Court opinions

Father’s confession shouldn’t have been admitted at trial

August 22, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a father’s conviction of child molesting related to his daughter, finding his confession, which was admitted into evidence at trial, was obtained in violation of Miranda protocol.
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Indiana pleased with decision to vacate EPA Transport Rule

August 22, 2012
IL Staff
The split decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to vacate the Environmental Protection Agency’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule because of federal law violations is “great news” for Indiana, Gov. Mitch Daniels said.
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State moves forward with IBM appeal

August 21, 2012
Dave Stafford
Attorneys for the state of Indiana have begun the formal appeal process after a Marion County court in July awarded a $52 million judgment to IBM over cancellation of the company’s contract to privatize social service claims processing.
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Judge did not modify jury instructions

August 21, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A Lawrence County man was unable to prove to the Court of Appeals that the trial court abused its discretion when it denied his motion for a mistrial. He argued the judge modified the jury instructions when he answered a question from the jury in mid-deliberations.
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Tax judge declines to require attorneys represent LLCs in court

August 20, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Department of State Revenue asked the Indiana Tax Court to create a rule requiring limited liability companies be represented by attorneys in court, similar to a rule pertaining to corporations, but Judge Martha Wentworth declined to “invent such a rule where one does not currently exist.”
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Man had no constitutional right to counsel

August 20, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a man’s claims in support of his petition for a writ of habeas corpus, finding his motion to correct sentence wasn’t a motion pursuant to Indiana Code, but was a collateral attack on his sentence.
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Judges uphold insurers’ share of settlement liability

August 17, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A District judge did not err in how he apportioned liability among three insurers for payment of a settlement between an injured worker and a contractor, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals held Friday.
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Trial court has no authority to alter man’s conviction

August 17, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
An Elkhart Superior judge was correct in determining that he couldn’t reduce a man’s Class D felony conviction to a Class A misdemeanor a year after the original judgment was made, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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7th Circuit rules in favor of attorneys in failed business investment

August 16, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A group of investors suing attorneys who worked on the establishment of two business entities – which later failed – were unable to show the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals that the attorneys owed the investors any legal duty.
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Couple’s trial strategy worked against them

August 15, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A couple who consented to an entry of judgment on the evidence against them in a negligence claim in order to appeal the evidentiary rulings lost their case in the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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Inmate’s public records request denied

August 15, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
An inmate at the Pendleton Correctional Facility was unable to identify with reasonable particularity the records he sought from the Fort Wayne Police Department, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded Wednesday. The case also allowed the judges for the first time to address “reasonable particularity” under the Access to Public Records Act.
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Judges order proceedings on guarantors’ liability

August 15, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed in part and reversed in part a dispute between a company and its mortgage holder regarding how money received from the city of Lawrenceburg as part of a settlement should be applied to the mortgage.
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Man did not validly waive right to jury trial

August 15, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a Vanderburgh County man’s misdemeanor convictions of battery and public intoxication, finding he did not waive his right to a jury trial.
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Nurses may be expert witnesses in some standard of care disputes

August 15, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals declined Wednesday to create a blanket rule that nurses cannot qualify as expert witnesses under the Indiana Evidence Rule and testify as to whether a health care provider breached a standard of care or whether an alleged breach caused an injury.
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Immigration law challenge moves forward in Northern District

August 15, 2012
IL Staff
U.S. Magistrate Judge Andrew P. Rodovich in Hammond Tuesday granted the state’s unopposed motion to lift the stay of a lawsuit in the Northern District challenging portions of Indiana’s immigration law dealing with employment.
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ITT college director fails in federal appeal over dismissal

August 14, 2012
Dave Stafford
A former director of a California ITT Technical Institute campus failed to convince the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals that he was terminated because he complained about the way the school handled federally subsidized student loans and grants.
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COA finds evidence supporting restitution order too flimsy

August 14, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
A victim of a burglary will have to turn to the civil process to get restitution after the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed and remanded with instructions a trial court’s order that provided the victim with $711.95 in compensation.
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Sentence affirmed for child molestation conviction

August 14, 2012
Dave Stafford
An Adams Circuit judge’s sentence of 90 years in prison for a man convicted of molesting two girls ages 7 and 9 and for being a habitual offender was not inappropriate, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
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Appeals court sends dissolution lawsuit back to trial court

August 14, 2012
Dave Stafford
The dissolution of a family-owned limited partnership was remanded to a Lake County court Tuesday after the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled that the trial court erred in allowing some of the partners to pursue a derivative action.
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Appeals court partially reverses denial of familial sale from trust

August 14, 2012
Dave Stafford
A trustee who canceled the sale of Johnson County farmland from mother to son was within her rights to do so, but the 91-year-old mother was capable of executing the agreement, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
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Justices again take utility’s case against Fort Wayne

August 13, 2012
Dave Stafford
A decade-long legal dispute between the city of Fort Wayne and a water utility will make a second appearance before the Indiana Supreme Court. The case was the only one of 28 in which a petition seeking transfer to the high court was granted for the week ending Aug. 10.
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Woman unable to prove attorney actions were prejudicial

August 13, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
A woman’s petition for post-conviction relief on the grounds her trial counsel was ineffective was denied by the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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Trial court erred in abrogating homeowner’s obligation to pay fees to HOA

August 13, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a trial court’s ruling that changes in a gated residential vacation and retirement community were so radical as to abrogate a homeowner’s obligation to pay yearly fees to the homeowners association.
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Doctor owed no duty to release prenatal records to adoptive parents

August 13, 2012
Dave Stafford
A New York couple who adopted a child born in Lake County lost their appeal of an unsuccessful negligence claim against a doctor who did not provide requested prenatal records that would have revealed the child’s significant brain abnormalities before the adoption was finalized.
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Mom’s progress leads court to reverse termination

August 13, 2012
Dave Stafford
A Grant County mother who lost parental rights to twin children won a reversal of the termination order after the Indiana Court of Appeals noted her progress in areas of concern to the Department of Child Services.
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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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