Court opinions

Judges uphold sentence increase on appeal

June 10, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the defendant’s sentence that they had increased on appeal in March in an opinion on rehearing today and addressed the characteristics of an Indiana Appellate Rule 7(B) review.
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Justices differ on defining 'youth program center'

June 9, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
Two Indiana Supreme Court justices objected to affirming a man’s drug sentence for possession within 1,000 feet of a “youth program center” because the church that ran the programs wasn’t easily identifiable as regularly running programs for kids.
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Articles about pending cases raise concernsRestricted Content

June 9, 2010
Michael Hoskins
At least two attorneys are questioning how some legal publications have included articles, columns, or other types of coverage on pending cases, and they worry that these articles may influence the judges on the cases.
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Justices order new trial based on traffic judge's conduct

June 9, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has set the stage for a judicial disciplinary action against a Marion County Traffic Court judge for his courtroom conduct on a speeding and suspended license case last year.
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Officer's questions went beyond seat belt act

June 9, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The inquiry by a police officer to a driver stopped for a seat belt violation about the "large, unusual bulge" in his pants went beyond the state's Seatbelt Enforcement Act, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Thursday.
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Man's suit filed after all statutes of limitations

June 9, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals agreed a Logansport resident has standing to sue his city over the operation and management of a city park, but that his suit is barred by statutes of limitations.
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7th Circuit upholds denial of alien's motion to dismiss

June 8, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals sidestepped ruling directly on the exhaustion requirement of a federal law dealing with an alien’s challenge to the validity of a deportation order. The appellate court could affirm the denial of the man’s motion to dismiss because he failed to meet any of the law’s exhaustion requirements.
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SCOTUS reverses 7th Circuit on sex offender registration

June 1, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The nation’s highest court reversed the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals today on an Indiana case, holding that that a federal sex offender registry law does not apply to those convicts whose interstate travel happened before the 2006 statute took effect.
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Court sets drug-court termination requirements

May 28, 2010
Elizabeth Brockett
An Indiana Court of Appeals ruling today sets requirements for drug court terminations after a man’s participation was terminated without minimum due process.
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COA: Breathalyzer certificate is not testimonial

May 28, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
For the first time since the Supreme Court of the United States’ 2009 ruling that found a defendant had a Sixth Amendment right to confront the analysts who prepared lab certificates certifying the defendant had cocaine, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled that a trial court did not violate the defendant’s right to confrontation by allowing the inspection certificate for a breathalyzer into evidence, even though the certifier of the equipment did not testify at trial.
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Justices rule on case about worker's compensation, damages

May 27, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Upholding a trial court ruling in a case stemming from a construction site accident, the Indiana Supreme Court has offered guidance for future trials about how juries should calculate a plaintiff’s already-paid compensation benefits when determining punitive damage awards.
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Court rejects stale trash evidence argument

May 26, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals has rejected an argument that evidence found in a trash search was stale because no other garbage had been collected in the past two weeks and that seized material could have been too old.
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Debate swirls around citations, use of the NFPRestricted Content

May 26, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Envision a world in which lawyers successfully defended a client on what all parties thought was a significant legal issue, but future attorneys couldn't use that case result to help persuade judges in their litigation.
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Attorneys say ruling confuses discovery regarding expert materialsRestricted Content

May 26, 2010
Michael Hoskins
A liability lawsuit filed by the victims of a water-heater explosion a year after the May 2004 blast has erupted in its own metaphorical explosion of discovery disputes.
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Supreme Court analyzes appellate review rule on sentences

May 25, 2010
Addressing an issue that’s divided the state’s intermediate appeals judges, the Indiana Supreme Court has held that review under Appellate Rule 7 may include consideration of a person’s total penal consequences within a trial court sentence.
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Sexually violent predator petitions must be refiled

May 24, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The status as a sexually violent predator for two inmates stands for now, but the Indiana Court of Appeals directed the men to refile their motions to remove that status pursuant to the recently amended statute dealing with this issue.
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Judges rule on pre-existing condition case

May 21, 2010
Highlighting the highly controversial health care debate that’s played out during the past year, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals today ruled on a pretty straightforward case about a pre-existing condition clause that denied a man’s claim for long-term disability benefits.
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COA upholds 125-year child-molesting sentence

May 19, 2010
Michael Hoskins
In upholding multiple child-molesting convictions and a 125-year sentence, the Indiana Court of Appeals has rejected a woman’s argument about why her penalty should be reduced based in part on the very young ages of the victims.
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Court: Police shouldn't have made traffic stop

May 19, 2010
Michael Hoskins
An appellate decision today in a drunk-driving traffic stop case out of Fort Wayne illustrates how a lack of knowledge about a particular road’s layout can derail the prosecution of someone who may have been intoxicated behind the wheel.
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7th Circuit rules against Indianapolis attorney

May 18, 2010
Michael Hoskins
An Indianapolis attorney has lost a federal appeal that involves his being forced to resign as manager of the title insurance division after writing a memo that criticized his boss.
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Security concerns should be part of record

May 17, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court wants state trial judges to offer written guidance if and when courthouse or jury security concerns come up during trial.
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Court rules on sex offender status decisions

May 17, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Tackling the issue of who determines whether a convicted sex offender is considered a “sexually violent predator,” the Indiana Court of Appeals today issued the latest ruling in a line of cases about the state’s sex offender registry and how convicts’ names are removed.
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Indiana justices answer certified question from federal court

May 14, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court says that a person or business that buys and later sells a wrecked vehicle must apply for a salvage title as required by state law, even if that vehicle’s been sold by the time that certificate is received.
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COA affirms resisting police conviction

May 13, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals was hesitant to rely on an Indiana Supreme Court case’s definition of “forcibly resist” because that language doesn’t appear to adequately describe the meaning of the phrase as it has been recently applied.
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7th Circuit overrules itself in satellite TV case

May 13, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals overruled one of its own decisions from 20 years ago, finding that judges have discretion in whether penalties are imposed on those who steal encrypted television satellite signals or help others take them without paying for the service
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  3. I expressed my thought in the title, long as it was. I am shocked that there is ever immunity from accountability for ANY Government agency. That appears to violate every principle in the US Constitution, which exists to limit Government power and to ensure Government accountability. I don't know how many cases of legitimate child abuse exist, but in the few cases in which I knew the people involved, in every example an anonymous caller used DCS as their personal weapon to strike at innocent people over trivial disagreements that had no connection with any facts. Given that the system is vulnerable to abuse, and given the extreme harm any action by DCS causes to families, I would assume any degree of failure to comply with the smallest infraction of personal rights would result in mandatory review. Even one day of parent-child separation in the absence of reasonable cause for a felony arrest should result in severe penalties to those involved in the action. It appears to me, that like all bureaucracies, DCS is prone to interpret every case as legitimate. This is not an accusation against DCS. It is a statement about the nature of bureaucracies, and the need for ADDED scrutiny of all bureaucratic actions. Frankly, I question the constitutionality of bureaucracies in general, because their power is delegated, and therefore unaccountable. No Government action can be unaccountable if we want to avoid its eventual degeneration into irrelevance and lawlessness, and the law of the jungle. Our Constitution is the source of all Government power, and it is the contract that legitimizes all Government power. To the extent that its various protections against intrusion are set aside, so is the power afforded by that contract. Eventually overstepping the limits of power eliminates that power, as a law of nature. Even total tyranny eventually crumbles to nothing.

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