Court opinions

Judges differ on if 'property damage' occurred

June 23, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
A majority of Indiana Court of Appeals judges affirmed summary judgment in favor of a homebuilder's insurance provider, insurance broker, and subcontractor's insurer, ruling the damage to the homes wasn't "property damage" as covered by the insurance policies.
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Court reverses conviction over letter

June 23, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
A man's convictions of criminal mischief and operating while intoxicated were reversed by the Indiana Court of Appeals because a letter he wrote while trying to negotiate a plea agreement - which was rejected - shouldn't have been admitted at his trial.
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Purse search violated Indiana Constitution

June 22, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
A majority of Indiana Court of Appeals judges reversed a woman's conviction of possession of cocaine because the concern for the safety of police officers doesn't justify the warrantless search of every purse that is stretched in such a way it appears it could be holding a gun.
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Court affirms student's convictions

June 19, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
After examining the few Indiana decisions on tumultuous conduct in the context of sufficiency of evidence to support a disorderly conduct conviction, the Indiana Supreme Court affirmed a high school student's conviction for behavior involving the dean of students. The high court also affirmed the student's battery conviction against the assistant principal.
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Justices: Jury issues don't require new trial

June 18, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court affirmed a jury award in favor of a man accused of rape in a civil suit, ruling the jury didn't receive improper communications and the trial court didn't err in providing impasse assistance to the jury.
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Tax exemption doesn't apply to hotel utilities

June 17, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court was split today in its ruling on whether a hotel was entitled to a sales tax exemption on utilities it purchased during 2004 and 2005.
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Court rules on consecutive enhancements issue

June 17, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Consecutive habitual offender enhancements are improper, whether the enhancements arise from separate trials on unrelated charges or separate trials on related charges, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled yesterday in two opinions.
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Inmate loses 3 appeals

June 17, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Eric D. Smith, the New Castle inmate with the propensity for filing pro se suits, lost three appeals today with the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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Justices: new Terre Haute election not needed

June 16, 2009
Michael Hoskins
A special election isn't needed to determine the rightful mayor of Terre Haute, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled today.
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Court rules on incurred risk in malpractice suit

June 16, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court ruled today that, in general, incurred risk isn't a defense to medical malpractice based on negligence or lack of informed consent.
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First impression on residential entry issue

June 15, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Since a man who had permission to be in his ex-girlfriend's garage did not have permission to be in her house, he committed residential entry as a Class D felony when he kicked in her locked kitchen door to use the phone.
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Opinion explains use of supplemental evidence

June 15, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
In affirming a trial court's decision to uphold a board of zoning appeals' denial of a petition for a variance, the Indiana Court of Appeals also addressed the trial court's admission of supplemental evidence pursuant to Indiana Code Section 36-7-4-1009.
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Judges differ on pretrial credit award

June 12, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Each judge on an Indiana Court of Appeals panel weighed in with a separate opinion as to how much pretrial credit time a defendant, who pleaded guilty to one charge - other charges were dismissed - is entitled to, or if he is entitled to any time at all.
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Animal cruelty an exigent circumstance

June 11, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Ruling on the issue for the first time in state courts, the Indiana Court of Appeals decided animal cruelty rises to the level of exigent circumstances to permit a warrantless search of curtilage. The decision came in a man's appeal of his dog fighting convictions.
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Suit based on church-member letter may go on

June 10, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
A letter written by a church member and circulated through another member's work e-mail address contains some allegedly defamatory statements that can be considered secular, so a suit for defamation and invasion of privacy could continue on those statements, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.
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COA: Park ban violates ex post facto laws

June 9, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Relying heavily on a recent Indiana Supreme Court decision regarding sex offenders and ex post facto laws, the Indiana Court of Appeals split in finding a city ordinance banning a convicted sex offender who no longer has to register with the state was punitive and unconstitutional as applied to him.
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SCOTUS: Elected judges must step aside

June 8, 2009
Michael Hoskins
Elected judges must recuse themselves in cases where large campaign contributions from interested parties create an appearance of bias, the nation's highest court ruled today.
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Court doesn't order contempt sanctions on state

June 8, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals was presented with the question in an Indiana case of how much non-compliance of a consent decree involving Medicaid applications is needed before a District Court can impose civil contempt sanctions.
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COA affirms judgment in property-tax dispute

June 5, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals released an opinion today dealing with a topic that gives many homeowners headaches - property taxes.
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Inmate's complaint dismissed again

June 4, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
An inmate's complaint, which led the Indiana Supreme Court to find the Three Strikes Law to be unconstitutional last year, was properly dismissed under the Frivolous Law Claim by the trial court on remand, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.
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COA: Rule of incredible dubiosity not applicable

June 4, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a man's domestic battery conviction and sentence, concluding his wife's testimony about the altercation wasn't subject to the rule of incredible dubiosity.
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Court denies officer's summary judgment motion

June 3, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
A federal judge denied an Indiana State Police officer's motion for summary judgment in a suit alleging he violated a motorist's rights under the Fourth and 14th amendments, ruling it should be up to a jury to decide the issues because the parties' stories regarding what happened during the traffic stop differ radically.
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COA reiterates confidential-information filing

June 3, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals emphasized in an opinion today the proper procedure for filing documents with confidential information, instigated by the fact the appellant's original appendix included a pre-sentence report on white paper and included a Social Security number.
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Justices dismiss public school funding case

June 2, 2009
Michael Hoskins
Even if Indiana's public school system falls short of where it should be in providing quality education, courts aren't constitutionally able to set standards or establish a financing formula because that's a task falling solely to the General Assembly.
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Issues of fact in molestation suit against father

June 2, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the denial of a motion of summary judgment by a father accused of molesting two of his adopted sons when they were children.
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  1. I expressed my thought in the title, long as it was. I am shocked that there is ever immunity from accountability for ANY Government agency. That appears to violate every principle in the US Constitution, which exists to limit Government power and to ensure Government accountability. I don't know how many cases of legitimate child abuse exist, but in the few cases in which I knew the people involved, in every example an anonymous caller used DCS as their personal weapon to strike at innocent people over trivial disagreements that had no connection with any facts. Given that the system is vulnerable to abuse, and given the extreme harm any action by DCS causes to families, I would assume any degree of failure to comply with the smallest infraction of personal rights would result in mandatory review. Even one day of parent-child separation in the absence of reasonable cause for a felony arrest should result in severe penalties to those involved in the action. It appears to me, that like all bureaucracies, DCS is prone to interpret every case as legitimate. This is not an accusation against DCS. It is a statement about the nature of bureaucracies, and the need for ADDED scrutiny of all bureaucratic actions. Frankly, I question the constitutionality of bureaucracies in general, because their power is delegated, and therefore unaccountable. No Government action can be unaccountable if we want to avoid its eventual degeneration into irrelevance and lawlessness, and the law of the jungle. Our Constitution is the source of all Government power, and it is the contract that legitimizes all Government power. To the extent that its various protections against intrusion are set aside, so is the power afforded by that contract. Eventually overstepping the limits of power eliminates that power, as a law of nature. Even total tyranny eventually crumbles to nothing.

  2. Being dedicated to a genre keeps it alive until the masses catch up to the "trend." Kent and Bill are keepin' it LIVE!! Thank you gentlemen..you know your JAZZ.

  3. Hemp has very little THC which is needed to kill cancer cells! Growing cannabis plants for THC inside a hemp field will not work...where is the fear? From not really knowing about Cannabis and Hemp or just not listening to the people teaching you through testimonies and packets of info over the last few years! Wake up Hoosier law makers!

  4. If our State Government would sue for their rights to grow HEMP like Kentucky did we would not have these issues. AND for your INFORMATION many medical items are also made from HEMP. FOOD, FUEL,FIBER,TEXTILES and MEDICINE are all uses for this plant. South Bend was built on Hemp. Our states antiquated fear of cannabis is embarrassing on the world stage. We really need to lead the way rather than follow. Some day.. we will have freedom in Indiana. And I for one will continue to educate the good folks of this state to the beauty and wonder of this magnificent plant.

  5. Put aside all the marijuana concerns, we are talking about food and fiber uses here. The federal impediments to hemp cultivation are totally ridiculous. Preposterous. Biggest hemp cultivators are China and Europe. We get most of ours from Canada. Hemp is as versatile as any crop ever including corn and soy. It's good the governor laid the way for this, regrettable the buffoons in DC stand in the way. A statutory relic of the failed "war on drugs"

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