Court opinions

Court's community-service policy is unenforceable

January 25, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a trial court’s order that an indigent small claims litigant perform community service in lieu of paying a filing fee, holding the informal local rule requiring community service is unenforceable.
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Judges order consideration of discovery demands

January 24, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ordered a Northern Indiana District Court to reconsider a German company’s discovery demands made in relation to a lawsuit pending in Germany over the alleged theft of trade secrets.
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COA: Man needed to submit claim under Wage Claims Statute

January 21, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
An employee’s status at the time he or she files the claim is the relevant inquiry in determining whether he or she proceeds under the Wage Payment Statute or the Wage Claims Statute, ruled the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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Judges uphold OWI conviction

January 21, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Even though a man who was temporarily found incompetent was detained in a facility for a period longer than his sentence would have been if he was convicted of Class A misdemeanor operating while intoxicated, the Indiana Court of Appeals upheld the denial of his motion to dismiss the charge.
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Judges reverse dismissal of prisoner's suit

January 19, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the dismissal of a prisoner’s civil rights suit that stemmed from his lack of gloves while working in the cold to remove tree stumps.
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SCOTUS refuses to accept two Indiana cases

January 18, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The nation’s highest court has refused to take two Indiana cases, including the high-profile abuse and neglect case of 3-year-old TaJanay Bailey that revealed fatal flaws in the state’s child welfare system.
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State urges SCOTUS to deny judicial canons case

January 17, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Attorney General’s Office has filed a brief with the nation’s highest court, urging the justices to not hear a case about whether Indiana’s judicial canons constitutionally infringe on the free speech rights of those on or vying for seats on the bench.
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3 judges dissent on rehearing denial in stun belt case

January 14, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The full 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has decided to not rehear an Indiana case about a convicted murder’s ineffective assistance of trial counsel claims relating to a stun belt used in court, though three judges disagreed and felt the northern Indiana federal judge’s decision should be upheld.
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Judges reverse dismissal of application to adjust claim

January 14, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the decision by the full Worker’s Compensation Board that a medical services provider’s application for an adjustment of claim was barred by the two-year statute of limitations found in Indiana Code Section 22-3-3-3. The appellate court relied on a recent decision involving a similar scenario to make its ruling.
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New Supreme Court lineup could change pro se case outcome

January 13, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court is thinking about rehearing a case it ruled on four months ago, in which a majority at the time created a new rule but offered no guidance for trial judges on informing future defendants about the dangers of proceeding pro se.
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COA panel divided on trial court involvement with subpoena

January 12, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals split today on whether an Indiana trial court had the authority to order a company to comply with a subpoena issued by arbitrators in New York.
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Court upholds convictions, sentence of a man who shot Indy officer

January 12, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a defendant’s convictions and sentence related to the shooting of an Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officer in the summer of 2008.
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Judges find enhancement doesn't violate double jeopardy principles

January 11, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals tackled an issue of first impression in a case involving double jeopardy principles. A defendant’s sentence was enhanced under the Firearm Enhancement Statute following a conviction for reckless homicide.
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SCOTUS declines to consider Indiana case

January 10, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The nation’s highest court has refused to consider an Indiana case involving whether a defendant’s no contest plea to an out-of-state murder can be used to qualify him as a serious violent felon on a conviction here.
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Judges reverse man's removal from sex offender list

January 10, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court erred in ordering a man’s name removed from the state’s sex offender registry because the court didn’t provide notice to the appropriate parties or hold a hearing before doing so, ruled the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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COA finds inmate's post-conviction relief process 'confusing'

January 10, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the denial of a pro se inmate’s petition for permission to file a belated appeal after his post-conviction relief petition was denied, finding the chronological cases summary to contain inconsistencies. The judges also noted that this particular court has a “documented history” of not organizing and keeping abreast of its post-conviction relief files.
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Justices accept 4 cases

January 10, 2011
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court took four cases for the week ending Jan. 7, including a case in which a convicted child molester asked for his sentence to be reduced but ended up having it ordered to be increased due to a sentencing error.
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7th Circuit first to decide on resentencing, procedural rule issue

January 4, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals today ruled on an issue that hasn’t been addressed by any of its counterparts nationwide, finding that sentencing guidelines revised three years ago still only give District judges one chance to modify penalties based on a federal criminal rule of procedure.
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Court hits on 2 first impression issues about prejudgment interest

December 30, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed a trial judge decision against awarding a litigant prejudgment interest in an uninsured motorist case, examining two issues of first impression and finding that state statute warrants the litigant receive that money even when it exceeds insurance policy limits for those types of claims.
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Court clarifies, reaffirms its prior back pay ruling

December 30, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals denied an Attorney General’s request to clarify a previous ruling that slashed a $42.4 million damages award, and clarified the two-month period from which state employees can recover back pay.
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Justices reaffirm uniform-contract interpreation approach

December 29, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has reaffirmed the state’s reliance on the uniform-contract interpretation approach rather than a site-specific approach for deciding which of several states’ laws should apply to an environmental remediation insurance coverage case.
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COA offers suggestion about judicial notice rule

December 29, 2010
Michael Hoskins
A paternity and child custody case has given the Indiana Court of Appeals a chance to examine a newly amended evidence rule for the first time, while simultaneously offering guidance to trial judges about using publicly accessible information to dispose of cases.
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Court rules on farm tractor operation case

December 29, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Farm tractor drivers can’t be charged with driving with a suspended license, but they can be charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated, according to the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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COA: Trial judges can't expand timetable on filing appeal notice

December 29, 2010
Michael Hoskins
State trial judges do not have the power to expand the appeal filing timetable outlined by Appellate Rule 9, the Indiana Court of Appeals cautioned today.
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COA: Trust not bound by ISTA employment arbitration clause

December 28, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled that two former leaders in the Indiana State Teachers Association who served as trustees for a legally separate insurance trust can’t force the trust’s governing board to adhere to arbitration clauses outlined in their ISTA employment contracts.
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