Civil Case

Appeals court affirms sending employee appeal back to agency

August 11, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the grant of a fired Department of Correction employee’s petition for judicial review, finding that it was clear on the record that an administrative agency’s action was without evidentiary foundation. The appellate court noted the difficulty the judge had in conducting the judicial review due to deficiencies in recording testimony.
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Justices reverse ruling against hospital on spoliation claim

August 10, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Relying on workers’ compensation cases involving first- and third-party spoliation claims, the Indiana Supreme Court has declined to recognize similar claims regarding medical malpractice suits.
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Judges split over order property owner pay for construction of drainage-ditch arm

August 10, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals was divided in its ruling on whether a man whose land sits higher and isn’t prone to flooding should have to pay for the reconstruction of an arm of a nearby drainage ditch. The dissenting judge wrote that Wednesday’s decision will promote “water wars” between neighbors.
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COA allows for admission of vehicle photo in personal injury action

August 10, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals addressed for the first time the issue of whether a photograph admitted at trial showing little damage to a truck involved in an accident is inadmissible on the grounds that it’s irrelevant to any determination of bodily injury.
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Judges won’t revisit associational standing issue on same case

August 9, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Finding it had already ruled on an associational standing question six years ago in the same case, the Indiana Court of Appeals has denied an electric utility's attempt to re-litigate that issue based on the law-of-the-case doctrine.
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COA: Suit against sewer district isn’t a public lawsuit

August 9, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Spencer Circuit Court erred in finding a lawsuit filed by property owners challenging the requirement they connect to a new sewer system is a public lawsuit and the property owners must pay $9 million in bond to proceed with the suit, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
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Court rules on duty of care for healthy trees in residential areas

August 9, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals has reiterated its stance that urban or residential area landowners have a duty to take reasonable precautions regarding their own trees, healthy or otherwise, and make sure they don’t harm a neighbor’s property based on the size and where they are planted.
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Judges reverse ruling mechanic's lien has priority over mortgages

August 5, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled there was no reason for a trial judge to disregard the state’s priority statutes regarding liens and mortgages and find that a construction company’s mechanic’s lien has priority over previously recorded mortgages.
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COA applies sports injury conduct rule

August 4, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Less than three months after the Indiana Supreme Court issued a decision about sports injury cases, the state’s intermediate appellate court is now applying the new rule regarding how liability should be determined.
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Judges order hearing on unemployment benefits

August 4, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
A man, whose request for a continuance in a hearing regarding his unemployment benefits was denied by an administrative law judge, is entitled to a hearing on the matter, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday.
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Man entitled to damages following excavation of home without notice

July 29, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
In reviewing a case in which an attorney appointed guardian of an adult male unilaterally decided to tear down his home without providing notice to the man, the Indiana Court of Appeals found the attorney violated the man’s due process rights and damages were necessary.
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Hospital doesn't owe attorney any contingency fees

July 27, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
A Kokomo attorney is not entitled to collect his contingency fees from a hospital in his representation of a patient caught in an insurance dispute, the Indiana Court of Appeals has held.
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No summary judgment on issue of whether complaint was timely filed

July 27, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed summary judgment in favor of a doctor in a medical malpractice action, finding there are questions around whether the plaintiff timely filed the proposed complaint.
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Judges ask family to end litigation over parents' interments

July 26, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
In a dispute among divided siblings on where their deceased parents should be buried, the Indiana Court of Appeals asked the family to end the litigation and let the parents “rest in peace.”
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Judge approves proposed settlement agreement

July 22, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
A federal judge has approved a proposed settlement agreement in a class-action lawsuit against the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration alleging that an agency policy that doesn’t allow certain Medicaid waiver enrollees to apply for services other than what’s been approved by their case manager is in violation of federal Medicaid law.
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7th Circuit finds remand to be unreviewable

July 21, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals looked at the issues of removal and remand in the context of bankruptcy in a case July 21 and found the bankruptcy court’s decision to remand a case to state court is unreviewable.
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Hail creates firestorm for State Farm

July 20, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Hailstorm damages more than property, resulting in $14.5 million defamation verdict against the insurer.
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Judges examine estate case involving will, self-proving clause

July 15, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Deciding on an issue of first impression regarding the proper execution of a person’s will, the state’s second-highest appeals court has determined the Indiana General Assembly doesn’t want validly signed wills and self-proving clauses to be set aside lightly.
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Attorneys to get big cut of $300K OmniSource settlement

July 15, 2011
Cory Schouten
An OmniSource executive says the company wouldn't have made the settlement with the Marion County prosecutor if it knew more than a third of the cash wouldn't be going to Indianapolis police for training programs.
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AG sues to recover $18,000 from LaGrange County clerk

July 13, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller has filed a civil suit against Beverly S. Elliott, LaGrange County clerk, seeking more than $18,000 in misappropriated funds. Elliot is also facing criminal charges following an investigation by the State Board of Accounts and the Indiana State Police.
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COA sides with man accused of stealing hotdogs

July 7, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The Indiana Court of Appeals says a man who was fired for snatching two hotdogs from the company refrigerator is entitled to unemployment benefits.
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The merits of medical patents

July 6, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
In April, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit heard arguments in a case that raises fundamental questions about the patentability of human genes. In June, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to take on a patent case in which the central issue is the patentability of a medical process. Both cases could have far-reaching effects – in medicine, in law, and in academia.
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Video game maker wins IP suit

July 6, 2011
Michael Hoskins
U.S. District Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson shot down a lawsuit brought by heirs of bank robber John Dillinger that challenges how his name is used in video games based on the movie “The Godfather.”
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Appeals court reverses District Court on overtime pay

July 1, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed a District Court’s finding that a tow truck driver was not entitled to overtime pay.
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COA turns to dictionary in contract dispute

June 30, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
Citing Black’s Law Dictionary’s definitions of “solicit” and “induce,” the Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed a trial court’s finding that a software company did not violate terms of its contract with another business.
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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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