Court opinions

COA: Breath test properly admitted

December 21, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A man convicted of drunken-driving failed to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that the state did not prove that the chemicals used in his breath test equipment were certified under Indiana administrative rules.
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Judge believes restitution order properly entered

December 21, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
An Indiana Court of Appeals judge dissented from his colleagues Monday in a case in which the majority reversed the court-ordered $3,600 in restitution for a coin sale that turned out to be fraudulent. The dissenting judge also raised public policy concerns about requiring victims to appear at sentencing hearings.
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7th Circuit divided over injunction in defamation case

December 18, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Friday found an injunction issued in a case involving religious artifacts and defamation claims was entirely too broad and threatened to silence the defendants completely. But the judges were split over whether the district court should be able to modify the injunction.
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Monarch Beverage again fails in liquor distribution suit

December 17, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Monarch Beverage Company’s arguments that Indiana alcohol wholesale laws are discriminatory fell flat at the Indiana Court of Appeals, marking the second time this week that attempts to overturn the state’s statutes regarding booze failed.
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COA strikes sentence about laughing jurors in footnote

December 16, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
That jurors laughed at times during a handwriting expert’s testimony in a case contesting probate of a will has been removed from the official court opinion. The Court of Appeals made the move in a rehearing opinion issued Wednesday.
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Justices affirm ruling for school in fired principal’s suit

December 16, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
An elementary school principal whose administrator’s contract was canceled after school officials learned of his affair with a teacher received constitutional due process in his termination proceedings, the Indiana Supreme Court affirmed Tuesday.
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ALJ correct in finding nurses, phlebotomists are employees

December 16, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed an administrative law judge’s decision that certain workers were employees of a consulting business, and so the company was liable for additional unemployment taxes.
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Indiana’s cold beer prohibition survives rational-basis review

December 15, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Finding retailers did not meet their burden in attempting to overturn one of Indiana’s quirky alcohol laws, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the state’s limits on the sale of cold beer is not unconstitutional.
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Fraud claims against insurers wrongly dismissed

December 15, 2015
Dave Stafford
Plaintiffs who purchased cash-value life insurance policies for their employees and deducted those contributions on income taxes that were later disallowed were wrongly denied their day in court against the insurers.
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‘Inference of discriminatory motive’ in striking juror not reversible error

December 15, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals noted one of a prosecutor’s reasons for striking a prospective juror in a criminal case “raises an inference of discriminatory motive,” but this was insufficient to reverse a man’s felony resisting law enforcement conviction.
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7th Circuit upholds Indiana’s cold beer law

December 14, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Cold beer will continue to be sold only by licensed liquor stores in Indiana. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld state law that prohibits convenience stores, gas stations and other retailers from selling beer cold.
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Reversal: Host owed duty to guest who died after drinking, fight

December 14, 2015
Dave Stafford
The host of a birthday party for her live-in boyfriend had a duty to render aid to a guest she saw unconscious after he’d been drinking and involved in a fight, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled. The man later died.
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Justices block Alabama court order in lesbian adoption case

December 14, 2015
 Associated Press
The U.S. Supreme Court has sided with a lesbian mother who wants to see her adopted children, blocking an Alabama court's order that declared the adoption invalid.
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High court rejects LA appeal over $5.7M jury award to felon

December 14, 2015
 Associated Press
The justices on Monday let stand a lower court ruling that upheld the award to Robert Contreras, who was left paralyzed after police shot him multiple times when he fled the scene of a drive-by shooting in 2005.
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Speeding ticket tossed because of invalid Carmel ordinance

December 11, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
“Carmel’s wholesale adoption of chapters of Indiana Code resulted in its ordinance being nothing more than a ‘duplicate’ of already existing State law,” Court of Appeals Judge Melissa May wrote.
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Court divided over drug sentence

December 10, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a man’s convictions for making and delivering methamphetamine, but the judges did not agree that the 32-year sentence imposed by the trial court was appropriate.
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Lawyer loses fee appeal against defunct Stewart & Irwin

December 10, 2015
Dave Stafford
A lawyer who claimed his former law firm and its shareholders wrongly withheld fees he was contractually owed lost his appeal of a judgment in the firm's favor Thursday.
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Court: It’s risky to take justice into your own hands

December 10, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Affirming an award of treble damages and remanding for appellate attorney fees, the Indiana Court of Appeals warned in a criminal conversion case Thursday that self-help remedies are perilous and potentially expensive, and it’s best to not take justice into your own hands.
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Circuit court without jurisdiction to grant father’s child support relief

December 10, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Madison Circuit Court 5 did not have jurisdiction to rule on a man’s motion for relief from a child support decision entered by Madison Circuit Court 2, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded Thursday.
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Company not entitled to relief from mortgage foreclosure judgment

December 9, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
An Indiana trial court incorrectly ruled a company was entitled to relief under Indiana Trial Rule 60(B)(6) after deciding a mortgage foreclosure action was void based on who owned interests in the mortgage.
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7th Circuit affirms city blocking strip club plans

December 8, 2015
Dave Stafford
Plans to open a strip club called “Showgirl” in Angola have been blocked for more than three years, but the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals found the city and courts were within their rights to do so.
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Fort Wayne businessman’s statements not defamatory per se

December 7, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The former chancellor of Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne who filed lawsuits after he was required to retire at the age of 65 could not convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that statements in a private letter about him constituted defamation per se.
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COA upholds vehicle search despite noncompliance with protocol

December 7, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Even though two Indianapolis police officers did not follow the department’s general order on towing and impounding vehicles after a traffic stop, the Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a man’s drug convictions.
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7th Circuit reverses benefits denial; judge chastises process

December 7, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Seventh Circuit Judge Richard Posner had harsh words for the Social Security Disability Office regarding vocational expert testimony: clean up your act.
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DNA evidence properly excluded in rape trial

December 4, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court was correct in not allowing evidence in a rape trial that DNA of an unknown male was collected from the victim two days after the incident, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed.
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  1. Indiana's seatbelt law is not punishable as a crime. It is an infraction. Apparently some of our Circuit judges have deemed settled law inapplicable if it fails to fit their litmus test of political correctness. Extrapolating to redefine terms of behavior in a violation of immigration law to the entire body of criminal law leaves a smorgasbord of opportunity for judicial mischief.

  2. I wonder if $10 diversions for failure to wear seat belts are considered moral turpitude in federal immigration law like they are under Indiana law? Anyone know?

  3. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

  4. Justice has finally been served. So glad that Dr. Ley can finally sleep peacefully at night knowing the truth has finally come to the surface.

  5. While this right is guaranteed by our Constitution, it has in recent years been hampered by insurance companies, i.e.; the practice of the plaintiff's own insurance company intervening in an action and filing a lien against any proceeds paid to their insured. In essence, causing an additional financial hurdle for a plaintiff to overcome at trial in terms of overall award. In a very real sense an injured party in exercise of their right to trial by jury may be the only party in a cause that would end up with zero compensation.

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