Court opinions

Receipt from mom’s cab ride does not prove son was home alone

September 18, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A trial court did not abuse its discretion when it excluded an undated taxi cab receipt that a LaPorte County man tried to offer as proof he did not participate in a robbery spree, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled. 
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Workers’ comp not sole remedy against AT&T entity for fall causing injury

September 18, 2013
Dave Stafford
A worker injured in a fall when she tripped on snow-covered legs of a construction sign placed near the AT&T building where she worked may proceed with a claim against one of the company’s corporate entities.
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Arbitrator’s unavailability will not stop arbitration from starting

September 18, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Court of Appeals has found an arbitration agreement’s “plain language” trumps a woman’s attempt to stop the alternative dispute resolution process.
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Lack of transcript limits review of fire damages award on appeal

September 18, 2013
Dave Stafford
A panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals rejected an appeal seeking full compensation after an Allen County fire in large part because the appealing party included no transcript of the trial court proceedings.
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Justices: Meth arrest of man at rental storage unit violated Fourth Amendment

September 18, 2013
Dave Stafford
A man’s conviction and 45-year sentence on a meth charge cannot stand because the police search at a rental storage unit that led to his arrest violated his Fourth Amendment protections, a majority of the Indiana Supreme Court ruled.
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COA rules serving time at home same as serving time in prison

September 17, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Court of Appeals remanded a case for a new sentencing order after a defendant successfully argued home detention counts as part of his executed sentence.  
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Tax Court rules against UPS reinsurer on case justices reversed, remanded

September 17, 2013
Dave Stafford
United Parcel Service and its reinsurance affiliates are obligated to pay about $650,000 in taxes from the years 2000 and 2001, the Indiana Tax Court held. The court previously ruled in UPS’s favor, but this opinion comes on remand from an Indiana Supreme Court reversal.
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Appeals court affirms judgment in family land-contract dispute

September 17, 2013
Dave Stafford
A trial court properly ruled that an insurance company owed no duty to a mother who sold property on contract to her son and daughter-in-law, but the son and daughter-in-law who collected proceeds from the policy do.
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Bridge complaint raises questions about governmental immunity

September 17, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Court of Appeals addressed conflicting caselaw about a government’s immunity from liability before siding with the older precedent and ruling that any move to overturn that case should be left to the Indiana Supreme Court. 
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Attorney fees affirmed in trucking dispute; COA declines to bar such awards

September 17, 2013
Dave Stafford
An appellate panel Tuesday affirmed an award of attorney fees under a standard industry agreement and declined an invitation to strip Indiana trial courts of the ability to enter such judgments.
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Instructions not to letter of the law, but no harm done

September 16, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A trial court’s failure to give jury instructions that strictly adhered to the language contained in the Indiana Code and Indiana Jury Rule was not grounds for the Indiana Court of Appeals to overturn a guilty verdict.
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Judge: Suit challenging Marion County judicial slating may proceed

September 13, 2013
Dave Stafford
A federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a state law that has given rise to the Democratic and Republican slating system under which Marion Superior judges are elected will go forward.
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Failure to register in Indiana opens door for state charges against Ponzi scheme mastermind

September 13, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A split Indiana Court of Appeals ruled a man at the center of an alleged Ponzi scheme that defrauded nearly 72 victims in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana will have to face state charges even though he pleaded guilty to a federal indictment.
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Reversal: Trust bears liability for builder’s nonpayment despite lien notice discrepancies

September 13, 2013
Dave Stafford
A trust that won summary judgment at the trial court against a supplier of building materials for construction of a home on Lake Michigan got the opposite result from an appeals court Friday. The trust is liable, even though it paid builders who failed to reimburse the supplier for materials provided on credit.
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Double jeopardy does not prohibit state from retrying defendant on lesser charge

September 12, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Although a man’s conviction was overturned, the Indiana Supreme Court has ruled he can still be retried on the same charge without violating double jeopardy prohibitions because “a rational jury” would have considered more than one element of the crime.
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Drunken driving conviction affirmed; tipster’s observations reasonable cause

September 12, 2013
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a man’s conviction for Class C misdemeanor operating a vehicle while intoxicated Thursday, though one panelist wrote the court went deeper into the analysis of the defendant’s Fourth Amendment claim than it needed to do.
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Dispatcher fired after firecracker incident loses unemployment appeal

September 12, 2013
An appeals court panel Thursday affirmed denial of unemployment benefits for a Starke County sheriff’s dispatcher who took time off work after a firecracker exploded behind her at work and she was diagnosed with hearing loss, vertigo and tinnitus.
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Parental liability as co-signers on kids’ school loans subject to divorce decree

September 12, 2013
Dave Stafford
Student loan liabilities of parents who co-signed for their two children should have been a consideration in dividing property in a divorce proceeding, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday.
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Insurer’s exclusion stands after bar fight

September 11, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A woman’s own description of a barroom brawl that left her with a broken arm was used against her in allowing an insurance company to deny coverage.
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Worker’s Compensation Act is only remedy for injured employee

September 11, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A construction worker injured on a job site will have to find remedy through the Indiana Worker’s Compensation Act after the Indiana Court of Appeals denied his attempt to sue a subcontractor.
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7th Circuit declines to second guess co-defendant credibility in firearm sentence

September 3, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Contradictory testimony given in two plea agreements presented the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Evansville Division, with the “classic choice” of whom to believe.
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Appeals court finds IU med student properly dismissed

September 3, 2013
Dave Stafford
A third-year student at Indiana University School of Medicine kicked out after the university concluded he cheated on an exam lost his appeal of the trial court’s summary judgment in favor of the university.
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Exclusion of money talk not a reversible error

September 3, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A trial court’s error in excluding explicit statements about money is not reversible and does not provide the grounds to overturn a drug conviction.
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Heavily redacted report cannot hide behind business-judgment rule

September 3, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Although a report produced by a special litigation committee contains privileged information, the plaintiffs must be allowed full access to the unredacted version in order to determine if the investigation was extensive and conduced in good faith.
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Firing of officer who stunned nursing home patient was supported by evidence

September 3, 2013
Dave Stafford
A police chief and city review board were within their rights to terminate the employment of an officer who repeatedly used a Taser on a 64-year-old nursing home patient. An appellate panel Monday reversed a trial court order that had thrown out the officer’s firing.
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