Indiana Court of Appeals

Judge-backed court staff attorney pilot program bill moves out of committee

February 14, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Legislation that would create a pilot program administered by the Indiana Judicial Center to assist trial courts when preparing and writing certain motions moved out of the House Committee on Courts and Criminal Code 11-0.
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Judges affirm defendant must register as sex offender as part of probation

February 14, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A defendant who was convicted of robbery and rape, but whose rape conviction was vacated on double jeopardy concerns, can still be required to register as a sex offender as a condition of his probation, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed Thursday.
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Defendant received ineffective trial counsel assistance in murder case

February 14, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the denial of a Delaware County man’s post-conviction relief petition finding his trial attorney was ineffective in not ensuring the jury was properly instructed on the elements of murder, voluntary manslaughter and the state’s burden of proof regarding sudden heat.
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Judges interpret Probate Code statute in favor of bank

February 13, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Finding that a bank did not receive proper notice in order to file a claim against an estate, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed summary judgment in favor of the estate of Samuel Tolley on the bank’s two claims.
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Court error denying police deposition in drug case harmless, COA rules

February 11, 2013
Dave Stafford
A Marion Superior Court should have allowed a defendant to play parts of a police officer’s deposition for impeachment purposes, but the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled that failing to admit his inconsistent statement was harmless error.
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In affirming DUI on appeal, judges include predictive warning

February 11, 2013
Dave Stafford
An argument made on appeal in a drunken-driving case that the person who certified the operating condition of a breath-test machine should have been required to testify was rejected Monday by the Indiana Court of Appeals, which also warned in a footnote that such a ruling could cost criminal defendants.
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COA affirms murder conviction and sentence over self-defense claim

February 8, 2013
Dave Stafford
An Indianapolis man who was convicted and sentenced to 85 years in prison for killing a man who threatened his life and the lives of people inside his home lost his appeal Friday.
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Thief who aimed to teach victim ‘lesson’ gets no relief on appeal

February 8, 2013
Dave Stafford
An Indianapolis man who said he stole a video monitoring system and car wash tickets to teach the victim a lesson about leaving valuables in an unlocked car lost his appeal Friday.
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Woman’s sentence revised because she is not among ‘worst offenders’

February 7, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A home health care nurse whose flight from police while high on drugs and with her 89-year-old patient in the car had her sentence reduced because the Court of Appeals concluded she is not among the “worst offenders.” The high-speed chase led to a crash and the death of the patient from injuries she sustained.
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Court split over denial to commit man with dementia

February 7, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Although the majority on the Indiana Court of Appeals acknowledged it would have been better for the trial court to follow the statutory commitment procedures instead of outright denying the state’s motion to commit, it affirmed the trial court’s conclusion.
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Judges uphold convictions stemming from bank robbery

February 7, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Terry Smith made five arguments to the Indiana Court of Appeals as to why his convictions of robbery and other charges related to his robbing of an Indianapolis bank should be thrown out, but the judges weren’t persuaded to reverse his convictions.
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Judges affirm man’s drug conviction

February 6, 2013
IL Staff
A man stopped by police while driving through Vigo County for unsafe lane movement – and later convicted of Class A felony dealing in cocaine – couldn’t convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that his conviction should be overturned.
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COA: Parties must arbitrate dispute over insurance coverage

February 6, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found a trial court erred when it failed to enforce an arbitration provision of an insurance policy issued by Pekin Insurance Co. and ordered a couple’s lawsuit against their insurer stayed until arbitration is complete.
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COA orders trial on drug charges

February 5, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
On interlocutory appeal, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a trial court’s denial of an Elkhart County man’s motion to suppress evidence police seized from him and his residence while investigating possible drug dealing.
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Judges uphold sexually violent predator status

February 5, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found a defendant failed to establish that the process used to determine his sexually violent predator status constituted a fundamental error, so the court upheld the SVP status.
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Man entitled to new trial based on trial counsel’s performance

February 5, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A man convicted on a drug dealing charge and found to be a serious violent felon will have a new trial because his trial attorney did not file a motion to bifurcate the dealing and SVF charges, which prejudiced him, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Eliminating judges’ mandatory retirement to get hearing

February 5, 2013
Dave Stafford
A bill to eliminate mandatory retirement at age 75 for Indiana Supreme Court justices and Court of Appeals judges will be heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.
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Ex-wife ordered to return money husband stole from nonprofit

February 4, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A woman whose ex-husband committed suicide after his scheme to steal money from his employer unraveled must pay back to the company money she received from her husband during and after their marriage, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday.
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Judges uphold sentence, but revise original opinion

February 1, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals granted a defendant and the state’s petitions for rehearing a case involving a plea agreement in order to correct a misstatement of the law.
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Fraudulent concealment tolls Wrongful Death Act’s limitations period

January 31, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Wrongful Death Act’s two-year limitations period is tolled by fraudulent concealment, and plaintiffs whose wrongful death claims have been fraudulently concealed beyond the act’s limitations period have a full two years after the concealment is or should be discovered with reasonable diligence to file their claims, the Indiana Court of Appeals held in a case of first impression.
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Couple had to get permit before installing septic systems

January 31, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Rejecting a couple’s claim that a statute exempted them from having to get a permit before installing septic systems following the construction of their home in an unincorporated area of Allen County, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment for the health department on the matter.
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Court reverses grant of custody to grandmother

January 31, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Finding that the Porter Circuit judge’s ruling is not supported by clear and convincing evidence, the Indiana Court of Appeals ordered the court vacate its award of physical custody of A.S. to her grandmother and return her to the care of her mother.
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Husband’s settlement proceeds should be included in marital pot

January 31, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld the decision of the Monroe Circuit Court to include a husband’s settlement proceeds from an action against his former employer as a marital asset when he and his wife divorced.
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Weinberger owes patient $150k for unnecessary surgery

January 31, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Dr. Mark S. Weinberger, who fled the country for several years after performing numerous unnecessary surgeries on his patients’ sinuses, must pay one patient $150,000 on a medical malpractice claim.
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Judges affirm 53-year sentence for bank shooting

January 31, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The man who shot a pregnant teller in Indianapolis, leading to the death of her twins, had his sentence on remand upheld by the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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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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