Court opinions

Justices reaffirm ruling on sentence enhancements under habitual offender statute

March 21, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court Thursday granted the state’s request for a rehearing in a case in which the justices determined that Anthony Dye’s sentence for unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon, which was enhanced under the general habitual offender statute, was an impermissible double enhancement.
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COA affirms changing boy’s last name

March 21, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The mother of a 5-year-old boy was unable to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that the Marion Circuit Court erred in granting his father’s petition to change the boy’s surname to his last name.
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Cedar Lake allowed to dissolve Parks Department, board

March 21, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A Lake Superior judge erred when she used Dillon’s Rule to determine the scope of the town of Cedar Lake’s legal authority to dissolve its park board and Parks Department, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday. The proper legal inquiry is based on the state’s Home Rule Act.
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Judges rule against commissioners in eminent domain dispute

March 21, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
In a case involving the use of eminent domain to acquire land to expand the runway at the Clark County Airport, the Indiana Court of Appeals encouraged lawyers and the courts to stop using the phrase “jurisdiction over a particular case” when the term “legal error” should be used.
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Nursing student loses appeal of dismissal from Purdue

March 19, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A nursing student at Purdue University’s Fort Wayne campus was unable to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals Tuesday that the university and officials violated her due process rights and breached a contract with her when they dismissed her from the program due to behavioral difficulties.
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Judges affirm reduction of subrogation lien

March 15, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected State Farm Insurance Company’s argument that its subrogation lien regarding one couple’s policy shouldn’t be reduced based on State Farm’s refusal in a policy held by another family to pay the full amount of the couple’s claim following a car accident.
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Man’s statement on drug allowed at trial

March 15, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals held Friday that a trial court did not commit fundamental error in admitting Charles Meriwether’s statement to police that he had marijuana in his car.
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Man must reinstate original complaints for lawsuits to proceed

March 14, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals held Thursday that a man with a propensity to sue over purchases made online may not file a new lawsuit in Marion County after a similar one was dismissed without prejudice.
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COA affirms angry ex-boyfriend’s battery convictions

March 14, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A northern Indiana man, angry that his ex-girlfriend was in a new relationship, had his convictions of battery by means of a deadly weapon upheld by the Indiana Court of Appeals. The convictions stemmed from his ramming of the new boyfriend’s car with his.
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Judges deny prisoner’s request to appeal without paying fees

March 13, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a man’s argument that he and other prisoners do not need to pay appellate filing and docketing fees, and so a District Court’s certification of appeal is irrelevant.
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Woman suing for unpaid wages passes ‘duck test’

March 13, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Indiana Justice Mark Massa made repeated references in Wednesday’s decision to the “Duck Test” – if it walks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck – in a day laborer’s lawsuit to recover unpaid damages from a Fort Wayne company. The justices found Brandy Walczak’s lawsuit may proceed under the Wage Payment Act.
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7th Circuit again reverses drug sentence for minor role reduction

March 13, 2013
Dave Stafford
A man convicted of a federal charge that he transported drug money will be sentenced a third time after the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday in a nonprecedential opinion that a resentencing the court ordered in 2010 did not sufficiently consider his minor role compared with conspirators.
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Is COA opinion on threat to judge a threat to rights?

March 13, 2013
Dave Stafford
Advocates say imprisoned blogger's ruling out of the Indiana Court of Appeals imperils the First Amendment.
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Suit against Catholic diocese alleging firing after fertility treatment proceeds

March 12, 2013
Dave Stafford
A former teacher who claims her contract at St. Vincent de Paul School in Fort Wayne was not renewed because she underwent in vitro fertilization treatments may proceed with a suit against the Catholic diocese.
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Justices: Evidence of dismissed crimes allowable for post-conviction relief

March 12, 2013
Dave Stafford
A Delaware County man who pleaded guilty to armed robbery and criminal confinement in a deal that dropped seven other felony counts was not improperly denied post-conviction relief when a judge considered evidence of charges that were dismissed, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Tuesday.
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Court affirms reduction of support ordered in another state

March 11, 2013
Dave Stafford
A court order reducing a father’s child support obligation from that set by a Pennsylvania court was affirmed Monday by the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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Ruling: Easement to Eagle Creek indeed leads to water

March 11, 2013
Dave Stafford
A trial court ruling that forbid residents of a lakefront subdivision from accessing the water from a public easement was overturned Monday by the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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Separate notice argument not enough to vacate small claims judgment

March 8, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A business’s argument that it should have been served with a separate notice of a small claims action was rejected by the Indiana Court of Appeals Friday.
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Lake County man warned against disparaging bench

March 8, 2013
Dave Stafford
A Lake County man with a history of filing unsupported allegations and derogatory comments in pleadings was rebuffed on his latest appearance before the Indiana Court of Appeals, which warned him against disparaging the bench.
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Man’s conviction of auto theft upheld

March 7, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Although a trial court’s refusal to give a defendant’s jury instruction was an error, it was harmless and his felony auto theft conviction should be affirmed, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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State didn’t prove man committed trespass

March 7, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a criminal trespass conviction for a Marion County man after finding the state didn’t prove a material element of the crime.
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Majority sides with hotel in lawsuit stemming from molestation

March 6, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A divided Indiana Supreme Court affirmed summary judgment for a hotel, its owner and the hotel franchisor that the hotel’s insurance company had no duty to defend a civil complaint brought by a minor motel guest who was molested by an off-duty employee.
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School corporation’s renovation of building violated public bidding laws

March 6, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday that the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation’s renovation of a building to be used to house all administrative offices violated the state’s Public Bidding Laws.
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Justices: Use preponderance of evidence standard to find probation violation

March 6, 2013
Kimberly Heaton will have a new hearing on whether she violated the terms of her probation when she was charged with Class D felony theft. The Indiana Supreme Court vacated her probation revocation because a Madison Superior judge may have used the wrong legal standard to find the violation.
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Justices rule in favor of insurer in dispute over canceled policy

March 5, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court affirmed summary judgment for American Family Insurance in a lawsuit filed by a couple after the insurer denied coverage for a 2003 fire at their home and voided the insurance policy from its beginning.
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