Court opinions

Appeals court upholds burglary conviction but sends matter back to trial court

November 12, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found sufficient evidence to conclude that a man’s house qualified as a dwelling, thereby supporting a defendant’s burglary conviction. But the judges sua sponte reviewed the trial court’s entry of judgment and sentencing order and decided to send the matter back to the lower court.
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COA: Judge should dismiss habeas petition

November 12, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found a Henry County judge erred when he denied an inmate’s petition for habeas corpus challenging a disciplinary decision from the Indiana Department of Correction. The judge should have instead dismissed the petition.
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Mill not entitled to prejudgment interest on breach of contract claim

November 10, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a $36 million award to an East Chicago mill after a braking system failure led to the spillage of molten iron within the shop. But the judges reversed the grant of more than $3 million in prejudgment interest.
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COA: Standard of care same for all doctors

November 10, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled in a medical malpractice claim brought by a former inmate who had gender reassignment surgery that the standard of care for doctors practicing inside prisons is the same as the standard of care for those practicing outside of prison.
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Man convicted of making false statements on gun application to get new trial

November 10, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a Manilla, Indiana, man’s convictions of making false statements in connection with the purchase of a firearm, holding the trial court violated his due process right to present a mistake-of-fact defense.
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Doctrine of continuing wrong not applicable to man’s malpractice claim

November 7, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the denial of summary judgment in favor of a physician and a medical group on a patient’s claim of malpractice after the patient learned his allergic reactions were caused by the disinfectant used by the doctor. The judges held the doctrine of continuing wrong does not apply in this case.
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AG asks court to appoint attorney as receiver of INCASA

November 7, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller has asked a Marion County Court to appoint an attorney as receiver of an Indianapolis-based nonprofit that suspended operations in June due to financial insolvency.
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Residents not entitled to refund for alleged Barrett Law violations

November 7, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The city of Indianapolis does not have to pay nearly $3 million in damages to residents who paid in full their share of the costs of sewer improvements. A couple sued after discovering the city had changed its financing plan and forgave future payments by those who still owed the city.
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Union loses challenge to state’s right-to-work law

November 7, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court has ruled that two sections of the state’s right-to-work law do not violate the Indiana Constitution. A union had asked a Lake County judge to declare the entire statute unconstitutional.
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Indiana Supreme Court upholds right-to-work law

November 6, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court has ruled that two sections of the state’s right-to-work law do not violate the Indiana Constitution. A Lake County judge declared the challenged statutory provisions unconstitutional in a July 2013 ruling.
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Judges uphold denial of motion to suppress on rehearing

November 6, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals, after clarifying a point in their original opinion, still did not believe that a police detective tried to mislead a judge in order to obtain a search warrant. The judges upheld their original decision that affirmed the denial of a man’s motion to suppress evidence collected at his home following drug deals.
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Insurer on the hook for nearly $64,000 in home repairs following storm

November 5, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
An insurance company, based on the terms of its policy, is required to cover storm damage to the home of a northern Indiana couple, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed Wednesday. The insurer argued deteriorated shingles were the cause of the water damage in the home.
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COA affirms South Dakota law applies to personal injury case

November 5, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A Marion Superior Court did not err when it decided that the location of an accident involving a drowsy driver – South Dakota – should be the applicable law in a case brought in Indiana.
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DCS supervisor testimony did not sway case against father

November 3, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Allowing a child services supervisor’s hearsay testimony about a father’s fitness to retain his parental rights was, at most, a harmless error, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled.
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Summary judgment inappropriate in light of pending discovery

October 31, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Noting a pending discovery may still turn up answers, the Indiana Court of Appeals overturned a summary judgment and allowed a feud between former business partners to continue.
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Treatment facility that released patient information not entitled to summary judgment

October 31, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A man who says he is suffering negative repercussions after a mental health facility released his medical information to a family member will be able to move forward with his case in court.
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COA: Insurance agent did not have duty to advise

October 31, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment in favor of an agent and an insurance company after the owner of a pub sued them believing they owed a duty to advise that the policy the pub chose would be insufficient to cover the replacement cost of the building.
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Judges affirm county commissioners can sue attorney for legal malpractice

October 31, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The trial court did not err in denying an attorney’s motion to dismiss a legal malpractice claim brought against him by Clark County’s Board of Commissioners and Aviation Board, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Trial court lacked authority to order dad to pay for child’s college

October 31, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Tackling an issue of first impression involving a request for payment of post-secondary education expenses, the Indiana Court of Appeals held that a child support order under I.C. 31-16-6-6 refers to the parties’ most recent order concerning support.
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COA dismisses appeal as moot since inmate has been released

October 31, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Because a man who was sent to the Department of Correction after his community corrections placement was revoked has been released from prison, his appeal is moot, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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Judges dismiss appeal of small claims judgment as untimely

October 31, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Finding an auto dealer untimely appealed the denial of his motion to correct error regarding a judgment in favor of a buyer, the Indiana Court of Appeals dismissed the appeal.
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Judges reverse teen’s adjudication for resisting law enforcement

October 30, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Citing lack of evidence, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed an Indianapolis teen’s adjudication as a juvenile delinquent for committing what would be Class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement if committed by an adult. None of his actions suggested any criminal activity was afoot.
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Man didn’t prove ineffective assistance of counsel

October 30, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court affirmed the denial of post-conviction relief for a man who charged his attorney was ineffective for not doing a better job arguing the sufficiency of the evidence to prove the defendant conspired to commit dealing cocaine.
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Justices: Pattern Jury Instruction 9.05 is correct statement of law

October 30, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Clearing up confusion among the courts as to whether a jury instruction regarding the definition of “intentionally” can include that the defendant intended to “cause the result” of his conduct, the Indiana Supreme Court affirmed Pattern Jury Instruction 9.05 represents a correct statement of the law.
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Court orders more proceedings on injured subcontractor’s negligence lawsuit

October 29, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Finding genuine issues of material fact exist in a negligence lawsuit as to the general contractor’s role in a subcontractor’s injury, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed summary judgment and ordered further proceedings.
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  1. People have heard of Magna Carta, and not the Provisions of Oxford & Westminster. Not that anybody really cares. Today, it might be considered ethnic or racial bias to talk about the "Anglo Saxon common law." I don't even see the word English in the blurb above. Anyhow speaking of Edward I-- he was famously intolerant of diversity himself viz the Edict of Expulsion 1290. So all he did too like making parliament a permanent institution-- that all must be discredited. 100 years from now such commemorations will be in the dustbin of history.

  2. Oops, I meant discipline, not disciple. Interesting that those words share such a close relationship. We attorneys are to be disciples of the law, being disciplined to serve the law and its source, the constitutions. Do that, and the goals of Magna Carta are advanced. Do that not and Magna Carta is usurped. Do that not and you should be disciplined. Do that and you should be counted a good disciple. My experiences, once again, do not reveal a process that is adhering to the due process ideals of Magna Carta. Just the opposite, in fact. Braveheart's dying rebel (for a great cause) yell comes to mind.

  3. It is not a sign of the times that many Ind licensed attorneys (I am not) would fear writing what I wrote below, even if they had experiences to back it up. Let's take a minute to thank God for the brave Baron's who risked death by torture to tell the government that it was in the wrong. Today is a career ruination that whistleblowers risk. That is often brought on by denial of licenses or disciple for those who dare speak truth to power. Magna Carta says truth rules power, power too often claims that truth matters not, only Power. Fight such power for the good of our constitutional republics. If we lose them we have only bureaucratic tyranny to pass onto our children. Government attorneys, of all lawyers, should best realize this and work to see our patrimony preserved. I am now a government attorney (once again) in Kansas, and respecting the rule of law is my passion, first and foremost.

  4. I have dealt with more than a few I-465 moat-protected government attorneys and even judges who just cannot seem to wrap their heads around the core of this 800 year old document. I guess monarchial privileges and powers corrupt still ..... from an academic website on this fantastic "treaty" between the King and the people ... "Enduring Principles of Liberty Magna Carta was written by a group of 13th-century barons to protect their rights and property against a tyrannical king. There are two principles expressed in Magna Carta that resonate to this day: "No freeman shall be taken, imprisoned, disseised, outlawed, banished, or in any way destroyed, nor will We proceed against or prosecute him, except by the lawful judgment of his peers or by the law of the land." "To no one will We sell, to no one will We deny or delay, right or justice." Inspiration for Americans During the American Revolution, Magna Carta served to inspire and justify action in liberty’s defense. The colonists believed they were entitled to the same rights as Englishmen, rights guaranteed in Magna Carta. They embedded those rights into the laws of their states and later into the Constitution and Bill of Rights. The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution ("no person shall . . . be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.") is a direct descendent of Magna Carta's guarantee of proceedings according to the "law of the land." http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/featured_documents/magna_carta/

  5. I'm not sure what's more depressing: the fact that people would pay $35,000 per year to attend an unaccredited law school, or the fact that the same people "are hanging in there and willing to follow the dean’s lead in going forward" after the same school fails to gain accreditation, rendering their $70,000 and counting education worthless. Maybe it's a good thing these people can't sit for the bar.

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