Indiana Court of Appeals

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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Woman did not exhaust administrative remedies before suing

November 1, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals agreed with a Marion Superior judge that the courts do not have jurisdiction over a woman’s lawsuit concerning the disconnection of her water because the woman did not exhaust all her available administrative remedies before suing.
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Police had reasonable suspicion to stop men, search bag

October 31, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals disagreed with an appellant who claimed police did not have reasonable suspicion to believe he and two other men were involved in criminal activity, which led to their stop and his eventual conviction of Class A felony attempted dealing in methamphetamine.
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Man can’t challenge sentence as illegal

October 31, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Because a defendant entered into a beneficial plea agreement, the Indiana Court of Appeals denied his request for post-conviction relief. The man argued that a Supreme Court decision handed down while he was appealing should require that his sentence be reduced.
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Court affirms man’s sentence for murdering wife

October 31, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A Lawrence County man was unable to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that his 65-year sentence for the murder of his wife in 2009 should be reduced to the advisory sentence of 55 years.
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Justices vacate transfer in business dispute

October 31, 2012
IL Staff
After hearing arguments Oct. 24 in a dispute between former shareholders of a company and the new owners over what assets the new owners should receive, the Indiana Supreme Court decided that the Court of Appeals decision should stand.
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Court splits over whether approval of entire contract must be voided

October 30, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Chief Judge Margret Robb dissented from her colleagues on the Court of Appeals Tuesday as to whether approval of a contract for the purchase and sale of substitute natural gas must be voided in its entirety because the contract definition of “retail end use customer” differs from the statutory definition.
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Judges focus on juvenile due process in Gingerich murder conspiracy appeal

October 30, 2012
Dave Stafford
Court of Appeals judges on Tuesday focused their questions on whether a 12-year-old waived to adult court in a 2010 murder had due process when his attorneys had just five days to prepare for a waiver hearing in juvenile court in Kosciusko County.
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Agency erred in adjusting experience account rates after merger

October 30, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has ordered the Department of Workforce Development to reinstate the original contribution rates for unemployment insurance experience accounts of a parent company and its subsidiaries. The DWD should not have combined the accounts and adjusted the rates following a merger.
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COA affirms $550,000 med mal verdict; denies appellate attorney fees

October 30, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A Lake Superior judge did not err when he allowed a witness to testify on behalf of the party bringing a medical malpractice complaint against a doctor nor in excluding the testimony of the doctor’s expert witness due to untimely disclosure, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Tuesday.
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Judges affirm decision in familial dispute over insurance funds

October 30, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
When Nathaniel Kappel died, it led to a dispute in the family as to who is entitled to insurance payouts on policies that Nathaniel Kappel and his brother William took out on each other in 1996. The Court of Appeals agreed with the probate court that Nathaniel Kappel’s estate is not entitled to funds from either man’s policy.
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Judges amend man’s convictions due to double jeopardy violations

October 29, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Because the state relied on the same evidence to convict a Marion County man of three domestic battery or battery charges, the Indiana Court of Appeals vacated two misdemeanors. The judges also found no fundamental error in his sentencing or by the prosecutor during trial.
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Woman’s claim for reformation of deed fails

October 29, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A Vanderburgh County woman who filed a lawsuit for reformation of a deed 46 years after receiving the warranty deed lost her appeal of a trial court ruling in favor of neighboring property owners.
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Law firm can’t collect attorney fees from insurer

October 25, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Relying on caselaw from 1892, the Indiana Court of Appeals decided that Ken Nunn Law Office may not collect attorney fees it says are owed by a former client from a third-party insurance company following a settlement.
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Judges find wired payment timely

October 24, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Judges on the Indiana Court of Appeals declined to expand upon language in a forbearance agreement between a bank and business owner, finding the business owner timely made his final payment to the bank when he wired the money the day it was due, even though the bank did not receive it until the next day.
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Majority affirms couple didn’t establish element of adverse possession

October 24, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Two Indiana Court of Appeals judges upheld a judgment in favor of landowners on a complaint filed to quiet title in a disputed area of land, finding the couple seeking to quiet title failed to establish the control element of adverse possession.
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  2. The appellate court just said doctors can be sued for reporting child abuse. The most dangerous form of child abuse with the highest mortality rate of any form of child abuse (between 6% and 9% according to the below listed studies). Now doctors will be far less likely to report this form of dangerous child abuse in Indiana. If you want to know what this is, google the names Lacey Spears, Julie Conley (and look at what happened when uninformed judges returned that child against medical advice), Hope Ybarra, and Dixie Blanchard. Here is some really good reporting on what this allegation was: http://media.star-telegram.com/Munchausenmoms/ Here are the two research papers: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0145213487900810 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0145213403000309 25% of sibling are dead in that second study. 25%!!! Unbelievable ruling. Chilling. Wrong.

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  4. Mr. Levin says that the BMV engaged in misconduct--that the BMV (or, rather, someone in the BMV) knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged fees but did nothing to correct the situation. Such misconduct, whether engaged in by one individual or by a group, is called theft (defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the other person of the property's value or use). Theft is a crime in Indiana (as it still is in most of the civilized world). One wonders, then, why there have been no criminal prosecutions of BMV officials for this theft? Government misconduct doesn't occur in a vacuum. An individual who works for or oversees a government agency is responsible for the misconduct. In this instance, somebody (or somebodies) with the BMV, at some time, knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged. What's more, this person (or these people), even after having the error of their ways pointed out to them, did nothing to fix the problem. Instead, the overcharges continued. Thus, the taxpayers of Indiana are also on the hook for the millions of dollars in attorneys fees (for both sides; the BMV didn't see fit to avail itself of the services of a lawyer employed by the state government) that had to be spent in order to finally convince the BMV that stealing money from Indiana motorists was a bad thing. Given that the BMV official(s) responsible for this crime continued their misconduct, covered it up, and never did anything until the agency reached an agreeable settlement, it seems the statute of limitations for prosecuting these folks has not yet run. I hope our Attorney General is paying attention to this fiasco and is seriously considering prosecution. Indiana, the state that works . . . for thieves.

  5. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.

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