Court opinions

7th Circuit: Omission of fibromyalgia diagnosis reversible error

June 23, 2016
Scott Roberts
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that an administrative law judge’s omission of fibromyalgia from a woman’s list of impairments was not supported by the evidence and reversed denial of her application for supplemental security income.
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Justices rule jury instruction not fundamental error

June 22, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Supreme Court found a jury instruction that jurors “shall presume” that a man’s alcohol concentration equivalent was above the legal limit if his chemical test, taken hours later, was at 0.08 or higher was not fundamental error. As such, it affirmed his conviction.
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Appeals court reverses adoption petition

June 22, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed an adoption petition after it found the adoptive mother did not participate in a sufficient background check and the court should have combined the adoption proceedings with a paternity hearing that was also occurring at the same time.
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COA: Unreturned warrant doesn’t justify trial delay

June 22, 2016
Scott Roberts
A man’s criminal charges will be dismissed after Indiana Court of Appeals found the fact that a warrant for his arrest was not returned to trial court didn’t mean the court was absolved of its responsibility to grant him the speedy trial he asked for.
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Abortion, race, immigration among last Supreme Court cases

June 21, 2016
 Associated Press
It happens every June. The Supreme Court of the United States nears the finish line with the most contentious cases still to be resolved.
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COA: ADA does not apply in termination proceedings

June 21, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled the Americans with Disabilities Act does not apply in termination of parental rights proceedings in a case where a deaf father with cognitive and mental health problems appealed the termination of his parental rights to his son.
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Appeals court affirms reinstatement of drug sentence

June 17, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the reinstatement of a woman’s sentence after she was terminated from drug court, finding a request for new counsel she made was too late and a stay of her drug court supervision was meant to help her, not harm her.
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COA dismisses appeal of agreed judgment

June 17, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld long-standing precedent when it dismissed an appeal of an agreed judgment between a law firm and a couple that accused the firm of malpractice.
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Appeals court affirms town’s annexation ordinance is void

June 16, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled a town’s failure to include roads in an annexation ordinance where it sought to annex two pieces of land rendered the ordinance void.
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COA: Judge’s comments do not require dismissal of charges

June 16, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled a trial court judge’s inappropriate comments during trial did not “goad” the defense into asking for a mistrial and affirmed denial of the defense’s motion to dismiss child molesting, rape and sexual misconduct charges against the defendant.
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Justices toss meth conviction, advise courts on indigent depositions

June 16, 2016
Dave Stafford
A Huntington County man’s conviction for dealing meth and 40-year sentence were reversed Thursday by the Indiana Supreme Court, which remanded the case for a new trial and used the decision to send a message to trial courts. The court ruled the denial of depositions of state witnesses by indigent defendants must be supported in the record by findings of fact.
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COA upholds kidnapper's sex offender status

June 16, 2016
Scott Roberts
A prisoner at the Indiana Department of Correction failed to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that his sex offender classification should be dropped as the COA found it did not violate the ex post facto clause of the Indiana Constitution.
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Statute of limitations bars rate hike claim

June 15, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled the statute of limitations had expired for a member of a power cooperative to challenge its parent company’s change from state to federal regulation and upheld summary judgment for the parent company.
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7th Circuit: Man did not need Miranda warnings

June 15, 2016
Scott Roberts
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that a man was not under arrest when he was questioned by police and therefore did not need to be given his Miranda warnings after the man claimed he did not voluntarily agree to speak to police.
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COA: Notice of sale was mailed within required time period

June 14, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals found notice of a tax sale was mailed 21 days before the sale took place as prescribed by Indiana Code, so it affirmed the denial of a man’s motion to set aside tax deeds on property he used to own.
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7th Circuit affirms government employees must resign after elected to office

June 10, 2016
Scott Roberts
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld an Indiana law that prevents people employed by the government to also hold elected office in the same municipality they are employed in. The law was challenged by a host of individuals who both serve on city and town councils and work for the same town as police officers, office managers and firefighters.
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COA majority finds double jeopardy violations on rehearing

June 10, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled on rehearing that a man’s two convictions for resisting law enforcement violated Indiana’s double jeopardy prohibition and remanded the case to trial court to vacate one of them.
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Court affirms bank entitled to foreclose on mortgage

June 10, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the foreclosure on a man’s mortgage after it found a mistake in making the deed for the property did not mean the man did not own it at the time of a modification agreement.
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7th Circuit upholds Fogle’s above-guidelines sentence

June 10, 2016
Scott Roberts
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed former Subway pitchman Jared Fogle’s 188-month sentence Thursday afternoon for distributing and receiving, as well as conspiring to distribute and receive child pornography. Fogle challenged his sentence after the District Court imposed one above the sentencing guidelines.
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SCOTUS says judges can recall discharged juries

June 9, 2016
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States said Thursday that judges may — in rare circumstances — call a jury back to the courtroom after it has delivered a verdict and been dismissed.
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Mentally ill women should have attorney, 7th Circuit rules

June 8, 2016
Scott Roberts
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled a mentally ill woman who filed a federal lawsuit challenging her conviction and sentence for murder should have had a lawyer appointed to her and remanded the case to District Court.
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COA: Juvenile court has no jurisdiction to modify custody agreement

June 8, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled a juvenile court does not have jurisdiction to modify a paternity court’s custody order and sent the case back to the lower court.
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COA majority: Mayor has power to terminate utility superintendent

June 8, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed summary judgment in a split decision Wednesday for former city of Lawrence Utilities Board Superintendent Carlton Curry, finding the newly elected mayor had authority to terminate Curry’s employment and therefore Curry can't prevail on a wrongful discharge claim.
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COA affirms $147,000 judgment against smelter manufacturer

June 7, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a $147,000 judgment against a manufacturer of lead smelters, finding the trial court did not abuse its discretion when it entered default judgment against the company when it did not respond properly to a complaint.
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West Lafayette business owner scores victory in Tax Court

June 3, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The owner of two shops that sold books, music and other items, as well as rented movies, got a favorable ruling regarding his adjusted gross income tax owed in the Indiana Tax Court Friday.
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  1. Where may I find an attorney working Pro Bono? Many issues with divorce, my Disability, distribution of IRA's, property, money's and pressured into agreement by my attorney. Leaving me far less than 5% of all after 15 years of marriage. No money to appeal, disabled living on disability income. Attorney's decision brought forward to judge, no evidence ever to finalize divorce. Just 2 weeks ago. Please help.

  2. For the record no one could answer the equal protection / substantive due process challenge I issued in the first post below. The lawless and accountable only to power bureaucrats never did either. All who interface with the Indiana law examiners or JLAP be warned.

  3. Hi there I really need help with getting my old divorce case back into court - I am still paying support on a 24 year old who has not been in school since age 16 - now living independent. My visitation with my 14 year old has never been modified; however, when convenient for her I can have him... I am paying past balance from over due support, yet earn several thousand dollars less. I would contact my original attorney but he basically molest me multiple times in Indy when I would visit.. Todd Woodmansee - I had just came out and had know idea what to do... I have heard he no longer practices. Please help1

  4. 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!!!

  5. 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.

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