Court opinions

Justices dismiss public school funding case

June 2, 2009
Michael Hoskins
Even if Indiana's public school system falls short of where it should be in providing quality education, courts aren't constitutionally able to set standards or establish a financing formula because that's a task falling solely to the General Assembly.
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Issues of fact in molestation suit against father

June 2, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the denial of a motion of summary judgment by a father accused of molesting two of his adopted sons when they were children.
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COA: Police didn't need to search car after stop

June 1, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a man's unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon conviction, ruling the warrantless search of the car the man was driving violated his federal and state constitutional rights.
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Justices: License plates can't be in rear windows

May 29, 2009
Michael Hoskins
Justice Robert Rucker says his four Indiana Supreme Court colleagues have issued a ruling that transforms millions of law-abiding residents into traffic offenders.
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COA rules insurer has no duty to defend

May 29, 2009
Jennifer NelsonMore

Justices split on discounted medical expenses

May 28, 2009
Michael Hoskins
In a ruling about whether insurance discounts can be used to determine reasonable medical expenses, two Indiana Supreme Court justices say their colleagues have created a new rule that is "incomplete, misleading, and unfair" and will add "layers of complexity, time, and expense to personal injury litigation, impairing the efficient administration of justice."
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COA upholds dismissal of election challenges

May 28, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Today Indiana's appellate courts are dealing with two mayoral election disputes, with the Court of Appeals ruling on one in Muncie and the Supreme Court hearing arguments in another from Terre Haute.
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Arrest upheld after seatbelt stop

May 22, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a defendant's motion to suppress evidence following a traffic stop for a seatbelt violation, finding the police officer's inquiry regarding an object in the man's pants didn't violate his constitutional rights or the Seatbelt Enforcement Act.
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COA: Church not a 'youth program center'

May 21, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a man's Class A felony conviction of possession of cocaine, finding he wasn't within 1,000 feet of a "youth program center" because the building is a church running mostly faith-based programs. It's an issue of first impression for Indiana courts.
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Judges differ in ruling application in set-off case

May 21, 2009
Jennifer NelsonMore

Advisory sentence not sentencing starting point

May 20, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
A man appealing his 15-year sentence for rape made a "novel" argument in his brief: the trial court should have started its calculation of his sentence using the advisory sentence of 10 years instead of using the midpoint of 13 years.
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Judges disagree on statute's constitutionality

May 20, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
In an issue with great relevance given today's advances in technology and social networking, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded someone who uses a computer to download an electronic image and save it on a CD doesn't "create" a digitalized image under the child-exploitation statute.
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Cinergy trial ends with split verdict

May 20, 2009
Michael Hoskins
A federal jury returned a verdict that a major energy company violated clean-air rules at a coal-fired power plant along the Ohio River in southeast Indiana.
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Worker's entire service decides FMLA eligibilityRestricted Content

May 19, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
In an issue of first impression, the majority of Indiana Supreme Court justices ruled an employee filling multiple positions with the same employer is eligible for leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act if the employee's total service is sufficient to qualify, even if the service in either position alone doesn't qualify.
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Justices rule on Web IP issue

May 19, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
In a suit between a company and the marketing firm that created and hosted its Web site, the Indiana Supreme Court determined the Uniform Commercial Code doesn't apply and the marketing firm may collect for its work under principles of common law contract.
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COA clarifies emotional distress claims

May 18, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals used an opinion today to clarify how to treat an independent action for emotional distress brought either in combination with the Wrongful Death Statute or as part of the Medical Malpractice Act.
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Judges differ in non-compete agreement case

May 18, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
In a legal dispute regarding a non-compete agreement, the Indiana Court of Appeals judges disagreed as to whether the agreement could be enforced if the former employee's clients voluntarily left and contacted him to continue to be their accountant.
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BMV policy needed to prevent identity theft

May 15, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The inconvenience of a few Hoosiers outweighs the very real threat of identity theft, so the trial court was correct in denying a preliminary injunction against the Bureau of Motor Vehicle's verification of records using Social Security Administration data, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.
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COA: Manufactured home subject to law

May 15, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals determined that manufactured mobile homes are subject to Indiana's common law warranty of habitability, so it reversed the grant of summary judgment in favor of a manufacturer in a homeowner's property damage and personal injury complaint.
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Justices rule on uninsured motorist statute

May 14, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
In an issue of first impression, the Indiana Supreme Court had to decide whether an insurance company's uninsured motorist policy - which requires the bodily injury be sustained by an insured - violates the state's uninsured motorist statute and is unenforceable.
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COA: No preliminary injunction against casinos

May 14, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
A panel of Indiana Court of Appeals judges agreed a city isn't entitled to a preliminary injunction to order riverboat casinos to make payments to the city, but the judges disagreed as to why the city didn't meet its burden to prove an injunction was necessary.
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COA: Just running red light not reckless

May 13, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Ruling on the issue for the first time, the Indiana Court of Appeals held that not stopping at an intersection cannot, without more evidence, constitute criminally reckless conduct and establish a prima facie case.
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Jury instruction requires new damages trial

May 12, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
A jury instruction the Indiana Court of Appeals found to incorrectly state the law required the court to remand for a new trial on damages in a negligence suit.
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COA reverses decree award of military benefits

May 12, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a portion of a divorce decree awarding some of the husband's military benefits and housing allowance to his wife because the separation agreement excluded granting the wife any rights to them.
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7th Circuit: No attorney conflict of interestRestricted Content

May 11, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the denial of a drug offender's petition for habeas corpus, ruling his attorney didn't render ineffective assistance of counsel when he also represented other co-defendants on the same drug charges.
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  1. I like the concept. Seems like a good idea and really inexpensive to manage.

  2. I don't agree that this is an extreme case. There are more of these people than you realize - people that are vindictive and/or with psychological issues have clogged the system with baseless suits that are costly to the defendant and to taxpayers. Restricting repeat offenders from further abusing the system is not akin to restricting their freedon, but to protecting their victims, and the court system, from allowing them unfettered access. From the Supreme Court opinion "he has burdened the opposing party and the courts of this state at every level with massive, confusing, disorganized, defective, repetitive, and often meritless filings."

  3. So, if you cry wolf one too many times courts may "restrict" your ability to pursue legal action? Also, why is document production equated with wealth? Anyone can "produce probably tens of thousands of pages of filings" if they have a public library card. I understand this is an extreme case, but our Supreme Court really got this one wrong.

  4. He called our nation a nation of cowards because we didn't want to talk about race. That was a cheap shot coming from the top cop. The man who decides who gets the federal government indicts. Wow. Not a gentleman if that is the measure. More importantly, this insult delivered as we all understand, to white people-- without him or anybody needing to explain that is precisely what he meant-- but this is an insult to timid white persons who fear the government and don't want to say anything about race for fear of being accused a racist. With all the legal heat that can come down on somebody if they say something which can be construed by a prosecutor like Mr Holder as racist, is it any wonder white people-- that's who he meant obviously-- is there any surprise that white people don't want to talk about race? And as lawyers we have even less freedom lest our remarks be considered violations of the rules. Mr Holder also demonstrated his bias by publically visiting with the family of the young man who was killed by a police offering in the line of duty, which was a very strong indicator of bias agains the offer who is under investigation, and was a failure to lead properly by letting his investigators do their job without him predetermining the proper outcome. He also has potentially biased the jury pool. All in all this worsens race relations by feeding into the perception shared by whites as well as blacks that justice will not be impartial. I will say this much, I do not blame Obama for all of HOlder's missteps. Obama has done a lot of things to stay above the fray and try and be a leader for all Americans. Maybe he should have reigned Holder in some but Obama's got his hands full with other problelms. Oh did I mention HOlder is a bank crony who will probably get a job in a silkstocking law firm working for millions of bucks a year defending bankers whom he didn't have the integrity or courage to hold to account for their acts of fraud on the United States, other financial institutions, and the people. His tenure will be regarded by history as a failure of leadership at one of the most important jobs in our nation. Finally and most importantly besides him insulting the public and letting off the big financial cheats, he has been at the forefront of over-prosecuting the secrecy laws to punish whistleblowers and chill free speech. What has Holder done to vindicate the rights of privacy of the American public against the illegal snooping of the NSA? He could have charged NSA personnel with violations of law for their warrantless wiretapping which has been done millions of times and instead he did not persecute a single soul. That is a defalcation of historical proportions and it signals to the public that the government DOJ under him was not willing to do a damn thing to protect the public against the rapid growth of the illegal surveillance state. Who else could have done this? Nobody. And for that omission Obama deserves the blame too. Here were are sliding into a police state and Eric Holder made it go all the faster.

  5. JOE CLAYPOOL candidate for Superior Court in Harrison County - Indiana This candidate is misleading voters to think he is a Judge by putting Elect Judge Joe Claypool on his campaign literature. paragraphs 2 and 9 below clearly indicate this injustice to voting public to gain employment. What can we do? Indiana Code - Section 35-43-5-3: Deception (a) A person who: (1) being an officer, manager, or other person participating in the direction of a credit institution, knowingly or intentionally receives or permits the receipt of a deposit or other investment, knowing that the institution is insolvent; (2) knowingly or intentionally makes a false or misleading written statement with intent to obtain property, employment, or an educational opportunity; (3) misapplies entrusted property, property of a governmental entity, or property of a credit institution in a manner that the person knows is unlawful or that the person knows involves substantial risk of loss or detriment to either the owner of the property or to a person for whose benefit the property was entrusted; (4) knowingly or intentionally, in the regular course of business, either: (A) uses or possesses for use a false weight or measure or other device for falsely determining or recording the quality or quantity of any commodity; or (B) sells, offers, or displays for sale or delivers less than the represented quality or quantity of any commodity; (5) with intent to defraud another person furnishing electricity, gas, water, telecommunication, or any other utility service, avoids a lawful charge for that service by scheme or device or by tampering with facilities or equipment of the person furnishing the service; (6) with intent to defraud, misrepresents the identity of the person or another person or the identity or quality of property; (7) with intent to defraud an owner of a coin machine, deposits a slug in that machine; (8) with intent to enable the person or another person to deposit a slug in a coin machine, makes, possesses, or disposes of a slug; (9) disseminates to the public an advertisement that the person knows is false, misleading, or deceptive, with intent to promote the purchase or sale of property or the acceptance of employment;

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