Court opinions

7th Circuit affirms judgment in mining case

May 6, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
In a case involving a “richly ambiguous” 1903 deed and a mining company’s claims to “all the coals,” the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a District Court’s judgment for defendant landowners.
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Sex offender may file to take name off registry

May 6, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals determined a convicted sex offender may petition to remove his name from the registry, but he filed his petition in the wrong court.
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Opinion rules on 2 issues of first impression

May 5, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals was faced with two issues of first impression in one opinion – the meaning of Indiana Code Section 27-9-3-34(d) and whether a party is entitled to a jury trial for disputes concerning claims in liquidation proceedings.
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Majority upholds violent sexual predator finding

May 5, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
An Indiana Court of Appeals panel disagreed as to whether the failure of a defendant’s counsel to press for the statutory requirement for a hearing on a sexually violent predator finding was a procedural default that waived the appellate court’s consideration of the issue.
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Justices approve 'double enhancement'

May 5, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court affirmed the use of the same prior conviction to both elevate a defendant’s charge to a felony and find him a habitual substance offender because of explicit legislative direction on the enhancements.
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Justices differ on reasonableness of GAL fees

May 3, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
If two parties in a domestic relations dispute sign a written contract to retain the services of a guardian ad litem, then the trial court must enforce the terms of the agreement unless it is contrary to public policy, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Friday.
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7th Circuit grants writ of habeas corpus

May 3, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the denial of a habeas corpus petition, finding the Indiana Court of Appeals unreasonably applied federal law when it determined prior statements of identification by witnesses the government suppressed didn’t create a reasonable probability of a different result at trial.
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Judges affirm juvenile placement in DOC

April 30, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals was sympathetic to a teen’s request to not be placed in the Department of Correction, but it noted that all other remedies for his rehabilitation had been exhausted in his home county.
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Justices rule on sentence modificationRestricted Content

April 30, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A conviction of a Class D felony that is later reduced to a Class A misdemeanor doesn’t prevent a trial court from modifying a sentence below the statutory minimum, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled today in a matter of first impression.
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COA: Judge should have recused himself

April 29, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals agreed with a defendant that he received ineffective assistance of trial counsel because his attorney should have filed a motion for change of judge. The sentencing judge had worked as a prosecutor in the early stages of the defendant’s case 10 years earlier.
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Judges reverse, reinstate sex-offender conviction

April 29, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a man’s conviction of failing to register as a sex offender based on a lack of evidence showing the man had a connection to Indiana 90 days after his last registration. The appellate court did reinstate a vacated conviction for failing to notify law enforcement of his move within 72 hours.
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High court addresses provision for 1st time

April 29, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court affirmed the denial of summary judgment for an insurance company, finding the exclusion in the policy for injuries covered by workers’ compensation doesn’t apply.
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Justices: No error in declaring mistrial

April 28, 2010
A trial court's determination to discharge a jury at a defendant's second trial wasn't an abuse of discretion, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Tuesday.
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Pro se defendant must be advised of rights

April 28, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The requirement to advise a defendant of the dangers of self-representation and the benefit of counsel applies equally regardless of whether a pro se defendant is choosing to plead guilty or go to trial, the Indiana Court of Appeals decided today.
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Justices rule company engaged in UPL in trust mill caseRestricted Content

April 28, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court orders an Indianapolis-based company to stop engaging in any conduct that might be considered unauthorized practice of law.
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Trial court lacks jurisdiction in tax suit

April 27, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Tax Court is the proper venue for a suit filed by the state to recover an erroneous tax refund, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed today.
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Judges affirm rulings in Iraq name-selling case

April 26, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the District Court's decisions in the appeals by the central Indiana man who tried to sell the names of CIA agents working covertly in Iraq shortly before the U.S. invaded the country in 2003.
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COA upholds eviction action

April 26, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court properly treated a couple's action against the man who agreed to purchase a house from them as an eviction, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded. The court also analyzed for the first time the nature and effect of a pre-closing possession agreement like the one in the instant case.
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Tax court rules on inheritance issue

April 23, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
In Indiana, a person adopted pre-emancipation can't be considered a Class A transferee beneficiary for inheritance tax purposes, the Indiana Tax Court ruled Thursday afternoon in an issue of first impression.
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Court split on burglary tipster issue

April 22, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A panel of Indiana Court of Appeals judges disagreed today as to whether the fact a tipster's identity was known by police was sufficient by itself to justify a police officer's stop of a juvenile.
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Full appeals court decides on IPAS case

April 22, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Nine months ago, a federal judge in Indianapolis refused to dismiss a case about the state's practices and programs regarding mentally ill inmates, finding an independent state agency had a right to sue on those issues.
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COA discusses jury-selection procedures

April 21, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
Despite being sensitive to a defendant's concerns about having no African-Americans included in his jury pool, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed his felony convictions of altering an original identification number and auto theft.
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Justices rule on casino land-ownership dispute

April 20, 2010
Michael Hoskins
A land-ownership dispute about an Ohio River riverboat-casino docking site is the subject of an Indiana Supreme Court ruling today, touching on land deeds from the 1800s and who had the right to use and give away ownership of less than an acre of land.
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Plaintiff loses federal challenges to voter ID law

April 19, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A federal judge ruled against a Cumberland man in his federal challenge to Indiana's voter identification law, but did remand his pending state claims to a Marion Superior Court for consideration.
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Judges uphold child pornography sentence

April 19, 2010
Jennifer NelsonMore
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