Court opinions

Divided COA allows suit after wage claim fails at Department of Labor

November 14, 2012
Dave Stafford
A worker who left employment at a Columbus construction company may pursue his wage claim in court after his complaint had been assigned to the Indiana Department of Labor, a divided panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Supreme Court upholds trial court’s ruling on professor’s dismissal

November 13, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
Despite a professor’s claim that he was in a joyous mood when he interacted with a colleague and his actions were harmless, the Indiana Supreme Court upheld his dismissal from his tenured teaching position.
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Justices: COA overreached on reversing trial court custody ruling

November 13, 2012
Dave Stafford
The Court of Appeals got it wrong when it reversed a trial court custody modification in favor of a child’s father, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Tuesday in one of the first opinions joined by Justice Loretta Rush.
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COA to hear challenge to sex offender monitoring program

November 12, 2012
IL Staff
An Allen County man’s argument that the state’s Sex Offender Management and Monitoring Program is unconstitutional will be heard Tuesday by a panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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Appeals court finds for insurer in worker’s comp case where victim’s mother died

November 9, 2012
Dave Stafford
The mother of an injured worker whose estate claims she died due to emotional distress caused by an insurer’s handling of her son’s case cannot directly sue the insurer before exhausting the regulatory process, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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Man not required to register in Indiana for Illinois crime

November 8, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled it’s a violation of the ex post facto provision of the state’s constitution to require a man who committed a sex crime in Illinois, but now lives in Indiana, to register in Indiana because the laws requiring him to register in both states were enacted after he committed the crime in Illinois.
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Ex-employee wins appeal and prejudgment interest

November 7, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A former employee is entitled to commissions owed to him after he left a real estate company, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed Wednesday. The judges also found the ex-employee is entitled to prejudgment interest.
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Justices reverse COA, hold state’s appeal timely

November 6, 2012
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court on Monday reversed a divided Court of Appeals panel’s dismissal of an appeal of suppression of evidence in a drunken-driving case.
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Evidence shows outrage over property tax assessment is a case of ‘buyer’s remorse’

November 6, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
A dispute over a property tax assessment of a mobile home park is a case of buyer’s remorse and not indicative of an error by the Indiana Board of Tax Review, the Indiana Tax Court has ruled.
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Wife’s pain from shove, poked forehead ‘bodily injury,’ justices rule

November 6, 2012
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court late Monday reconciled conflicting interpretations of the “bodily injury” requirement for domestic battery and other criminal offenses using that language, concluding that any such offense that causes the victim physical pain meets the test.
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Board did not abuse discretion in finding assessor’s appraisal more persuasive

November 6, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
Noting that determining the assessed value of a property is not an exact science, the Indiana Tax Court rejected a property owner’s assertion that the county assessor’s appraisal was improperly given greater weight.
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Justices take 1 case, reject 20

November 5, 2012
IL Staff
Indiana justices will review a case involving a search deemed illegal and a subsequent conviction for resisting law enforcement that was reversed by the Court of Appeals.
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Appeals court: Felon waived speedy trial, judge challenges

November 2, 2012
Dave Stafford
A man convicted of multiple felonies lost his appeal when the court determined he had not objected to matters raised in the appeal during his jury trial or sentencing.
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Woman did not exhaust administrative remedies before suing

November 1, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals agreed with a Marion Superior judge that the courts do not have jurisdiction over a woman’s lawsuit concerning the disconnection of her water because the woman did not exhaust all her available administrative remedies before suing.
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PCF may not present evidence to dispute injury

November 1, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that in a case involving a boy diagnosed with a mild form of cerebral palsy, the Indiana Patient’s Compensation Fund may not present evidence to dispute the existence or cause of the boy’s injury while defending his petition for excess damages from the fund.
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Police had reasonable suspicion to stop men, search bag

October 31, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals disagreed with an appellant who claimed police did not have reasonable suspicion to believe he and two other men were involved in criminal activity, which led to their stop and his eventual conviction of Class A felony attempted dealing in methamphetamine.
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Man can’t challenge sentence as illegal

October 31, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Because a defendant entered into a beneficial plea agreement, the Indiana Court of Appeals denied his request for post-conviction relief. The man argued that a Supreme Court decision handed down while he was appealing should require that his sentence be reduced.
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Court affirms man’s sentence for murdering wife

October 31, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A Lawrence County man was unable to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that his 65-year sentence for the murder of his wife in 2009 should be reduced to the advisory sentence of 55 years.
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Justices vacate transfer in business dispute

October 31, 2012
IL Staff
After hearing arguments Oct. 24 in a dispute between former shareholders of a company and the new owners over what assets the new owners should receive, the Indiana Supreme Court decided that the Court of Appeals decision should stand.
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Common carrier entitled to more tax exemptions

October 31, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A Wabash-based company that relocates oversized factory machinery won a partial victory in the Indiana Tax Court Tuesday. Judge Martha Wentworth ordered the Indiana State Department of Revenue to reassess the company’s tax obligations after finding some property should be considered exempt.
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Justices order retrial due to deficient jury instruction

October 30, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court found that a final jury instruction in a woman’s trial for receiving stolen property did not correctly state the law, and it remanded for a new trial.
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Court splits over whether approval of entire contract must be voided

October 30, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Chief Judge Margret Robb dissented from her colleagues on the Court of Appeals Tuesday as to whether approval of a contract for the purchase and sale of substitute natural gas must be voided in its entirety because the contract definition of “retail end use customer” differs from the statutory definition.
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Agency erred in adjusting experience account rates after merger

October 30, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has ordered the Department of Workforce Development to reinstate the original contribution rates for unemployment insurance experience accounts of a parent company and its subsidiaries. The DWD should not have combined the accounts and adjusted the rates following a merger.
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COA affirms $550,000 med mal verdict; denies appellate attorney fees

October 30, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A Lake Superior judge did not err when he allowed a witness to testify on behalf of the party bringing a medical malpractice complaint against a doctor nor in excluding the testimony of the doctor’s expert witness due to untimely disclosure, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Tuesday.
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Judges affirm decision in familial dispute over insurance funds

October 30, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
When Nathaniel Kappel died, it led to a dispute in the family as to who is entitled to insurance payouts on policies that Nathaniel Kappel and his brother William took out on each other in 1996. The Court of Appeals agreed with the probate court that Nathaniel Kappel’s estate is not entitled to funds from either man’s policy.
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  1. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  2. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

  3. Diversity is important, but with some limitations. For instance, diversity of experience is a great thing that can be very helpful in certain jobs or roles. Diversity of skin color is never important, ever, under any circumstance. To think that skin color changes one single thing about a person is patently racist and offensive. Likewise, diversity of values is useless. Some values are better than others. In the case of a supreme court justice, I actually think diversity is unimportant. The justices are not to impose their own beliefs on rulings, but need to apply the law to the facts in an objective manner.

  4. Have been seeing this wonderful physician for a few years and was one of his patients who told him about what we were being told at CVS. Multiple ones. This was a witch hunt and they shold be ashamed of how patients were treated. Most of all, CVS should be ashamed for what they put this physician through. So thankful he fought back. His office is no "pill mill'. He does drug testing multiple times a year and sees patients a minimum of four times a year.

  5. Brian W, I fear I have not been sufficiently entertaining to bring you back. Here is a real laugh track that just might do it. When one is grabbed by the scruff of his worldview and made to choose between his Confession and his profession ... it is a not a hard choice, given the Confession affects eternity. But then comes the hardship in this world. Imagine how often I hear taunts like yours ... "what, you could not even pass character and fitness after they let you sit and pass their bar exam ... dude, there must really be something wrong with you!" Even one of the Bishop's foremost courtiers said that, when explaining why the RCC refused to stand with me. You want entertaining? How about watching your personal economy crash while you have a wife and five kids to clothe and feed. And you can't because you cannot work, because those demanding you cast off your Confession to be allowed into "their" profession have all the control. And you know that they are wrong, dead wrong, and that even the professional code itself allows your Faithful stand, to wit: "A lawyer may refuse to comply with an obligation imposed by law upon a good faith belief that no valid obligation exists. The provisions of Rule 1.2(d) concerning a good faith challenge to the validity, scope, meaning or application of the law apply to challenges of legal regulation of the practice of law." YET YOU ARE A NONPERSON before the BLE, and will not be heard on your rights or their duties to the law -- you are under tyranny, not law. And so they win in this world, you lose, and you lose even your belief in the rule of law, and demoralization joins poverty, and very troubling thoughts impeaching self worth rush in to fill the void where your career once lived. Thoughts you did not think possible. You find yourself a failure ... in your profession, in your support of your family, in the mirror. And there is little to keep hope alive, because tyranny rules so firmly and none, not the church, not the NGO's, none truly give a damn. Not even a new court, who pay such lip service to justice and ancient role models. You want entertainment? Well if you are on the side of the courtiers running the system that has crushed me, as I suspect you are, then Orwell must be a real riot: "There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always — do not forget this, Winston — always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever." I never thought they would win, I always thought that at the end of the day the rule of law would prevail. Yes, the rule of man's law. Instead power prevailed, so many rules broken by the system to break me. It took years, but, finally, the end that Dr Bowman predicted is upon me, the end that she advised the BLE to take to break me. Ironically, that is the one thing in her far left of center report that the BLE (after stamping, in red ink, on Jan 22) is uninterested in, as that the BLE and ADA office that used the federal statute as a sword now refuses to even dialogue on her dire prediction as to my fate. "C'est la vie" Entertaining enough for you, status quo defender?

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