Indiana Court of Appeals

Evidence found during arrest for public intox is admissible, COA rules

June 30, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a man’s misdemeanor cocaine possession conviction after it held the search an officer conducted after finding the man asleep in his car did not violate his Fourth Amendment rights and thus the trial court did not abuse its discretion by admitting the cocaine found during the search.
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Majority: 2 shoplifting charges not RICO violations

June 30, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled in a split decision the state went too far when it convicted a man who committed two acts of shoplifting under the state’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act and reversed his conviction for corrupt business influence.
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COA: Failure to give breath test sample was refusal to take test

June 30, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a woman refused a chemical breath test, noting the officer giving the test followed all the proper procedures and was within his rights to determine she refused the test after she failed to give a valid sample three times.
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COA: Minors’ malpractice suit can continue

June 29, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled a medical malpractice lawsuit filed by minor children can continue after it found the suit was not untimely filed. The children were in the correct age range to trigger an exception in the Medical Malpractice Act.
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COA: Death during robbery is felony murder

June 29, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals found evidence was sufficient to uphold a robber’s conviction of felony murder after one of his accomplices was killed in a fight with a robbery victim.
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Deadline for mandatory e-filing nears for Hamilton County, Indiana appellate courts

June 29, 2016
Dave Stafford
Ready or not, the era of e-filing begins July 1 for everyone submitting court documents in Hamilton County and in Indiana’s appellate courts. There’s evidence that despite the buildup over recent months, many lawyers and filers may be caught off guard.
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Are old convictions still relevant?

June 29, 2016
Dave Stafford
A man who admitted fault and negligence for a Lake County drunken-driving crash is appealing damages of $2 million awarded in the case, claiming the jury was wrongly provided evidence of his prior alcohol-related driving convictions that were 17 and 30 years old.
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COA: Couple proved adverse possession of land along fence

June 28, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
In a dispute between neighbors over a property line, the Indiana Court of Appeals agreed with the trial court that a Johnson County couple satisfied the elements needed to be successful in their adverse possession and quiet title counterclaim.
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Judges reinstate woman’s legal malpractice claim

June 28, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the dismissal of a woman’s complaint against her attorney, finding the trial court improperly dismissed it pursuant to Indiana Trial Rule 12(B)(6).
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COA: Testimony would have restricted jury’s ability to decide

June 28, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a man’s conviction of voluntary manslaughter after it found the trial court did not err in restricting the testimony of an expert witness for the defense.
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COA: CVRA damages are distinct from punitive damages

June 28, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a damages award pursuant to the Crime Victim Relief Act after the court found in its second hearing of a case that CVRA damages are distinct from common law punitive damages.
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COA: Tenant does not have obligation to indemnify landlord

June 27, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled a tenant did not have to indemnify a landlord against a woman’s personal injury claims after she filed suit against both of them.
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COA reverses grant of woman’s unemployment benefits

June 27, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed unemployment benefits awarded to a woman after it found she did have notice her job was in jeopardy despite various notes thanking her for her help in office matters she received from her employer.
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COA: Seller not liable for undisclosed septic system

June 23, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed judgment against a man who claimed fraud because he was not told the property he bought was connected to a septic system.
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Murder defendant’s trial attorney ineffective, COA rules

June 23, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed and remanded the denial of a man’s post-conviction relief petition, finding his trial counsel was ineffective and his petition was not barred by laches.
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Appeals court reverses adoption petition

June 22, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed an adoption petition after it found the adoptive mother did not participate in a sufficient background check and the court should have combined the adoption proceedings with a paternity hearing that was also occurring at the same time.
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COA: Unreturned warrant doesn’t justify trial delay

June 22, 2016
Scott Roberts
A man’s criminal charges will be dismissed after Indiana Court of Appeals found the fact that a warrant for his arrest was not returned to trial court didn’t mean the court was absolved of its responsibility to grant him the speedy trial he asked for.
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Appeals court affirms reinstatement of drug sentence

June 17, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the reinstatement of a woman’s sentence after she was terminated from drug court, finding a request for new counsel she made was too late and a stay of her drug court supervision was meant to help her, not harm her.
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COA dismisses appeal of agreed judgment

June 17, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld long-standing precedent when it dismissed an appeal of an agreed judgment between a law firm and a couple that accused the firm of malpractice.
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Appeals court affirms town’s annexation ordinance is void

June 16, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled a town’s failure to include roads in an annexation ordinance where it sought to annex two pieces of land rendered the ordinance void.
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COA: Judge’s comments do not require dismissal of charges

June 16, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled a trial court judge’s inappropriate comments during trial did not “goad” the defense into asking for a mistrial and affirmed denial of the defense’s motion to dismiss child molesting, rape and sexual misconduct charges against the defendant.
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COA upholds kidnapper's sex offender status

June 16, 2016
Scott Roberts
A prisoner at the Indiana Department of Correction failed to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that his sex offender classification should be dropped as the COA found it did not violate the ex post facto clause of the Indiana Constitution.
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Statute of limitations bars rate hike claim

June 15, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled the statute of limitations had expired for a member of a power cooperative to challenge its parent company’s change from state to federal regulation and upheld summary judgment for the parent company.
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COA: Notice of sale was mailed within required time period

June 14, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals found notice of a tax sale was mailed 21 days before the sale took place as prescribed by Indiana Code, so it affirmed the denial of a man’s motion to set aside tax deeds on property he used to own.
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COA majority finds double jeopardy violations on rehearing

June 10, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled on rehearing that a man’s two convictions for resisting law enforcement violated Indiana’s double jeopardy prohibition and remanded the case to trial court to vacate one of them.
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  1. California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) End of Year Report 2014. (page 13) Under the current system many local registering agencies are challenged just keeping up with registration paperwork. It takes an hour or more to process each registrant, the majority of whom are low risk offenders. As a result law enforcement cannot monitor higher risk offenders more intensively in the community due to the sheer numbers on the registry. Some of the consequences of lengthy and unnecessary registration requirements actually destabilize the life’s of registrants and those -such as families- whose lives are often substantially impacted. Such consequences are thought to raise levels of known risk factors while providing no discernible benefit in terms of community safety. The full report is available online at. http://www.casomb.org/index.cfm?pid=231 National Institute of Justice (NIJ) US Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs United States of America. The overall conclusion is that Megan’s law has had no demonstrated effect on sexual offenses in New Jersey, calling into question the justification for start-up and operational costs. Megan’s Law has had no effect on time to first rearrest for known sex offenders and has not reduced sexual reoffending. Neither has it had an impact on the type of sexual reoffense or first-time sexual offense. The study also found that the law had not reduced the number of victims of sexual offenses. The full report is available online at. https://www.ncjrs.gov/app/publications/abstract.aspx? ID=247350 The University of Chicago Press for The Booth School of Business of the University of Chicago and The University of Chicago Law School Article DOI: 10.1086/658483 Conclusion. The data in these three data sets do not strongly support the effectiveness of sex offender registries. The national panel data do not show a significant decrease in the rate of rape or the arrest rate for sexual abuse after implementation of a registry via the Internet. The BJS data that tracked individual sex offenders after their release in 1994 did not show that registration had a significantly negative effect on recidivism. And the D.C. crime data do not show that knowing the location of sex offenders by census block can help protect the locations of sexual abuse. This pattern of noneffectiveness across the data sets does not support the conclusion that sex offender registries are successful in meeting their objectives of increasing public safety and lowering recidivism rates. The full report is available online at. http://www.jstor.org/stable/full/10.1086/658483 These are not isolated conclusions but are the same outcomes in the majority of conclusions and reports on this subject from multiple government agencies and throughout the academic community. People, including the media and other organizations should not rely on and reiterate the statements and opinions of the legislators or other people as to the need for these laws because of the high recidivism rates and the high risk offenders pose to the public which simply is not true and is pure hyperbole and fiction. They should rely on facts and data collected and submitted in reports from the leading authorities and credible experts in the fields such as the following. California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) Sex offender recidivism rate for a new sex offense is 0.8% (page 30) The full report is available online at http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Adult_Research_Branch/Research_Documents/2014_Outcome_Evaluation_Report_7-6-2015.pdf California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) (page 38) Sex offender recidivism rate for a new sex offense is 1.8% The full report is available online at. http://www.google.com/url?sa= t&source=web&cd=1&ved= 0CCEQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F% 2Fwww.cdcr.ca.gov%2FAdult_ Research_Branch%2FResearch_ documents%2FOutcome_ evaluation_Report_2013.pdf&ei= C9dSVePNF8HfoATX-IBo&usg=AFQjCNE9I6ueHz-o2mZUnuxLPTyiRdjDsQ Bureau of Justice Statistics 5 PERCENT OF SEX OFFENDERS REARRESTED FOR ANOTHER SEX CRIME WITHIN 3 YEARS OF PRISON RELEASE WASHINGTON, D.C. Within 3 years following their 1994 state prison release, 5.3 percent of sex offenders (men who had committed rape or sexual assault) were rearrested for another sex crime, the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced today. The full report is available online at. http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/press/rsorp94pr.cfm Document title; A Model of Static and Dynamic Sex Offender Risk Assessment Author: Robert J. McGrath, Michael P. Lasher, Georgia F. Cumming Document No.: 236217 Date Received: October 2011 Award Number: 2008-DD-BX-0013 Findings: Study of 759 adult male offenders under community supervision Re-arrest rate: 4.6% after 3-year follow-up The sexual re-offense rates for the 746 released in 2005 are much lower than what many in the public have been led to expect or believe. These low re-offense rates appear to contradict a conventional wisdom that sex offenders have very high sexual re-offense rates. The full report is available online at. https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/236217.pdf Document Title: SEX OFFENDER SENTENCING IN WASHINGTON STATE: RECIDIVISM RATES BY: Washington State Institute For Public Policy. A study of 4,091 sex offenders either released from prison or community supervision form 1994 to 1998 and examined for 5 years Findings: Sex Crime Recidivism Rate: 2.7% Link to Report: http://www.oncefallen.com/files/Washington_SO_Recid_2005.pdf Document Title: Indiana’s Recidivism Rates Decline for Third Consecutive Year BY: Indiana Department of Correction 2009. The recidivism rate for sex offenders returning on a new sex offense was 1.05%, one of the lowest in the nation. In a time when sex offenders continue to face additional post-release requirements that often result in their return to prison for violating technical rules such as registration and residency restrictions, the instances of sex offenders returning to prison due to the commitment of a new sex crime is extremely low. Findings: sex offenders returning on a new sex offense was 1.05% Link to Report: http://www.in.gov/idoc/files/RecidivismRelease.pdf Once again, These are not isolated conclusions but are the same outcomes in the majority of reports on this subject from multiple government agencies and throughout the academic community. No one can doubt that child sexual abuse is traumatic and devastating. The question is not whether the state has an interest in preventing such harm, but whether current laws are effective in doing so. Megan’s law is a failure and is destroying families and their children’s lives and is costing tax payers millions upon millions of dollars. The following is just one example of the estimated cost just to implement SORNA which many states refused to do. From Justice Policy Institute. Estimated cost to implement SORNA Here are some of the estimates made in 2009 expressed in 2014 current dollars: California, $66M; Florida, $34M; Illinois, $24M; New York, $35M; Pennsylvania, $22M; Texas, $44M. In 2014 dollars, Virginia’s estimate for implementation was $14M, and the annual operating cost after that would be $10M. For the US, the total is $547M. That’s over half a billion dollars – every year – for something that doesn’t work. http://www.justicepolicy.org/images/upload/08-08_FAC_SORNACosts_JJ.pdf. Attempting to use under-reporting to justify the existence of the registry is another myth, or a lie. This is another form of misinformation perpetrated by those who either have a fiduciary interest in continuing the unconstitutional treatment of a disfavored group or are seeking to justify their need for punishment for people who have already paid for their crime by loss of their freedom through incarceration and are now attempting to reenter society as honest citizens. When this information is placed into the public’s attention by naive media then you have to wonder if the media also falls into one of these two groups that are not truly interested in reporting the truth. Both of these groups of people that have that type of mentality can be classified as vigilantes, bullies, or sociopaths, and are responsible for the destruction of our constitutional values and the erosion of personal freedoms in this country. I think the media or other organizations need to do a in depth investigation into the false assumptions and false data that has been used to further these laws and to research all the collateral damages being caused by these laws and the unconstitutional injustices that are occurring across the country. They should include these injustices in their report so the public can be better informed on what is truly happening in this country on this subject. Thank you for your time.

  2. Freedom as granted in the Constitution cannot be summarily disallowed without Due Process. Unable to to to the gym, church, bowling alley? What is this 1984 level nonsense? Congrats to Brian for having the courage to say that this was enough! and Congrats to the ACLU on the win!

  3. America's hyper-phobia about convicted sex offenders must end! Politicians must stop pandering to knee-jerk public hysteria. And the public needs to learn the facts. Research by the California Sex Offender Management Board as shown a recidivism rate for convicted sex offenders of less than 1%. Less than 1%! Furthermore, research shows that by year 17 after their conviction, a convicted sex offender is no more likely to commit a new sex offense than any other member of the public. Put away your torches and pitchforks. Get the facts. Stop hysteria.

  4. He was convicted 23 years ago. How old was he then? He probably was a juvenile. People do stupid things, especially before their brain is fully developed. Why are we continuing to punish him in 2016? If he hasn't re-offended by now, it's very, very unlikely he ever will. He paid for his mistake sufficiently. Let him live his life in peace.

  5. This year, Notre Dame actually enrolled an equal amount of male and female students.

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