Court opinions

Juror taint causes Supreme Court to reverse involuntary manslaughter convictions

March 16, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Supreme Court reversed a couple’s involuntary manslaughter convictions after it found an alternate juror improperly participated in the deliberations. The justices remanded the case to the trial court for a new trial.
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Supreme Court: COA erred in custody decision

March 15, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Supreme Court went against the Indiana Court of Appeals when it agreed with the trial court that a mother’s motions for custody modification and for contempt should be denied.
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COA: Firm has no private cause of action to gain back fees

March 15, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a decision that denied HealthPort’s motion for judgment against Garrison Law Firm LLC after it found Garrison did not have a private cause of action under Indiana law or Administrative Code.
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Appeals court rules Notre Dame police subject to APRA

March 15, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday the University of Notre Dame Police Department is a public agency under the Indiana Access to Public Records Act and is subject to APRA requests, overturning a trial court decision in St. Joseph Superior Court.
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COA rules in favor of IHSAA in basketball fight

March 11, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a preliminary injunction against the Indiana High School Athletic Association in a case involving a fight between Griffith and Hammond High Schools last year that allowed both schools to participate in the IHSAA tournament. The COA said the trial court improperly added its own judgment and remanded the case to the trial court for further proceedings.
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Pork producer wins final suit over Indiana swine farms

March 11, 2016
 Associated Press
The nation's 11th largest pork producer has claimed victory after seven years of litigation over an influx of industrial swine farms in east central Indiana.
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Wife to receive more in divorce settlement

March 11, 2016
Scott Roberts
A wife will get around $116,000 more in a divorce settlement after the Indiana Court of Appeals found the trial court erred in applying the coverture fraction formula to the husband’s retirement accounts.
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COA overturns trust validity case

March 10, 2016
Scott Roberts
A redacted copy of a living trust did not stop a woman from challenging and winning her charge that a trial court improperly dismissed her complaint contesting validity of the trust.
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Woman’s self-improvement efforts not enough to change sentence

March 10, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a woman’s 36-month sentence for theft after it found the self-improvements she made were not enough to justify a lesser sentence.
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Bad publicity not enough to justify preliminary injunction

March 10, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals denied a doctor’s motion for preliminary injunction after it found he did not present enough evidence to justify it because he did not let the disciplinary process at his hospital play out.
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Denial of jury instruction was correct, COA rules

March 10, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals said a trial court was right in denying a man’s jury instruction that would have applied mens rea to every element of aggravated battery, saying the severity of an injury is not an element of prohibited conduct, but a result of it.
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ADEA does not apply to company who fired 61-year-old employee

March 10, 2016
Scott Roberts
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment for New Holland Logansport in a wrongful termination suit after it found the company did not meet the definition of employer under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.
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7th Circuit: Plea agreement not breached by government

March 10, 2016
Scott Roberts
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals said the government did not breach its plea agreement with a defendant by introducing more victims than were mentioned in the agreement and therefore dismissed his appeal.
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Man has to pay back money despite court errors

March 9, 2016
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled a man must pay back $19,486 he stole from another man despite court errors and the fact that the 10-year statute of limitations had expired.
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COA denies expungement after man admitted to committing crime

March 9, 2016
Scott Roberts
The fact that a man admitted to committing a crime was enough to deny expungement of his records, the Indiana Court of Appeals said, despite the fact he was not convicted of one during his expungement time period.
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7th Circuit: cousins conspired to sell heroin; another gets new trial

March 9, 2016
Scott Roberts
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals said two cousins conspired to distribute heroin, despite the claim from the defendants they were running separate heroin businesses.
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Judge’s sentencing process does not violate due process

March 9, 2016
Scott Roberts
The United States 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled a judge’s process to sentence a man who pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine did not violate the Fifth Amendment Due Process Clause, and may even be a process to be emulated by other judges in the future.
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Man can’t appeal piracy conviction

March 4, 2016
Scott Roberts
A man who pleaded guilty to piracy for his role in boarding a ship off the coast of Somalia in 2009 was denied a writ of habeas corpus because he waived that right when he pleaded to his crime.
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7th Circuit rejects group's I-69 challenges

March 4, 2016
Scott Olson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a federal judge’s ruling granting a motion to dismiss some charges and grant summary judgment on others to the United States Department of Transportation after a group opposing I-69 construction in southern Indiana, Citizens for Appropriate Rural Roads, filed a lawsuit.
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Supreme Court upholds attempted obstruction of justice charge

March 3, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Supreme Court said it didn’t matter whether the statements made by a defendant in a letter he wrote to the mother of a child victim he molested were true, the man still was deserving of the attempted obstruction of justice conviction.
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COA: man not entitled to relief under firearms statute

March 3, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals overturned a man’s request for summary judgment after he was fired for bringing a gun to work and instead granted summary judgment to his ex-employer after it found the man was not entitled to relief under statute or common law.
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Supreme Court says statute of repose does not apply in prolonged asbestos cases

March 3, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Supreme Court declared in a split decision Wednesday that the Indiana Product Liability Statute, and specifically its 10-year statute of repose, does not apply to cases where the plaintiffs have had protracted exposure to inherently dangerous foreign substances.
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Justices: State RICO law can apply to street-crimes

March 2, 2016
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that street-level crimes may be prosecuted under the state’s version of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act if the crimes aren’t isolated, affirming an Anderson man’s conviction of corrupt business influence related to a string of robberies.
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Court denies summary judgment in excessive force case

March 2, 2016
Scott Roberts
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals said there was enough evidence against two officers accused of excessive force while arresting a Hammond man to create material dispute and therefore reversed summary judgment for the officers. The case was remanded to District Court for further proceedings.
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Supreme Court upholds man’s life sentence for murder

March 1, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Supreme Court upheld a man’s murder conviction and sentence of life without parole after it found comments the judge made to the jury did not deprive him of a fair trial.
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  1. Indianapolis employers harassment among minorities AFRICAN Americans needs to be discussed the metro Indianapolis area is horrible when it comes to harassing African American employees especially in the local healthcare facilities. Racially profiling in the workplace is an major issue. Please make it better because I'm many civil rights leaders would come here and justify that Indiana is a state the WORKS only applies to Caucasian Americans especially in Hamilton county. Indiana targets African Americans in the workplace so when governor pence is trying to convince people to vote for him this would be awesome publicity for the Presidency Elections.

  2. Wishing Mary Willis only God's best, and superhuman strength, as she attempts to right a ship that too often strays far off course. May she never suffer this personal affect, as some do who attempt to change a broken system: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QojajMsd2nE

  3. Indiana's seatbelt law is not punishable as a crime. It is an infraction. Apparently some of our Circuit judges have deemed settled law inapplicable if it fails to fit their litmus test of political correctness. Extrapolating to redefine terms of behavior in a violation of immigration law to the entire body of criminal law leaves a smorgasbord of opportunity for judicial mischief.

  4. I wonder if $10 diversions for failure to wear seat belts are considered moral turpitude in federal immigration law like they are under Indiana law? Anyone know?

  5. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

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