Court opinions

Department of Workforce Development scammed out of $2 million

April 19, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Department of Workforce Development announced Wednesday afternoon that it allegedly has been cheated out of $2.4 million in unemployment insurance benefits. Fifteen people have been indicted for allegedly scheming to use fake companies to claim benefits.
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COA upholds denial of fugitive's request to file an appeal

April 19, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A woman convicted of murdering her husband in the 1970s who escaped from prison and remained a fugitive for 35 years isn’t entitled to file a petition for belated appeal because her willful act of fleeing prevented her attorney from pursuing the appeal.
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Judges reverse grant of unemployment benefits

April 18, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has held that if an employee’s explanation for the behavior that led to his termination is another terminable offense, that provides just cause for termination. As a result, the judges reversed the decision to grant a fired man unemployment benefits.
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COA split on ability to review case

April 18, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The majority on a personal injury case has dismissed it for appellate review, finding the Indiana Court of Appeals doesn’t have jurisdiction. The majority believed the case was not timely appealed.
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7th Circuit upholds sentence for drug offenses

April 17, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Dealing with the issue for the first time, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has held that a certificate of appealability is needed for the part of a case that challenges the denial of collateral relief.
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Judge leaves attorneys on tax refund appeal

April 17, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Indiana Tax Court Judge Martha Wentworth has denied the State Department of Revenue’s attempt to disqualify the two attorneys representing a company in a refund dispute.
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Mother's actions support contempt finding

April 17, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has upheld finding a mother in contempt of court for not dismissing a protective order against her ex-husband as required by their dissolution decree. The judges also affirmed the award of compensatory damages and attorney fees to the father, but reversed a 10-day sentence imposed for future violations.
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Judges order possession charge dismissed

April 17, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Relying on United States Supreme Court precedent, the Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed the denial of a man’s motion to suppress marijuana found on him after a traffic stop. The appellate court found the officers did not reasonably believe the man was armed and dangerous to justify the pat down.
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Judges rule on easement dispute

April 17, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled partly in favor of a couple seeking to place a fence along their property line shared with a condominium complex, which would affect the use of a sidewalk by the condo homeowners.
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COA rules in favor of previous shareholders in dispute with new owners

April 16, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Benton Circuit Court erred in denying partial summary judgment to the former shareholders of a garden accessories company, the Indiana Court of Appeals held.
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Justices accept 1 case, deny 9

April 16, 2012
The Indiana Supreme Court has agreed to hear a first impression case concerning whether a mortgagee on record had an enforceable right under the mortgage.
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7th Circuit rules on sentence reduction

April 12, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has ordered a man resentenced because the District judge erred by not granting the defendant the one-level reduction under the United States Sentencing Guidelines that was triggered by the government’s motion.
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Trial court erred in instructing jury in negligence case

April 11, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A divided Indiana Court of Appeals has ordered a new trial in a case alleging a product was negligently designed, with the majority finding the trial court erred when it instructed the jury on the rebuttable presumption under Indiana Code 34-20-5-1.
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Evidence doesn't support enhanced possession charges

April 11, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Because the state failed to prove that an early training center located near the defendant’s home constituted school property for purposes of enhancing drug charges, the Indiana Court of Appeals ordered the man’s convictions be reduced.
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COA reverses trial court in personal injury case

April 10, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
The Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed a trial court’s denial of a motion to transfer, holding that Marion County is not a preferred venue for the case.
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7th Circuit holds dispute is a matter for national labor board

April 6, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals held that only the National Labor Relations Board has authority to hear a complaint from employees who brought a hybrid suit against an employer and labor union.
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Appellate court dismisses small claims venue case

April 5, 2012
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals has determined that a small claims venue question is not on the list of authorized interlocutory appeals, so it dismissed a case arising out of southern Indiana.
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Homeowner association has authority to decide on new home proposal

April 5, 2012
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals has upheld a lower court’s ruling against two homeowners challenging their homeowners association’s interpretation of covenants on building a new home.
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Majority reverses conviction based on meth manufacturing

April 5, 2012
Michael Hoskins
A divided Indiana Court of Appeals has determined that the state can’t use the amount of manufacturing materials and empty packets of ingredients at a person’s home to prove he was dealing in that substance, without clear evidence the drug would have been produced in that amount.
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Court preserves woman's day in court despite delays

April 5, 2012
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed a trial judge’s order to dismiss a woman’s medical malpractice case because of her failure to comply with discovery deadlines and trial rules, finding that the decision to deny her a day in court was too harsh.
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Panel disagrees on foreclosure settlement resolution

April 5, 2012
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled that federal law and housing regulations require that deeds in lieu of foreclosure release the borrower from any mortgage obligation, and the mortgage company issuing an agreement can use that federal language in the contract.
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Summary judgment affirmed in favor of attorney

April 5, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
An attorney who withdrew as counsel for two related family-owned businesses did not make false and defamatory statements in explaining his withdrawal, the Indiana Court of Appeals held.
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COA holds false customer review violates no-contact order

April 5, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a trial court’s revocation of probation for a man who wrote a false review of his father’s cleaning company.
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Judges affirm decision in speedy trial claim

April 4, 2012
Michael Hoskins
A Hendricks County judge did not err in denying a man’s motion that his criminal case be discharged because the state failed to conduct a speedy trial within one year of charges being filed, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Court rules on estate's claim against insurer

April 4, 2012
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals has upheld a judge’s ruling against a California reciprocal insurance exchange in a dispute over whether the insurer would have to pay part of a million dollar judgment.
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  1. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  2. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

  3. Diversity is important, but with some limitations. For instance, diversity of experience is a great thing that can be very helpful in certain jobs or roles. Diversity of skin color is never important, ever, under any circumstance. To think that skin color changes one single thing about a person is patently racist and offensive. Likewise, diversity of values is useless. Some values are better than others. In the case of a supreme court justice, I actually think diversity is unimportant. The justices are not to impose their own beliefs on rulings, but need to apply the law to the facts in an objective manner.

  4. Have been seeing this wonderful physician for a few years and was one of his patients who told him about what we were being told at CVS. Multiple ones. This was a witch hunt and they shold be ashamed of how patients were treated. Most of all, CVS should be ashamed for what they put this physician through. So thankful he fought back. His office is no "pill mill'. He does drug testing multiple times a year and sees patients a minimum of four times a year.

  5. Brian W, I fear I have not been sufficiently entertaining to bring you back. Here is a real laugh track that just might do it. When one is grabbed by the scruff of his worldview and made to choose between his Confession and his profession ... it is a not a hard choice, given the Confession affects eternity. But then comes the hardship in this world. Imagine how often I hear taunts like yours ... "what, you could not even pass character and fitness after they let you sit and pass their bar exam ... dude, there must really be something wrong with you!" Even one of the Bishop's foremost courtiers said that, when explaining why the RCC refused to stand with me. You want entertaining? How about watching your personal economy crash while you have a wife and five kids to clothe and feed. And you can't because you cannot work, because those demanding you cast off your Confession to be allowed into "their" profession have all the control. And you know that they are wrong, dead wrong, and that even the professional code itself allows your Faithful stand, to wit: "A lawyer may refuse to comply with an obligation imposed by law upon a good faith belief that no valid obligation exists. The provisions of Rule 1.2(d) concerning a good faith challenge to the validity, scope, meaning or application of the law apply to challenges of legal regulation of the practice of law." YET YOU ARE A NONPERSON before the BLE, and will not be heard on your rights or their duties to the law -- you are under tyranny, not law. And so they win in this world, you lose, and you lose even your belief in the rule of law, and demoralization joins poverty, and very troubling thoughts impeaching self worth rush in to fill the void where your career once lived. Thoughts you did not think possible. You find yourself a failure ... in your profession, in your support of your family, in the mirror. And there is little to keep hope alive, because tyranny rules so firmly and none, not the church, not the NGO's, none truly give a damn. Not even a new court, who pay such lip service to justice and ancient role models. You want entertainment? Well if you are on the side of the courtiers running the system that has crushed me, as I suspect you are, then Orwell must be a real riot: "There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always — do not forget this, Winston — always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever." I never thought they would win, I always thought that at the end of the day the rule of law would prevail. Yes, the rule of man's law. Instead power prevailed, so many rules broken by the system to break me. It took years, but, finally, the end that Dr Bowman predicted is upon me, the end that she advised the BLE to take to break me. Ironically, that is the one thing in her far left of center report that the BLE (after stamping, in red ink, on Jan 22) is uninterested in, as that the BLE and ADA office that used the federal statute as a sword now refuses to even dialogue on her dire prediction as to my fate. "C'est la vie" Entertaining enough for you, status quo defender?

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