Court opinions

Opinion explains use of supplemental evidence

June 15, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
In affirming a trial court's decision to uphold a board of zoning appeals' denial of a petition for a variance, the Indiana Court of Appeals also addressed the trial court's admission of supplemental evidence pursuant to Indiana Code Section 36-7-4-1009.
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Judges differ on pretrial credit award

June 12, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Each judge on an Indiana Court of Appeals panel weighed in with a separate opinion as to how much pretrial credit time a defendant, who pleaded guilty to one charge - other charges were dismissed - is entitled to, or if he is entitled to any time at all.
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Animal cruelty an exigent circumstance

June 11, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Ruling on the issue for the first time in state courts, the Indiana Court of Appeals decided animal cruelty rises to the level of exigent circumstances to permit a warrantless search of curtilage. The decision came in a man's appeal of his dog fighting convictions.
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Suit based on church-member letter may go on

June 10, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
A letter written by a church member and circulated through another member's work e-mail address contains some allegedly defamatory statements that can be considered secular, so a suit for defamation and invasion of privacy could continue on those statements, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.
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COA: Park ban violates ex post facto laws

June 9, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Relying heavily on a recent Indiana Supreme Court decision regarding sex offenders and ex post facto laws, the Indiana Court of Appeals split in finding a city ordinance banning a convicted sex offender who no longer has to register with the state was punitive and unconstitutional as applied to him.
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SCOTUS: Elected judges must step aside

June 8, 2009
Michael Hoskins
Elected judges must recuse themselves in cases where large campaign contributions from interested parties create an appearance of bias, the nation's highest court ruled today.
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Court doesn't order contempt sanctions on state

June 8, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals was presented with the question in an Indiana case of how much non-compliance of a consent decree involving Medicaid applications is needed before a District Court can impose civil contempt sanctions.
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COA affirms judgment in property-tax dispute

June 5, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals released an opinion today dealing with a topic that gives many homeowners headaches - property taxes.
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Inmate's complaint dismissed again

June 4, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
An inmate's complaint, which led the Indiana Supreme Court to find the Three Strikes Law to be unconstitutional last year, was properly dismissed under the Frivolous Law Claim by the trial court on remand, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.
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COA: Rule of incredible dubiosity not applicable

June 4, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a man's domestic battery conviction and sentence, concluding his wife's testimony about the altercation wasn't subject to the rule of incredible dubiosity.
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Court denies officer's summary judgment motion

June 3, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
A federal judge denied an Indiana State Police officer's motion for summary judgment in a suit alleging he violated a motorist's rights under the Fourth and 14th amendments, ruling it should be up to a jury to decide the issues because the parties' stories regarding what happened during the traffic stop differ radically.
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COA reiterates confidential-information filing

June 3, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals emphasized in an opinion today the proper procedure for filing documents with confidential information, instigated by the fact the appellant's original appendix included a pre-sentence report on white paper and included a Social Security number.
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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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  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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