Court opinions

Tort law case tests boundaries of 'duty'

March 14, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
The Indiana Court of Appeals recently issued an opinion that answered some complicated questions about the point at which one person assumes a “duty” to another. But the panel did not reach a consensus, with one judge writing that the majority opinion could have a negative impact on public policy.
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Shield law ruling unique in nation

March 14, 2012
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals adopts a modified test in a defamation case.
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Indiana Court Decisions - Feb. 23-March 7, 2012

March 14, 2012
IL Staff
Read summaries of the latest for publication opinions from the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals and Indiana's appeals courts.
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Appellate court affirms ruling in retaliation lawsuit

March 13, 2012
Michael Hoskins
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a northern Indiana judge’s decision granting summary judgment for a bank in a lawsuit filed by a former employee alleging retaliation in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967.
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7th Circuit reverses Southern District judge

March 13, 2012
Michael Hoskins
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed a decision by U.S. Judge Sarah Evans Barker in the Southern District of Indiana involving a former police officer’s claim that he was falsely arrested for murder following a shooting outside an Indianapolis bar.
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COA affirms trial court in land rental dispute

March 13, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
The Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed a trial court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of a tenant who was not given adequate notice to vacate rented land.
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Judges affirm sentence for man who questions constitutionality of Indiana Code

March 13, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
A man’s criminal actions that resulted in a two-year sentence were not part of a single episode of criminal conduct, and therefore, his claim that his sentence was unconstitutional is without merit.
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Justices reprimand former Marion County prosecutor

March 13, 2012
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has publicly reprimanded former Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi for statements he made about a high-profile murder case, and in doing so the state’s justices have set a new standard and issued a warning for prosecutors statewide: Be careful what you say.
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Divided Supreme Court rules on attorney fees case

March 12, 2012
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has affirmed the award of attorney fees to an Indiana town, although two justices disagreed and would have reversed the trial court.
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Justices: Tax Court erred in prima facie showing requirement

March 12, 2012
Michael Hoskins

The Indiana Supreme Court has found that the Indiana Tax Court erred in requiring the state revenue department to produce more evidence of a proposed assessment of additional tax liability for a corporation.

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Divided 7th Circuit affirms 'career offender' conviction

March 9, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed a District Court’s 100-month sentence for a man deemed to be a “career offender.” But the decision was not unanimous.
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Judges uphold dismissal of suit filed after fall at work

March 8, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed the trial court’s dismissal of a couple’s complaint for injuries and loss of consortium for subject matter jurisdiction, finding the woman’s injuries sustained while at her work fall squarely within the Indiana Worker’s Compensation Act.
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Judges find search wasn't valid under 4th Amendment

March 8, 2012
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals has found that a woman’s Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures was violated and a trial judge erred in not suppressing evidence found during a home search.
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COA affirms dismissal of case 18 years after filing

March 8, 2012
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled that a Henry Circuit judge correctly dismissed a union’s complaint about a manufacturing plant closure more than two decades ago, finding that the union failed to prosecute the case for 18 years and that was an adequate basis for dismissal.
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COA remands parental rights case

March 8, 2012
Michael Hoskins
Finding that a trial judge and Indiana Department of Child Services didn’t follow the law before involuntarily terminating parental rights, the Indiana Court of Appeals has sent the case back to Elkhart Circuit Court.
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'Vouching testimony' not allowed in child sex abuse cases

March 8, 2012
Michael Hoskins
The state’s rules of evidence don’t allow for “vouching testimony” in child sex abuse cases to help determine when a youth isn’t exaggerating, and the Indiana Supreme Court won’t carve out an exception allowing for that testimony in these types of cases.
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7th Circuit affirms search warrant basis

March 8, 2012
Michael Hoskins
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has determined that enough probable cause existed to justify a search warrant that led to a man’s jury convictions on drug charges.
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Title dispute leads to appellate reversal

March 7, 2012
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed a decision in favor of a title company, finding that the trial court must re-examine the case to decide if the two property owners have an action for negligent contract misrepresentation relating to a land easement dispute.
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Court orders new trial in methamphetamine case

March 7, 2012
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals has ordered a new trial for a woman convicted of felony methamphetamine dealing, finding that the Hendricks Superior judge should have instructed the jury on a lesser-included offense of methamphetamine possession.
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Justices: injured cop prevented by law from rejoining force

March 6, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A police officer who was injured in the 1980s and received disability benefits – but later was physically able to rejoin the police department – is statutorily prohibited against returning to the force, the Indiana Supreme Court decided in answering a certified question.
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Union withdraws request for temporary restraining order

March 6, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The union that filed a lawsuit last month in federal court challenging Indiana’s “right-to-work” law has withdrawn its emergency motion for a temporary restraining order.
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COA: trial court erred in piercing corporate veil

March 6, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Because there was no causal connection established between misuse of the corporate form and fraud or injustice, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s decision to pierce the corporate veil.
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COA: Department of Labor should review claim

March 5, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found that a woman’s lawsuit for unpaid wages should have first been brought before the Indiana Department of Labor before she filed her action.
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COA finds man initiated communication with detective

March 2, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed the denial of a defendant’s motion to suppress an incriminating statement to a detective because the defendant initiated the discussion and understood his Miranda rights before speaking.
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7th Circuit ponders search of cell phone

March 1, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, which likened modern cell phones to computers, had to decide whether police could search a man’s phone for the phone’s number without a search warrant.
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  1. Where may I find an attorney working Pro Bono? Many issues with divorce, my Disability, distribution of IRA's, property, money's and pressured into agreement by my attorney. Leaving me far less than 5% of all after 15 years of marriage. No money to appeal, disabled living on disability income. Attorney's decision brought forward to judge, no evidence ever to finalize divorce. Just 2 weeks ago. Please help.

  2. For the record no one could answer the equal protection / substantive due process challenge I issued in the first post below. The lawless and accountable only to power bureaucrats never did either. All who interface with the Indiana law examiners or JLAP be warned.

  3. Hi there I really need help with getting my old divorce case back into court - I am still paying support on a 24 year old who has not been in school since age 16 - now living independent. My visitation with my 14 year old has never been modified; however, when convenient for her I can have him... I am paying past balance from over due support, yet earn several thousand dollars less. I would contact my original attorney but he basically molest me multiple times in Indy when I would visit.. Todd Woodmansee - I had just came out and had know idea what to do... I have heard he no longer practices. Please help1

  4. 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!!!

  5. 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.

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