Court opinions

Court orders mandate for full parole hearing

May 4, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the dismissal of a prisoner's pro se action for a mandate requiring all five parole board members to vote on his parole eligibility, ruling the prisoner's case was supported by Indiana statute.
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Oral findings allowed in attorney fee case

May 4, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
A Marion Superior Court didn't err when it failed to issue written findings and conclusions pursuant to Indiana Trial Rule 52 in a dispute over attorney fees, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Court: 2-member board could affirm ruling

May 1, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a decision by the National Labor Relations Board that a northern Indiana steel company must recognize a collective bargaining agreement between the union and the company.
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Justices issue sex-offender registration rulings

April 30, 2009
Michael Hoskins
Convicted sex offenders who've already served their sentences can't be forced to register for life by a newly enacted statute, but the Indiana Supreme Court is split on whether that lifetime requirement should be imposed on offenders who are still registering when the law is changed.
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COA: Man's sentence could be increased

April 30, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals determined the recent ruling by the state's highest court regarding upward sentence revisions was applicable to a defendant's sentence.
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Mom's mental ability not reason for termination

April 30, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals declined to write an opinion barring the state from pursuing termination of parental rights of a "retarded person," as requested by the mother in a termination of parental rights case.
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Forged agreement presents question of fact

April 29, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
A company that forged a former employee's non-compete contract and later sued and settled with another company over that false document isn't entitled to summary judgment in a new suit brought by the other company after it learned the document was forged, ruled the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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COA upholds workplace restraining order

April 28, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals today analyzed for the first time the legal parameters required to affirm an order issued to protect a person under the Workplace Violence Restraining Order Act. The appellate court turned to the Indiana Civil Protection Order Act to provide context for analyzing cases under the WVROA.
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Insurer needs notice of claim to defend it

April 28, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
An insurer can't defend a claim of which it has no knowledge and its duty to defend doesn't begin until it receives basic notice information to allow it to defend a claim, ruled the Indiana Supreme Court.
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Court rules on ADR sanctions, Open Door Law

April 28, 2009
Michael Hoskins
Trial courts can sanction government entities through the state's Alternative Dispute Resolution Rules, but officials aren't necessarily acting in bad faith if they don't immediately approve mediated agreements to comply with the Indiana Open Door Law, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled today.
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COA upholds attorney's felony conviction

April 27, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the denial of an attorney's motion to have his prior drunk-driving conviction reduced to a misdemeanor because the attorney was arrested again for drunk driving before completing his probation.
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High court reverses termination of mom's rights

April 27, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The majority of Indiana Supreme Court justices ruled in a parental termination case that the evidence presented didn't clearly show a mother's rights to her son should be terminated. One justice dissented because he believes an appellate court should defer to the lower court in assessing the facts of a case.
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COA invites high court to revisit Indiana law

April 24, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
In a case involving the purchase of a home, Indiana Court of Appeals judges today disagreed as to whether the home sellers should be granted summary judgment in a fraud suit. The judges unanimously did agree to encourage the Indiana Supreme Court to re-evaluate a rule that protects a seller from a lawsuit, even if he lies about a property, as long as the prospective buyer had a reasonable opportunity to inspect the property.
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Man gets money for not paying into pension

April 23, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
In a strange twist in a bankruptcy case, a businessman actually benefited financially by not paying into a pension fund for his company.
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COA rules in negligent application process case

April 21, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Addressing an issue today for the first time in state courts, the Indiana Court of Appeals had to determine whether a couple could sue their insurance broker for alleged negligence during the application process.
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Court clarifies continuing objection procedure

April 20, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
If a trial court grants a continuing objection, counsel doesn't have to object each time the class of evidence is subsequently offered, but if the trial court doesn't specifically grant the right to a continuing objection, counsel must object to the evidence as it is offered in order to preserve the issue on appeal, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.
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Judges uphold mail fraud conviction

April 20, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Although it noted the question was a "close one," the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals determined there was sufficient evidence to support a man's conviction of mail fraud in his scheme to defraud the government out of money for work he didn't complete.
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High court hears first 'rocket docket' appeal

April 17, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
In the first appeal of a juvenile case under Indiana Appellate Rule 14.1, the "rocket docket," the Indiana Supreme Court ruled the juvenile court's determination that a child shouldn't be immediately reunited with his mother until after the school year concluded - contrary to what the Department of Child Services recommended - wasn't clearly erroneous.
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Judge: Courts failing on mental illness

April 17, 2009
Michael Hoskins
An Indiana Court of Appeals judge today lambastes the criminal justice system's efforts in dealing with defendants who may never be competent to stand trial, inviting more to be done by either the state's lawmakers or highest court.
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Defendant can't 'earn' sentence modification

April 17, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals vacated a man's robbery sentence because it found the trial court abused its discretion when sentencing him and couldn't legally reduce his sentence as it said it would if he participated in educational and vocational programs while incarcerated.
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COA: Non-violent contact order 'defective'

April 16, 2009
Rebecca Berfanger
The Indiana Court of Appeals has remanded a case regarding a non-violent contact order issued by a Marion Superior judge June 30, 2008, which involved a divorcing couple. The ruling calls the order "defective."
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Court affirms judgment in school district's favor

April 15, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment in favor of Indianapolis Public Schools in a copyright infringement case, but first had to decide whether it could proceed on the merits.
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COA decides eminent domain case

April 14, 2009
Michael Hoskins
In considering a common arrangement between a utility company and property developer, the Indiana Court of Appeals has given a green light for that utility to exercise eminent domain when a developer is financing a sewer line extension to a proposed housing development.
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High court rules in favor of AG in casino case

April 14, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court has ruled in favor of the state's attorney general in a suit for constructive trust and unjust enrichment against a for-profit corporation receiving contributions from a casino, finding the trial court erred in dismissing the claims.
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Appellate court rules statute not unconstitutional

April 13, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The presumption found in Indiana Code Section 9-30-10-16, which governs driving while privileges are suspended, isn't unconstitutional because it doesn't shift the burden of proof from the state, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.
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  1. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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