Court opinions

Parallel parenting provision divides COA

April 22, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
In reversing a trial court’s modification of the custody agreement even though neither parent requested a change in custody, the Indiana Court of Appeals split over how much discretion a Parallel Parenting Time Order grants a court.
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Reversal: Neighbors may intervene in environmental cleanup case

April 21, 2014
Dave Stafford
Businesses neighboring an Indianapolis industrial property that was forced to clean up hazardous chemicals were improperly shut out of litigation involving the city and state, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday.
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Utica school preservationists win reversal, get day in court

April 21, 2014
Dave Stafford
Clark County residents who sued township officials over how a former school in the Ohio River community of Utica was being used will get to plead their case, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday, reversing a trial court order for the township.
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7th Circuit affirms Wisconsin’s limits on unions, Indiana RTW challenge remains

April 18, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
While still considering a challenge to Indiana’s right-to-work law, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed Wisconsin’s statute limiting the collective bargaining power of some public sector unions. 
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Judges uphold custody award of non-biological child to stepfather

April 17, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed an award granting a man primary physical custody of his child with his ex-wife, as well as her daughter from a previous relationship.
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Judge: Assessor waived objection

April 17, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Tax Court denied the Jefferson County assessor’s request that a couple’s appeal of the assessment of their residential real property be dismissed, finding the assessor waived her objection to the timeliness of the couple’s administrative record request.
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COA reverses award of attorney fees to couple

April 17, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found a trial court erred in awarding attorney fees to a couple that sued their insurer following a car accident. The trial court ruled that GEICO litigated the claim in bad faith.
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Employee defection sparks battle between brokerages

April 17, 2014
Chris O'Malley, IBJ Staff
Hylant Group says a former worker in its Carmel offices broke a non-compete agreement and poached clients for his new insurance-brokerage gig in Indianapolis.

 
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Judges disagree whether mother’s relocation is in good faith

April 17, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A panel on the Indiana Court of Appeals Thursday couldn’t agree whether a northern Indiana mother’s decision to relocate with her two children was made in good faith. The majority upheld her request to relocate.
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Court reverses woman’s driving while suspended conviction

April 17, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Because a woman’s conviction for driving while suspended was based in part on trial court speculation that she had driven farther than was necessary to put herself out of harm’s way, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the conviction.
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Judges find court should have granted expungement

April 17, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Finding that the word “shall” in Indiana Code 35-38-9-2(d) is mandatory language requiring expungement, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the denial of a man’s petition to expunge his 2004 misdemeanor sexual misconduct with a minor conviction.
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Justices leave man’s life sentence intact

April 17, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court Wednesday upheld a Lake County man’s sentence of life in prison without parole for the murder of a co-worker during a robbery. Ronnie Jamel Rice claimed the trial court improperly relied on non-statutory aggravators when imposing his sentence.
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Justices: parole conditions unenforceable, SOMM constitutional

April 16, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court Wednesday ordered a trial court to enjoin the Indiana Parole Board from enforcing the conditions of a man’s parole that prevent him from associating with minors. But the justices denied his request to find the Sex Offender Management and Monitoring program is unconstitutional.
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Judges order court to take second look at restitution attorney must pay

April 16, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A Monroe County attorney who pleaded guilty to Class D felony counterfeiting and ordered to pay $15,000 in restitution to a victim may not have to pay that full amount after the Indiana Court of Appeals Wednesday ordered the trial court to take another look at the restitution amount.
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COA: Judge abused discretion by revoking probation

April 15, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A Perry County trial court abused its discretion in revoking a man’s probation based solely on being charged with a new offense, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
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7th Circuit: Protective sweep by SWAT team reasonable

April 15, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the denial of a defendant’s motion to suppress evidence found in his home during a protective sweep by the SWAT team after responding to a hostage situation. Marcus Henderson claimed the sweep – which led to the discovery of firearms – was unreasonable.
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Attorney reprimand based on association with ‘Law Tigers’

April 14, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court privately reprimanded a Lake County attorney Friday for making misleading communications regarding legal services and not including his office address in a public communications. The charges stem from his affiliation with a national for-profit organization that franchises its registered trademarks, including “Law Tigers,” to law firms around the country.
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Court splits over release of college transcript

April 14, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A divided panel on the Indiana Court of Appeals dismissed Ball State University’s appeal of the order that it release the transcript of a student who left the school and owes tuition. The student’s mother added the university to her petition seeking to require her ex-husband to contribute to their child’s college expenses.
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Man knowingly waived right to jury trial on all charges

April 10, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a defendant’s argument that he only agreed to a bench trial on one of the seven charges he faced following a violent altercation with his girlfriend.
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COA: Court should hear petition involving pet daycare

April 10, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals Thursday ordered a Marion County court to hear the merits of a hotel’s petition for judicial review of the zoning board’s decision to grant a variance to a develop a pet daycare facility next door to the hotel.
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Indy club must pay BMI for DJ’s tunes

April 10, 2014
Dave Stafford
A downtown Indianapolis nightclub must pay a tab approaching $20,000 because the club and DJs failed to obtain public-performance licenses after repeated warnings.
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Judges affirm attorney fees from State Farm’s ‘groundless’ lawsuit

April 9, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A car dealership accused of playing a role in a car fire that destroyed four cars and part of a man’s home is entitled to the more than $12,000 in attorney fees awarded to it after State Farm’s negligence lawsuit was dismissed. The Indiana Court of Appeals noted the insurer’s refusal to dismiss the claim despite knowing the dealership was not at fault for the fire.
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COA affirms order allowing grandparent visitation with deceased son's daughter

April 9, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals Wednesday upheld the order granting visitation to the paternal grandfather of a child whose father killed himself before her birth. But one judge had reservations about the visitation arrangements.
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Statute requires state to pay attorney fees on inmate’s appeal

April 9, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Indiana Code 33-37-2-4 requires the state to pay appellate attorney fees and expenses when an inmate commits a crime in a state correctional facility, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday.
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Bipolar defense fails in wire fraud, tax evasion appeal

April 7, 2014
Dave Stafford
A woman sentenced to five years in prison after she pleaded guilty to charges of wire fraud and tax evasion for swindling an elderly couple failed to persuade the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to revise her sentence.
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  1. I can understand a 10 yr suspension for drinking and driving and not following the rules,but don't you think the people who compleate their sentences and are trying to be good people of their community,and are on the right path should be able to obtain a drivers license to do as they please.We as a state should encourage good behavior instead of saying well you did all your time but we can't give you a license come on.When is a persons time served than cause from where I'm standing,its still a punishment,when u can't have the freedom to go where ever you want to in car,truck ,motorcycle,maybe their should be better programs for people instead of just throwing them away like daily trash,then expecting them to change because they we in jail or prison for x amount of yrs.Everyone should look around because we all pay each others bills,and keep each other in business..better knowledge equals better community equals better people...just my 2 cents

  2. I was wondering about the 6 million put aside for common attorney fees?does that mean that if you are a plaintiff your attorney fees will be partially covered?

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  4. I expressed my thought in the title, long as it was. I am shocked that there is ever immunity from accountability for ANY Government agency. That appears to violate every principle in the US Constitution, which exists to limit Government power and to ensure Government accountability. I don't know how many cases of legitimate child abuse exist, but in the few cases in which I knew the people involved, in every example an anonymous caller used DCS as their personal weapon to strike at innocent people over trivial disagreements that had no connection with any facts. Given that the system is vulnerable to abuse, and given the extreme harm any action by DCS causes to families, I would assume any degree of failure to comply with the smallest infraction of personal rights would result in mandatory review. Even one day of parent-child separation in the absence of reasonable cause for a felony arrest should result in severe penalties to those involved in the action. It appears to me, that like all bureaucracies, DCS is prone to interpret every case as legitimate. This is not an accusation against DCS. It is a statement about the nature of bureaucracies, and the need for ADDED scrutiny of all bureaucratic actions. Frankly, I question the constitutionality of bureaucracies in general, because their power is delegated, and therefore unaccountable. No Government action can be unaccountable if we want to avoid its eventual degeneration into irrelevance and lawlessness, and the law of the jungle. Our Constitution is the source of all Government power, and it is the contract that legitimizes all Government power. To the extent that its various protections against intrusion are set aside, so is the power afforded by that contract. Eventually overstepping the limits of power eliminates that power, as a law of nature. Even total tyranny eventually crumbles to nothing.

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