Court opinions

7th Circuit not convinced by inmate’s double jeopardy argument

August 17, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A convicted sex offender who did not have the requisite certificate of appealability was still able to present his constitutional claims, but the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals found no grounds to overturn his conviction and sentence. 
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Reversal: Ex-DOC worker wins appeal in bid to marry inmate

August 17, 2015
Dave Stafford
A former contract worker who quit her job at an Indiana prison after her sexual relationship with an inmate was discovered was wrongly denied permission to marry him, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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Mom loses appeal against Planned Parenthood

August 17, 2015
Dave Stafford
A mom who sued Planned Parenthood after her 17-year-old daughter used another person’s ID and posed as an 18-year-old to get an abortion has no private cause of action to enforce abortion statutes. Planned Parenthood also owed no duty to the mother under the circumstances, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday.
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7th Circuit won’t reinstate Lauren Spierer family’s lawsuit

August 14, 2015
Dave Stafford
A civil lawsuit filed by the parents of missing Indiana University student Lauren Spierer was properly decided in favor of defendants who were among the last people to see her, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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Police deadly force justified against suicidal man

August 14, 2015
Dave Stafford
Police who shot and killed a suicidal man in his Cloverdale home were justified in using deadly force under the circumstances, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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Fired Polaris technician wins reversal at 7th Circuit

August 14, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A former Indianapolis lab technician presented enough evidence to support her claims of discrimination and retaliation that the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned summary judgment in favor of her former employer.
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Life sentence ordered in deadly Indianapolis house blast

August 14, 2015
 Associated Press
The man convicted of planning a massive Indianapolis house explosion that killed two neighbors was sentenced Friday to life without parole.
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Agreement means what it says, COA rules

August 14, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
While the Indiana Court of Appeals conceded the severance agreement was “not a model of precision,” it disagreed with a trial court’s conclusion that the agreement contained a mistake.
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Molestation charge dropped against committed incompetent defendant

August 14, 2015
Dave Stafford
A child molestation charge must be dropped against an incompetent defendant who’s been in psychiatric hospitals longer than he could have been imprisoned had he been convicted, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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7th Circuit divided over appeal from death row inmate

August 13, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A split 7th Circuit Court of Appeals denied an inmate on Indiana’s death row a chance for a new trial, finding the exclusion of a witness’s videotaped interview which could have possibly exonerated him was inadmissible as hearsay.
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Toyota dealership relocation to Fishers divides appeals court

August 13, 2015
Dave Stafford
Whether three competing greater Indianapolis Toyota dealers may block the relocation of another Toyota franchise from Anderson to Fishers divided a panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals Thursday.
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Divided COA panel reverses modification of support

August 13, 2015
Dave Stafford
A judge who ordered a modification of child support after a father told the court he was moving out of state and intended to seek custody of a minor child acted prematurely, a Court of Appeals panel majority ruled Thursday.
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In estate case, Tax Court upholds ruling against state

August 12, 2015
Dave Stafford
A probate court ruled correctly when it denied the state’s argument that distributions to heirs from a trust established in 2008 should have been subject to Indiana’s estate tax, which has since been abolished.
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Class-action members did not show illnesses were caused by same meals

August 11, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Although several Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. members who visited Indianapolis in 2013 all reported symptoms much like those caused by food poisoning, the Indiana Court of Appeals denied class certification, ruling the individuals did not specifically link their illnesses to the chicken served at lunch and dinner.
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Trial court erred in denying dad custody vs. contemptuous mom

August 11, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals bluntly reversed denial of a father’s petition for primary custody of his children, finding their mother undermined him and deprived him of court-ordered visitation.
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Officer’s ‘Where’s the gun?’ question properly admitted in shooter’s trial

August 11, 2015
Dave Stafford
A suspect who fled the scene of a Lafayette shooting and later was found with ammunition in his shirt pocket was not prejudiced when a police officer asked, “Where’s the gun?”
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Estate battle remanded to trial court to determine timeliness

August 4, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
An heir was successful in asserting he had a claim to his father’s estate but has more work to convince the courts he filed his claim in a timely manner.
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Wiretap and defamation claims against South Bend councilman allowed to move forward

August 4, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Overturning the trial court’s dismissal, the Indiana Court of Appeals is allowing the complaint claiming a South Bend city councilman violated the federal wiretap act and committed defamation to proceed.
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Reversal: Insurer’s acceptance of payment reinstated policy

August 4, 2015
Dave Stafford
A Porter County man won his argument that his insurer’s acceptance of a late payment kept his homeowners coverage in force, after which a garage fire caused damage exceeding $80,000. Now, the insurer also may have to pay bad-faith and punitive damages.
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Uncertain of meth’s status, COA tosses syringe conviction

August 4, 2015
Dave Stafford
A man who was convicted of two felonies for injecting himself with methamphetamine should not have been convicted of unlawful possession of a syringe, because it’s unclear whether meth qualifies as a legend drug, a Court of Appeals panel ruled Tuesday.
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Judge’s description not impermissible judicial testimony

August 4, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A Marion County judge who described the testimony to jurors as “heartfelt” did not overstep the prohibition against the judiciary acting as a witness.
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7th Circuit blasts Evansville flash bang search, notes racial factor

August 3, 2015
Dave Stafford
Evansville police “committed too many mistakes to pass the test of reasonableness” in a bungled home search and are not shielded from a federal excessive force lawsuit, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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Denial of disability benefits remanded for better explanation

August 3, 2015
 Associated Press
A rejection of a claimant’s application for disability is being remanded after the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals found the “abstruse signals” in the denial did not sufficiently explain the reasons for disregarding new evidence.
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Victim’s statements were dying declaration, COA rules

July 31, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected the argument that the victim, who was shot multiple times and eventually did die, could not have made a dying declaration because paramedics repeatedly told him he would live.
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No evidence of officer’s injury voids restitution order

July 31, 2015
Dave Stafford
An Indianapolis trial court abused its discretion by ordering a man convicted in a physical altercation with police to pay more than $27,000 in restitution despite a lack of evidence he caused injuries that resulted in those medical bills.
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  2. If the end result is to simply record the spoke word, then perhaps some day digital recording may eventually be the status quo. However, it is a shallow view to believe the professional court reporter's function is to simply report the spoken word and nothing else. There are many aspects to being a professional court reporter, and many aspects involved in producing a professional and accurate transcript. A properly trained professional steno court reporter has achieved a skill set in a field where the average dropout rate in court reporting schools across the nation is 80% due to the difficulty of mastering the necessary skills. To name just a few "extras" that a court reporter with proper training brings into a courtroom or a deposition suite; an understanding of legal procedure, technology specific to the legal profession, and an understanding of what is being said by the attorneys and litigants (which makes a huge difference in the quality of the transcript). As to contracting, or anti-contracting the argument is simple. The court reporter as governed by our ethical standards is to be the independent, unbiased individual in a deposition or courtroom setting. When one has entered into a contract with any party, insurance carrier, etc., then that reporter is no longer unbiased. I have been a court reporter for over 30 years and I echo Mr. Richardson's remarks that I too am here to serve.

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