Court opinions

Court rules on suspended sentence issue

July 23, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
A panel of Indiana Court of Appeals judges ruled on an issue that has generated a split of opinion among them: whether a fully executed sentence is equivalent to a sentence of equal length but partially suspended to probation for purposes of review under Appellate Rule 7(B).
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COA declines ruling on constitutionality of plan

July 22, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals declined to address the constitutionality of a Department of Correction program for sex offenders based on the deficient record before it and because the appellate court could decide the case without ruling on the constitutionality of the program.
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Alarm company's actions not covered by policies

July 21, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court reversed the denial of summary judgment on an insurance company's coverage defenses, ruling its insured's actions leading to a lawsuit were "errors or omissions," and so weren't covered by the commercial general liability or umbrella policies.
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Statute doesn't authorize dismissal of charges

July 21, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Even if the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded the trial court violated statute by failing to set a juvenile delinquency hearing within the 60-day time limit, the appellate court doesn't believe the statute authorizes dismissal of the charges as the defendant argues.
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Judges differ on allowance of trustee's appeal

July 20, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Judges on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, including Northern District Judge Joseph Van Bokkelen - who was sitting in designation - disagreed whether a bankruptcy trustee's appeal should be dismissed for lack of appellate jurisdiction because he didn't file a petition for permission to appeal.
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COA: Only deceased's parent can have visitation

July 20, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
A paternal grandmother whose son was convicted of manslaughter in the death of his child's mother doesn't have standing to petition for visitation with her grandchild under the Grandparent Visitation Act, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.
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Judges: Court should have questioned jurors

July 15, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Judges on the Indiana Court of Appeals disagreed as to whether a man's murder conviction should be overturned because the trial court failed to investigate the impact of threats made against the jury. The majority determined the lack of action by the trial court resulted in a fundamental error that required reversing the conviction, but that he could be retried.
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COA: Dog sniff requires reasonable suspicion

July 14, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Analyzing the issue for the first time, the Indiana Court of Appeals today determined reasonable suspicion is needed to conduct a drug-detecting dog sniff of a private residence. Even though the state didn't argue the police had reasonable suspicion, it established the officers relied on the warrant executed after the sniff in good faith.
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Judges: Town ordinance invalid

July 14, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals declared today a Plainfield town ordinance authorizing the imposition of storm-water fees on properties outside of the town's corporate boundaries to be invalid because under Indiana Code, the town only has the authority to collect the fee within its corporate limits.
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Attempted murderer may adopt under statute

July 13, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Under Indiana statute for adoption, attempted murder isn't listed as a conviction that would prohibit a court from granting the adoption, but aggravated battery is.
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Township assessor loses appeal

July 13, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled against a township assessor who filed a suit last year after the General Assembly enacted a bill that eliminated her office and transferred her duties to the county assessor.
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COA: alternative murder sentence illegal

July 10, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled a defendant is entitled to re-sentencing on his murder conviction since the trial court wasn't authorized to sentence him to death and to a term-of-years sentence if the death penalty was overturned.
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Judges don't agree candidate is 'qualified'

July 10, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Indiana Court of Appeals judges disagreed as to whether an elected at-large school board candidate was "qualified" under the Indiana Constitution to take office because his election caused three members from the same school district to be on the board.
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COA: Rentals not restricted by covenants

July 9, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
In a case of first impression, the Indiana Court of Appeals determined today the rental of cabins in a subdivision was allowed under its restrictive covenants because the rental property was for "residential use."
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COA: Home isn't allowed in marital estate

July 8, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Even though a trial court believed a wife's testimony that her in-laws' purposefully kept her from receiving any money from the sale of the marital residence in the event of a divorce, the lower court erred by including the residence in the marital estate, ruled the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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Federal judge OKs state's judicial canons

July 8, 2009
Michael Hoskins
A federal judge says the Indiana Supreme Court can regulate judicial speech through its cannons, and has ruled the existing rules do not violate a judge or judicial candidate's constitutional free speech or association rights.
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First impression for habitual offender statute

July 7, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
In an issue of first impression, the Indiana Court of Appeals had to decide whether a defendant's prior conviction for conspiracy to deal in cocaine qualified as a conviction for dealing in cocaine under the state's habitual offender statute.
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COA reverses rape conviction in cold case

July 7, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals today affirmed a man's recent conviction for a murder he committed more than 20 years ago, but it reversed his rape conviction on insufficient evidence. The state failed to file a charge in which it had evidence to support a conviction of a sexual attack against the victim.
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Court: daylight saving time not an issue

July 1, 2009
Michael Hoskins
A trial judge shouldn't have suppressed a drunk-driving breath test on grounds that a time change interfered with the prosecution, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled today on an issue of first impression.
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Justices rule on residency-restriction law

July 1, 2009
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court says the three-year-old state law restricting sex offenders from living within 1,000 feet of where children congregate constitutes an unconstitutional form of retroactive punishment. However, the sex offender who won the appeal has been dead since September 2008.
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Court: counties responsible for GAL, CASA fees

June 30, 2009
Michael Hoskins
In a significant opinion about the funding of child welfare cases, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today that any guardian ad litem or Child Appointed Special Advocate fees associated with a child in need of services case must be paid by the county and not the state agency that lawmakers gave more oversight power to in the past year.
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Justices issue ruling in casino revenue case

June 30, 2009
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court ruled today on an ongoing appeal about how casino revenue is funneled to a for-profit organization in East Chicago, an issue that has also been raised in an ongoing federal racketeering suit in northern Indiana.
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Man loses gender discrimination appeal

June 29, 2009
Michael Hoskins
A federal appellate panel has upheld a U.S. District judge's decision against a man who alleged he's the victim of gender discrimination for being fired from St. Francis Hospital on claims he accessed inappropriate Web sites while at work.
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High court rules on putative father adoption case

June 29, 2009
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has ruled that a putative father who files a paternity action in a court other than the court in which the adoption case is pending meets statutory requirements and doesn't imply his permanent consent to that adoption.
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Transfer sought in compulsive gambling case

June 29, 2009
Michael Hoskins
Arguing that common law should protect anyone intentionally harmed by someone else, an Evansville attorney is asking the Indiana Supreme Court to consider a case of first impression in which he contends a compulsive gambler was targeted and taken advantage of by a casino, resulting in her loss of $125,000 in a single night.
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  1. Such things are no more elections than those in the late, unlamented Soviet Union.

  2. It appears the police and prosecutors are allowed to change the rules halfway through the game to suit themselves. I am surprised that the congress has not yet eliminated the right to a trial in cases involving any type of forensic evidence. That would suit their foolish law and order police state views. I say we eliminate the statute of limitations for crimes committed by members of congress and other government employees. Of course they would never do that. They are all corrupt cowards!!!

  3. Poor Judge Brown probably thought that by slavishly serving the godz of the age her violations of 18th century concepts like due process and the rule of law would be overlooked. Mayhaps she was merely a Judge ahead of her time?

  4. in a lawyer discipline case Judge Brown, now removed, was presiding over a hearing about a lawyer accused of the supposedly heinous ethical violation of saying the words "Illegal immigrant." (IN re Barker) http://www.in.gov/judiciary/files/order-discipline-2013-55S00-1008-DI-429.pdf .... I wonder if when we compare the egregious violations of due process by Judge Brown, to her chiding of another lawyer for politically incorrectness, if there are any conclusions to be drawn about what kind of person, what kind of judge, what kind of apparatchik, is busy implementing the agenda of political correctness and making off-limits legit advocacy about an adverse party in a suit whose illegal alien status is relevant? I am just asking the question, the reader can make own conclsuion. Oh wait-- did I use the wrong adjective-- let me rephrase that, um undocumented alien?

  5. of course the bigger questions of whether or not the people want to pay for ANY bussing is off limits, due to the Supreme Court protecting the people from DEMOCRACY. Several decades hence from desegregation and bussing plans and we STILL need to be taking all this taxpayer money to combat mostly-imagined "discrimination" in the most obviously failed social program of the postwar period.

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