Court opinions

Divided high court affirms DNA unnecessary to establish paternity

April 4, 2014
Dave Stafford
Indiana Supreme Court justices split 3-2 in affirming that DNA evidence is not required to establish paternity.
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7th Circuit affirms 5-year sentence in arson-for-hire

April 4, 2014
Dave Stafford
A woman sentenced to serve five years in prison for recruiting another man to set fire to her home didn’t receive an unjust sentence even though it was three to four times longer than federal guidelines, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday.
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Justices uphold ruling for insurer in negligence claim

April 4, 2014
Dave Stafford
Homeowners’ claims after a fire that their insurer was negligent because a policy didn’t fully cover replacement costs was time-barred because the policy limits were discoverable at the time the policy was issued, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Thursday.
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Former JA boss loses defamation appeal naming FedEx, 500 Festival

April 3, 2014
Dave Stafford
The former head of Junior Achievement of Central Indiana failed Thursday in his bid to reinstate defamation claims against a business and a nonprofit that owned computers from which critical comments about him were posted online.
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Same-sex couple’s bid for recognition expedited due to grave illness

April 2, 2014
Dave Stafford
The chief federal judge in Indianapolis quickly summoned lawyers to address a same-sex couple’s emergency request that Indiana recognize their Massachusetts marriage because one of the women is gravely ill.
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Court upholds Plymouth pay policy challenged by reservist

April 2, 2014
Dave Stafford
The city of Plymouth’s policy on longevity pay withstood a challenge by a police officer who unsuccessfully claimed he was entitled to the full benefit rather than a prorated share for time he spent deployed as a U.S. Air Force Reservist.
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Justices strike down partial consecutive sentences

April 1, 2014
Dave Stafford
Indiana trial court judges do not have discretion to impose partial consecutive sentences, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Tuesday.
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Wine bar’s programmable cards not subject to tax exemption

April 1, 2014
Dave Stafford
An Indianapolis wine bar’s programmable cards that customers purchase to dispense samples are not subject to resale tax exemption, the Indiana Tax Court ruled Monday.

 
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Man has second chance to get OWI charges dropped

April 1, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A Jefferson County man who was brought to court for operating a vehicle while intoxicated more than two years after he was pulled over by police will get another chance to argue that his right to a speedy trial was violated.
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Court affirms custody modification after mom’s move

March 31, 2014
Dave Stafford
A Vincennes father lost his appeal of a modification of custody order that granted sole physical custody to his child’s mother after she moved 180 miles away to start a new family with her fiancé.
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Three-way opinion affirms marijuana conviction

March 31, 2014
Dave Stafford
Three Court of Appeals judges each wrote opinions but affirmed a Grant County man’s conviction of Class D felony possession of marijuana.
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Judgment for IRS reversed, remanded

March 31, 2014
Dave Stafford
A trial court was not the proper forum to grant summary judgment in favor of the Internal Revenue Service in a dispute over a land contract that had been an issue in a prior bankruptcy case, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday.
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COA affirms denial of additional unemployment benefits

March 31, 2014
Dave Stafford
A woman whose unemployment benefits stopped after 26 weeks was not improperly denied an extension because she continued to work a part-time job of about four to eight hours a week, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Contempt affirmed for man suspected of drunken driving

March 31, 2014
Dave Stafford
A man who authorities said refused to comply with a court-ordered blood draw for suspicion of drunken driving was rightfully found in contempt of court, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday.
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COA tackles 2 issues of first impression

March 28, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals addressed two new issues in a child solicitation and prostitution case regarding authenticating emails and text messages and whether the defendant’s actions actually constituted a crime.
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Judges split over ruling in failed adoption case

March 28, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A majority on the Indiana Court of Appeals Friday reversed summary judgment in favor of the facilitator of an adoption on a negligence claim brought by the adoptive parents after the baby’s biological father sought and was awarded custody.
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COA voids custody order in favor of father

March 28, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed the grant of custody in favor of an Indiana father because the trial court lacked subject matter jurisdiction under the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act to make a custody determination.
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Judges dismiss man’s appeal of protection order extension

March 27, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals dismissed a Porter County man’s appeal of a judge’s decision to reset a hearing on a temporary protection order for six months after the victim had an anxiety attack while testifying. The judges held Douglas Allison had to seek a discretionary interlocutory appeal in the matter.
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Justices reverse denial of car dealership’s motion to set aside default judgment

March 27, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Because a car dealership and its registered agent did not receive notice of a hearing on default judgment, the judgment entered against it was void for want of jurisdiction, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled.
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Divided court upholds principal’s conviction of failure to report child abuse

March 27, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A split Indiana Supreme Court Thursday upheld a misdemeanor failure to report child abuse conviction against former Muncie Central High School principal Christopher Smith. The dissent believed the state failed to show he had reason to believe an alleged rape was child abuse.
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Justices reverse termination of parental rights in 2 cases

March 26, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
In two short, per curiam decisions, the Indiana Supreme Court found the parental rights of two Marion County parents should not have been terminated because of due process violations after the magistrate who heard their cases resigned before reporting recommended findings and conclusions.
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Judges reverse speeding infraction due to lack of proof

March 26, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A driver pulled over in Clark County for speeding was able to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals Wednesday that the infraction should be reversed because the state couldn’t prove its case.
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Court: Man never raised defense to attempted robbery

March 26, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals Wednesday pointed out that a defendant needs to assert the defense of abandonment in some manner at trial. The judges rejected a man’s claim that the defense does not require a formal pleading or notice of the defense.
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Two traffic stops and two motions to suppress result in two different rulings

March 25, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A pair of opinions from the Indiana Supreme Court examines two Terry stops made by police officers and through opposite rulings emphasizes law enforcement must have reasonable suspicion to pull over a driver.
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Vehicle forfeiture order affirmed despite state’s yearlong delay

March 25, 2014
Dave Stafford
A convicted cocaine dealer failed to convince a panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals that summary judgment forfeiture of his yellow 2004 Hummer was a violation of trial rules, even though the state’s motion for summary judgment was in response to a court show cause order due to case inactivity for more than a year.
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