Court opinions

Prosecutor’s ‘continual misconduct’ warrants new molestation trial

June 2, 2014
Dave Stafford
A man’s child molesting convictions were vacated and he was granted a new trial by the Indiana Court of Appeals, which found prosecutorial misconduct amounting to fundamental error. It’s the second reversal and remand attributable to the same prosecutor, the court noted.
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Admitting rifle into evidence not abuse of discretion, COA rules

May 30, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Telling the jury that an assault rifle was found in the car of the defendant did not unduly prejudice the jurors, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled.
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COA affirms remand to prior judge over father’s objection

May 30, 2014
Dave Stafford
A special judge appointed in a paternity case ruled correctly that matters in the case remanded by the Court of Appeals should be heard by the prior judge who heard the evidence, the appellate court held in a second appeal on the matter.
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COA: Hip-replacement tort cases must be heard where implants were done

May 30, 2014
Dave Stafford

Plaintiffs from Mississippi and Virginia may not pursue litigation in Marion County over defective replacement hip devices manufactured in northern Indiana, the Court of Appeals ruled Friday.

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Justifiable reason to stop driver enough to confirm subsequent conviction

May 30, 2014
Dave Stafford
Although a police officer began following a pick-up truck after he mistakenly ran the wrong license plate number, the driver’s conviction will stand because the officer did not initiate the stop until he observed the driver make a traffic violation.
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Justices order further proceedings in underinsured motorist coverage case

May 29, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Because issues of material fact remain regarding the applicable level of underinsured motorist coverage provided by a policy on a semi-tractor trailer, the Indiana Supreme Court reversed summary judgment for the insurance company.
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Man kicked out of community corrections for assaulting inmate loses appeal

May 29, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A community corrections program has the authority to not accept a man after being released from prison because he kicked another inmate in the face while assigned to a community transition program, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Thursday.
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Judges affirm expungement of sheriff deputy’s arrest

May 29, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a trial court’s decision to grant a sheriff deputy’s petition for expungement of his arrest record dealing with four counts of Class D felony theft. His employer argued that he received pay from the police force while working at other jobs.
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Sisters can’t prove brother unduly influenced mother in crafting estate plan

May 29, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the order by a trial court that the execution of an option contract by a woman to her son was enforceable. The woman’s daughters claimed the contract was a result of undue influence.
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Doctor’s statute of limitations defense in med mal claim rejected by justices

May 29, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A doctor who chose to perform just one biopsy instead of two on a woman who later was diagnosed with cervical cancer is not entitled to summary judgment on his defense asserting the medical malpractice statute of limitations, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Wednesday.
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Justices affirm judgment in favor of national fraternity in wrongful death action

May 29, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A national fraternity assumed no duty to protect local chapter pledges and is not vicariously liable for the negligence of local chapter officers and representatives, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Wednesday. The justices affirmed summary judgment for Delta Tau Delta in a wrongful death action brought by a deceased pledge’s family.
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Court affirms Steuben County couple’s 2006 real property assessment

May 29, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A Steuben County couple could not convince the Indiana Tax Court to find that the $292,800 land assessment of their residential property in 2006 was too high.
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Dairy Queen did not discriminate against blind employee

May 28, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment in favor of a firm that operates Dairy Queens in Indianapolis on a former employee’s claim the employer violated the Americans with Disabilities Act.
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Teen must pay for electronic monitoring device through community service

May 28, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld the order by a juvenile court that required a teen who cut off her electronic monitoring device to make restitution for the device through community service.
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Judges reverse convictions due to Batson challenge error

May 28, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A Marion County trial court erred when it overruled a man’s Batson challenge contesting the state’s use of a peremptory challenge to strike an African-American juror, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday. The appeals court overturned Tyrece Robertson’s convictions and ordered a new trial.
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COA orders new hearing due to lack of proof notice was mailed

May 28, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals ordered a new evidentiary hearing on the merits of a woman’s application for unemployment benefits after holding that the Department of Workforce Development didn’t prove that it mailed notice of a hearing to the woman.
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Man’s expungement petition properly denied, COA rules

May 28, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Because a Marion County man admitted to violating the terms of his probation twice, he cannot meet the requirements of the expungement statute, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday, so the trial court properly denied his petition to expunge his conviction.
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Judge upholds 2009 tax year exemption

May 28, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Tax Court rejected the Hamilton County assessor’s claim that a for-profit limited liability company created to purchase office space for its nonprofit tissue donation company should not qualify for a charitable purposes exemption for the 2009 tax year.
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Court must consider man’s motion to prohibit release of criminal record

May 27, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Because a man filed his motion to prohibit the release of his criminal record before the Indiana Legislature repealed the relevant statute, the Indiana Court of Appeals ordered the Hancock Superior Court to consider the motion.
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Court rules in favor of fraternity in lawsuit following assault

May 23, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed summary judgment in favor of a fraternity whose members lived in a Terre Haute private residence where a man visiting for a party was assaulted. The victim claimed the fraternity should be liable because members of the college chapter lived at the home and had some chapter items at the residence.
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Court affirms woman is ‘gravely disabled’ requiring involuntary commitment

May 23, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals declined to reweigh the evidence used to find a woman needed to be involuntarily committed because she was gravely disabled after claiming she was bitten by poisonous spiders in her home for the fourth time.
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Majority finds man entrapped to patronize prostitute

May 23, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a misdemeanor conviction for patronizing a prostitute, with two judges ruling the state was unable to rebut the man’s entrapment defense by showing he had a history of trying to buy sex.
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Judges reverse woman’s resisting law enforcement conviction

May 22, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Opening a police officer’s car door and refusing to place one’s feet inside the car are not acts constituting forcible resistance, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday. The judges reversed a Miami County woman’s conviction of resisting law enforcement.
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Prosecutor’s comments on defendant not testifying don’t require reversal

May 22, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals, in addressing a defendant’s claims of prosecutorial misconduct, found that any misconduct committed was a harmless error and does not require criminal deviate conduct and sexual battery convictions to be overturned.
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Seizure of man’s clothing from hospital not unconstitutional

May 22, 2014
Jennifer Nelson

A detective’s seizure of a bag of clothing worn by a man who was shot – and later considered a suspect in a murder – and the admission of that clothing into evidence did not violate the man’s federal or state constitutional rights, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded Thursday.

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  1. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  2. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

  3. I will agree with that as soon as law schools stop lying to prospective students about salaries and employment opportunities in the legal profession. There is no defense to the fraudulent numbers first year salaries they post to mislead people into going to law school.

  4. The sad thing is that no fish were thrown overboard The "greenhorn" who had never fished before those 5 days was interrogated for over 4 hours by 5 officers until his statement was illicited, "I don't want to go to prison....." The truth is that these fish were measured frozen off shore and thawed on shore. The FWC (state) officer did not know fish shrink, so the only reason that these fish could be bigger was a swap. There is no difference between a 19 1/2 fish or 19 3/4 fish, short fish is short fish, the ticket was written. In addition the FWC officer testified at trial, he does not measure fish in accordance with federal law. There was a document prepared by the FWC expert that said yes, fish shrink and if these had been measured correctly they averaged over 20 inches (offshore frozen). This was a smoke and mirror prosecution.

  5. I love this, Dave! Many congrats to you! We've come a long way from studying for the bar together! :)

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