Indiana Court of Appeals

Mother unable to show error in terminating her parental rights

October 10, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A mother of four children with special needs who also has a cognitive disability, was unable to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals she should be allowed to keep custody of her children.
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COA still finds supervised visitation argument moot

October 10, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
After acknowledging that a father did file a reply brief arguing the issue of supervised parenting time was not moot, the Indiana Court of Appeals on rehearing still found his argument to be moot.
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COA affirms parental termination in child’s best interest

October 10, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A mother’s inability to adequately care for her child, leading to the girl’s failure to thrive, supports the termination of mother’s parental rights, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Thursday.
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Contractor owed no duty to worker injured during construction of Carmel arts center

October 10, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Summary judgment for a contractor on the Carmel Regional Performing Arts Center construction was appropriate, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled, rejecting an injured worker’s argument that a duty was owed to him based on federal workplace safety regulations.
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Having the ingredients is not proof of a man’s intention to cook

October 10, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Despite the state’s attempt to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that its decision in a similar case was erroneous, the panel upheld precedent and found that a man’s possession of cold tablets and batteries is not proof he intended to manufacture methamphetamine.
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Owners of spooked horse entitled to summary judgment in negligence suit

October 10, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that the owners of a horse that trampled a man after getting loose at the Marshall County 4-H Fairgrounds didn’t have reason to know the horse had any dangerous propensities prior to the accident. The court affirmed summary judgment in a negligence lawsuit on the issue.
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Summary judgment reversed in retroactive tax case

October 9, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Finding a genuine issue of material fact as to when a company’s owners could have discovered that their plans investing in cash value life insurance were actually taxable, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed summary judgment in favor of the consultant who advised the company’s owners to invest in those plans.
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Participation in travel soccer league supports modifying custody

October 9, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the denial of a mother’s request to modify a custody order entered in 2007 when her children were in grade school, finding their participation in travel soccer leagues and the distance between the parents’ homes warrants a change.
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Sub shop’s appeal 86’d by court

October 9, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A Jersey Mike’s Subs located in the now-closed College Football Hall of Fame in South Bend didn’t have the right to continue operating in the Hall of Fame building, according to the Indiana Court of Appeals’ interpretation of the operating agreement.
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Court rules for widow in Holiday World suit

October 9, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
The widow and children of the late William Koch Jr. can keep their shares in the southern Indiana theme park, Holiday World and Splashin’ Safari, after a ruling by the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded that William’s brother, Dan Koch, and Koch Development Corp. offered too little money for the shares.
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Trial court's suppression order binding to ethics commission

October 8, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
After turning to the Indiana State Ethics Commission when a trial court ordered the evidence in a theft case suppressed, the state was reminded it “does not get a second bite at the apple.”   
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Walking down sidewalk while drunk does not meet new conditions for public intox, COA rules

October 8, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Four criteria added to the state’s public intoxication statute in 2012 presented the Indiana Court of Appeals with a question of first impression when it considered a man’s arrest for being drunk in a public place.
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Justices take appeal over who pays DCS record fee

October 7, 2013
Dave Stafford
A litigant whose award of $1,200 against the Department of Child Services for the cost of preparing an agency record was reversed by the Court of Appeals will have his case heard by the Indiana Supreme Court.
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Firm must defend deceased lawyer’s ‘inflammatory’ counterclaim

October 7, 2013
Dave Stafford
Litigation that has outlived an attorney who filed a counterclaim accusing a northwest Indiana construction company of racketeering, among other things, still could cost the late lawyer’s former firm.
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Suspect’s disheveled appearance, not GPS, led to drug discovery

October 7, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A suspect’s attempt to pull up his unbuckled and falling pants as he stepped from his car negated any taint on the evidence caused by local law enforcement placing a GPS on his vehicle.
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Appeals court tosses injunction tied to non-compete clause

October 7, 2013
Dave Stafford
Terms of a non-compete clause in an agreement between an IT recruiter and his former employer are unreasonable, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday in throwing out an injunction that barred the recruiter from similar employment.
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Holiday World widow does not have to sell shares, COA rules

October 3, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl

The widow and children of the late William Koch Jr., can keep their shares in the southern Indiana theme park, Holiday World and Splashin' Safari, after a ruling by the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded that William’s brother, Dan Koch, and Koch Development Corp. offered too little money for the shares.

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Appeals court partially reinstates colonoscopy malpractice claim

October 3, 2013
Dave Stafford
A northern Indiana court inappropriately granted summary judgment in favor of a doctor and medical practice defending a suit brought by a patient who claimed negligence after a colonoscopy, a divided panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Habitual offender amendment after jury empaneled ruled error

October 3, 2013
Dave Stafford
A habitual offender enhancement for a man convicted of robbery cannot stand because the state amended the underlying charges after a jury was empaneled, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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‘Living as if a spouse’ permits woman’s domestic battery conviction

October 3, 2013
Dave Stafford
A married woman convicted of domestic battery against a man with whom she was involved in an on-again, off-again romantic relationship couldn’t persuade an appeals court that it was a stretch to apply the criminal statute in her situation.
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Misplaced court order not the same as undelivered, COA rules

October 1, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Reviewing an appeal arising from a misplaced court order, the Indiana Court of Appeals has made clear that relief under Indiana Trial Rule 72(E) requires evidence that counsel did not receive the court’s notice.
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Indecision over peremptory challenge waives defendant’s ability to appeal

September 30, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A defense counsel’s courtroom debate over how to use his final peremptory strike prohibited the defendant from appealing the trial court decision to retain a juror who raised concerns about impartiality.
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Failure to object to anonymous jury not ineffective assistance

September 30, 2013
Dave Stafford
A man convicted of murdering his 39-week-pregnant estranged wife cannot claim he received ineffective assistance of counsel because his attorney failed to object to an anonymous jury, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday.
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Ruling: Magistrate improperly heard support case assigned to special judge

September 30, 2013
Dave Stafford
A father whose lawyer was surprised to see a magistrate presiding at his child support modification hearing that had been docketed with a special judge won a new hearing from the Indiana Court of Appeals on Monday.
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No cash refund required for defective chest of drawers, COA rules

September 30, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Although the Indiana Court of Appeals noted that the adage “buyer beware” did not apply, it still found that a customer who discovered a defect in a piece of furniture after purchase was not entitled to a cash refund.
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  1. Where may I find an attorney working Pro Bono? Many issues with divorce, my Disability, distribution of IRA's, property, money's and pressured into agreement by my attorney. Leaving me far less than 5% of all after 15 years of marriage. No money to appeal, disabled living on disability income. Attorney's decision brought forward to judge, no evidence ever to finalize divorce. Just 2 weeks ago. Please help.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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!!!

  5. 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.

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