Court opinions

Appeals court concerned about fee-shifting provisions in domestic relations cases

December 22, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a trial court’s decision to not award a mother attorney fees despite the inclusion of a fee-shifting provision in her divorce settlement. In doing so, the appeals court pointed out how these provisions may go against public policy.
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COA rules in contentious attorney fees case

December 22, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals had harsh words for the three lawyers involved in a protracted, unprofessional legal battle over attorney fees owed in a breach of contract lawsuit against Lake Station, Indiana.
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7th Circuit orders new resentencing hearing

December 21, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A man who appealed the parts of his Section 2255 proceeding that were denied, as well as his new criminal judgment entered on rehearing, will be getting a new sentencing hearing, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals determined Monday.
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COA: Breath test properly admitted

December 21, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A man convicted of drunken-driving failed to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that the state did not prove that the chemicals used in his breath test equipment were certified under Indiana administrative rules.
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Judge believes restitution order properly entered

December 21, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
An Indiana Court of Appeals judge dissented from his colleagues Monday in a case in which the majority reversed the court-ordered $3,600 in restitution for a coin sale that turned out to be fraudulent. The dissenting judge also raised public policy concerns about requiring victims to appear at sentencing hearings.
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7th Circuit divided over injunction in defamation case

December 18, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Friday found an injunction issued in a case involving religious artifacts and defamation claims was entirely too broad and threatened to silence the defendants completely. But the judges were split over whether the district court should be able to modify the injunction.
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Monarch Beverage again fails in liquor distribution suit

December 17, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Monarch Beverage Company’s arguments that Indiana alcohol wholesale laws are discriminatory fell flat at the Indiana Court of Appeals, marking the second time this week that attempts to overturn the state’s statutes regarding booze failed.
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COA strikes sentence about laughing jurors in footnote

December 16, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
That jurors laughed at times during a handwriting expert’s testimony in a case contesting probate of a will has been removed from the official court opinion. The Court of Appeals made the move in a rehearing opinion issued Wednesday.
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Justices affirm ruling for school in fired principal’s suit

December 16, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
An elementary school principal whose administrator’s contract was canceled after school officials learned of his affair with a teacher received constitutional due process in his termination proceedings, the Indiana Supreme Court affirmed Tuesday.
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ALJ correct in finding nurses, phlebotomists are employees

December 16, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed an administrative law judge’s decision that certain workers were employees of a consulting business, and so the company was liable for additional unemployment taxes.
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Indiana’s cold beer prohibition survives rational-basis review

December 15, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Finding retailers did not meet their burden in attempting to overturn one of Indiana’s quirky alcohol laws, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the state’s limits on the sale of cold beer is not unconstitutional.
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Fraud claims against insurers wrongly dismissed

December 15, 2015
Dave Stafford
Plaintiffs who purchased cash-value life insurance policies for their employees and deducted those contributions on income taxes that were later disallowed were wrongly denied their day in court against the insurers.
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‘Inference of discriminatory motive’ in striking juror not reversible error

December 15, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals noted one of a prosecutor’s reasons for striking a prospective juror in a criminal case “raises an inference of discriminatory motive,” but this was insufficient to reverse a man’s felony resisting law enforcement conviction.
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7th Circuit upholds Indiana’s cold beer law

December 14, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Cold beer will continue to be sold only by licensed liquor stores in Indiana. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld state law that prohibits convenience stores, gas stations and other retailers from selling beer cold.
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Reversal: Host owed duty to guest who died after drinking, fight

December 14, 2015
Dave Stafford
The host of a birthday party for her live-in boyfriend had a duty to render aid to a guest she saw unconscious after he’d been drinking and involved in a fight, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled. The man later died.
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Justices block Alabama court order in lesbian adoption case

December 14, 2015
 Associated Press
The U.S. Supreme Court has sided with a lesbian mother who wants to see her adopted children, blocking an Alabama court's order that declared the adoption invalid.
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High court rejects LA appeal over $5.7M jury award to felon

December 14, 2015
 Associated Press
The justices on Monday let stand a lower court ruling that upheld the award to Robert Contreras, who was left paralyzed after police shot him multiple times when he fled the scene of a drive-by shooting in 2005.
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Speeding ticket tossed because of invalid Carmel ordinance

December 11, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
“Carmel’s wholesale adoption of chapters of Indiana Code resulted in its ordinance being nothing more than a ‘duplicate’ of already existing State law,” Court of Appeals Judge Melissa May wrote.
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Court divided over drug sentence

December 10, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a man’s convictions for making and delivering methamphetamine, but the judges did not agree that the 32-year sentence imposed by the trial court was appropriate.
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Lawyer loses fee appeal against defunct Stewart & Irwin

December 10, 2015
Dave Stafford
A lawyer who claimed his former law firm and its shareholders wrongly withheld fees he was contractually owed lost his appeal of a judgment in the firm's favor Thursday.
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Court: It’s risky to take justice into your own hands

December 10, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Affirming an award of treble damages and remanding for appellate attorney fees, the Indiana Court of Appeals warned in a criminal conversion case Thursday that self-help remedies are perilous and potentially expensive, and it’s best to not take justice into your own hands.
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Circuit court without jurisdiction to grant father’s child support relief

December 10, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Madison Circuit Court 5 did not have jurisdiction to rule on a man’s motion for relief from a child support decision entered by Madison Circuit Court 2, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded Thursday.
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Company not entitled to relief from mortgage foreclosure judgment

December 9, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
An Indiana trial court incorrectly ruled a company was entitled to relief under Indiana Trial Rule 60(B)(6) after deciding a mortgage foreclosure action was void based on who owned interests in the mortgage.
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7th Circuit affirms city blocking strip club plans

December 8, 2015
Dave Stafford
Plans to open a strip club called “Showgirl” in Angola have been blocked for more than three years, but the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals found the city and courts were within their rights to do so.
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Fort Wayne businessman’s statements not defamatory per se

December 7, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The former chancellor of Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne who filed lawsuits after he was required to retire at the age of 65 could not convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that statements in a private letter about him constituted defamation per se.
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