Indiana Court of Appeals

Appeals court upholds motion to correct error, voiding Elkhart tax deed

June 1, 2012
Dave Stafford
An Alabama company that purchased a property at a tax sale in Elkhart but subsequently failed to pay property taxes did not receive adequate notice that the city was seeking a tax deed on the property, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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Court rules on inclusion of survivor benefits in child support obligation

May 31, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals was faced with a situation not specifically addressed in the Child Support Guidelines and Commentary or in any Indiana case – whether Social Security survivor benefits paid to children due to the death of a custodial parent’s subsequent spouse are or should be included in the custodial parent’s weekly gross income.
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Woman's claim fails under modified impact and bystander rules

May 30, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The woman who sued a northern Indiana lawyer and his law firm for not filing her lawsuit against a school district following the discovery that her grandson was sexually abused by a teacher’s assistant lost her appeal.
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Judges order trial in drunk driving case

May 30, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld the partial denial of a defendant’s motion to suppress evidence, finding that the trial court properly determined that the evidence seized by the uniform on-duty police officers shouldn’t be suppressed pursuant to the exclusionary rule.
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Pool's owner did not breach any duty owed to boy

May 30, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a jury verdict in favor of the owner of a pool in a lawsuit filed by the father of a young boy who drowned in the pool. The appellate court found the trial court did not abuse its discretion in giving certain jury instructions.
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Judges uphold termination of parental rights

May 30, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found ample evidence that a mother took little to no steps to correct the problems that led to her son’s removal and continued placement out of her care, so it affirmed the termination of parental rights. In its opinion, the judges also discussed Indiana Evidence Rule 201(b) regarding judicial notice of “records of a court of this state.”
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Judges rule on lease dispute involving hospital

May 29, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals concluded that a hospital did owe rent to the property owner for a broken lease involving a third party, but the damages the trial court ordered the hospital pay need to be reconsidered.
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Defendant's fleeing justifies delayed arrest

May 29, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has upheld the revocation of a man’s suspension for probation violations after finding the trial court did not err in ordering the man serve the remainder of his originally suspended sentence.
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COA split on whether judgment on pleadings was proper

May 29, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
In a lawsuit against an attorney, law firm and the firm’s insurer, the Indiana Court of Appeals was divided in its ruling over whether the trial court correctly granted the insurer’s motion for judgment on the pleadings.
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Next round of COA interviews June 4

May 29, 2012
IL Staff
The five semifinalists for the Indiana Court of Appeals will have their second round of interviews the afternoon of June 4.
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Nephews' appeal over estate dispute dismissed

May 25, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Even though the trial court said its order regarding a petition to set aside a family settlement agreement was final and appealable, it was not, so the Indiana Court of Appeals dismissed an appeal sua sponte.
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Court didn't err in allowing impeachment testimony

May 25, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found the trial court did not err in allowing a police detective to testify as to what a witness told him about a shooting.
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Judges uphold murder conviction

May 25, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found the evidence that a defendant committed murder was overwhelming, so any suppression of a witness’s testimony by the prosecution was no more than a harmless error.
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Court dismisses appeal because order isn't final

May 25, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals dismissed sua sponte a man’s appeal of his conviction of and sentence for Class B felony dealing in methamphetamine, because the order he appeals from isn’t a final judgment.
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Accident not covered under insurance policy

May 25, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A man who was involved in a car accident while riding in his friend’s vehicle lost his appeal in which he argued that his friend’s car was a temporary substitute for his own and he should be entitled to underinsured motorist coverage.
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No error in finding defendant jointly and severally liable

May 25, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the finding that a man was jointly and severally liable for damages following a fight over a girl.
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Judges find mortgage company not culpably negligent

May 24, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
In a dispute over which mortgage has priority in a foreclosure action, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment for the senior mortgage holder. The judges found the doctrine of equitable subrogation applies.
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COA rules on first impression possession of marijuana issue

May 24, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A woman’s objection over how much marijuana was being attributed to her led the Indiana Court of Appeals to apply for the first time Supreme Court precedent regarding possession of marijuana.
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Court upholds sentence following threat to school

May 23, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A father who was upset that he couldn’t talk to his daughter after she was arrested at school for having drugs threatened to come to the school with his “guns blaring.” He was arrested and given a suspended sentence for Class D felony intimidation, which the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed.
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Woman evicted from apartment denied due process

May 23, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals held that a woman was denied due process in small claims court when the court reporter presided over an initial hearing and ordered the woman to move out of her apartment.
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Trial court ordered to determine if man was diligent in pursuing appeal

May 23, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals held that a man cannot appeal the denial of his petition for post-conviction relief, but the trial court should determine whether the defendant has been without fault and diligent in pursuit of his original appeal of child molesting convictions.
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5 make first cut for Court of Appeals vacancy

May 23, 2012
Dave Stafford
A consumer protection official, a public defender, two judges and a law professor are semifinalists for a position on the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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Shaui released from jail

May 22, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
More than year after her arrest on charges of murder and attempted feticide, Bei Bei Shuai is free on bail.
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Appeals court reverses DCS judgment of CHINS

May 22, 2012
Dave Stafford
A 16-year-old Indianapolis girl was improperly adjudicated a child in need of services, and her mother should not have been subject to Department of Child Services oversight, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
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Appeals court upholds seizure, transfer of suspected drug money

May 21, 2012
Dave Stafford
A man who challenged the seizure of $25,000 in suspected drug money and its transfer to federal authorities lost his appeal, but the Indiana Court of Appeals was troubled by the state’s failure to provide him notice of the request for the transfer.
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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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