Court opinions

Judge orders refund of legislative fines

February 7, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Democratic members of the Indiana House who faced fines for failing to attend sessions in protest of right-to-work legislation will be reimbursed any amount withheld in 2011, according to a ruling from Marion Superior Judge David Dreyer. The judge also ordered that any fines imposed this session may not be collected.
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Governor appoints interim secretary of state

February 6, 2012
IL Staff
After Indiana Secretary of State Charlie White was found guilty of six felony charges Feb. 4, Gov. Mitch Daniels appointed Jerry Bonnet as interim secretary of state. A convicted felon cannot hold statewide office in Indiana.
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7th Circuit affirms official's termination

February 3, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
The city of Anderson was justified in firing an official who failed to support a mayoral campaign, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals held Friday.
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7th Circuit upholds firearm conviction

February 3, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a man’s conviction of possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime, finding there was sufficient evidence to support the conviction.
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Appellate court to visit Sellersburg for arguments

February 3, 2012
IL Staff
The Indiana Court of Appeals will travel to a southern Indiana high school to hear a civil case involving First Amendment claims for a police officer’s private statements.
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Justices uphold driver's license suspension

February 3, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court has affirmed the suspension of a man’s driver’s license following his conviction of possessing marijuana. While the driver’s license suspension statute generally applies only when the defendant uses the vehicle in the commission of the offense, it’s not required that the defendant must either own or be driving the vehicle when he commits the offense.
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Personal cars fall under federal act exemption

February 2, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The billing agent for a central Indiana volunteer fire department can’t bill individuals involved in auto accidents with their personal vehicles for clean-up costs of hazardous substances, according to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
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7th Circuit affirms man's remanded sentence

February 2, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the 210-month sentence received by a defendant on remand for attempting to coerce or entice a minor to engage in sexual activity.
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Man loses challenge to denial of admission to Indiana bar

February 2, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A Kansas attorney who was denied admission to join the Indiana bar can’t bring his suit against various state actors in federal court because of the Rooker-Feldman doctrine, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday.
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7th Circuit reverses in girls' basketball discrimination complaint

February 1, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion Tuesday stating it believes the appellants in a discrimination claim have presented a genuine question of fact that merits further review.
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Giving fee guidance

February 1, 2012
Michael Hoskins
Indiana Supreme Court decisions on fee structures lack bright-line rules and have caused questions about practicality.
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Expert's voice carries weight

February 1, 2012
Michael Hoskins
Indiana Court of Appeals finds single expert can establish standard of care for legal malpractice.
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Indiana Court Decisions

February 1, 2012
IL Staff
Read for publication opinions from Jan. 12 to 25, 2012.
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7th Circuit affirms denial of habeas corpus petition

January 31, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
A man who stabbed his wife repeatedly, leaving her with a collapsed lung and ruptured spleen, was unable to prove that he received ineffective counsel at trial, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals held.
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Justices rule on admitting testimony in crash cases

January 31, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court released companion cases Tuesday on the issue of admitting certain expert testimony under Indiana Rule of Evidence 702 in two separate car accident cases.
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Officer did not violate 4th Amendment in finding gun in man's coat

January 31, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
A police officer who arrested a man and then found a gun in his coat did not violate the man’s rights, the Indiana Court of Appeals held.
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On petition for rehearing, appellate court affirms original opinion in drug case

January 31, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
A man convicted of Class D felony possession of methamphetamine asked the Indiana Court of Appeals to review its original opinion affirming the trial court.
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Appellate court affirms murder conviction; reverses on corpse abuse conviction

January 31, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
The erroneous admission at trial of a statement a man made to police unquestionably influenced the jury verdicts regarding his convictions of burglary and abuse of a corpse, causing the Indiana Court of Appeals to reverse those convictions. But the COA affirmed his conviction of and sentence for murder.
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COA affirms voyeurism charge for would-be prosecutor; Supreme Court issues suspension

January 31, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
The Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed a voyeurism charge for William R. Wallace, a former candidate for Gibson County prosecutor. Wallace, who videotaped himself and a woman engaged in sexual intercourse, had filed an interlocutory appeal, claiming that he was innocent of Class D felony voyeurism because the sex was consensual.
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Indiana Supreme Court takes 4 cases

January 31, 2012
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court granted transfer in four cases for the week ending Jan. 27 and denied transfer in 11 others.
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COA: Court erred in not granting request for change of judge

January 30, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
Indiana’s appellate court has reversed a trial court in denying a mother’s request for change of judge in a custody dispute.
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COA reverses trial court in OWI case

January 30, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
The Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed a trial court’s grant of a truck driver’s motion to suppress evidence, holding that police did not violate his rights in an unusual traffic stop.
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Driver's appeal based on misinterpretation of previous COA decision

January 30, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
A woman convicted of Class A misdemeanor driving while suspended within 10 years of a prior infraction misinterpreted a prior case in support of her appeal.
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Tort Claims Act does not grant immunity for reckless conduct

January 27, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
The Indiana Court of Appeals held the Tort Claims Act does not grant immunity to law enforcement officers who fail to exercise reasonable care while driving.
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Appellate court orders new trial in child molesting case

January 27, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
A man who was convicted of Class C felony child molesting is entitled to a new trial, according to the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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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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