Indiana Court of Appeals

COA splits over earliest, latest possible release dates

August 9, 2016
Dave Stafford
Two of three judges on an Indiana Court of Appeals panel urged lawmakers to revisit a requirement that trial courts advise convicts of their earliest and latest possible release dates, but a third judge dismissed the majority’s position that the requirement “imposes an impracticable burden on our trial courts.
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Pro se inmate wins appeal of sentence modification

August 5, 2016
Dave Stafford
An inmate’s pro se legal briefs arguing for a modification of his 70-year drug sentence impressed the Indiana Court of Appeals, who granted him another chance to make his case that he deserves leniency as a model prisoner who made the best of his time behind bars.
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Murderer deprived court record gets new shot at relief

August 5, 2016
Dave Stafford
A man convicted of killing a female co-worker whose skeletal remains were found in a Johnson County marsh was denied an opportunity to use the court record to plead his counsel was ineffective as he sought post-conviction relief, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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COA affirms probation revocation

August 5, 2016
Dave Stafford
A man failed to persuade the Indiana Court of Appeals that revocation of his probation on a drug charge was barred by the doctrine of res judicata because his placement in community corrections had already been revoked.
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COA: Intimidation statute doesn’t require detailed timeline of threat

August 4, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a man’s intimidation conviction, finding it was reasonable for the jury to conclude that the defendant threatened the victim for interrupting an argument.
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Reversal: Kroger must face claim for filling script in wrongful death case

August 4, 2016
Dave Stafford
Kroger must face a claim that its potential negligence in filling a prescription contributed to the death of a woman after she sought treatment for acute bronchitis, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday in a reversal.
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Split COA tosses robbery convictions pegged to cellphone data

August 4, 2016
Dave Stafford
A divided Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that cellphone users have a reasonable expectation to the privacy of their location information that’s tracked and collected by phone service providers. The majority’s holding reversed armed robbery convictions of an Ohio man found guilty of holding up two Dearborn County liquor stores.
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COA affirms plaintiff can’t succeed on environmental action claims

August 4, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed Thursday that based on the statute of limitations the owners of contaminated land can’t assert environmental claims against previous owners of the land who contributed to the contamination.
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COA senior judge reprimanded for OWI conviction

August 3, 2016
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court reprimanded Indiana Court of Appeals Senior Judge William Garrard Wednesday, agreeing with the parties that this is the appropriate sanction for his recent operating while intoxicated conviction.
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Judges divided over sentence review under Appellate Rule 7(B)

August 2, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The majority on a panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals declared Tuesday that Indiana Appellate Rule 7(B) requires only that the court “consider” the nature of the offense and the offender’s character, not that the defendant necessarily prove both of those prongs. This led to a separate opinion calling the decision “significant.”
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Statute, plea agreement do not preclude converting felony to misdemeanor

August 2, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a trial court’s decision to reduce a man’s Class D felony conviction following a guilty plea to theft in 2000 to a Class A misdemeanor 15 years later.
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Justices decline newborn blood sample case

August 1, 2016
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court will not hear the appeal of an Indiana couple who wanted their child’s blood, taken when she was born, destroyed instead of being stored by the state.
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COA: investors owed reimbursement

July 29, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Although a reversal in the Indiana Court of Appeals handed an investment firm a reimbursement, the amount of funds to be returned is unknown since the trial court was left to figure the sum.
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Court affirms suppression of drug evidence found in jail strip search

July 29, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court correctly granted the motion of a man arrested in Marion County to suppress drug evidence found in his buttocks after he was stripped search as a result of a misdemeanor battery charge, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed.
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COA finds double jeopardy requires vacating criminal recklessness conviction

July 29, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals had to decide which of a man’s two convictions that violated double jeopardy prohibitions to vacate, and determined that his Level 6 felony criminal recklessness conviction should be vacated because it has the less severe penal consequence.
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Mother to be sanctioned for willfully denying parenting time

July 29, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
A mother that has prevented her son from seeing his father since 2009 and purposefully disobeyed parenting time orders and contempt orders must be sanctioned, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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COA: Trial Rule 41(E) requires hearing on PCR petition

July 29, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court should have followed Indiana Trial Rule 41(E) and held a hearing before dismissing an inmate’s petition for post-conviction relief, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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Court orders reconsideration of petition for credit time

July 29, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
Because the post-conviction court denied an inmate’s petition for credit time without considering whether he had exhausted administrative remedies, the Indiana Court of Appeals sent the case back for reconsideration.
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Offender on parole gets probation revocation reversed

July 29, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Even though he violated the terms of his probation, an offender should not have been ordered back to jail because at his release Indiana Department of Correction made a mistake and put him on parole.
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Judge: Man should be civilly committed, not incarcerated

July 28, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
Indiana Court of Appeals Judge Paul Mathias again used an opinion to highlight problems he sees in the criminal justice system when dealing with defendants with mental health issues.
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COA: Father should have custody of children

July 28, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
Children who were afraid of their stepfather and whose behavior changed after their mother remarried should now be in the custody of their father, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed Thursday.
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COA: Parents’ actions do not support CHINS findings

July 28, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals Thursday reversed the findings that four sisters are children in need of services, noting none of their parents’ actions or inactions endangered the children.
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COA upholds convictions of man who targeted Burmese

July 27, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
An Alabama man was unable to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that he was not behind several attacks on members of the Burmese community in Indianapolis two years ago. The judges affirmed Danny Cherry’s 80-year sentence for various crimes, including attempted murder.
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Majority: Trooper’s questioning violated Seatbelt Enforcement Act

July 27, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
A state trooper’s recollection of a woman’s name on a national drug registry does not provide an independent basis of reasonable suspicion justifying him to investigate more than a seat belt violation that initiated the traffic stop, the Indiana Court of Appeals held in a 2-1 decision. As such, the judges reversed the woman’s motion to suppress evidence that led to a drug charge.
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Father must still pay part of son’s college expenses, COA holds

July 27, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals agreed that a teenager has not repudiated his relationship with this estranged father and affirmed the trial court’s ruling that the boy, his mother, and his father must each pay a third of his college expenses.
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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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