Indiana Court of Appeals

Judges affirm 911 recording properly admitted as evidence

December 5, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Ruling on the issue for the first time, the Court of Appeals held a 911 recording that involves statements by a caller that were relayed from a victim are admissible where the victim had personal knowledge of the underlying incident but the caller did not.
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COA not persuaded by defendant’s claims on appeal

December 5, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed Bret Lee Sisson’s felony convictions of burglary, theft, receiving stolen property and unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon, finding no abuse of discretion or fundamental error during his trial.
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Refusal to give jury instruction not harmless error

December 5, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court’s error in refusing to give a defendant’s tendered self-defense and resistance of unlawful force instructions during his trial was not harmless and requires the man’s conviction of Class D felony resisting law enforcement be overturned, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday.
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Mother’s consent to adoption not required

December 5, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the decision by the Wabash Circuit Court to deny a father and his wife’s petition to allow his wife to adopt his minor child, finding the biological mother’s consent is not required.
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Court split over valid ID requirement for name change

December 5, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Court of Appeals concluded Wednesday that the trial court erred when it required a valid driver’s license or state identification card as a prerequisite to grant a petition for a name change under Indiana Code 34-28-2, but split over whether an elderly man can change his name because he’s never had a valid state-issued ID.
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Resisting conviction reversed, but meth convictions stand

December 4, 2012
Dave Stafford
A man who was convicted of multiple methamphetamine felonies had his misdemeanor resisting law enforcement conviction reversed, but the Court of Appeals was not persuaded to overturn his drug convictions.
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COA affirms on rehearing its ruling against Bloomington dry cleaner

December 4, 2012
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected on rehearing a Bloomington dry cleaner’s request that it reconsider its August ruling that went against him.
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COA rehearing restates trial court survey remedies

December 4, 2012
IL Staff
The Indiana Court of Appeals granted rehearing in a Starke County case in which the reliability of a survey is at issue.
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COA affirms sex offender’s removal from registry

December 3, 2012
Dave Stafford
A man convicted of rape in Pennsylvania in 1993 is not required to register as a sex offender in Indiana, the Court of Appeals affirmed Monday.
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COA rejects insurer’s new arguments

November 30, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
An insurance provider was unsuccessful in its attempt to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals to change its mind that the company has a duty to indemnify or defend.
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Appeals court reverses adoption; birth mother denied due process

November 30, 2012
Dave Stafford
A Jasper County mother was denied due process when her children were allowed to be adopted while the birth mother’s appeal of her termination of parental rights was pending, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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COA affirms order Amish connect to sewer system

November 29, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has upheld a trial court’s decision to deny setting aside agreements several members of the Old Order Amish near Loogootee made to connect to a sewer system and the order that a couple hook up to the system.
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COA divided over dismissing fired HR director’s complaint

November 28, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals was split over whether Delaware County commissioners could terminate the contract of the Board of Commissioners’ human resources director after two new members were elected to the board.
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Judges uphold 10-year suspension of driver’s license

November 28, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A Porter County man who fought the Bureau of Motor Vehicles' decision to suspend his license for being a habitual traffic violator lost his case before the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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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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  1. 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!!!

  2. 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.

  3. Diversity is important, but with some limitations. For instance, diversity of experience is a great thing that can be very helpful in certain jobs or roles. Diversity of skin color is never important, ever, under any circumstance. To think that skin color changes one single thing about a person is patently racist and offensive. Likewise, diversity of values is useless. Some values are better than others. In the case of a supreme court justice, I actually think diversity is unimportant. The justices are not to impose their own beliefs on rulings, but need to apply the law to the facts in an objective manner.

  4. Have been seeing this wonderful physician for a few years and was one of his patients who told him about what we were being told at CVS. Multiple ones. This was a witch hunt and they shold be ashamed of how patients were treated. Most of all, CVS should be ashamed for what they put this physician through. So thankful he fought back. His office is no "pill mill'. He does drug testing multiple times a year and sees patients a minimum of four times a year.

  5. Brian W, I fear I have not been sufficiently entertaining to bring you back. Here is a real laugh track that just might do it. When one is grabbed by the scruff of his worldview and made to choose between his Confession and his profession ... it is a not a hard choice, given the Confession affects eternity. But then comes the hardship in this world. Imagine how often I hear taunts like yours ... "what, you could not even pass character and fitness after they let you sit and pass their bar exam ... dude, there must really be something wrong with you!" Even one of the Bishop's foremost courtiers said that, when explaining why the RCC refused to stand with me. You want entertaining? How about watching your personal economy crash while you have a wife and five kids to clothe and feed. And you can't because you cannot work, because those demanding you cast off your Confession to be allowed into "their" profession have all the control. And you know that they are wrong, dead wrong, and that even the professional code itself allows your Faithful stand, to wit: "A lawyer may refuse to comply with an obligation imposed by law upon a good faith belief that no valid obligation exists. The provisions of Rule 1.2(d) concerning a good faith challenge to the validity, scope, meaning or application of the law apply to challenges of legal regulation of the practice of law." YET YOU ARE A NONPERSON before the BLE, and will not be heard on your rights or their duties to the law -- you are under tyranny, not law. And so they win in this world, you lose, and you lose even your belief in the rule of law, and demoralization joins poverty, and very troubling thoughts impeaching self worth rush in to fill the void where your career once lived. Thoughts you did not think possible. You find yourself a failure ... in your profession, in your support of your family, in the mirror. And there is little to keep hope alive, because tyranny rules so firmly and none, not the church, not the NGO's, none truly give a damn. Not even a new court, who pay such lip service to justice and ancient role models. You want entertainment? Well if you are on the side of the courtiers running the system that has crushed me, as I suspect you are, then Orwell must be a real riot: "There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always — do not forget this, Winston — always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever." I never thought they would win, I always thought that at the end of the day the rule of law would prevail. Yes, the rule of man's law. Instead power prevailed, so many rules broken by the system to break me. It took years, but, finally, the end that Dr Bowman predicted is upon me, the end that she advised the BLE to take to break me. Ironically, that is the one thing in her far left of center report that the BLE (after stamping, in red ink, on Jan 22) is uninterested in, as that the BLE and ADA office that used the federal statute as a sword now refuses to even dialogue on her dire prediction as to my fate. "C'est la vie" Entertaining enough for you, status quo defender?

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