Court opinions

Split COA reverses denial of post-conviction relief

October 21, 2014
Dave Stafford
A defense attorney’s failure to raise the consecutive sentencing limitation prejudiced his client, the majority of a Court of Appeals panel ruled, reversing denial of post-conviction relief for a man convicted of multiple burglaries. The court remanded for resentencing to trim six years off a 28-year prison term.
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Error in admitting drug conviction was harmless, 7th Circuit rules

October 20, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Although a witness’s changed testimony did not open the door wide enough to allow the introduction of a defendant’s prior drug record, the prosecution’s case was still substantial without the improper evidence so the defendant’s federal conviction will stand.
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Justices uphold fired DWD employee’s ban from executive branch employment

October 16, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A fired Indiana Department of Workforce Development employee who argued that she shouldn’t be sanctioned and barred from future executive branch employment because of her misuse of state property lost her appeal before the Indiana Supreme Court Thursday.
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Justices affirm denial of Crime Victims Relief Act liability

October 15, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court affirmed a trial court’s decision to not impose Crime Victims Relief Act liability on a couple who sold their home knowing it had defects. And although the Indiana Court of Appeals also affirmed, Chief Justice Loretta Rush pointed out the high court has different reasons for leaving the trial court’s judgment in place.
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‘Common sense’ requires ruling in favor of inmate, judge says

October 15, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed judgment in favor of jail officials on an inmate’s complaint that he was denied medical access while in jail. The judges did not agree with the magistrate judge’s decision that Randy Swisher had failed to exhaust his administrative remedies by not filing a written grievance.
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Judges affirm denial of child molester's PCR petition

October 15, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals decided Wednesday that it did have jurisdiction to hear a prisoner’s petition for post-conviction relief that was filed 31 days after the trial court denied him relief. But the man was unsuccessful before the appellate court.
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Appeals court revives inverse condemnation claim

October 10, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A woman who sued after town and county officials worked on a drainage project on her property without her permission will be able to present her claim for inverse condemnation. The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the dismissal of that claim in her lawsuit against officials but affirmed she acted too late to present a trespass claim.
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Judges uphold convictions for death of child at unlicensed home daycare

October 9, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The state presented sufficient evidence that a Hamilton County woman operated a child care home under the law, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Thursday in affirming her convictions related to a death of a child while in her care.
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Humvee maker wins $27.9M judgment against supplier

October 8, 2014
Dave Stafford
A supplier of armored doors for Humvees made for the military overcharged the manufacturer, a federal judge ruled Monday, awarding South Bend-based AM General LLC a $27.9 million judgment.
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Evidence doesn’t show existence of family housing complex at time of crime

October 8, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a man’s Class A felony conviction for dealing cocaine within 1,000 feet of a family housing complex because the state didn’t prove the complex qualified as family housing under the law at the time of the offense.
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Keeping death certification accessible is 'victory for the public'

October 8, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Both the Hoosier State Press Association and the Indiana attorney general are applauding the Indiana Supreme Court’s ruling Tuesday that cause of death information is public.
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Officer's meth-exposure claims untangled by appeals court

October 8, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals rules an injured city policeman must exhaust workers' comp remedies before turning to the injured-on-duty statute.
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Unanimous Supreme Court holds death certificates are public records

October 7, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Taking what it called a “plain reading” of the state statute, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled death certificates which include the cause of death are public records and should be available to anyone who requests access.
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7th Circuit rules against insurer in jurisdiction dispute

October 7, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a federal court judgment in favor of an insurer after the insurer’s motion to intervene in a state court lawsuit on the same matter was denied. The federal court incorrectly determined the state court did not have jurisdiction over an injured worker’s lawsuit.
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Mother loses custody after COA rules trial court had jurisdiction

October 7, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A mother’s argument that the trial court did not have jurisdiction to grant full custody of her daughter to the girl’s father did not convince the Indiana Court of Appeals, which found an agreement between the parents gave the court jurisdiction.
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Accomplice in jewelry store robbery loses sentence appeal

October 7, 2014
Dave Stafford
The 45-year sentence imposed on an accomplice in a jewelry store robbery was affirmed by the Indiana Court of Appeals Tuesday, even though the crime to which he pleaded guilty is now punishable by a maximum sentence of 20 years.
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Judge: Yorktown’s door-to-door soliciting restriction unconstitutional

October 3, 2014
IL Staff
Yorktown’s ordinance forbidding door-to-door canvassing before or after daylight hours is unconstitutional, a federal judge ruled.
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Appeals court affirms rejection of YouTube defamation claims

October 3, 2014
Dave Stafford
The sister-in-law of a Boston woman who disappeared in 1981 and whose body was found buried in Massachusetts nine years later lost a defamation appeal Friday stemming from comments to a YouTube video she posted about the case.
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Appeals court affirms disbarred attorney’s convictions

October 2, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The South Bend attorney who was disbarred in 2010 and convicted of forgery in 2013 lost his appeal before the Indiana Court of Appeals Thursday.
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Defendant’s breach of plea agreement allows state to back out

October 2, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals addressed an issue of first impression Thursday: whether the state can withdraw from a plea agreement after the trial court has accepted it. The state was allowed to withdraw its agreement with a defendant after the man refused to testify at his co-conspirator’s trial, which was part of the deal.
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Judge concerned remonstrators may not have enough time to ask for a stay

October 2, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the annexation by the city of Martinsville of approximately 3,000 acres, finding the remonstrators’ appeal is moot because they did not ask for a stay of the annexation approval. But one judge had concerns that municipality clerks may be able to make an annexation final before remonstrators have enough time to consider requesting a stay.
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Judge tosses suit over IU student's disappearance

October 1, 2014
 Associated Press
A federal judge has thrown out the lawsuit filed by the parents of an Indiana University student last seen more than three years ago against two men who were with her the night she vanished.
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Court must reconsider man’s request for credit time

October 1, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court mistakenly believed it could not award educational credit time to a man serving his sentence on home detention, so the Indiana Court of Appeals ordered the court to re-evaluate his petition.
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Justices order $7,025 credit applied for father’s arrearage

October 1, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
In a per curiam decision released Wednesday, the Indiana Supreme Court accepted a case involving owed child support and ordered the father be credited for more than $7,000 seized from his bank account for the arrearage.
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Justices reverse COA, reinstate ex-teacher's attempted seduction charge

October 1, 2014
Dave Stafford
A former high school teacher must face a charge of attempted child seduction for Facebook communications propositioning a 16-year-old student for sex, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Tuesday, reinstating a case the Court of Appeals had dismissed.
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  1. I just wanted to point out that Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, Senator Feinstein, former Senate majority leader Bill Frist, and former attorney general John Ashcroft are responsible for this rubbish. We need to keep a eye on these corrupt, arrogant, and incompetent fools.

  2. Well I guess our politicians have decided to give these idiot federal prosecutors unlimited power. Now if I guy bounces a fifty-dollar check, the U.S. attorney can intentionally wait for twenty-five years or so and have the check swabbed for DNA and file charges. These power hungry federal prosecutors now have unlimited power to mess with people. we can thank Wisconsin's Jim Sensenbrenner and Diane Feinstein, John Achcroft and Bill Frist for this one. Way to go, idiots.

  3. I wonder if the USSR had electronic voting machines that changed the ballot after it was cast? Oh well, at least we have a free media serving as vicious watchdog and exposing all of the rot in the system! (Insert rimshot)

  4. Jose, you are assuming those in power do not wish to be totalitarian. My experience has convinced me otherwise. Constitutionalists are nearly as rare as hens teeth among the powerbrokers "managing" us for The Glorious State. Oh, and your point is dead on, el correcta mundo. Keep the Founders’ (1791 & 1851) vision alive, my friend, even if most all others, and especially the ruling junta, chase only power and money (i.e. mammon)

  5. Hypocrisy in high places, absolute immunity handed out like Halloween treats (it is the stuff of which tyranny is made) and the belief that government agents are above the constitutions and cannot be held responsible for mere citizen is killing, perhaps has killed, The Republic. And yet those same power drunk statists just reel on down the hallway toward bureaucratic fascism.

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