Court opinions

COA tackles 2 issues of first impression

March 28, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals addressed two new issues in a child solicitation and prostitution case regarding authenticating emails and text messages and whether the defendant’s actions actually constituted a crime.
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Judges split over ruling in failed adoption case

March 28, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A majority on the Indiana Court of Appeals Friday reversed summary judgment in favor of the facilitator of an adoption on a negligence claim brought by the adoptive parents after the baby’s biological father sought and was awarded custody.
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COA voids custody order in favor of father

March 28, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed the grant of custody in favor of an Indiana father because the trial court lacked subject matter jurisdiction under the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act to make a custody determination.
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Judges dismiss man’s appeal of protection order extension

March 27, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals dismissed a Porter County man’s appeal of a judge’s decision to reset a hearing on a temporary protection order for six months after the victim had an anxiety attack while testifying. The judges held Douglas Allison had to seek a discretionary interlocutory appeal in the matter.
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Justices reverse denial of car dealership’s motion to set aside default judgment

March 27, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Because a car dealership and its registered agent did not receive notice of a hearing on default judgment, the judgment entered against it was void for want of jurisdiction, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled.
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Divided court upholds principal’s conviction of failure to report child abuse

March 27, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A split Indiana Supreme Court Thursday upheld a misdemeanor failure to report child abuse conviction against former Muncie Central High School principal Christopher Smith. The dissent believed the state failed to show he had reason to believe an alleged rape was child abuse.
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Justices reverse termination of parental rights in 2 cases

March 26, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
In two short, per curiam decisions, the Indiana Supreme Court found the parental rights of two Marion County parents should not have been terminated because of due process violations after the magistrate who heard their cases resigned before reporting recommended findings and conclusions.
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Judges reverse speeding infraction due to lack of proof

March 26, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A driver pulled over in Clark County for speeding was able to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals Wednesday that the infraction should be reversed because the state couldn’t prove its case.
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Court: Man never raised defense to attempted robbery

March 26, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals Wednesday pointed out that a defendant needs to assert the defense of abandonment in some manner at trial. The judges rejected a man’s claim that the defense does not require a formal pleading or notice of the defense.
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Two traffic stops and two motions to suppress result in two different rulings

March 25, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A pair of opinions from the Indiana Supreme Court examines two Terry stops made by police officers and through opposite rulings emphasizes law enforcement must have reasonable suspicion to pull over a driver.
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Vehicle forfeiture order affirmed despite state’s yearlong delay

March 25, 2014
Dave Stafford
A convicted cocaine dealer failed to convince a panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals that summary judgment forfeiture of his yellow 2004 Hummer was a violation of trial rules, even though the state’s motion for summary judgment was in response to a court show cause order due to case inactivity for more than a year.
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COA voids rehabilitation maintenance ordered after divorce

March 25, 2014
Dave Stafford
An ex-wife was not entitled to rehabilitation maintenance from her former husband that was approved after the dissolution of their marriage, a panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
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Appeals court vacates lesser drug conviction as double jeopardy

March 25, 2014
Dave Stafford
A Paoli man convicted of multiple drug offenses had a lesser conviction vacated Tuesday by the Indiana Court of Appeals. The court let stand other convictions for which he was sentenced to an aggregate 16 years in prison.
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Justices take post-conviction relief case

March 24, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court will review the reduction from a Class B felony to a Class D felony of a man’s conviction of criminal confinement.
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Public intoxication conviction tossed for lack of proof of endangerment

March 24, 2014
Dave Stafford
A man convicted of public intoxication after a police officer found him near the site where his car had come to a stop between the road and a drainage ditch was improperly convicted, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Monday.
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Purdue loses appeal bid to shield discrimination, harassment report

March 24, 2014
Dave Stafford
An appellate panel had harsh words for Purdue University’s conduct in shielding a report investigating a former chancellor’s complaint of gender discrimination and harassment against former university president France Cordova.
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Justices affirm ‘safe harbor’ in Juvenile Mental Health Statute

March 24, 2014
Dave Stafford
A juvenile sex offender’s statements in a polygraph test during probation that he molested two more children may not form the sole basis to prove delinquency, the Indiana Supreme Court held Friday in affirming a trial court and rejecting the state’s appeal.
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Agency collecting credit card debt not a creditor, COA rules

March 21, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A debtor’s counterclaim that a collection agency violated the Indiana Uniform Consumer Credit Code by not obtaining a license was rejected by the Indiana Court of Appeals on the grounds that although the agency was trying to recover a debt, it was not a creditor.
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Judge to Ballard rep: We’ll decide courts complex site

March 21, 2014
Dave Stafford
Marion Superior judges on Friday gave a grudging endorsement to the former General Motors stamping plant site as the location for a proposed jail and criminal justice complex, but not before sending a message to Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard that where courts are located is their decision.
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Judges reverse felony enhancement for handgun possession

March 20, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Because a prior felony conviction the state relied on to enhance a man’s handgun possession charge was later reduced to a misdemeanor as part of a plea agreement, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the denial of the man’s motion to dismiss the enhancement.
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Complaint for unpaid car loan filed outside of statute of limitations

March 20, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Because a company seeking to recover unpaid installments on a car loan filed its complaint outside of the four-year statute of limitations, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the small claims judgment in favor of the car buyer.
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7th Circuit reinstates case involving ‘anti-slating’ statute

March 20, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed the dismissal of an unslated Marion County Democratic candidate’s lawsuit challenging the county election board’s reliance on the state’s “anti-slating” law to confiscate political flyers during the May 2012 primary election.
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Judges order new trial for woman who withdrew, deposited cash from ATMs

March 20, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
In a split decision from the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, the majority reversed a Russian woman’s conviction for violating a federal statute that prohibits structuring currency transactions in order to evade federal reporting requirements for transactions involving more than $10,000 in currency. The majority cited the prosecution’s questioning of the woman about past financial records as the reason for reversal.
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Father’s appeal dismissed as untimely

March 19, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A Madison County father challenging the denial of his petition for change of custody did not timely file his appeal, so the Indiana Court of Appeals dismissed it.
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Court upholds denial of tax exemptions

March 19, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Tax Court Tuesday ruled that the state Board of Tax Review did not err when it determined a nonprofit in Mooresville was not entitled to either a fraternal beneficiary association exemption or a charitable purposes exemption for the 2006 tax year.
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  1. Bill Satterlee is, indeed, a true jazz aficionado. Part of my legal career was spent as an associate attorney with Hoeppner, Wagner & Evans in Valparaiso. Bill was instrumental (no pun intended) in introducing me to jazz music, thereby fostering my love for this genre. We would, occasionally, travel to Chicago on weekends and sit in on some outstanding jazz sessions at Andy's on Hubbard Street. Had it not been for Bill's love of jazz music, I never would have had the good fortune of hearing it played live at Andy's. And, most likely, I might never have begun listening to it as much as I do. Thanks, Bill.

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  5. Additional Points: -Civility in the profession: Treating others with respect will not only move others to respect you, it will show a shared respect for the legal system we are all sworn to protect. When attorneys engage in unnecessary personal attacks, they lose the respect and favor of judges, jurors, the person being attacked, and others witnessing or reading the communication. It's not always easy to put anger aside, but if you don't, you will lose respect, credibility, cases, clients & jobs or job opportunities. -Read Rule 22 of the Admission & Discipline Rules. Capture that spirit and apply those principles in your daily work. -Strive to represent clients in a manner that communicates the importance you place on the legal matter you're privileged to handle for them. -There are good lawyers of all ages, but no one is perfect. Older lawyers can learn valuable skills from younger lawyers who tend to be more adept with new technologies that can improve work quality and speed. Older lawyers have already tackled more legal issues and worked through more of the problems encountered when representing clients on various types of legal matters. If there's mutual respect and a willingness to learn from each other, it will help make both attorneys better lawyers. -Erosion of the public trust in lawyers wears down public confidence in the rule of law. Always keep your duty to the profession in mind. -You can learn so much by asking questions & actively listening to instructions and advice from more experienced attorneys, regardless of how many years or decades you've each practiced law. Don't miss out on that chance.

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