Court opinions

COA: Mother justified in deciding not to work as doctor

May 31, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
In a child support case in which a man challenged the decision by his son’s mother to quit her job as a doctor to stay at home with her children, the Indiana Court of Appeals found she had just cause to do so based on the sons’ special needs.
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Suspended attorney’s UPL convictions upheld

May 31, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a suspended Elkhart attorney’s convictions of practicing law by a non-attorney after ruling there is sufficient evidence he continued to provide legal work after he was disciplined by the Indiana Supreme Court two years ago.
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Division of judgment in failed care facility financing affirmed

May 31, 2016
Dave Stafford
A former Indiana lawmaker and his business partners must pay a pro rata share of a deficiency judgment over defaulted financing for a rehabilitation care facility in Liberty, Indiana, the Court of Appeals affirmed Tuesday.
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Although unlicensed in county, contractor still owed for work

May 31, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled a contractor violated the Home Improvement Contract Act when he misled a family into thinking he was locally licensed and voided the contract between the two. However, the court said he should still be paid for the work he did because the family would be unjustly enriched if he was not paid.
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Contract’s ambiguities win homeowners a reversal

May 31, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Owners of a shabbily built house will get another chance to hold their architects accountable for the construction headaches after the Indiana Court of Appeals found there are questions of material fact that should be considered.
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COA affirms child care worker’s convictions of sex with minors

May 31, 2016
Dave Stafford
A Putnam County man convicted of multiple counts of sex with minors under his care failed to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that evidence against him was improperly admitted in his bench trial.
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Stepfather who proved paternity can’t deprive ex of joint custody

May 31, 2016
Dave Stafford
A man who fathered a child while the mother was married to another man lost his appeal Tuesday that sought relief from a court order concerning the child's custody.
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7th Circuit: Probationary phone records are admissible evidence

May 31, 2016
Scott Roberts
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled evidence of a deceased man’s phone numbers provided to his probation officer is not inadmissible hearsay and those records should be included in another man’s criminal case.
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COA: Court cannot order juvenile to pay restitution as a civil judgment

May 27, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled a trial court may not order a juvenile to pay restitution as a civil judgment after a minor was ordered to pay restitution in two cases where he violated his probation.
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COA: Man did not have expectation of privacy after he was tracked by GPS

May 26, 2016
Scott Roberts
Tracking of man by GPS did not violate his Fourth Amendment or Indiana constitutional rights, the Court of Appeals ruled, because he did not have a reasonable expectation of privacy. The appellate court upheld Joseph Sidener's Class C felony burglary conviction and the finding he is an habitual offender.
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COA rules DCS has duty to protect caller’s identity

May 26, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled in a 2-1 decision the Indiana Department of Child Services had a duty to protect a man’s identity after he called the DCS hotline and reported his neighbors’ children as children in need of services.
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7th Circuit upholds lifetime supervised release

May 25, 2016
Scott Roberts
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday affirmed a federal judge’s findings and explanations were sufficient to support lifetime supervised release for 66-year-old man in poor health.
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COA: Gun evidence lawfully obtained

May 25, 2016
Scott Roberts
In its third Fourth Amendment case in two weeks, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled evidence obtained during a stop of a man who was loitering around an apartment complex and then left suspiciously was lawfully seized. The judges affirmed the trial court’s denial of his motion to suppress on interlocutory appeal.
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Divided COA rules karate kick is an issue of material fact

May 24, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 that a man’s kick in karate class, which injured a woman, constituted an issue of material fact and reversed summary judgment in his favor.
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Property manager not liable in drunken driving crash, COA holds

May 24, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled the property management company of a Camby bar has no duty of care to a woman who was seriously injured in a car accident in which she and the driver were intoxicated.
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COA deals blow to AG’s foreclosure lawyer consumer suit

May 23, 2016
Dave Stafford
An effectively disbarred Florida attorney whose company hired Indiana lawyers to represent people in foreclosures must face a consumer lawsuit brought by the Indiana Attorney General’s Office, but her company is largely exempted, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday.
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'Abusive litigant' loses appeal for damages

May 23, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals denied a prolific litigant's attempt to get more than $30,000 in damages after he claimed a printer he purchased online for less than $75 did not work and then sued for thousands of dollars in damages.
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Ex-credit union chief loses defamation per se appeal

May 18, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment for an employer after the president of a company was fired over an executive's hotline call. The president claimed defamation per se and considered the hotline company liable, but the COA ruled comments made during the call were not defamatory.
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COA: Lack of release advisement was harmless error

May 13, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled a trial court’s failure to advise a man of his possible release dates was harmless error and affirmed his sentence for two felonies.
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7th Circuit: Officer not entitled to qualified immunity

May 12, 2016
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a police officer who released a dog during an arrest to find a suspect is not entitled to qualified immunity.
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Judges say order for DCS interviews with children should not have happened

May 12, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Department of Child Services for Crawford County should not have been granted the opportunity to interview two children, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled, because the order doing so violates their mother’s right to raise her family without undue interference by the state.
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Recorded conversation, conviction are admissible evidence, COA holds

May 12, 2016
Scott Roberts
An audiotape of phone conversations between a suspect and the victim’s mother while he was in jail and a testimony from the victim’s mother that she was convicted of assisting a criminal were admissible evidence in a child abuse case, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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COA upholds denial of post-conviction relief petition

May 12, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld the denial of a man’s post-conviction relief petition after it found any ineffectiveness of counsel the man received did not affect the outcome of his case in his decision to plead guilty to Class A felony neglect of a dependent.
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COA: Stop violated 4th Amendment

May 12, 2016
Scott Roberts
A police officer was not within his community caretaker function when he pulled over a woman who left a gas station after she escaped from getting stuck under car, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled. The public safety issue did not outweigh her right to privacy.
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Court orders more proceedings on waiver moves

May 11, 2016
Scott Roberts
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed summary judgment for state defendants in a lawsuit brought by Medicaid patients who claimed their move to a new waiver with a cap on expenses violates the Americans with Disabilities Act. The court said the way the patients spent their expenses constitutes an issue of material fact, and they may have been able to receive more services had they spent their money differently.
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  1. Just an aside, but regardless of the outcome, I 'm proud of Judge William Hughes. He was the original magistrate on the Home place issue. He ruled for Home Place, and was primaried by Brainard for it. Their tool Poindexter failed to unseat Hughes, who won support for his honesty and courage throughout the county, and he was reelected Judge of Hamilton County's Superior Court. You can still stand for something and survive. Thanks, Judge Hughes!

  2. CCHP's real accomplishment is the 2015 law signed by Gov Pence that basically outlaws any annexation that is forced where a 65% majority of landowners in the affected area disagree. Regardless of whether HP wins or loses, the citizens of Indiana will not have another fiasco like this. The law Gov Pence signed is a direct result of this malgovernance.

  3. I gave tempparry guardship to a friend of my granddaughter in 2012. I went to prison. I had custody. My daughter went to prison to. We are out. My daughter gave me custody but can get her back. She was not order to give me custody . but now we want granddaughter back from friend. She's 14 now. What rights do we have

  4. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  5. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

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