Court opinions

Justices uphold convictions in second trial after partial deadlock

January 15, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court Thursday upheld the convictions of a man involved in a fatal drunken-driving crash. The defendant was retried on all charges after a jury convicted him on some counts and deadlocked on others.
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$1.8M verdict against Walgreen for pharmacist’s data breach stands

January 15, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected Thursday several claims raised by Walgreen Co. on rehearing, holding that the company and its pharmacists are liable for damages sustained by the plaintiff after the pharmacist divulged her prescription records to a third party.
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Counsel’s ‘risky’ trial strategy is not considered ineffective

January 15, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A trial attorney who decided to pursue a trial strategy in a theft case that did not request a jury instruction on the lesser-include offense of criminal conversion did not provide ineffective assistance of counsel, the Court of Appeals ruled.
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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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