Court opinions

Majority upholds violent sexual predator finding

May 5, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
An Indiana Court of Appeals panel disagreed as to whether the failure of a defendant’s counsel to press for the statutory requirement for a hearing on a sexually violent predator finding was a procedural default that waived the appellate court’s consideration of the issue.
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Justices approve 'double enhancement'

May 5, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court affirmed the use of the same prior conviction to both elevate a defendant’s charge to a felony and find him a habitual substance offender because of explicit legislative direction on the enhancements.
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Justices differ on reasonableness of GAL fees

May 3, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
If two parties in a domestic relations dispute sign a written contract to retain the services of a guardian ad litem, then the trial court must enforce the terms of the agreement unless it is contrary to public policy, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Friday.
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7th Circuit grants writ of habeas corpus

May 3, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the denial of a habeas corpus petition, finding the Indiana Court of Appeals unreasonably applied federal law when it determined prior statements of identification by witnesses the government suppressed didn’t create a reasonable probability of a different result at trial.
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Judges affirm juvenile placement in DOC

April 30, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals was sympathetic to a teen’s request to not be placed in the Department of Correction, but it noted that all other remedies for his rehabilitation had been exhausted in his home county.
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Justices rule on sentence modification

April 30, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A conviction of a Class D felony that is later reduced to a Class A misdemeanor doesn’t prevent a trial court from modifying a sentence below the statutory minimum, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled today in a matter of first impression.
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COA: Judge should have recused himself

April 29, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals agreed with a defendant that he received ineffective assistance of trial counsel because his attorney should have filed a motion for change of judge. The sentencing judge had worked as a prosecutor in the early stages of the defendant’s case 10 years earlier.
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Judges reverse, reinstate sex-offender conviction

April 29, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a man’s conviction of failing to register as a sex offender based on a lack of evidence showing the man had a connection to Indiana 90 days after his last registration. The appellate court did reinstate a vacated conviction for failing to notify law enforcement of his move within 72 hours.
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High court addresses provision for 1st time

April 29, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court affirmed the denial of summary judgment for an insurance company, finding the exclusion in the policy for injuries covered by workers’ compensation doesn’t apply.
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Justices: No error in declaring mistrial

April 28, 2010
A trial court's determination to discharge a jury at a defendant's second trial wasn't an abuse of discretion, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Tuesday.
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Pro se defendant must be advised of rights

April 28, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The requirement to advise a defendant of the dangers of self-representation and the benefit of counsel applies equally regardless of whether a pro se defendant is choosing to plead guilty or go to trial, the Indiana Court of Appeals decided today.
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Justices rule company engaged in UPL in trust mill case

April 28, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court orders an Indianapolis-based company to stop engaging in any conduct that might be considered unauthorized practice of law.
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Trial court lacks jurisdiction in tax suit

April 27, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Tax Court is the proper venue for a suit filed by the state to recover an erroneous tax refund, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed today.
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Judges affirm rulings in Iraq name-selling case

April 26, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the District Court's decisions in the appeals by the central Indiana man who tried to sell the names of CIA agents working covertly in Iraq shortly before the U.S. invaded the country in 2003.
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COA upholds eviction action

April 26, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court properly treated a couple's action against the man who agreed to purchase a house from them as an eviction, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded. The court also analyzed for the first time the nature and effect of a pre-closing possession agreement like the one in the instant case.
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Tax court rules on inheritance issue

April 23, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
In Indiana, a person adopted pre-emancipation can't be considered a Class A transferee beneficiary for inheritance tax purposes, the Indiana Tax Court ruled Thursday afternoon in an issue of first impression.
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Court split on burglary tipster issue

April 22, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A panel of Indiana Court of Appeals judges disagreed today as to whether the fact a tipster's identity was known by police was sufficient by itself to justify a police officer's stop of a juvenile.
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Full appeals court decides on IPAS case

April 22, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Nine months ago, a federal judge in Indianapolis refused to dismiss a case about the state's practices and programs regarding mentally ill inmates, finding an independent state agency had a right to sue on those issues.
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COA discusses jury-selection procedures

April 21, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
Despite being sensitive to a defendant's concerns about having no African-Americans included in his jury pool, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed his felony convictions of altering an original identification number and auto theft.
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Justices rule on casino land-ownership dispute

April 20, 2010
Michael Hoskins
A land-ownership dispute about an Ohio River riverboat-casino docking site is the subject of an Indiana Supreme Court ruling today, touching on land deeds from the 1800s and who had the right to use and give away ownership of less than an acre of land.
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Plaintiff loses federal challenges to voter ID law

April 19, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A federal judge ruled against a Cumberland man in his federal challenge to Indiana's voter identification law, but did remand his pending state claims to a Marion Superior Court for consideration.
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Judges uphold child pornography sentence

April 19, 2010
Jennifer NelsonMore

Justices reaffirm precedent on worker's comp claims

April 16, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has upheld a decision by the state Worker's Compensation Board dismissing an injured trucker's claim, finding the employee's settlement with a third-party driver voided whatever responsibility the company had on the issue.
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COA decides sex offender registration plea case

April 16, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals today declined to ignore a year-old precedent from the state's highest court about sex offender registration, finding that the ruling still applies to cases where an offender once signed a plea agreement requiring him to follow lesser registration requirements.
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Court: Medical record loss is negligence

April 16, 2010
Michael Hoskins
If a hospital or provider loses records so that a patient can't pursue a medical malpractice case, the Indiana Court of Appeals says state law allows that person to pursue a separate civil action for spoliation of evidence.
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  1. It's a big fat black mark against the US that they radicalized a lot of these Afghan jihadis in the 80s to fight the soviets and then when they predictably got around to biting the hand that fed them, the US had to invade their homelands, install a bunch of corrupt drug kingpins and kleptocrats, take these guys and torture the hell out of them. Why for example did the US have to sodomize them? Dubya said "they hate us for our freedoms!" Here, try some of that freedom whether you like it or not!!! Now they got even more reasons to hate us-- lets just keep bombing the crap out of their populations, installing more puppet regimes, arming one faction against another, etc etc etc.... the US is becoming a monster. No wonder they hate us. Here's my modest recommendation. How about we follow "Just War" theory in the future. St Augustine had it right. How about we treat these obvious prisoners of war according to the Geneva convention instead of torturing them in sadistic and perverted ways.

  2. As usual, John is "spot-on." The subtle but poignant points he makes are numerous and warrant reflection by mediators and users. Oh but were it so simple.

  3. ACLU. Way to step up against the police state. I see a lot of things from the ACLU I don't like but this one is a gold star in its column.... instead of fighting it the authorities should apologize and back off.

  4. Duncan, It's called the RIGHT OF ASSOCIATION and in the old days people believed it did apply to contracts and employment. Then along came title vii.....that aside, I believe that I am free to work or not work for whomever I like regardless: I don't need a law to tell me I'm free. The day I really am compelled to ignore all the facts of social reality in my associations and I blithely go along with it, I'll be a slave of the state. That day is not today......... in the meantime this proposed bill would probably be violative of 18 usc sec 1981 that prohibits discrimination in contracts... a law violated regularly because who could ever really expect to enforce it along the millions of contracts made in the marketplace daily? Some of these so-called civil rights laws are unenforceable and unjust Utopian Social Engineering. Forcing people to love each other will never work.

  5. I am the father of a sweet little one-year-old named girl, who happens to have Down Syndrome. To anyone who reads this who may be considering the decision to terminate, please know that your child will absolutely light up your life as my daughter has the lives of everyone around her. There is no part of me that condones abortion of a child on the basis that he/she has or might have Down Syndrome. From an intellectual standpoint, however, I question the enforceability of this potential law. As it stands now, the bill reads in relevant part as follows: "A person may not intentionally perform or attempt to perform an abortion . . . if the person knows that the pregnant woman is seeking the abortion solely because the fetus has been diagnosed with Down syndrome or a potential diagnosis of Down syndrome." It includes similarly worded provisions abortion on "any other disability" or based on sex selection. It goes so far as to make the medical provider at least potentially liable for wrongful death. First, how does a medical provider "know" that "the pregnant woman is seeking the abortion SOLELY" because of anything? What if the woman says she just doesn't want the baby - not because of the diagnosis - she just doesn't want him/her? Further, how can the doctor be liable for wrongful death, when a Child Wrongful Death claim belongs to the parents? Is there any circumstance in which the mother's comparative fault will not exceed the doctor's alleged comparative fault, thereby barring the claim? If the State wants to discourage women from aborting their children because of a Down Syndrome diagnosis, I'm all for that. Purporting to ban it with an unenforceable law, however, is not the way to effectuate this policy.

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