Court opinions

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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Supreme Court orders third murder trial

June 26, 2009
Michael Hoskins
State justices have overturned the murder convictions and ordered a third trial for a former state trooper accused of killing his wife and two young children in Southern Indiana almost a decade ago.
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Justices: Anders withdrawals not allowed

June 26, 2009
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has rejected a procedure set up by the nation's top court more than four decades ago that allows attorneys to withdraw from criminal appeals they deem frivolous. Our justices say it's practically and financially more efficient to simply proceed with an appeal and let that process play out.
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Judge criticizes counsel seeking class status

June 26, 2009
Michael Hoskins
Don't expect one federal judge to re-examine a ruling by another jurist on the same court if you don't present any new facts or arguments on a similar case and issue.
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7th Circuit split in prisoner media-ban issueRestricted Content

June 25, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals was split in its en banc decision today to uphold the Federal Bureau of Prisons' authority to deny face-to-face interviews between inmates and the media.
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Court tackles scope of 'frivolous'

June 25, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals today used an inmate's appeal of the dismissal of his complaint to address the scope of the word "frivolous" in Indiana's Frivolous Claim Law. And even though this inmate has filed dozens of law suits since being incarcerated, it doesn't mean his suits can be automatically deemed frivolous by the trial courts.
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Judges rule on workers' comp billing issues

June 24, 2009
Michael Hoskins
Employers or their insurers - not health care providers - must prove when medical expenses for injured employees might be considered higher than what's allowed under the state's workers' compensation statute, according to the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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Court rules in favor of steel company in dispute

June 24, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court affirmed Tuesday the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission's grant of summary judgment in favor of a steel production facility in a contract dispute involving a public utility.
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Judges differ on if 'property damage' occurred

June 23, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
A majority of Indiana Court of Appeals judges affirmed summary judgment in favor of a homebuilder's insurance provider, insurance broker, and subcontractor's insurer, ruling the damage to the homes wasn't "property damage" as covered by the insurance policies.
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Court reverses conviction over letter

June 23, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
A man's convictions of criminal mischief and operating while intoxicated were reversed by the Indiana Court of Appeals because a letter he wrote while trying to negotiate a plea agreement - which was rejected - shouldn't have been admitted at his trial.
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Purse search violated Indiana Constitution

June 22, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
A majority of Indiana Court of Appeals judges reversed a woman's conviction of possession of cocaine because the concern for the safety of police officers doesn't justify the warrantless search of every purse that is stretched in such a way it appears it could be holding a gun.
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Court affirms student's convictions

June 19, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
After examining the few Indiana decisions on tumultuous conduct in the context of sufficiency of evidence to support a disorderly conduct conviction, the Indiana Supreme Court affirmed a high school student's conviction for behavior involving the dean of students. The high court also affirmed the student's battery conviction against the assistant principal.
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Justices: Jury issues don't require new trial

June 18, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court affirmed a jury award in favor of a man accused of rape in a civil suit, ruling the jury didn't receive improper communications and the trial court didn't err in providing impasse assistance to the jury.
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Tax exemption doesn't apply to hotel utilities

June 17, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court was split today in its ruling on whether a hotel was entitled to a sales tax exemption on utilities it purchased during 2004 and 2005.
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Court rules on consecutive enhancements issue

June 17, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Consecutive habitual offender enhancements are improper, whether the enhancements arise from separate trials on unrelated charges or separate trials on related charges, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled yesterday in two opinions.
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  1. The sad thing is that no fish were thrown overboard The "greenhorn" who had never fished before those 5 days was interrogated for over 4 hours by 5 officers until his statement was illicited, "I don't want to go to prison....." The truth is that these fish were measured frozen off shore and thawed on shore. The FWC (state) officer did not know fish shrink, so the only reason that these fish could be bigger was a swap. There is no difference between a 19 1/2 fish or 19 3/4 fish, short fish is short fish, the ticket was written. In addition the FWC officer testified at trial, he does not measure fish in accordance with federal law. There was a document prepared by the FWC expert that said yes, fish shrink and if these had been measured correctly they averaged over 20 inches (offshore frozen). This was a smoke and mirror prosecution.

  2. I love this, Dave! Many congrats to you! We've come a long way from studying for the bar together! :)

  3. This outbreak illustrates the absurdity of the extreme positions taken by today's liberalism, specifically individualism and the modern cult of endless personal "freedom." Ebola reminds us that at some point the person's own "freedom" to do this and that comes into contact with the needs of the common good and "freedom" must be curtailed. This is not rocket science, except, today there is nonstop propaganda elevating individual preferences over the common good, so some pundits have a hard time fathoming the obvious necessity of quarantine in some situations....or even NATIONAL BORDERS...propagandists have also amazingly used this as another chance to accuse Western nations of "racism" which is preposterous and offensive. So one the one hand the idolatry of individualism has to stop and on the other hand facts people don't like that intersect with race-- remain facts nonetheless. People who respond to facts over propaganda do better in the long run. We call it Truth. Sometimes it seems hard to find.

  4. It would be hard not to feel the Kramers' anguish. But Catholic Charities, by definition, performed due diligence and held to the statutory standard of care. No good can come from punishing them for doing their duty. Should Indiana wish to change its laws regarding adoption agreements and or putative fathers, the place for that is the legislature and can only apply to future cases. We do not apply new laws to past actions, as the Kramers seem intent on doing, to no helpful end.

  5. I am saddened to hear about the loss of Zeff Weiss. He was an outstanding member of the Indianapolis legal community. My thoughts are with his family.

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