Court opinions

Judges find wired payment timely

October 24, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Judges on the Indiana Court of Appeals declined to expand upon language in a forbearance agreement between a bank and business owner, finding the business owner timely made his final payment to the bank when he wired the money the day it was due, even though the bank did not receive it until the next day.
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Majority affirms couple didn’t establish element of adverse possession

October 24, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Two Indiana Court of Appeals judges upheld a judgment in favor of landowners on a complaint filed to quiet title in a disputed area of land, finding the couple seeking to quiet title failed to establish the control element of adverse possession.
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Court revises sentence based on plea agreement language

October 24, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reduced a woman’s sentence for theft, forgery and check fraud after finding the trial court erred by imposing a sentence that violated the terms of her plea agreement.
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Justices affirm denial of claim arising after arbitration

October 23, 2012
Dave Stafford
A claim arising after a dispute between a company and its accountant was resolved through binding arbitration may not proceed, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Tuesday.
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Term of imprisonment reduced by half after COA rules sentence does not fit the crime

October 23, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
A man who pleaded guilty to child molesting had his sentence halved by the Indiana Court of Appeals on the grounds that the sentence imposed by the trial court was an outlier.
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COA: Judge’s late recusal not reversible error

October 23, 2012
Dave Stafford
An Adams Circuit Court judge who learned that he had previously represented a defendant on trial in his courtroom acted appropriately when he recused himself but denied a mistrial, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Court affirms judgments in pollution case, remands for determination of credit due

October 23, 2012
IL Staff
The Indiana Court of Appeals found no errors in a trial court’s ruling in a dispute over insurance coverage to clean up a pollution spill at a westside Indianapolis business, but it sent the case back to the trial court for a determination of credit due an insurer.
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7th Circuit affirms block on Planned Parenthood defunding

October 23, 2012
Dave Stafford
An injunction against an Indiana law that blocks state Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood has been upheld by the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
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Court of Appeals rules that blinking turn signal not enough to support drug conviction

October 19, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
Finding that the continuous use of a turn signal without turning does not justify a traffic stop, the Indiana Court of Appeals threw out a conviction for possession of marijuana.
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Prosecutor error insufficient to reverse murder conviction

October 19, 2012
Dave Stafford
A prosecutor improperly presented facts that were not in evidence and inflamed the passions and prejudices of jurors in a murder trial, but his improper conduct didn’t rise to the level of reversible error, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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Judges order habitual offender enhancement vacated

October 18, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A post-conviction court erred when it denied a defendant’s request for post-conviction relief to vacate a habitual offender enhancement, finding a case decided after the man’s direct appeal applies retroactively.
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10 schools to schedule girls’ basketball on Friday, Saturday nights

October 17, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
By the 2016-2017 school year, boys’ and girls’ varsity basketball games at one high school will be equally scheduled on Friday and Saturday nights, according to a consent decree entered Monday in federal court. The agreement comes after a lawsuit challenged that girls’ games are typically scheduled on school nights or other non-preferred times.
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Justices uphold denial of benefits for fired employee

October 17, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Indiana Justice Steven David authored a unanimous opinion Wednesday in which the court held “when the facts of a case support more than one statutory ground for discharge, we are not confined to narrowly review the [Indiana Department of Workforce Development] Review Board’s decision when the facts point to the Review Board’s ultimately correct conclusion.”
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COA affirms $55k judgment for couple who purchased wind turbine

October 17, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found that a St. Joseph Superior judge applied the correct legal standard in determining that a company breached a contract with a couple that purchased a wind turbine that failed to live up to the company’s claims.
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Judges uphold family has no right of access through neighbor’s property

October 17, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A family claiming that for more than 50 years they had an easement to access portions of their land through a neighbor’s property lost before the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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Court upholds conviction for theft of water heater

October 16, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals dismissed a man’s argument that he didn’t know he couldn’t take a water heater from an Indianapolis apartment complex to scrap, finding that the evidence supports his theft conviction.
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Court orders BMV to hold hearing on whether felon can get ID

October 12, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A federal judge has found a convicted felon’s due process clause claim “has teeth” and that the Bureau of Motor Vehicles must determine whether to issue the man an identification card even though his last name on his birth certificate and Social Security card do not match.
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Delayed ordinance publication doesn’t affect power to annex

October 12, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Landowners challenging the annexation of portions of land in Hamilton County to the city of Westfield lost their appeal before the Indiana Court of Appeals. The remonstrators claimed the city’s delayed publication of annexation ordinances should have barred the annexation.
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COA affirms 5 child molesting convictions

October 11, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The admission of testimony by a licensed clinical psychologist at a man’s child molestation trial in Steuben County was not a fundamental error, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Thursday.
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Attorneys not entitled to fees after agency drops order

October 11, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Addressing for the first time what qualifies as a “prevailing party” under the Equal Access to Justice Act, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals sided with several other appellate courts that have ruled on the issue.
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Court rules in favor of state in taking of property for I-69

October 11, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
For the second time in less than a month, the Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed the state’s taking of property in southwestern Indiana for construction of Interstate-69.
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Judges order Social Security Administration to take another look at man’s claim

October 10, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed the denial of a man’s request for disability benefits from the Social Security Administration because it found the administrative law judge didn’t adequately explain why the man hadn’t met requirements for a presumptive disability.
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Court upholds imposition of court costs

October 10, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found a man’s pro se motion to correct erroneous sentence was not the proper channel to challenge the imposition of court costs following his murder trial.
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COA split over whether DCS has authority to interview sibling

October 10, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
An Indiana Court of Appeals judge reached the opposite conclusion of her colleagues Wednesday in finding that the Department of Child Services lacks the statutory authority to conduct a forensic interview of a non-subject child residing in the same home as a child who has claimed abuse by a resident family member.
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Criminal recklessness code covers firing gun into car

October 9, 2012
Dave Stafford
A car is a “place people are likely to gather,” the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday, unanimously affirming a Class C felony criminal recklessness conviction and eight-year sentence for a man who fired a gun into car in which a former gang ally was a passenger in Goshen.
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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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