Court opinions

Judges disagree on search validity

August 31, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
On remand from the Supreme Court of the United States to reconsider under a recent ruling, the Indiana Court of Appeals reaffirmed the forfeiture of a woman's car following the arrest of her son for driving while suspended. One judge dissented because she believes the search of the vehicle was unreasonable in light of the recent ruling.
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Amended ordinance doesn't apply to travel plaza

August 31, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
An Allen Superior Court correctly ruled that a travel plaza had a vested right to develop its plans under an original zoning ordinance, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed today.
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Judges disagree on remand instructions

August 28, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Indiana Court of Appeals judges unanimously agreed today that a defendant's petition for expungement of his arrest shouldn't have been denied by the trial court, but they disagreed as to what should happen on remand.
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Instant offense considered 'unrelated' per statute

August 28, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The trial court was correct in interpreting the state's habitual offender statute to include an instant conviction as one of the "unrelated" convictions referred to in the statute, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.
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COA: Business is a nuisance to homeowners

August 26, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Despite modifications to a mycelium-drying business located adjacent to a farmhouse, the business is still a nuisance that deprives the homeowners from the free use and enjoyment of their property, ruled the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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Justices: Appeal not available after guilty plea

August 25, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
A majority of Indiana Supreme Court justices agreed a man who pleaded guilty couldn't appeal the denial of his pre-trial motion to suppress. Yet one justice believed the plea agreement should have been honored according to its terms, which included reserving the right to object to the denial of the motion to suppress.
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Hearing didn't consider all statutory factors

August 25, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
In a modification of physical custody case, the Indiana Court of Appeals remanded for further proceedings because the trial court was required to hear evidence on and consider all of the factors listed in Indiana Code Section 31-17-2.2-1(b).
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Worker's suicide fails chain of causation testRestricted Content

August 21, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
A widow's request for workers' compensation benefits of her deceased husband can't be granted because his death at work was caused by a knowingly self-inflicted injury, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today. The woman failed to satisfy the chain of causation test in trying to prove an initial work-related event led to her husband's death.
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Fax confirmation creates issue of fact

August 20, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals addressed for the first time in a ruling today the evidentiary significance of a fax confirmation generated by the sender's machine. The Circuit Court determined the fax confirmation is strong evidence of receipt, so the District Court erred in granting summary judgment in favor of a company in an employment-discrimination case.
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Female firefighter not discriminated against

August 20, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indianapolis Fire Department didn't discriminate against a short female firefighter when it ordered her to be psychologically evaluated or perform driving tests, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed today.
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7th Circuit affirms possible erroneous sentenceRestricted Content

August 18, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Because a defendant's attorney affirmatively waived any challenge to an Armed Career Criminal Act enhancement - despite the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals advisement that the enhancement may have been an error due to a recent Circuit ruling - the federal Circuit Court had no choice but to affirm the District Court.
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Judges disagree if testimony is hypothetical

August 18, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Indiana Court of Appeals judges disagreed over whether two doctors' expert witness testimony in a medical malpractice case used hypothetical language that couldn't raise a genuine issue of fact.
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IDEM could fire employee for ethics violation

August 17, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The state's Ethics Commission correctly concluded an Indiana Department of Environmental Management employee violated a provision of the ethics code when he bought gas with a state-issued credit card at a gas station he partly owned.
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Trial court erred in denying motion to continue

August 17, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
A Marion Superior trial court should have granted a woman's motion to continue the day of her bench trial because she had a constitutional right to present a defense to support her involuntary intoxication argument, the Indiana Court of Appeals decided today.
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COA rules on parenting time restriction

August 14, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Indiana Court of Appeals judges had differing opinions as to whether the trial court was required to enter findings during a hearing in which a mother's parenting time was restricted.
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No Brady violation in sex-sting case

August 13, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
A defendant failed to show there was a Brady violation in his trial for enticing who he thought was an underage girl he met on the internet, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today.
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State's policy in court doesn't violate constitution

August 12, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The state's refusal to waive jury trials in one Marion Superior Court doesn't violate the constitutional rights of the mentally ill defendants who appear in that court, ruled the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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COA disagrees on damages to bidder

August 12, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Indiana Court of Appeals judges disagreed today whether a company should be entitled to damages when it lowered its bid for work at a state-run hospital based on fraudulent information from another bidder.
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Insurer's policy breach a case of first impression

August 11, 2009
Jennifer NelsonMore

Judges: amendment not retroactive

August 11, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today that an estate's interpretation of a 2003 amendment to Indiana Code would threaten the fiscal health of governmental entities and that the amendment isn't retroactive.
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Judge argues ruling puts form over substance

August 10, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The chief judge of the Indiana Court of Appeals dissented from his colleagues in an insurance dispute because he believes the decision leads to "an inequitable result."
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Court upholds out-of-state juvenile placement

August 10, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the placement of a juvenile delinquent in an out-of-state shelter care facility over the objection of the Indiana Department of Child Services, finding the trial court complied with statutes that allow it to place the juvenile in a non-Indiana facility. A recent change to one of those statutes now shifts the burden of payment to out-of-state facilities from DCS to the counties.
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County must pay for parent's appointed attorneyRestricted Content

August 7, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Noting a paradigm shift in parental rights termination cases due to House Enrolled Act 1001, one Indiana Court of Appeals judge believed the Department of Child Services instead of the counties should be responsible for the costs of appointed counsel in these types of proceedings.
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COA: physical condition, injury equal one injury

August 6, 2009
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals isn't convinced it needs to address the issue of pre-existing, non-work related physical conditions as it relates to a pizzeria cook's worker compensation case.
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Couple should be allowed truck title

August 5, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment in favor of a couple in a vehicle title dispute, ruling the pair should be allowed to take the title free of an auto auction's security interest in the truck.
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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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