Court opinions

COA reverses man’s pro se request for change of judge

February 10, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
Because a man failed to file an affidavit concerning why he wanted a change of judge in a code violation case, as required by statute, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the grant of his request for a change of judge.
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7th Circuit disagrees with ALJ that woman is able to work

February 9, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
In vacating the denial of an application for Social Security disability benefits, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals admonished the administrative law judge for giving more weight to the opinion of the non-examining physician than to the diagnosis of the doctors who have been treating the applicant.
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Hoosier’s quest to reach public road ends at 7th Circuit

February 9, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
The owner of a piece of southern Indiana property who could not reach his land because neighbors would not permit him to drive across their properties has lost his attempt to get to a main road.
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Inaccurate property description does not render mortgage invalid

February 9, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Despite errors, a mortgage still contained a “facially valid” description and the mortgage holder was protected from foreclosure.
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Arrest, search of woman who walked from police unconstitutional

February 9, 2016
Dave Stafford
Indianapolis police who arrested and searched a woman after she walked away from them violated her Fourth Amendment rights, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
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Judges affirm co-defendants’ robbery convictions

February 4, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
Two men convicted of robbing a West Lafayette money lending store could not persuade the Indiana Court of Appeals to reverse their convictions.
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Plaintiff failed to prove injury caused by crane lessor

February 4, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
A man severely injured at work by a crane failed to prove that a company breached a duty to inspect a certain part of a crane before delivering it to the renter for use, and that the alleged breach was the proximate cause of the injury, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.
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Tax Court upholds land reclassification over assessor’s objection

February 1, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Tax Court affirmed a final determination by the state Board of Tax Review to reclassify nearly 3 acres of property from excess residential to agricultural, finding enough evidence to support the decision.
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Doctors’ affidavits cannot defeat summary judgment

February 1, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The affidavits submitted as evidence by the treating physicians being sued for medical malpractice were factually inadequate and did not raise a genuine issue of material fact regarding their care of the plaintiff, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Monday.
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COA declines to extend civil ruling to PCR case

January 29, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected an inmate’s request that In re Adoption of O.R. provides him an option for filing a belated notice of appeal.
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Dog sniff during traffic stop did not violate Constitution

January 29, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
The time it took for the police pup to arrive and sniff around a vehicle did not unreasonably prolong the traffic stop in violation a driver’s Constitutional rights, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled.
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Court split on whether defendant’s actions were proximate cause of injury

January 29, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
A divided Indiana Court of Appeals ordered a man’s Level 6 felony resisting law enforcement conviction reduced to a misdemeanor because of a lack of evidence his actions were the proximate cause of the police officer’s injury during a foot chase.
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Appeals court reduces woman’s restitution order

January 29, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reduced a woman’s restitution owed to her ex-employer for money she stole over the course of a three-year period. The judges found no connection between additional missing funds and the defendant.
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COA dismisses credit card debt appeal

January 29, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals dismissed a woman’s appeal of a default judgment entered against her regarding credit card debt because she did not file an Ind. Trial Rule 60(B) motion for relief.
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COA: Survivor benefit plan is a marital asset

January 27, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
Ruling on an issue barely touched upon in a previous decision, the Indiana Court of Appeals determined that a survivor benefit plan of a military pension should have been included in the marital pot when calculating asset distribution in a divorce.
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Jury instruction splits Supreme Court

January 25, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Jury instructions that included the interpretation from an appellate ruling split the Indiana Supreme Court as to when trial courts should look beyond the statute.
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Rental car insurance policy excludes UIM coverage

January 21, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the denial of an insurance company’s motion for summary judgment in a lawsuit brought by a customer injured in a car accident who had purchased optional supplemental liability protection when renting a car. The trial court incorrectly denied the company’s motion for summary judgment on the premise it did not provide uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage to the customer.
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Judge wants state to discard ‘archaic’ coverture fraction

January 20, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld the division of a husband’s pension through the use of the coverture fraction, but one judge questioned why Indiana continues to use the doctrine which has its origin in an “outdated and misogynist view” of the rights and roles of men and women.
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COA finds 1 out of 3 dental advertising regulations unconstitutional

January 20, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The regulation that compels dentists to disclose every dentist within the practice in advertisements is unconstitutional, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday. It held two other challenged regulations regarding advertising are not unconstitutional.
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Court affirms in part lien priority ruling

January 19, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court correctly concluded that a living trust, which held a purchase-money mortgage over a property in question, had first priority in enforcing a lien against the property, the Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
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Judges split over reversal of drug conviction after inventory search

January 19, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
Each member of a panel on the Indiana Court of Appeals authored an opinion regarding a man's marijuana conviction stemming from the discovery of the drug during an inventory search after he was arrested for allegedly driving on a suspended license. Two of the three judges voted to reverse his felony conviction.
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Lack of signage causes COA to toss speeding ticket

January 19, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals threw out a man’s speeding ticket issued in Lawrence County after ruling the county did not make motorists aware with signs of the 35 mph speed limit on the road.
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7th Circuit affirms denial of disability benefits

January 14, 2016
Dave Stafford
A worker with myriad health complaints failed to persuade the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to reverse a district court’s decision denying him long-term Social Security disability benefits.
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Amended statute confuses trial court

January 12, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
A trial court misinterpreted an amended statute regarding power of attorney, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled in giving a son the ability to look at his mother’s finances.
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Court erred in granting mom relief from dad’s Wyoming order

January 12, 2016
Dave Stafford
An Indiana trial court erred when it granted a mother’s request for Trial Rule 60(B) relief from a Wyoming court order that reduced a father’s child support arrearage to zero.
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  1. Indiana's seatbelt law is not punishable as a crime. It is an infraction. Apparently some of our Circuit judges have deemed settled law inapplicable if it fails to fit their litmus test of political correctness. Extrapolating to redefine terms of behavior in a violation of immigration law to the entire body of criminal law leaves a smorgasbord of opportunity for judicial mischief.

  2. I wonder if $10 diversions for failure to wear seat belts are considered moral turpitude in federal immigration law like they are under Indiana law? Anyone know?

  3. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

  4. Justice has finally been served. So glad that Dr. Ley can finally sleep peacefully at night knowing the truth has finally come to the surface.

  5. While this right is guaranteed by our Constitution, it has in recent years been hampered by insurance companies, i.e.; the practice of the plaintiff's own insurance company intervening in an action and filing a lien against any proceeds paid to their insured. In essence, causing an additional financial hurdle for a plaintiff to overcome at trial in terms of overall award. In a very real sense an injured party in exercise of their right to trial by jury may be the only party in a cause that would end up with zero compensation.

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