attempted to shoplift from an Indianapolis K-Mart was not subject to double jeopardy when she was convicted of resisting law enforcement and disorderly conduct. She argued the court could have based the convictions on identical facts.
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School corporation sued by attacked students wins on appeal

October 31, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A student who filed a lawsuit against his school corporation after he was assaulted by a fellow student while a teacher was in the hallway lost his negligence case on appeal Thursday. The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment in favor of the school.
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COA reverses drug conviction due to lack of intent

October 31, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The state did not have sufficient evidence to convict a man of possession of cocaine under the intent prong of constructive possession, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday. As a result, the judges reversed the defendant’s drug conviction.
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Judges find no prosecutorial misconduct at molestation trial

October 31, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a man’s multiple convictions for molesting three children, rejecting the defendant’s claims that the state committed prosecutorial misconduct when it commented during closing arguments on the truthfulness of his testimony.
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Brother must prove why depositions should remain confidential

October 29, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A Porter County court erred in merging the issue of confidentiality for purposes of discovery with the issue of restricting public access to materials filed in court, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday. It ordered a hearing at which a man involved in a lawsuit with his brother must prove why portions of his deposition should be restricted from public access under Administrative Rule 9.
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Parental rights terminations upheld in substitute magistrate cases

October 29, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
In a pair of cases before the Indiana Court of Appeals Tuesday, parents argued that their due process rights were violated when a different magistrate reported findings and conclusions to the judge than the magistrate who heard the cases. The magistrate initially on the cases resigned before making reports to the juvenile court.
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Judges uphold penalties against man for falsifying unemployment benefit documents

October 29, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
There is sufficient evidence to support the decision that a man must pay back unemployment benefits he used while working and that the man falsified information in order to receive those benefits, the Indiana Court of Appeals held.
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Man’s defense of necessity argument fails on appeal

October 29, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals held Tuesday that a reasonable jury could find that a man’s actions in trying to prevent his girlfriend from using cocaine were disproportionate to the harm avoided if she had used the drug, thus putting an end to his defense of necessity claim. The judges upheld Gerald Clemons’ possession of cocaine conviction.
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COA: Petitioning court for placement not the same as applying directly

October 29, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals clarified for a defendant its previous conclusion that he never applied for acceptance into a county post-conviction forensic diversion program and affirmed that his petition for judicial review was not proper.
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  1. For the record no one could answer the equal protection / substantive due process challenge I issued in the first post below. The lawless and accountable only to power bureaucrats never did either. All who interface with the Indiana law examiners or JLAP be warned.

  2. Hi there I really need help with getting my old divorce case back into court - I am still paying support on a 24 year old who has not been in school since age 16 - now living independent. My visitation with my 14 year old has never been modified; however, when convenient for her I can have him... I am paying past balance from over due support, yet earn several thousand dollars less. I would contact my original attorney but he basically molest me multiple times in Indy when I would visit.. Todd Woodmansee - I had just came out and had know idea what to do... I have heard he no longer practices. Please help1

  3. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  4. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

  5. Diversity is important, but with some limitations. For instance, diversity of experience is a great thing that can be very helpful in certain jobs or roles. Diversity of skin color is never important, ever, under any circumstance. To think that skin color changes one single thing about a person is patently racist and offensive. Likewise, diversity of values is useless. Some values are better than others. In the case of a supreme court justice, I actually think diversity is unimportant. The justices are not to impose their own beliefs on rulings, but need to apply the law to the facts in an objective manner.

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