Court opinions

COA reverses sentence imposed after failed drug program completion

November 23, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A man who was ordered to serve 20 years – the maximum sentence for a Class B felony – after not completing a drug court program due to smoking Spice will be resentenced. The Indiana Court of Appeals found the trial court selected his sentence based on his failure to complete the program.
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Ex-jewelry store operators lose tax appeal

November 20, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The operators of a former jewelry store in central Indiana were unable to convince the Indiana Tax Court they are entitled to more than $160,000 in sales tax refunds.
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COA: Man’s threat to officers not intimidation

November 20, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals held Friday that a man who threatened to shoot officers dispatched to his home did not commit intimidation as defined by the statute.
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HIP payments not negotiated; Stanley not applicable

November 19, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Medical payments made by the Healthy Indiana Plan for a woman involved in a car accident to reimburse her medical providers in full satisfaction of hospital bills were properly excluded at trial, the Court of Appeals held Thursday. The trial court correctly ruled that those payments are barred by the collateral source statute and that Stanley v. Walker does not apply.
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Court orders man’s probation period reduced

November 18, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found a man’s due process rights were violated because the state couldn’t prove he was advised of his constitutional rights at his probation revocation hearing. The appeals court ordered further proceedings on the matter, including reducing his period of probation to comply with statute.
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FSSA incorrectly imposed transfer penalty on Medicaid recipient

November 18, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Based on evidence presented that a Medicaid recipient’s home sold for $75,000 – the fair market value – and proceeds went back to the irrevocable trust that held legal title of the home, the Family and Social Services Administration incorrectly imposed a transfer penalty against the woman after it found the fair market value was $91,900, the Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.
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Farmer with wandering cattle will have to build fence himself

November 16, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A Starke County farmer who wanted to keep his cattle from roaming onto neighboring farms will have to pay for the entire fence to be built, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled.
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Temporary tag in rear window gets conviction tossed

November 13, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A Hendricks County Sheriff’s deputy’s ignorance of where a temporary license plate can be displayed on a car led the Indiana Court of Appeals to overturn a drunken-driving conviction.
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Split COA orders refund of $12K in foreclosure deficiency payments

November 13, 2015
Dave Stafford
A Court of Appeals panel wrote Friday that justice demands an attack on an improper 2009 garnishment order and a refund to a couple that paid $50 a week in deficiency payments after losing their home to foreclosure.
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Appeals court rules for teachers on pay issues

November 13, 2015
Dave Stafford
Jay Classroom Teachers Association prevailed Friday in an appeal contesting terms of a teachers’ contract adopted as the last best offer from Jay School Corporation.
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Lack of evidence leads COA to reverse probation violation

November 13, 2015
Dave Stafford
A Franklin County man who was ordered to spend five months in the Department of Correction after an alleged probation violation won a reversal of the trial court order Friday for lack of evidence.
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Judge calls out DLGF ‘infirmities’ in ruling for township, fire district

November 13, 2015
Dave Stafford
Indiana Tax Court Judge Martha Blood Wentworth had a few choice words for the Department of Local Government Finance in finding the state hadn’t answered the key question in a township’s tax appeal.
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COA leaves arbitrator’s award in place

November 12, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals on Thursday declined Madison County’s request that it correct or vacate an arbitrator’s award in favor of two county highway department employees. The appeals court concluded the county circumvented the collective bargaining agreement when it discharged the two employees.
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Man loses appeal to revoke spousal maintenance

November 10, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
An ex-husband who sought “all-or-nothing” relief when he asked the court to terminate his ex-wife’s incapacity support instead of reducing it after she remarried lost his appeal before the Indiana Supreme Court.
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Justices: Jury should hear defense of necessity instruction

November 10, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court ordered a new trial for a man convicted of a misdemeanor gun charge after finding he presented sufficient evidence to have the jury instructed on his defense of necessity.
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New York conviction doesn’t support Indiana charges

November 10, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A man’s 2014 conviction of operating a vehicle while impaired in New York cannot serve as the basis to bring enhanced drunken-driving charges against him because the New York statute is not substantially similar to the elements of a crime described in Indiana Code, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Tuesday.
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Court: Girl should be with mother, not great aunt

November 10, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the award of custody of a young girl to her great aunt, finding the woman did not overcome the presumption in favor of placement with the girl’s biological mother.
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Justices: Personalized licenses plates are government speech

November 6, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court Friday upheld the Bureau of Motor Vehicles’ process for approving or denying requests for personalized license plates after finding the plates are government speech. A Marion County judge ruled last year the statute governing personalized license plates is unconstitutional.
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Companies’ agreement not a requirements contract, 7th Circuit holds

November 6, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals vacated judgment in favor of a company that sued its carbon black supplier after it was unable to fulfill orders, holding the lower court erred in ruling in favor of the purchaser after finding the agreement between the companies was a requirements contract.
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Court must recalculate attorney fees

November 6, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court has the discretion to determine whether and how much to award in attorney fees, but a Porter Superior Court incorrectly determined what attorney fees the prevailing party was entitled to in a slander of title action, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Friday.
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Clause limiting time client can sue attorney violates public policy

November 6, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The contract a client signed to have the Conour Law Firm represent her contained a clause limiting her ability to sue the firm to one year, which the Indiana Court of Appeals found violated public policy and the Indiana Rules of Professional Conduct. The lawsuit seeking to recover settlement funds stolen by William Conour continues against his former colleague.
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Out-of-state move did not relieve sex offender from updating address

November 6, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a man’s claim that because he had moved out of state when law enforcement officials performed a random check of his home address, he was no longer required to register as a sex offender in Indiana.
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Court affirms enhanced sentence for incest offense

November 6, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Finding the District Court conducted the correct analysis when determining the sentence of a man who had failed to register as a sex offender in Indiana and then committed incest with his 18-year-old daughter, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the six-level sentencing enhancement.
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LLC denied royalties because of unenforceable contract

November 6, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A company that sued seeking nearly $750 million in unpaid royalties for sales on medical devices using certain patents lost its appeal before the Indiana Court of Appeals because the contract is unenforceable.
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COA: Jury properly rejected defendant’s insanity defense

November 5, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Because there was evidence that a defendant’s mental state at the time he stabbed his estranged wife was due to voluntary intoxication, the jury properly rejected his insanity defense, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Thursday.
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