Court opinions

Death row inmate’s habeas petition denied

October 4, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A federal judge in South Bend has denied a death row inmate’s request for habeas corpus, rejecting the man’s claims that he is mentally retarded and, therefore, cannot be sentenced to death.
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7th Circuit rules against fired animal shelter worker

October 4, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed summary judgment for the city of Jeffersonville after finding that a terminated employee’s lawsuit claiming her firing violated the Americans with Disabilities Act can’t proceed because the woman doesn’t qualify as “disabled” under the ADA.
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Defendant’s argument should be made to rules committee

October 3, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
In affirming the denial of a man’s motion to suppress statements he made to an officer at a gas station, the Indiana Court of Appeals pointed out that his arguments pertaining to Indiana Evidence Rule 617 would be better presented to the Evidence Rules Review Committee.
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Judges find no misconduct by hospital

October 3, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the denial of a woman’s motion to correct error and relief from judgment following a verdict in favor of Clarian Health Partners on her medical malpractice complaint. The court found that Clarian’s counsel did not commit misconduct by not supplementing the deposition testimony of one of its doctors – a nonparty to the case – prior to trial.
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Fraternity pledge loses appeal involving alleged hazing incident

October 2, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Two Indiana Court of Appeals judges found that an incident involving “showering” at a Wabash College fraternity in 2007 – which led to injuries to a freshman pledge – were not considered hazing under Indiana law. Judge Nancy Vaidik, who dissented, found the majority’s view of pledging and hazing “far too restrictive.”
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Trial court should not have admitted statement to detective

October 2, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found the Vanderburgh Circuit Court abused its discretion in admitting at trial statements a defendant made to a police detective.
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COA rejects arguments Batson should extend to juror age

October 2, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court did not err in overruling a defendant’s Batson objection to the removal of two African-Americans from the jury during his trial for drug charges, the Court of Appeals held Tuesday.
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Justices reinstate COA opinion after hearing arguments

October 2, 2012
IL Staff
After hearing arguments last week in a discrimination case, the Indiana Supreme Court decided Monday not to assume jurisdiction over the appeal.
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Justices to hear negligent design case

October 1, 2012
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court took three cases last week, including a lawsuit filed by a man rendered a quadriplegic after he fell out of a company truck while working for Richmond Power.
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Clay County man entitled to discharge because of ruling delays

October 1, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found that Scott F. West is entitled to discharge under Indiana Criminal Rule 4(C) because he was held to answer on marijuana charges for more than a year without a trial date while his motion to suppress awaited a ruling.
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Trial court correctly revoked man’s probation in 5 cases

September 28, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A Washington Circuit judge did not abuse his discretion in revoking a man’s probation in multiple cases and ordering that he serve all of his previously suspended sentences, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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COA orders jury trial on animal cruelty charges

September 28, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
An Evansville man convicted of six counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty due to the condition of horses on his property did not knowingly waive his right to a jury trial and, therefore, is entitled to a jury trial, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded.
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7th Circuit affirms in part man’s convictions for producing fake documents

September 26, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
There is enough evidence to support two of the three convictions of an East Chicago man stemming from his making and selling various counterfeit documents, but photocopies in his possession cannot support his conviction of unlawful possession of five or more false identification documents.
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Admission of the videotaped confession constitutes fundamental error

September 25, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
The true finding that a juvenile committed an act that would constitute the offense of attempted burglary, a class B felony, was reversed by the Indiana Court of Appeals on the grounds the trial court made a fundamental error in admitting into evidence the juvenile’s videotaped confession.
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Court affirms protective order without evidentiary hearing

September 25, 2012
Dave Stafford
A Shelby County man’s protective order against a neighbor is valid even though the trial court didn’t hold an evidentiary hearing or honor the neighbor’s request for a continuance, the Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
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Court affirms mobile meth lab conviction, sentence arising from car search

September 25, 2012
Dave Stafford
A man’s conviction and 24-year sentence on charges related to a mobile meth lab found in his vehicle was affirmed Tuesday by the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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Teen bit by police dog during arrest may sue, appeals court rules

September 24, 2012
Dave Stafford
A man who more than five years ago sustained injuries from police dog bites during his arrest may proceed with a tort claim, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Court of Appeals points to ‘alarming trend’ in defendant’s appeal

September 24, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
A defendant who attempted to have his conviction reversed by citing the fundamental error doctrine instead received a sharp rebuke from the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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Appeals court reverses vacation of habitual traffic violator status

September 24, 2012
Dave Stafford
A trial court erred when it set aside a man’s 2002 guilty plea on a charge of operating a vehicle while a habitual traffic violator, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday.
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Question over spirit in which statements were made is enough for jury to deliberate

September 21, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
A defamation suit against an employee will proceed following the Indiana Court of Appeals' finding that there is doubt as to what conclusion a jury could reach in determining whether statements were made in good faith and without malice.
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Ankle bracelet excuse fails in court

September 21, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
A sex offender cannot use an ankle monitor as an excuse for failing to update his address on the sex offender registry, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Court of Appeals affirms extension of protective order

September 21, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
Asserting it cannot reweigh evidence, the Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a father’s arguments that the evidence did not support the extension of a protective order against him.
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Monroe County man’s suit against ex-wife and city still alive in trial court

September 20, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals concluded Thursday that portions of a man’s lawsuit alleging false imprisonment, malicious prosecution and other claims against his ex-wife and the city of Bloomington may continue. The trial court had dismissed all claims against the parties, which includes Monroe County.
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Chief justice approves master jury list

September 20, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Indiana Chief Justice Brent Dickson has signed off on the 2013 master list for jury pool assembly. The Judicial Technology & Automation and Jury committees merged data from the Bureau of Motor Vehicles and Department of Revenue to create the list. Any obvious duplicate information, errors or nonqualified persons were removed.
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Man to get new trial on meth, marijuana charges

September 20, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
An Elkhart man is entitled to a new trial on drug charges after the Indiana Court of Appeals found the police failed to “scrupulously honor” his right to remain silent.
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