Court opinions

Judge rejects petitioners’ requests to prevent tax collection

May 12, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Because petitioners seeking to enjoin the collection of tax filed their petitions before an original tax appeal was initiated, the Indiana Tax Court granted Marion County’s motions to dismiss.
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Judges reverse judgment in favor of town in water agreement dispute

May 9, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court erred as a matter of law in its interpretation of a disputed section of a water agreement between a real estate developer and the town of Huntertown; as such, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed partial summary judgment in favor of the town.
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Indiana doesn’t have jurisdiction in IP suit, rules 7th Circuit

May 9, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ordered a District judge to dismiss a case filed by a company with California ties against another California company alleging various IP violations. The judges found Indiana does not have personal jurisdiction over the matter based on emails the allegedly offending company sent.
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Man lacks standing to pursue cause of actions in failed home purchase

May 9, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed that the underwriter of title insurance stands in the shoes of its insureds, so a man suing several entities over a failed home purchase lacks standing to pursue his causes of action.
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Judges affirm $40,000 judgment in lawsuit involving neighbors

May 9, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Noting the grounds on which a defendant sought relief from a $40,000 default judgment are unclear, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed that the man must pay his neighbor that amount.
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Judges affirm $6,600 in child support arrearage

May 8, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals agreed that a father owed only $6,600 in back child support and not $74,000 as the child’s mother claimed.
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COA: State had no authority to bring paternity action

May 8, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court erred in ordering a southern Indiana teen to undergo genetic testing to establish paternity of a stillborn child, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Thursday. It found the state, which filed the petition for paternity on behalf of the mother, had no authority to bring the action because there were no custody or support issues to be determined.
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Court finds man abandoned shareholder derivative claim

May 8, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Because a man “expressly and unambiguously” abandoned his shareholder derivative claim when responding to a court demand to specify his legal claims, he cannot now assert that claim on appeal, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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COA addresses evidence needed for animal fighting conviction

May 7, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
For only the second time, the Indiana Court of Appeals has addressed the issue of evidence used to obtain a conviction under I.C. 35-46-3-8, which outlaws buying or owning an animal for an animal fighting contest.
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Company fails to prove it is entitled to legal relief on 2 claims

May 7, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Tax Court Wednesday agreed with the Indiana Department of State Revenue that two claims made by a company appealing its tax liability should be dismissed because legal relief cannot be granted.
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Indy mayor wins redistricting battle

May 7, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court ruled in favor of Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard Wednesday in a dispute between the mayor and Democratic members of the city-county council who challenged a redistricting plan passed in late 2011.
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Court of Appeals allows legal malpractice case to continue

May 7, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The legal malpractice action filed by a man who pleaded guilty to money laundering – when he had the possibility to plead guilty to a misdemeanor if not for his attorney’s actions – will proceed after the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the denial of the attorney’s motion for summary judgment.
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Statute doesn’t allow consecutive habitual offender sentences

May 7, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a man’s sentence for operating a vehicle while intoxicated, finding the trial court had no authority to order his present sentence, enhanced by the habitual substance offender statute, to be served consecutively to his previously enhanced sentences.
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Justices uphold conviction for blogger's threat to judge

May 7, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court held that a blogger’s actions arising from being stripped of his children’s custody placed targets of his contempt in fear for their safety.
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Excessive force, discrimination suit over alleged beating advances

May 6, 2014
Dave Stafford
A man who claims he suffered a bone-breaking beating at the hands of school employees providing security at his son’s high school football game may proceed with a federal lawsuit against the school district.
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Appeals panel reverses judgment favoring insurer

May 2, 2014
Dave Stafford
A trial court erred in granting summary judgment to an insurance company that argued a driver injured in a car crash could not collect on an underinsured motorist policy because she received payments from other sources in excess of her policy limits.
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7th Circuit affirms rulings for EPA in Bloomington PCB cleanup

May 2, 2014
Dave Stafford
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Thursday turned away a citizen-led appeal of rulings favorable to the Environmental Protection Agency in an ongoing cleanup of a former Westinghouse Electric Corp. plant that polluted the Bloomington site with toxic PCBs.
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Supreme Court draws distinctions in blogger Brewington case

May 1, 2014
Dave Stafford
Blogger Daniel Brewington’s convictions for intimidating Dearborn Circuit Judge James Humphrey and obstruction of justice were upheld by the Indiana Supreme Court Thursday, but under different reasoning than the Indiana Court of Appeals applied.
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Justices find school corporation circumvented public bidding laws

May 1, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The southern Indiana school corporation that facilitated renovations of its warehouse through an agreement with a local public school endowment organization violated Indiana Public Bidding Laws, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Thursday. The justices rejected taxpayers’ claims that the process also constituted a violation of the Antitrust Law.
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Blogger Brewington loses Supreme Court appeal over online threat

May 1, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court Thursday affirmed multiple convictions of a southern Indiana man who threatened a judge through inflammatory posts on a blog.
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Company that violated HICA not entitled to attorney fees

April 30, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Because a company hired to provide water remediation services for a homeowner did not comply with the Indiana Home Improvement Contract Act, it is not entitled to recover attorney fees on its complaint against the homeowner after he didn’t pay the full amount billed.
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COA: Man not entitled to have restricted access to OWI conviction

April 30, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Because a man committed another crime while on probation, he failed to satisfy the obligations imposed as part of his sentence, so he did not qualify to have access to his conviction records restricted under Indiana Code 35-38-8, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed.
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Court orders hearing on child’s best interests

April 30, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed an order giving a father physical custody of his child. The child’s maternal grandparents had assumed guardianship of the child following the death of the child’s mother. 
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COA affirms $120,000 for student attacked at school

April 30, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A former Gary high school student is entitled to $120,000 in damages following an attack in a hallway during school, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday. Gary Community School Corp. appealed the jury award.
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Lessor entitled to judgment that oil and gas lease expired

April 30, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Partial summary judgment for the lessor was affirmed Wednesday by the Indiana Court of Appeals in a contract dispute involving an oil and gas lease of land in Sullivan County.
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  1. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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