Indiana Court of Appeals

COA rules in favor of remodeler on unhappy client’s claim

November 27, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Finding the Clark Circuit Court erred in considering parol evidence when denying a remodeler’s motion for summary judgment, the Indiana Court of Appeals found the lower court should grant his motion on a lawsuit brought by a client for negligently performing work on her home.
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Court affirms man’s conviction of murder, feticide enhancement

November 21, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a defendant’s claim that the state should have to prove that he knew his estranged wife was pregnant when he killed her in order to seek a sentence enhancement under the Indiana feticide enhancement statute.
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Court correctly dismissed man’s motion to correct sentence

November 21, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found the Clay Superior Court was right in dismissing a man’s pro se motion to correct his sentence stemming from drug convictions in 1994.
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COA orders man removed from Ind. sex offender registry

November 21, 2012
Jennifer Nelson

Nearly three months after hearing arguments on Thomas H. Andrews’ request that he should not have to register in Indiana for a conviction in Massachusetts in 1984, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ordered that he be removed from Indiana's sex-offender registry.

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Trial court properly retained 1 juror, dismissed other

November 21, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A defendant who argued that a Marion Superior Court should have dismissed a juror after she stood near the defendant and his attorney briefly during a recess, but should not have replaced the juror who claimed she wasn’t comfortable rendering a decision, lost before the Court of Appeals Wednesday.
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Indiana sex offender parole conditions at issue

November 21, 2012
Dave Stafford
Indiana appellate judges are grappling with sensitive questions about whether the state’s automatic and uniform parole conditions for sex offenders are constitutional.
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Estate lawyers' duty of responsibility clarified in proposed legislation

November 21, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
Estate attorneys are hoping the Indiana General Assembly will provide a remedy after a ruling by the Indiana Court of Appeals muddied the waters concerning the scope and duties of a lawyer working on behalf of an estate’s personal representative.
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Order compelling Star to name online commenter stayed after arguments

November 20, 2012
Dave Stafford
The Indianapolis Star won’t have to divulge the identity of an online commenter pending further order of the Indiana Court of Appeals, which heard arguments in a defamation case on Tuesday.
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COA finds trial court’s error in sentencing was harmless

November 20, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
A trial court’s error in considering an arrest record as evidence of criminal history was harmless, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled, because the aggravators and mitigators would have led the lower court to impose the same sentence.
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Appellate panel affirms foreclosure, cites lack of meritorious defense

November 20, 2012
Dave Stafford
An Allen County plaintiff whose home was foreclosed lost her appeal Tuesday when a panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals held that she had not demonstrated a meritorious defense.
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COA reverses order requiring victim to pay attorney fees

November 20, 2012
Dave Stafford
A man who claims he was struck by a vodka bottle that resulted in 18 stitches won’t have to pay attorney fees to a woman against whom he had been awarded a protective order, the Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday, reversing a lower court order.
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Governor names Pyle’s trial court replacement

November 20, 2012
IL Staff
Gov. Mitch Daniels has appointed Angela Warner Sims as judge of Madison Circuit Court. She succeeds Judge Rudolph Pyle III, who was appointed in August to the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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Appeals court to hear Star appeal on identifying online commenter

November 19, 2012
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals has blocked a court order requiring The Indianapolis Star to disclose the name of an online commenter and will hear further arguments on the matter Tuesday morning.
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Trial that OK’d Jasper energy plant conversion error-filled

November 19, 2012
Dave Stafford
A judge who ruled against opponents of the conversion of a former coal-fired energy plant in Jasper abused her discretion on a series of matters, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Monday in reversing a bench trial that found for the city.
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Legislature intended to make failure to report child abuse a continuing offense

November 16, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
A high school coach’s failure to report child abuse is a continuing offense to which the statute of limitations does not apply, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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COA finds trust that bought foreclosed home gained insurance equity

November 16, 2012
Dave Stafford
An estate that purchased a foreclosed house at a sheriff’s sale established an equitable lien through which it was entitled to collect proceeds in the event of an insured loss, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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Kohl’s loses appeal vs. developer, county over Evansville store

November 16, 2012
Dave Stafford
A department store chain failed to persuade the Indiana Court of Appeals to reverse a trial court’s dismissal of a lawsuit it filed against a developer and two public Vanderburgh County entities.
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Off-duty police officer’s stop and frisk violated Fourth Amendment

November 15, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
The stop, search and subsequent discovery of drugs violated the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unreasonable searches even though the police officer was off duty at the time of the incident, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled.
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Court affirms termination of parental rights for drug-using mom, dad

November 15, 2012
Dave Stafford
A mother who used methamphetamine while pregnant and continued to abuse drugs after her children were judged in need of services was properly denied parental rights, as was the children’s often-absent father, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday.
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Appeals court rules wrong state law applied in truck crash, but result is same

November 15, 2012
Dave Stafford
A trial court erroneously applied Georgia law in a lawsuit brought by a truck driver injured in a collision in West Virginia, but correctly applied Indiana law yielded the same result, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday.
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COA finds plea agreement was not circumvented by admission of uncharged conduct at sentencing

November 14, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
A convicted child molester’s argument that the trial court abused its discretion by admitting during sentencing the testimony of two other alleged victims was rejected by the Indiana Court of Appeals. The court described the appellant’s contention as “pure conjecture supported by nothing in the record.”
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Divided COA allows suit after wage claim fails at Department of Labor

November 14, 2012
Dave Stafford
A worker who left employment at a Columbus construction company may pursue his wage claim in court after his complaint had been assigned to the Indiana Department of Labor, a divided panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Justices: COA overreached on reversing trial court custody ruling

November 13, 2012
Dave Stafford
The Court of Appeals got it wrong when it reversed a trial court custody modification in favor of a child’s father, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Tuesday in one of the first opinions joined by Justice Loretta Rush.
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COA to hear challenge to sex offender monitoring program

November 12, 2012
IL Staff
An Allen County man’s argument that the state’s Sex Offender Management and Monitoring Program is unconstitutional will be heard Tuesday by a panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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Appeals court finds for insurer in worker’s comp case where victim’s mother died

November 9, 2012
Dave Stafford
The mother of an injured worker whose estate claims she died due to emotional distress caused by an insurer’s handling of her son’s case cannot directly sue the insurer before exhausting the regulatory process, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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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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