Court opinions

COA tosses injunction issued after alleged workplace threat

July 11, 2014
Dave Stafford
An injunction against an employee who allegedly told a company therapist that he was going to blow his supervisor’s head off is void because it arose from a labor dispute, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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COA affirms termination of parental rights for imprisoned mom

July 11, 2014
Dave Stafford
A trial court was within its authority to terminate the parental rights of a mother serving a minimum 10-year federal prison sentence for conspiracy to deal heroin, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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7th Circuit reinstates CSX worker’s sex discrimination claims

July 11, 2014
Dave Stafford
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Thursday reinstated sex discrimination and retaliation claims from a woman who alleges she was denied opportunities to advance as a railroad yardmaster with CSX Transportation Inc.
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Supreme Court vacates parental termination for jailed mom

July 11, 2014
Dave Stafford
A juvenile court abused it discretion by proceeding with a hearing and terminating a mother’s parental rights in her absence because she was in jail, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Thursday. Her attorney’s failure to ensure she was heard from also denied her a fair hearing, justices ruled.
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7th Circuit orders agency to reconsider denial of benefits

July 10, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Finding the “logical bridge” between evidence and conclusion that is needed to affirm a denial of disability benefits was not “sound” in a case before them, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a lower court’s affirmation of the denial of a woman’s Social Security disability benefits.
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Too much time has passed for man to sue after rifle accident, 7th Circuit says

July 10, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A lawsuit against a rifle manufacturer by an injured user was filed outside Indiana’s 10-year statute of repose for products-liability actions, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday. The man’s modification to his rifle did not extend the time he had to sue.
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Utah to appeal gay marriage ruling to high court

July 10, 2014
 Associated Press
Utah has decided to go straight to the U.S. Supreme Court to argue against gay marriage, meaning the nation's highest court will have at least one same-sex marriage case on its plate when it returns in October.
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Supreme Court affirms COA on issue in public-private contract

July 9, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
In a mere three sentences, the Indiana Supreme Court summarily affirmed the Indiana Court of Appeals opinion in the lawsuit involving Veolia Water and the city of Indianapolis and liability for damages resulting from a fire that destroyed a restaurant.
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Ex-business partner might not get damages for unreturned pizza oven

July 9, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Because a county clerk did not apparently send out notice of a court order requiring a man to return a pizza oven to his partner in a bar, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the denial by the lower court of the man’s motion challenging a damages award stemming from his failure to return the oven.
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Judges uphold 40-year sentence in drug deal turned robbery

July 9, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a man’s 40-year sentence for his role in the robbery of two people after he set up a drug deal with one of the victims.
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Court rules in favor of police department on inmate’s request for records

July 9, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The inmate who filed a public records request with the Indianapolis Police Department nearly nine years ago lost his case on appeal before the Indiana Court of Appeals Wednesday.
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Man had 3 months to bring claim to enforce contract, court rules

July 9, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A son who sought to challenge his stepmother’s decision to revoke the will she made with his father had to bring his challenge within three months of the will being admitted to probate, not nine months as he claimed, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Dentist’s reputation, privacy and identity are not chattel under T.R. 75(A)(2)

July 9, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals decided that the preferred venue of a woman’s lawsuit against her ex-boyfriend alleging defamation and other claims is in Marion County where the man resides and not in Lake County where she works. The opinion hinged upon whether there were chattels involved.
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Split Supreme Court vacates transfer in re-entry case

July 9, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court took action on one case last week, vacating the transfer it granted in April in a case challenging the termination from a county re-entry court program.
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Curry: 12-hour arrestee probable cause rule unrealistic

July 8, 2014
Dave Stafford
Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry told judges Tuesday that a proposed rule requiring a probable cause determination within 12 hours of an arrest in major felony cases would “set up the criminal justice system to fail in many instances.”
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Woman loses appeal of discrimination lawsuit against employer

July 8, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with the lower court that a pharmaceutical company did not discriminate against a sales representative based on her age or retaliate against her for filing a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
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Justices to answer whether fund can pursue claim against an insurer

July 7, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court has accepted a certified question from a federal court in northern Indiana in a case filed by the Indiana Patient Compensation Fund against a professional liability insurance provider involving claims against former doctor Mark Weinberger.
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State can’t prove teen stole television he owned with his mother

July 7, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
In an issue of first impression involving the statutes defining Class D felony theft, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a teen’s adjudication of theft for removing a television that he and his mother purchased together from his mother’s home over her objection.
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Judges uphold man’s resisting law enforcement conviction

July 7, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Finding the evidence to be sufficient to support a man’s conviction of misdemeanor resisting law enforcement, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed his conviction Monday. The judges also found no error in the trial court’s instructions to the jury.
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Kentucky gay marriage ban nixed, but no weddings yet

July 3, 2014
 Associated Press
Gay marriage advocates nationwide heralded the ruling striking down deeply conservative Kentucky's ban on same-sex marriage as a significant milestone, though matrimonies won't begin in earnest there anytime soon.
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Property conveyed by the entirety includes presumption of right of survivorship

July 3, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
In a question of first impression, the Indiana Court of Appeals Thursday held that when a property is conveyed by the entirety, there is a presumption the grantor intended to convey the property with the right of survivorship. It does not matter if the individuals are not husband and wife.
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Judges order SSA to determine if father is entitled to daughter’s disability benefits

July 3, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Wednesday sent a case back to the Social Security Administration after finding an administrative law judge’s decision that a woman was not totally disabled until Nov. 1, 2008, “deeply flawed.”
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Divided 7th Circuit revives Marion County Small Claims suit

July 3, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
More than eight months after Judge Richard Posner argued in a dissent that Newsom v. Friedman needs to be overruled, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals did just that in an en banc decision involving Marion County’s Township courts.
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Car dealer responsible for buyer’s unauthorized purchases at auction

July 2, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
After finding that a trial court did not err in reinstating an action after initially dismissing it with prejudice, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment in favor of Automotive Finance Corp. on its action seeking repayment of loans made to purchase cars.
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SCOTUS rules public union can't make nonmembers pay fees

June 30, 2014
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court dealt a blow to public sector unions Monday, ruling that thousands of home health care workers in Illinois cannot be required to pay fees that help cover the union's costs of collective bargaining.
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  1. The sad thing is that no fish were thrown overboard The "greenhorn" who had never fished before those 5 days was interrogated for over 4 hours by 5 officers until his statement was illicited, "I don't want to go to prison....." The truth is that these fish were measured frozen off shore and thawed on shore. The FWC (state) officer did not know fish shrink, so the only reason that these fish could be bigger was a swap. There is no difference between a 19 1/2 fish or 19 3/4 fish, short fish is short fish, the ticket was written. In addition the FWC officer testified at trial, he does not measure fish in accordance with federal law. There was a document prepared by the FWC expert that said yes, fish shrink and if these had been measured correctly they averaged over 20 inches (offshore frozen). This was a smoke and mirror prosecution.

  2. I love this, Dave! Many congrats to you! We've come a long way from studying for the bar together! :)

  3. This outbreak illustrates the absurdity of the extreme positions taken by today's liberalism, specifically individualism and the modern cult of endless personal "freedom." Ebola reminds us that at some point the person's own "freedom" to do this and that comes into contact with the needs of the common good and "freedom" must be curtailed. This is not rocket science, except, today there is nonstop propaganda elevating individual preferences over the common good, so some pundits have a hard time fathoming the obvious necessity of quarantine in some situations....or even NATIONAL BORDERS...propagandists have also amazingly used this as another chance to accuse Western nations of "racism" which is preposterous and offensive. So one the one hand the idolatry of individualism has to stop and on the other hand facts people don't like that intersect with race-- remain facts nonetheless. People who respond to facts over propaganda do better in the long run. We call it Truth. Sometimes it seems hard to find.

  4. It would be hard not to feel the Kramers' anguish. But Catholic Charities, by definition, performed due diligence and held to the statutory standard of care. No good can come from punishing them for doing their duty. Should Indiana wish to change its laws regarding adoption agreements and or putative fathers, the place for that is the legislature and can only apply to future cases. We do not apply new laws to past actions, as the Kramers seem intent on doing, to no helpful end.

  5. I am saddened to hear about the loss of Zeff Weiss. He was an outstanding member of the Indianapolis legal community. My thoughts are with his family.

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