Court opinions

Justices draw bright line on children's fault

December 1, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Indiana law recognizes a rebuttable presumption that children ages 7 to 14 aren't capable of contributory negligence, the state's Supreme Court has confirmed.
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High court splits in hospital negligence suit

December 1, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court split on whether a hospital was negligent in letting a woman with injuries possibly caused by domestic violence leave with her alleged abuser, who killed her on the way home after being discharged.
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Court splits on first impression dissipation case

November 30, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
An Indiana Court of Appeals judge dissented today from his colleagues' decision that a spouse may be found to have dissipated property after refusing to sign and file joint tax returns because the judge believes the ruling is "bad law and bad policy."
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COA reverses termination over rule violation

November 30, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals split today in its decision to reverse the termination of a mother's parental rights. The majority found the trial court abused its discretion in allowing the mother's trial counsel to withdraw her appearance under a local court rule.
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COA: Government vehicle exclusion is void

November 25, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals concluded today in a matter of first impression that the government vehicle exclusion in underinsured motorist policies is void as against public policy.
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Prosecutor misconduct leads to reversal

November 23, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a defendant's conviction of intimidation because several acts of misconduct constituted fundamental error. The appellate court also ruled the man could be retried on the charge.
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Worker didn't prove discrimination, retaliationRestricted Content

November 20, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the lower court ruling that a company's elimination of a worker's position, along with not rehiring her after restructuring, didn't constitute retaliation or a hostile work environment.
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7th Circuit offers alternatives to destroying gunsRestricted Content

November 19, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals vacated a District judge's order that a defendant's guns be destroyed instead of returned to him, ruling that there were other alternatives than what the District Court considered.
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Reimbursement to estate should be proportional

November 18, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court ruled today that a proportional allocation of proceeds from a pre-trial settlement would be best way to reimburse an estate for funeral and burial expenses.
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Judges disagree as how to review sentence

November 18, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
A panel of Indiana Court of Appeals judges affirmed today that a defendant's sentence following a guilty plea wasn't inappropriate, but the judges didn't agree as to how to reach that conclusion.
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COA splits, reverses probation revocation

November 17, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals was split today in its decision to reverse the revocation of a defendant's probation. The judges didn't agree that the probation revocation hearing comported with due process.
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COA: Insurance funds aren't a money judgment

November 16, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
In a matter of first impression, the Indiana Court of Appeals decided today that a summary judgment granting insurance policies isn't equivalent to a money judgment that would allow for 8 percent post-judgment interest.
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7th Circuit rules en banc on mezuzah caseRestricted Content

November 13, 2009
Michael Hoskins
The full 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that condominium owners prevented from hanging religious objects on their home can in some cases sue their association under the Fair Housing Act for alleged religious and racial discrimination, after they've bought the residence and moved in.
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Good-faith exception not applicable

November 13, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
An Indiana trial court erred when it denied a defendant's motion to suppress evidence because the good-faith exception doesn't apply in this case, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded today.
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COA: Obama, McCain eligible to be president

November 12, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
More than a year after the 2008 presidential election, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled that Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama were eligible to run for the office.
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Officer didn't conduct investigatory stop

November 10, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court didn't abuse its discretion in admitting evidence that a juvenile possessed marijuana because the seizure of the drug didn't violate the teen's constitutional rights, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Court clarifies responses under T.R. 56(I)

November 10, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals used a decision today to clarify that when a nonmoving party has received an enlargement of time pursuant to Indiana Trial Rule 56(I), any response must be made within the additional time period granted by the trial court.
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Officer safety justified opening ajar car door

November 9, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The opening of an ajar car door by a police officer during a foot chase with a suspected robber didn't violate the man's federal or state constitutional rights, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded today.
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Trial court didn't err in denying mistrial

November 9, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court didn't abuse its discretion in denying a mistrial after learning a juror asked the state's firearms expert a question outside the courtroom during a recess in the trial, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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COA: Man didn't personally waive right to jury

November 6, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Because the trial court erred in finding a defendant waived his right to have a jury hear the enhancement aspects of his drunk-driving case, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed his elevated conviction.
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Agency erred in taxing certain money

November 6, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Department of State Revenue erred when it concluded certain money collected from customers of a small, rural telecommunications company were subject to Indiana's utility receipts tax, the Indiana Tax Court ruled Thursday.
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7th Circuit: conviction can't enhance sentenceRestricted Content

November 4, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
A defendant's conviction of possession of a firearm by a felon stands because police had reasonable suspicion to stop the car he was riding in, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals concluded today.
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State didn't prove man used car to keep drug

November 4, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals overturned a conviction of maintaining a common nuisance because the state failed to prove the defendant used his car to keep marijuana.
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Improper venue doesn't require acquittal

November 3, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Even though the Hamilton Superior Court erred in concluding it was the proper venue for a felony child solicitation charge, the error doesn't warrant an acquittal of the conviction, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded today. The case was remanded for retrial in the proper venue of Madison County.
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YouTube video prejudiced juryRestricted Content

October 30, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The use of a YouTube video during closing arguments as a demonstrative aid by the state warrants a reversal of a robbery conviction because it may have prejudiced the jury, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.
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  1. I like the concept. Seems like a good idea and really inexpensive to manage.

  2. I don't agree that this is an extreme case. There are more of these people than you realize - people that are vindictive and/or with psychological issues have clogged the system with baseless suits that are costly to the defendant and to taxpayers. Restricting repeat offenders from further abusing the system is not akin to restricting their freedon, but to protecting their victims, and the court system, from allowing them unfettered access. From the Supreme Court opinion "he has burdened the opposing party and the courts of this state at every level with massive, confusing, disorganized, defective, repetitive, and often meritless filings."

  3. So, if you cry wolf one too many times courts may "restrict" your ability to pursue legal action? Also, why is document production equated with wealth? Anyone can "produce probably tens of thousands of pages of filings" if they have a public library card. I understand this is an extreme case, but our Supreme Court really got this one wrong.

  4. He called our nation a nation of cowards because we didn't want to talk about race. That was a cheap shot coming from the top cop. The man who decides who gets the federal government indicts. Wow. Not a gentleman if that is the measure. More importantly, this insult delivered as we all understand, to white people-- without him or anybody needing to explain that is precisely what he meant-- but this is an insult to timid white persons who fear the government and don't want to say anything about race for fear of being accused a racist. With all the legal heat that can come down on somebody if they say something which can be construed by a prosecutor like Mr Holder as racist, is it any wonder white people-- that's who he meant obviously-- is there any surprise that white people don't want to talk about race? And as lawyers we have even less freedom lest our remarks be considered violations of the rules. Mr Holder also demonstrated his bias by publically visiting with the family of the young man who was killed by a police offering in the line of duty, which was a very strong indicator of bias agains the offer who is under investigation, and was a failure to lead properly by letting his investigators do their job without him predetermining the proper outcome. He also has potentially biased the jury pool. All in all this worsens race relations by feeding into the perception shared by whites as well as blacks that justice will not be impartial. I will say this much, I do not blame Obama for all of HOlder's missteps. Obama has done a lot of things to stay above the fray and try and be a leader for all Americans. Maybe he should have reigned Holder in some but Obama's got his hands full with other problelms. Oh did I mention HOlder is a bank crony who will probably get a job in a silkstocking law firm working for millions of bucks a year defending bankers whom he didn't have the integrity or courage to hold to account for their acts of fraud on the United States, other financial institutions, and the people. His tenure will be regarded by history as a failure of leadership at one of the most important jobs in our nation. Finally and most importantly besides him insulting the public and letting off the big financial cheats, he has been at the forefront of over-prosecuting the secrecy laws to punish whistleblowers and chill free speech. What has Holder done to vindicate the rights of privacy of the American public against the illegal snooping of the NSA? He could have charged NSA personnel with violations of law for their warrantless wiretapping which has been done millions of times and instead he did not persecute a single soul. That is a defalcation of historical proportions and it signals to the public that the government DOJ under him was not willing to do a damn thing to protect the public against the rapid growth of the illegal surveillance state. Who else could have done this? Nobody. And for that omission Obama deserves the blame too. Here were are sliding into a police state and Eric Holder made it go all the faster.

  5. JOE CLAYPOOL candidate for Superior Court in Harrison County - Indiana This candidate is misleading voters to think he is a Judge by putting Elect Judge Joe Claypool on his campaign literature. paragraphs 2 and 9 below clearly indicate this injustice to voting public to gain employment. What can we do? Indiana Code - Section 35-43-5-3: Deception (a) A person who: (1) being an officer, manager, or other person participating in the direction of a credit institution, knowingly or intentionally receives or permits the receipt of a deposit or other investment, knowing that the institution is insolvent; (2) knowingly or intentionally makes a false or misleading written statement with intent to obtain property, employment, or an educational opportunity; (3) misapplies entrusted property, property of a governmental entity, or property of a credit institution in a manner that the person knows is unlawful or that the person knows involves substantial risk of loss or detriment to either the owner of the property or to a person for whose benefit the property was entrusted; (4) knowingly or intentionally, in the regular course of business, either: (A) uses or possesses for use a false weight or measure or other device for falsely determining or recording the quality or quantity of any commodity; or (B) sells, offers, or displays for sale or delivers less than the represented quality or quantity of any commodity; (5) with intent to defraud another person furnishing electricity, gas, water, telecommunication, or any other utility service, avoids a lawful charge for that service by scheme or device or by tampering with facilities or equipment of the person furnishing the service; (6) with intent to defraud, misrepresents the identity of the person or another person or the identity or quality of property; (7) with intent to defraud an owner of a coin machine, deposits a slug in that machine; (8) with intent to enable the person or another person to deposit a slug in a coin machine, makes, possesses, or disposes of a slug; (9) disseminates to the public an advertisement that the person knows is false, misleading, or deceptive, with intent to promote the purchase or sale of property or the acceptance of employment;

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