Court opinions

Award of attorney fees reversed in child-support dispute

September 9, 2014
Dave Stafford
The ex-wife in a child-support dispute was improperly awarded a portion of her attorney fees after the trial court rejected her ex-husband’s petition to modify child support.
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Denial of mortgage lender’s license is within state’s authority, COA rules

September 8, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Court of Appeals found the Indiana Department of Financial Institutions had the authority to deny a mortgage lender originator’s license to an applicant who has a criminal record. 
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Appeals court reverses summary judgment in freezing-fog fall

September 8, 2014
Dave Stafford
A medical worker who sued her employer after slipping and falling in a parking lot made slick by freezing fog may proceed with her lawsuit, a divided Court of Appeals panel ruled, reversing summary judgment in favor of a Richmond hospital.
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Appeals court bounces IURC ruling favoring Duke on Edwardsport plant

September 8, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission failed to comply with laws and regulations when it approved an order allowing Duke Energy to pass along to ratepayers certain construction costs for the $3 billion Edwardsport coal gasification plant in Knox County.
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Federal judges allows sex discrimination lawsuit against Catholic diocese to continue

September 8, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A Fort Wayne school teacher’s allegation of sex discrimination against the Diocese of Fort Wayne – South Bend Inc. can proceed after a federal judge found a jury should decide the issue.
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7th Circuit finds Indiana’s marriage law irrational and unconstitutional

September 5, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Indiana’s assertion that preventing same-sex marriage encourages responsible procreation among heterosexuals was unequivocally rejected in a blistering opinion from the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, which said the state’s argument could not be taken seriously.
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7th Circuit rejects denial of disabled woman’s benefits

September 5, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Finding repeated fault with the administrative law judge who denied a Chandler woman Social Security disability payments, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed and remanded the case to the Social Security Administration.
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ICRC has jurisdiction in basketball race discrimination case

September 5, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Civil Rights Commission has jurisdiction in a racial discrimination claim brought by a former basketball player against Cardinal Ritter High School, but the ICRC dropped the ball in the case, the Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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Summary judgment affirmed in hysterectomy med-mal case

September 5, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals Friday affirmed summary judgment in favor of health care providers in a lawsuit brought by a woman claiming doctors did not obtain informed consent before performing a hysterectomy.
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Appeals court reversal reunites mother and children

September 5, 2014
Dave Stafford
A Grant County trial court abused its discretion in ordering the appointment of guardians for two children, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday, reversing a guardianship order and instructing the trial court to reunite the children with their mother.
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Bike rider loses 'no duty to stop' argument in resisting appeal

September 5, 2014
Dave Stafford
A bicycle rider convicted by a jury of resisting law enforcement lost his appeal Friday on his argument that he had no duty to stop after an Indianapolis police officer tripped his siren and followed him in his cruiser.
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7th Circuit: Gay marriage bans in Indiana, Wisconsin unconstitutional

September 4, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed federal court rulings in Indiana and Wisconsin invalidating the states’ prohibitions of same-sex marriage.
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COA splits on reversal of child molesting conviction

September 4, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A panel on the Indiana Court of Appeals was divided Thursday over whether a man’s Class A felony child molesting conviction should be overturned. The dissenting judge believed any error by the trial court was harmless, so the conviction should stand.
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COA re-evaluates public intox opinion in light of Thang, but still affirms

September 4, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
An Indiana Supreme Court decision regarding public intoxication has impacted a decision issued by the Court of Appeals three weeks earlier, but the judges still concluded a woman’s public intoxication conviction cannot stand.
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Defendant loses on ineffective counsel claim

September 4, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A defendant did not show that he was denied the effective assistance of appellate counsel, so the court correctly denied his petition for post-conviction relief, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Man cannot collect uninsured motorist coverage after accident on motorcycle

September 4, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A man injured in an accident while riding a motorcycle cannot collect under his insurance policy’s uninsured motorist coverage, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday. The judges rejected his claim that the exclusion of motorcycles violates public policy.
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Judge: Inevitable discovery rule could apply under state constitution

September 4, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals unanimously reversed a man’s convictions stemming from his alleged use of a stolen credit card at a gas station in Hancock County. But the judges on the panel didn’t agree whether the state’s argument of inevitable discovery is allowed under the Indiana Constitution.
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Justices order in camera review of report to determine if material is privileged

September 4, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court tackled two issues of first impression Wednesday in a dispute involving a family business and claims the company president caused a significant decrease in shareholder value.
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Justices take first impression insurance case

September 3, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court has accepted three cases on transfer, including one that divided the Court of Appeals regarding a jury award to the widow of a motorcyclist injured in a crash.
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Justices reverse conviction and sentence enhancement related to handgun

September 3, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Because a man’s firearm enhancement is based on the same behavior used to convict and sentence him for carrying a handgun without a permit, the Indiana Supreme Court vacated the conviction and five-year enhancement.
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COA sets aside auction of mobile homes

September 3, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the sale of several mobile homes through an auction in Hendricks County after finding the buyer did not comply with statutory requirements regarding timelines for conducting an auction.
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Court upholds 3-year sentence for assault on girlfriend

September 3, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a man’s claim that his decision to waive his right to a jury trial deserves some mitigating consideration when sentencing him. The judges affirmed Timothy McSchooler’s three-year prison sentence for strangling his girlfriend.
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State can exclude fuel ethanol plants from ‘chemical process plant’ classification

September 3, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court on Tuesday affirmed the decision by state environmental agencies to no longer consider fuel ethanol plants to be a “chemical process plant” under the Clean Air Act. By removing fuel ethanol plants from this classification, those plants may not be subject to stricter regulations.
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Steak n Shake can’t force arbitration with disgruntled franchisees

September 2, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday affirmed that Steak n Shake Enterprises Inc. cannot compel several of its franchisees to engage in nonbinding arbitration regarding claims brought by the franchisees in federal court. Steak n Shake tried to force arbitration after the restaurants already sued over the requirement all restaurants must adhere to company pricing and promotions.
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7th Circuit dismisses 3 Latin Kings gang members’ appeals

September 2, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Because three Latin Kings gang members took plea deals with the government after they were charged with several counts – including conspiracy to participate in racketeering – that limited their ability to appeal, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals threw out their appeals Friday.
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  1. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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