Court opinions

Unreliable evidence weighing reduces Elkhart meth dealing conviction

June 28, 2012
Dave Stafford
Elkhart County prosecutors and state witnesses used dubious methods to weigh methamphetamine during a trial, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday. The court reversed a man’s Class A felony conviction and ordered the court to resentence him on a lesser charge.
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U.S. justices rule on challenges to health care law

June 28, 2012
IL Staff
The U.S. Supreme Court released its highly anticipated decision on the challenges brought by states and other organizations to the Affordable Care Act.
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7th Circuit dismisses case for mootness

June 27, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The appeal of an eviction initiated by the Housing Authority of South Bend was dismissed by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals because the woman and her son have already been evicted.
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Appellate courts may consider credit time status

June 27, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Indiana appellate courts can take into account the potential consequences of an offender’s status as a credit restricted felon when reviewing a sentence, the state Supreme Court ruled Tuesday.
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LaPorte County prosecutor suspended by Supreme Court

June 27, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
LaPorte County Prosecutor Bob “Z” Szilagyi has been suspended by the Indiana Supreme Court for forging the names of his ex-wife and secretary on a quitclaim deed on the former couple’s marital home.
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Judges reverse football player’s operating while intoxicated conviction

June 27, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals disagreed with the state’s argument that prosecutorial discretion extends to the determination of which conviction should be vacated after a finding of double jeopardy.
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Judges disagree on applicable child support guideline

June 26, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Against the advice of their attorneys, a divorcing couple entered into a settlement agreement that included a “true up” provision for calculating child support each year. That provision is now at issue before the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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COA: exhaust administrative remedies before filing appeal

June 26, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Because a manufacturer didn’t exhaust its administrative remedies regarding a challenge to a search of its Indianapolis facility by the Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Indiana Court of Appeals dismissed the manufacturer’s appeal.
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Judges find no error in division of marital assets

June 26, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld the equal division of marital assets of a divorcing LaPorte County couple but found the trial court erred in its calculation of how much the ex-husband owes in child support.
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Language of easement allows parking

June 26, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals concluded that the language of an easement dating back to the 1800s allows for a family to park its cars on that easement.
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Indiana justices outline ‘improvement to real property’

June 25, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
For the first time, the Indiana Supreme Court addressed what constitutes an “improvement to real property” as mentioned in the construction statute of repose. In doing so, the justices reversed the trial court’s grant of a contractor’s motion for summary judgment in a wrongful death claim.
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Appeals court affirms breach ruling in truck dispute

June 25, 2012
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a Floyd Superior breach of contract ruling for a defendant who made a contract with a purchaser who defaulted after assuming payments on a Freightliner truck.
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SCOTUS rules on immigration case, life sentences for juveniles

June 25, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The U.S. Supreme Court Monday affirmed in part and reversed in part Arizona’s controversial immigration law. The justices also found that a life sentence without possibility of parole for juveniles violates the Eighth Amendment.
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Judge upholds sex offender ban from Facebook

June 25, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Indiana’s law banning certain registered sex offenders from using social networking sites that allow minors is not unconstitutional, U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt ruled Friday.
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COA: Prosecutor had ability to provide use immunity

June 22, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals relied on state Supreme Court precedent to find a Shelby County prosecutor could compel parents to testify by providing use immunity. The parents argued the prosecutor couldn’t grant use immunity because there were no grand jury proceedings and they hadn’t been charged with a crime.
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Judges affirm teen’s sentence for robbery, conspiracy

June 22, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
An Elkhart teenager convicted in adult court for her role in several armed robberies of gas stations lost her appeal before the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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CNO shareholder loses appeal

June 22, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A Marion County court didn’t err when it granted insurance holding company CNO board of directors members’ motion to dismiss a shareholder’s lawsuit for failure to make pre-suit demand, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded.
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Court split on man’s forgery conviction

June 22, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals was divided over whether a man who used another person’s Social Security number and a false identification should have been convicted of forgery under a 2005 amendment to the law.
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Judges order dispute be arbitrated

June 22, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A complaint filed by a client against financial services companies and a former employee must be arbitrated per an agreement the client signed when opening an IRA account, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded. The court split over whether one of the companies could compel arbitration.
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Supreme Court affirms death sentence in 2001 rape, murder

June 22, 2012
Dave Stafford
A man whose death sentence and murder and rape convictions previously were reversed on appeal to the Indiana Supreme Court remains condemned after the justices on Thursday affirmed a trial court’s denial of post-conviction relief.
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Justices reverse Tax Court in UPS case

June 21, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court found that two reinsurance companies of the United Parcel Service are foreign companies that don’t do business within Indiana, so they aren’t exempt from Indiana adjusted gross income tax.
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COA: Don’t include sales tax in forfeiture calculation

June 21, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that a trial court erred in adding sales tax to the value of goods stolen, which allowed the state to seize the car used by the thief.
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SCOTUS rules on FCC case, still no health care decision

June 21, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The highly anticipated decision by the United States Supreme Court on health care will come another day. The justices released four opinions Thursday, which did not include the challenges to the health care law. They did decide the case before them involving the Federal Communications Commission.
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Justices disbar Evansville attorney

June 20, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court has disbarred an Evansville attorney who pleaded guilty in 2011 to Class D felony theft for exercising unauthorized control over more than $17,000 that belonged to 24 current or former clients.
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Man loses insanity defense appeal

June 20, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A Marion County court correctly rejected the insanity defense entered by a man who suffers from bipolar disorder and alcoholism in his attempted murder bench trial, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled.
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  1. 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

  2. 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!!!

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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