Court opinions

No error in refusal to tender 'missing witness' instruction

November 15, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a man’s drug convictions, finding the District Court didn’t err by refusing to give the jury a requested “missing witness” instruction.
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Despite out-of-court agreement, COA upholds motion to strike

November 15, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals encourages collegiality among attorneys when it comes to resolving issues outside of court, but it had to uphold the striking of documents because they were not timely filed with the trial court. The parties’ attorneys agreed to an extension of time to reply outside of court, but the trial court had no choice but to not allow the late reply.
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COA affirms Avon ordinance invalid

November 12, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Town of Avon’s attempt to regulate by ordinance a township and conservancy district’s ability to remove and sell groundwater located in a park failed because the ordinance violated Indiana law, the Indiana Court of Appeals held today.
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COA: State could charge man for leaving scene of fatal accident

November 10, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a man’s conviction for failing to return to the scene of a fatal accident, finding the state wasn’t barred under collateral estoppel principles from prosecuting him for the same crime as another man who had already been convicted of causing the victim’s death.
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High court vacates transfer order

November 10, 2010
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court has decided not to take the case of a man who claimed he received ineffective assistance of trial counsel.
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Court affirms locked glove box search

November 9, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Without a case on point for the Indiana Court of Appeals to follow, the state’s second-highest appellate court has followed the direction of federal rulings and national precedent on allowing police to search locked glove boxes without a warrant.
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Court divided on invasion of privacy charge

November 8, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals split today as to whether a woman who had an order for protection against her should have been convicted of invasion of privacy when she spoke to the protected party during a court hearing.
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Ticket can't constitute 'testimonial hearsay'

November 8, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
Because a chemical breath-test evidence ticket is a mechanically produced readout that can’t be considered “testimonial hearsay” under U.S. Supreme Court precedent, the Indiana Court of Appeals held a man’s Sixth Amendment rights weren’t violated when the equipment technician didn’t testify at his drunk-driving trial.
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DOC violated religious rights in denying kosher meals

November 5, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A federal judge has found the Indiana Department of Correction was wrong to stop serving kosher meals to those whose religious practices required them to eat the specially prepared meals.
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Judges: early retirement ends unemployment benefits

November 5, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the termination of unemployment benefits for an auto worker who accepted an early retirement package after she was laid off.
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Indiana attorney is still battling merit-selection in courts

November 4, 2010
Michael Hoskins
A Terre Haute attorney has been dealt another blow in his national effort to challenge judicial merit-selection systems in favor of popular elections.
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COA affirms man not falsely arrested, imprisoned

November 4, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals declined to address whether a pro se prisoner is “incapacitated” for purposes of the Indiana Tort Claims Act in a man’s appeal of his suit involving false arrest and false imprisonment.
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COA upholds denial of post-conviction relief

November 3, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals agreed with the post-conviction court that a defendant didn’t receive ineffective assistance of trial counsel, finding the man had no right to the effective assistance of counsel at the time he gave a statement to police in front of the attorney.
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High court takes 3 cases

November 2, 2010
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court will hear a case in which a dissenting Court of Appeals judge worried that the majority’s finding would head toward a bright-line rule regarding the officer safety exception to the warrant requirement in the context of a car on the side of the road.
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Judge grants attorney summary judgment in collections suit

November 1, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A federal judge ruled in favor of an Indianapolis attorney involved in a class-action suit alleging he violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. The judge granted summary judgment to the attorney after finding the class representative fell outside the class definition.
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COA finds voyeurism statute not vague

October 29, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The state’s voyeurism statute is not unconstitutionally vague, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded today by rejecting a man’s claims that the statute would prevent taping a surprise birthday party.
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Court divides over injury claim under insurance policy

October 29, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals split today on whether a couple’s emotional distress claim constitutes “bodily injury” under their uninsured motorist coverage.
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Judges split on court's role in garnishments with pro se debtors

October 28, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals was divided on whether a trial court should assert exemptions in garnishment actions on behalf of debtors who aren’t represented by counsel.
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COA reverses motion allowing for release of documents

October 26, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
The Indiana Court of Appeals today reversed an order from Lake Superior Court that granted a motion to compel the production of documents from the appellant-defendant Allstate Insurance Company.
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Judges send Medicaid case back for review

October 25, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals remanded a Medicaid benefits denial to the Administrative Law Judge because her decision lacked findings of fact making the case mostly unreviewable by the appellate court.
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Judges hold option to buy real estate valid

October 22, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The purchaser of real estate through an option executed years earlier didn’t make the option unenforceable against the owner’s estate by not tendering the purchase price when exercising his option to buy the land, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded today.
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Court splits on public intoxication conviction

October 21, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals split today on whether a woman’s conviction of Class B misdemeanor public intoxication should be reversed because she wasn’t in a public place within the meaning of Indiana Code at the time police stopped her car.
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COA: Candidate remains on ballot

October 20, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Republican winner of the primary election for Indiana House of Representatives District 74 will remain on the ballot for the general election, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.
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Juvenile's records not protected by counselor/client privilege

October 20, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Howard Superior Court erred in finding that the counselor/client privilege prevented the admission of a son’s counseling records during a custody modification hearing, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.
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Court reverses indeterminate commitment of juvenile

October 14, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals addressed the interplay between sections 6 and 10 of Indiana Code 31-37-19 governing juvenile commitment for the first time today. The judges noted when they are applied separately the sections produce opposite results regarding the purpose of the statutes.   
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  1. I don't agree that this is an extreme case. There are more of these people than you realize - people that are vindictive and/or with psychological issues have clogged the system with baseless suits that are costly to the defendant and to taxpayers. Restricting repeat offenders from further abusing the system is not akin to restricting their freedon, but to protecting their victims, and the court system, from allowing them unfettered access. From the Supreme Court opinion "he has burdened the opposing party and the courts of this state at every level with massive, confusing, disorganized, defective, repetitive, and often meritless filings."

  2. So, if you cry wolf one too many times courts may "restrict" your ability to pursue legal action? Also, why is document production equated with wealth? Anyone can "produce probably tens of thousands of pages of filings" if they have a public library card. I understand this is an extreme case, but our Supreme Court really got this one wrong.

  3. He called our nation a nation of cowards because we didn't want to talk about race. That was a cheap shot coming from the top cop. The man who decides who gets the federal government indicts. Wow. Not a gentleman if that is the measure. More importantly, this insult delivered as we all understand, to white people-- without him or anybody needing to explain that is precisely what he meant-- but this is an insult to timid white persons who fear the government and don't want to say anything about race for fear of being accused a racist. With all the legal heat that can come down on somebody if they say something which can be construed by a prosecutor like Mr Holder as racist, is it any wonder white people-- that's who he meant obviously-- is there any surprise that white people don't want to talk about race? And as lawyers we have even less freedom lest our remarks be considered violations of the rules. Mr Holder also demonstrated his bias by publically visiting with the family of the young man who was killed by a police offering in the line of duty, which was a very strong indicator of bias agains the offer who is under investigation, and was a failure to lead properly by letting his investigators do their job without him predetermining the proper outcome. He also has potentially biased the jury pool. All in all this worsens race relations by feeding into the perception shared by whites as well as blacks that justice will not be impartial. I will say this much, I do not blame Obama for all of HOlder's missteps. Obama has done a lot of things to stay above the fray and try and be a leader for all Americans. Maybe he should have reigned Holder in some but Obama's got his hands full with other problelms. Oh did I mention HOlder is a bank crony who will probably get a job in a silkstocking law firm working for millions of bucks a year defending bankers whom he didn't have the integrity or courage to hold to account for their acts of fraud on the United States, other financial institutions, and the people. His tenure will be regarded by history as a failure of leadership at one of the most important jobs in our nation. Finally and most importantly besides him insulting the public and letting off the big financial cheats, he has been at the forefront of over-prosecuting the secrecy laws to punish whistleblowers and chill free speech. What has Holder done to vindicate the rights of privacy of the American public against the illegal snooping of the NSA? He could have charged NSA personnel with violations of law for their warrantless wiretapping which has been done millions of times and instead he did not persecute a single soul. That is a defalcation of historical proportions and it signals to the public that the government DOJ under him was not willing to do a damn thing to protect the public against the rapid growth of the illegal surveillance state. Who else could have done this? Nobody. And for that omission Obama deserves the blame too. Here were are sliding into a police state and Eric Holder made it go all the faster.

  4. JOE CLAYPOOL candidate for Superior Court in Harrison County - Indiana This candidate is misleading voters to think he is a Judge by putting Elect Judge Joe Claypool on his campaign literature. paragraphs 2 and 9 below clearly indicate this injustice to voting public to gain employment. What can we do? Indiana Code - Section 35-43-5-3: Deception (a) A person who: (1) being an officer, manager, or other person participating in the direction of a credit institution, knowingly or intentionally receives or permits the receipt of a deposit or other investment, knowing that the institution is insolvent; (2) knowingly or intentionally makes a false or misleading written statement with intent to obtain property, employment, or an educational opportunity; (3) misapplies entrusted property, property of a governmental entity, or property of a credit institution in a manner that the person knows is unlawful or that the person knows involves substantial risk of loss or detriment to either the owner of the property or to a person for whose benefit the property was entrusted; (4) knowingly or intentionally, in the regular course of business, either: (A) uses or possesses for use a false weight or measure or other device for falsely determining or recording the quality or quantity of any commodity; or (B) sells, offers, or displays for sale or delivers less than the represented quality or quantity of any commodity; (5) with intent to defraud another person furnishing electricity, gas, water, telecommunication, or any other utility service, avoids a lawful charge for that service by scheme or device or by tampering with facilities or equipment of the person furnishing the service; (6) with intent to defraud, misrepresents the identity of the person or another person or the identity or quality of property; (7) with intent to defraud an owner of a coin machine, deposits a slug in that machine; (8) with intent to enable the person or another person to deposit a slug in a coin machine, makes, possesses, or disposes of a slug; (9) disseminates to the public an advertisement that the person knows is false, misleading, or deceptive, with intent to promote the purchase or sale of property or the acceptance of employment;

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