Indiana Court of Appeals

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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Man not required to register in Indiana for Illinois crime

November 8, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled it’s a violation of the ex post facto provision of the state’s constitution to require a man who committed a sex crime in Illinois, but now lives in Indiana, to register in Indiana because the laws requiring him to register in both states were enacted after he committed the crime in Illinois.
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Ex-employee wins appeal and prejudgment interest

November 7, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A former employee is entitled to commissions owed to him after he left a real estate company, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed Wednesday. The judges also found the ex-employee is entitled to prejudgment interest.
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Judges order trial on couple’s responsibility to unpaid subcontractors

November 7, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a decision by a DeKalb Superior judge that Fred and Mary Anna Feitler were personally liable for unpaid bills to subcontractors on their home, which was being constructed on land owned by a trust to which they were sole beneficiaries.
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All appellate judges on the ballot retained by voters

November 7, 2012
IL Staff
Collecting more than a million “yes” votes each, Indiana Justices Steven David and Robert Rucker have been retained in office. David faced opposition from some who disagreed with the majority opinion he authored regarding unlawful police entry into homes.
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Court finds mediation not so confidential

November 7, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
Some Indiana attorneys are concerned about the possible ramifications of the recent Horner decision.
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Justices reverse COA, hold state’s appeal timely

November 6, 2012
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court on Monday reversed a divided Court of Appeals panel’s dismissal of an appeal of suppression of evidence in a drunken-driving case.
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Wife’s pain from shove, poked forehead ‘bodily injury,’ justices rule

November 6, 2012
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court late Monday reconciled conflicting interpretations of the “bodily injury” requirement for domestic battery and other criminal offenses using that language, concluding that any such offense that causes the victim physical pain meets the test.
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Appeals court: Felon waived speedy trial, judge challenges

November 2, 2012
Dave Stafford
A man convicted of multiple felonies lost his appeal when the court determined he had not objected to matters raised in the appeal during his jury trial or sentencing.
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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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