Court opinions

COA reverses sentence based on a ‘suspect enhancement’

January 15, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Finding that a judge was clearly influenced by a jury’s not-guilty decision on another drug charge when he sentenced a defendant for cocaine possession, the Indiana Court of Appeals ordered the man’s sentence reduced.
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7th Circuit upholds use of GPS unit on car in 2011

January 14, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a defendant’s claim that his motion to suppress drugs and guns found by police at a storage locker through the use of a GPS unit should have been granted because attaching the device to his car for purposes of gathering information was a search under the Fourth Amendment.
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Court orders termination of spousal maintenance following ex-wife’s remarriage

January 14, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A woman who remarried and now has substantial income and assets as a result of that marriage is no longer entitled to spousal maintenance, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.
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Teen injured in stage collapse loses challenge of tort liability

January 14, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A Cincinnati girl who was injured when a concert stage collapsed in 2011 at the Indiana State Fair and later declined to settle with the state lost her challenge that the tort claim caps are unconstitutional, ruled the Indiana Court of Appeals Wednesday.
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COA reverses in part judgment for agents on man’s insurance claim lawsuit

January 14, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Finding the owner of a home that burned designated additional evidence which created a genuine issue of material fact, summary judgment should not have been awarded to agents on his claim, the Indiana Court of Appeals held.
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Appeal remands suit for trial court to determine legal fees

January 13, 2015
Dave Stafford
A law firm that represented a company in the sale of a Fishers sign franchise will have its day in court to argue it is entitled to a greater judgment of legal fees than the $11,085.50 a trial court ordered.
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Appeals court remands grandparents’ visitation order

January 13, 2015
Dave Stafford
Grandparents rightly were awarded visitation with their granddaughter after their daughter died, but the Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday a trial court abused its discretion in establishing the amount of time grandparents could spend with the child.
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COA: County Commissioners can’t amend fire district ordinance

January 12, 2015
Dave Stafford
Brown County commissioners who created a countywide fire district lost an appeal of a trial court order saying they had no authority to later amend the ordinance that had created the district.
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Title conveyance travels winding road but COA finds owner

January 12, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A fresh batch of legal questions are headed to the Wabash Circuit Court for resolution after the Indiana Court of Appeals found feuding neighbors were not co-owners of a lane that connects to all their properties.
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Appeals court affirms cocaine-dealing conviction

January 9, 2015
Dave Stafford
A man convicted of Class A felony dealing cocaine and adjudicated a habitual substance offender couldn’t persuade the Indiana Court of Appeals that he was deprived of a speedy trial or that the evidence against him was improperly admitted or insufficient.
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Court properly excluded evidence regarding victim’s truthfulness

January 8, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The trial court was correct to exclude evidence of specific instances from a woman regarding the truthfulness of her son, the victim of a sex crime, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Thursday. That evidence is prohibited by Indiana Evidence Rule 608.
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COA reverses domestic violence determination due to Blakely violation

January 8, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court committed fundamental error when it determined a man convicted by a jury of Class A misdemeanor battery committed a crime of domestic violence, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Thursday.
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Housing agency, not court, ordered banned woman from properties

January 8, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a woman’s argument that the court imposed as part of her trespass sentence an order to stay away from any properties owned by the Indianapolis Housing Agency.
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ALJ’s numerous errors require denial of benefits reversed

January 8, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the decision of a federal judge to uphold the denial of a man’s request for disability insurance benefits. The appeals court held that an administrative law judge made a number of errors when considering the record.
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Judge dissents on reversal of CHINS adjudication

January 7, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A father who claimed his due process rights were violated when his daughter was adjudicated as a child in need of services before the conclusion of a fact-finding hearing won his appeal before the Court of Appeals Wednesday. But one judge believed that the trial court correctly found the girl to be a CHINS.
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Panel split over whether man needed to be involuntarily committed

January 7, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals Wednesday was divided over whether sufficient evidence was presented to justify that a mentally ill man was a danger to himself or others and thus needed to be involuntarily committed.
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Civil Rights Commission exceeded authority in upholding complaint

January 6, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Finding the Indiana Civil Rights Commission overstepped its authority, the Indiana Supreme Court has vacated the organization’s final order regarding an “intra-group squabble” over a dinner menu.
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First impression: Suspect’s recorded talk in police car admissible

January 6, 2015
Dave Stafford
What a South Bend man said to another suspect while they were alone in the back of a police cruiser was recorded by an in-car video camera and properly presented to a federal jury, a panel of judges decided in a matter of first impression for the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
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7th Circuit dismisses case because dispute arose after lawsuit was filed

January 5, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A man who claimed State Farm Insurance Co. owed him a higher rate of interest and attorney fees had his case dismissed because the controversy did not exist when the lawsuit began.
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Tax Court: Alleged puppy mill owner wrongly denied refund

January 5, 2015
The Indiana Department of Revenue improperly denied a refund of the value of 240 dogs seized by the state from an alleged Harrison County puppy mill, the Indiana Tax Court ruled Dec. 31.
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COA affirms neighbor’s notice to court about survey is sufficient

December 31, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a man’s challenge to the denial of his motion to correct error regarding the introduction of a survey reflecting a property line by his neighbor. The case was the result of a boundary dispute.
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Company owed no duty to woman injured by employee after work

December 31, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed Wednesday that a northwest Indiana steel producer did not owe a duty to a woman injured in a car accident caused by an employee as he drove home from his shift. 
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Driver’s lack of appellee brief reinstates license revocation

December 30, 2014
Dave Stafford
A motorist who won a trial court judgment vacating the suspension of his driver’s license didn’t file a brief when the Bureau of Motor Vehicles appealed the decision and, therefore, lost his challenge of the BMV action.
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COA affirms judgment for seller in voided land deal

December 30, 2014
Dave Stafford
Sellers of property that had been designated as the second phase of a Gatorade distribution facility in Hendricks County were properly awarded specific performance of a contract to sell the land after the buyer backed out, the Court of Appeals held.
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Pulling a switcheroo leads to felony conviction

December 30, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A man who switched seats to help a friend failed to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that he unknowingly put himself in the hot seat.
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  1. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  2. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  3. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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