Court opinions

COA vacates protective order based on hearsay

November 30, 2015
Dave Stafford
A protective order against a family member who police accused of sexual abuse against a child was lifted by the Indiana Court of Appeals Monday.
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Split COA reverses denial of habitual traffic violator rulings

November 30, 2015
Dave Stafford
A divided panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled against five Lake County motorists who a trial court determined could not be judged habitual traffic violators.
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Judge issues $50M judgment against Elkhart environmental nuisance

November 25, 2015
Dave Stafford
Residents who live near a waste dump and wood-waste processing facility in Elkhart won a default judgment of more than $50 million against the former owners. The sum appears largely a symbolic figure, however.
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COA: Court properly denied father’s motions in termination case

November 23, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the termination of a father’s rights over his young son Monday, finding the trial court acted within its discretion when it denied his motions for a continuance and order to transport from where he was incarcerated to the Indianapolis court.
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COA reverses sentence imposed after failed drug program completion

November 23, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A man who was ordered to serve 20 years – the maximum sentence for a Class B felony – after not completing a drug court program due to smoking Spice will be resentenced. The Indiana Court of Appeals found the trial court selected his sentence based on his failure to complete the program.
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Ex-jewelry store operators lose tax appeal

November 20, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The operators of a former jewelry store in central Indiana were unable to convince the Indiana Tax Court they are entitled to more than $160,000 in sales tax refunds.
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COA: Man’s threat to officers not intimidation

November 20, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals held Friday that a man who threatened to shoot officers dispatched to his home did not commit intimidation as defined by the statute.
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HIP payments not negotiated; Stanley not applicable

November 19, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Medical payments made by the Healthy Indiana Plan for a woman involved in a car accident to reimburse her medical providers in full satisfaction of hospital bills were properly excluded at trial, the Court of Appeals held Thursday. The trial court correctly ruled that those payments are barred by the collateral source statute and that Stanley v. Walker does not apply.
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Court orders man’s probation period reduced

November 18, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found a man’s due process rights were violated because the state couldn’t prove he was advised of his constitutional rights at his probation revocation hearing. The appeals court ordered further proceedings on the matter, including reducing his period of probation to comply with statute.
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FSSA incorrectly imposed transfer penalty on Medicaid recipient

November 18, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Based on evidence presented that a Medicaid recipient’s home sold for $75,000 – the fair market value – and proceeds went back to the irrevocable trust that held legal title of the home, the Family and Social Services Administration incorrectly imposed a transfer penalty against the woman after it found the fair market value was $91,900, the Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.
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Farmer with wandering cattle will have to build fence himself

November 16, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A Starke County farmer who wanted to keep his cattle from roaming onto neighboring farms will have to pay for the entire fence to be built, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled.
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Temporary tag in rear window gets conviction tossed

November 13, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A Hendricks County Sheriff’s deputy’s ignorance of where a temporary license plate can be displayed on a car led the Indiana Court of Appeals to overturn a drunken-driving conviction.
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Split COA orders refund of $12K in foreclosure deficiency payments

November 13, 2015
Dave Stafford
A Court of Appeals panel wrote Friday that justice demands an attack on an improper 2009 garnishment order and a refund to a couple that paid $50 a week in deficiency payments after losing their home to foreclosure.
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Appeals court rules for teachers on pay issues

November 13, 2015
Dave Stafford
Jay Classroom Teachers Association prevailed Friday in an appeal contesting terms of a teachers’ contract adopted as the last best offer from Jay School Corporation.
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Lack of evidence leads COA to reverse probation violation

November 13, 2015
Dave Stafford
A Franklin County man who was ordered to spend five months in the Department of Correction after an alleged probation violation won a reversal of the trial court order Friday for lack of evidence.
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Judge calls out DLGF ‘infirmities’ in ruling for township, fire district

November 13, 2015
Dave Stafford
Indiana Tax Court Judge Martha Blood Wentworth had a few choice words for the Department of Local Government Finance in finding the state hadn’t answered the key question in a township’s tax appeal.
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COA leaves arbitrator’s award in place

November 12, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals on Thursday declined Madison County’s request that it correct or vacate an arbitrator’s award in favor of two county highway department employees. The appeals court concluded the county circumvented the collective bargaining agreement when it discharged the two employees.
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Man loses appeal to revoke spousal maintenance

November 10, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
An ex-husband who sought “all-or-nothing” relief when he asked the court to terminate his ex-wife’s incapacity support instead of reducing it after she remarried lost his appeal before the Indiana Supreme Court.
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Justices: Jury should hear defense of necessity instruction

November 10, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court ordered a new trial for a man convicted of a misdemeanor gun charge after finding he presented sufficient evidence to have the jury instructed on his defense of necessity.
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New York conviction doesn’t support Indiana charges

November 10, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A man’s 2014 conviction of operating a vehicle while impaired in New York cannot serve as the basis to bring enhanced drunken-driving charges against him because the New York statute is not substantially similar to the elements of a crime described in Indiana Code, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Tuesday.
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Court: Girl should be with mother, not great aunt

November 10, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the award of custody of a young girl to her great aunt, finding the woman did not overcome the presumption in favor of placement with the girl’s biological mother.
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Justices: Personalized licenses plates are government speech

November 6, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court Friday upheld the Bureau of Motor Vehicles’ process for approving or denying requests for personalized license plates after finding the plates are government speech. A Marion County judge ruled last year the statute governing personalized license plates is unconstitutional.
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Companies’ agreement not a requirements contract, 7th Circuit holds

November 6, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals vacated judgment in favor of a company that sued its carbon black supplier after it was unable to fulfill orders, holding the lower court erred in ruling in favor of the purchaser after finding the agreement between the companies was a requirements contract.
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Court must recalculate attorney fees

November 6, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court has the discretion to determine whether and how much to award in attorney fees, but a Porter Superior Court incorrectly determined what attorney fees the prevailing party was entitled to in a slander of title action, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Friday.
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Clause limiting time client can sue attorney violates public policy

November 6, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The contract a client signed to have the Conour Law Firm represent her contained a clause limiting her ability to sue the firm to one year, which the Indiana Court of Appeals found violated public policy and the Indiana Rules of Professional Conduct. The lawsuit seeking to recover settlement funds stolen by William Conour continues against his former colleague.
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  1. On a related note, I offered the ICLU my cases against the BLE repeatedly, and sought their amici aid repeatedly as well. Crickets. Usually not even a response. I am guessing they do not do allegations of anti-Christian bias? No matter how glaring? I have posted on other links the amicus brief that did get filed (search this ezine, e.g., Kansas attorney), read the Thomas More Society brief to note what the ACLU ran from like vampires from garlic. An Examiner pledged to advance diversity and inclusion came right out on the record and demanded that I choose Man's law or God's law. I wonder, had I been asked to swear off Allah ... what result then, ICLU? Had I been found of bad character and fitness for advocating sexual deviance, what result then ICLU? Had I been lifetime banned for posting left of center statements denigrating the US Constitution, what result ICLU? Hey, we all know don't we? Rather Biased.

  2. It was mentioned in the article that there have been numerous CLE events to train attorneys on e-filing. I would like someone to provide a list of those events, because I have not seen any such events in east central Indiana, and since Hamilton County is one of the counties where e-filing is mandatory, one would expect some instruction in this area. Come on, people, give some instruction, not just applause!

  3. This law is troubling in two respects: First, why wasn't the law reviewed "with the intention of getting all the facts surrounding the legislation and its actual impact on the marketplace" BEFORE it was passed and signed? Seems a bit backwards to me (even acknowledging that this is the Indiana state legislature we're talking about. Second, what is it with the laws in this state that seem to create artificial monopolies in various industries? Besides this one, the other law that comes to mind is the legislation that governed the granting of licenses to firms that wanted to set up craft distilleries. The licensing was limited to only those entities that were already in the craft beer brewing business. Republicans in this state talk a big game when it comes to being "business friendly". They're friendly alright . . . to certain businesses.

  4. Gretchen, Asia, Roberto, Tonia, Shannon, Cheri, Nicholas, Sondra, Carey, Laura ... my heart breaks for you, reaching out in a forum in which you are ignored by a professional suffering through both compassion fatigue and the love of filthy lucre. Most if not all of you seek a warm blooded Hoosier attorney unafraid to take on the government and plead that government officials have acted unconstitutionally to try to save a family and/or rescue children in need and/or press individual rights against the Leviathan state. I know an attorney from Kansas who has taken such cases across the country, arguing before half of the federal courts of appeal and presenting cases to the US S.Ct. numerous times seeking cert. Unfortunately, due to his zeal for the constitutional rights of peasants and willingness to confront powerful government bureaucrats seemingly violating the same ... he was denied character and fitness certification to join the Indiana bar, even after he was cleared to sit for, and passed, both the bar exam and ethics exam. And was even admitted to the Indiana federal bar! NOW KNOW THIS .... you will face headwinds and difficulties in locating a zealously motivated Hoosier attorney to face off against powerful government agents who violate the constitution, for those who do so tend to end up as marginalized as Paul Odgen, who was driven from the profession. So beware, many are mere expensive lapdogs, the kind of breed who will gladly take a large retainer, but then fail to press against the status quo and powers that be when told to heel to. It is a common belief among some in Indiana that those attorneys who truly fight the power and rigorously confront corruption often end up, actually or metaphorically, in real life or at least as to their careers, as dead as the late, great Gary Welch. All of that said, I wish you the very best in finding a Hoosier attorney with a fighting spirit to press your rights as far as you can, for you do have rights against government actors, no matter what said actors may tell you otherwise. Attorneys outside the elitist camp are often better fighters that those owing the powers that be for their salaries, corner offices and end of year bonuses. So do not be afraid to retain a green horn or unconnected lawyer, many of them are fine men and woman who are yet untainted by the "unique" Hoosier system.

  5. I am not the John below. He is a journalist and talk show host who knows me through my years working in Kansas government. I did no ask John to post the note below ...

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