Court opinions

Court allows education board lawsuit to proceed

July 29, 2014
 Associated Press
A Marion County judge has cleared the way for a lawsuit to proceed against members of the State Board of Education that alleges public access violations.
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Warrantless search based on smell does not violated 4th Amendment

July 28, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Despite the absence of danger to the public, the strong odor of raw marijuana provided the probable cause a police officer needed to conduct a warrantless search.
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COA rules grandparent visitation order prejudiced father

July 28, 2014
Dave Stafford
A father who asked the trial court for a continuance to hire a lawyer after he realized his child’s grandparents had hired an attorney was prejudiced when the request was denied, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday.
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Prisoner wins right to recruit counsel in federal civil suit

July 28, 2014
Dave Stafford
A prisoner was improperly denied counsel to help with discovery in his federal lawsuit that claimed a medical provider was deliberately indifferent to glaucoma that ultimately required removal of part of his eye.
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7th Circuit rejects prisoner’s ineffective assistance appeal

July 28, 2014
Dave Stafford
A man convicted of attempted murder failed to convince a panel of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals that he suffered sufficient prejudice to warrant relief from a 90-year sentence imposed after a brutal crime.
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7th Circuit affirms dismissal of Indianapolis wrongful arrest suit

July 28, 2014
Dave Stafford
A plaintiff who judges say took a “kitchen sink” approach to litigation over an alleged wrongful arrest failed to convince the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals that a federal judge in Indianapolis improperly dismissed most of her complaint.
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Court rules stun gun is deadly weapon under battery statute

July 28, 2014
Dave Stafford
The battery with a deadly weapon conviction of a man who attacked a resident manager at a Noblesville trailer park with a metal pipe and a stun gun was affirmed by the Indiana Court of Appeals Monday.
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Non life-threatening injury gets aggravated battery conviction reversed

July 28, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A defendant who shot at a car with a semiautomatic rifle, causing a bullet to graze the driver, did not commit Class B felony aggravated battery because the injury inflicted upon the victim did not create a substantial risk of death.
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Employee's auto accident on way home from business meeting not company's fault

July 25, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A company whose employee hit and killed another motorist after having dinner and drinks with a client is not liable because the employee was “going and coming” from work when the tragedy occurred, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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COA reverses ruling against Carmel in building dispute

July 25, 2014
Dave Stafford
A Carmel couple who successfully sued the city that at first permitted construction of an accessory building that neighbors later complained was taller than zoning codes allowed lost Friday at the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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Additional public defender fees without hearing affirmed

July 25, 2014
A man who appealed a court order that he pay fees in excess of the statutory public defender fee capped at $100 lost his appeal, though one judge said the trial court must hold a hearing on the defendant’s ability to pay.
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Woman’s burglary conspiracy conviction affirmed

July 25, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals Friday affirmed the conviction of a correctional officer who played a role in arranging the burglary of a safe from a friend’s home.
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Supreme Court lets lawyer’s suit against Duke Realty proceed

July 25, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court summarily affirmed a Court of Appeals ruling that a jury should decide whether a real estate company intentionally induced a law firm to terminate an attorney’s partnership agreement as the result of a dispute over a land agreement.
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Appeals court affirms denial of post-conviction relief

July 25, 2014
Dave Stafford
A man who was represented by a law student at his guilty plea hearing and claimed he received ineffective assistance of counsel could not persuade a panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals to reverse a denial of his petition for post-conviction relief.
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Summary judgment proper on issue of causation, COA rules

July 23, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed summary judgment in favor of a doctor sued by a patient who claimed a delay in a diagnosis caused him to have increased pain and problems. The evidence doesn’t establish a genuine issue of material fact on the issue of causation.
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Man can be charged for failing to register in 2 counties

July 23, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has ordered a trial on a charge of failing to register as a sex offender in Vanderburgh County, ruling that a man can be charged in that county even though he pleaded guilty to failing to register in a different county based on the same move.
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COA: drug court participant not entitled to credit time for electronic monitoring

July 22, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The trial court properly denied awarding credit time to a drug court participant on electronic monitoring who violated the conditions of his agreement four times, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Illinois law applies to accident in that state involving Hoosiers

July 22, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court properly held that Illinois substantive law is applicable to a collision that occurred in Illinois between two Indiana residents, the Court of Appeals concluded Tuesday.
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Court erred in denying nursing home’s motion to compel arbitration

July 22, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court incorrectly concluded that an arbitration agreement contained in a nursing home’s facility admission agreement was ambiguous because the parties bound by the agreement are not clearly named, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Tuesday.
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COA upholds father’s $1,419 weekly child support obligation

July 22, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
In affirming the trial court’s decision to increase a father’s weekly child support obligation to four times the amount he and his ex-wife initially agreed to, the Indiana Court of Appeals asked the Supreme Court to determine how Indiana Code 31-16-8-1 should be interpreted.
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Fired DOC counselor’s sex-discrimination claim revived by 7th Circuit

July 22, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated a former Department of Correction substance abuse counselor’s lawsuit alleging sex-discrimination and hostile work environment, finding she was treated differently as compared to the employee she had an affair with while working at a maximum-security prison.
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Split court upholds man’s conviction for conspiracy to commit robbery

July 22, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Citing an issue of first impression, the majority on the Indiana Supreme Court Tuesday concluded that a man could be convicted of Class A felony conspiracy to commit robbery even though the targeted victim was not robbed or harmed in any way.
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City fails to prove urine sample arrived at lab with seal intact

July 22, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the finding that a city of Gary employee was discharged but not for just cause. The judges pointed to incomplete paperwork regarding an on-site screen custody form.
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COA splits over whether pat down after traffic stop was justified

July 22, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A majority on the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded that a trial court abused its discretion when it denied a man’s motion to suppress drug evidence found on him after police pulled him over for failing to signal a turn. But the dissenting judge believed the arresting officer had sufficient reason to think the defendant might be armed and dangerous during their encounter.
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Justices agree amendment adding defendants was timely filed

July 21, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court on Monday granted transfer to a case and adopted the Court of Appeals opinion in the matter involving a wrongful death claim stemming from a mower accident.
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  1. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  2. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

  3. I will agree with that as soon as law schools stop lying to prospective students about salaries and employment opportunities in the legal profession. There is no defense to the fraudulent numbers first year salaries they post to mislead people into going to law school.

  4. The sad thing is that no fish were thrown overboard The "greenhorn" who had never fished before those 5 days was interrogated for over 4 hours by 5 officers until his statement was illicited, "I don't want to go to prison....." The truth is that these fish were measured frozen off shore and thawed on shore. The FWC (state) officer did not know fish shrink, so the only reason that these fish could be bigger was a swap. There is no difference between a 19 1/2 fish or 19 3/4 fish, short fish is short fish, the ticket was written. In addition the FWC officer testified at trial, he does not measure fish in accordance with federal law. There was a document prepared by the FWC expert that said yes, fish shrink and if these had been measured correctly they averaged over 20 inches (offshore frozen). This was a smoke and mirror prosecution.

  5. I love this, Dave! Many congrats to you! We've come a long way from studying for the bar together! :)

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