Court opinions

COA calls for guidance on social media use during criminal trials

August 24, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
In affirming that a man was not deprived due process when the media live tweeted during his murder trial, the Indiana Court of Appeals noted that it’s time for the judicial branch to address social media use concerns.
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Outlaws member denied motorcycle club’s seized property

August 24, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
A member of the Outlaws Motorcycle Club who wanted to intervene in a forfeiture action involving paraphernalia bearing the Outlaws insignia couldn’t convince the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals that a federal court was incorrect in denying his motions.
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Court divided over stop of man in movie theater

August 24, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
By a 2-1 vote, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the denial of an Indianapolis man’s motion to suppress a handgun found on him after officers questioned him in a lobby of a movie theater. The majority ruled the officers had no reasonable suspicion to justify the investigatory stop.
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COA affirms officer’s stop of teen involved in mall ruckus

August 24, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
A police officer had reasonable suspicion to stop and search a teen at an Indianapolis mall on Black Friday last year whom was believed to be involved in a shouting match with another group of people in a department store, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed.
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COA upholds restraining order against man who threatened mother’s caretakers

August 24, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
A Clark County man’s behavior qualified as a credible threat of violence with respect to three employees of the assisted living facility where his mother lived, so the trial court correctly issued workplace violence restraining orders on their behalf, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed.
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DOC, trial court errors lead to reversal of parole revocation

August 23, 2016
Dave Stafford
A longtime criminal who was convicted of violating his parole on an attempted robbery sentence was deprived a hearing on a corrected record and therefore is entitled to post-conviction relief, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
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COA advice: Leave affirmation out of jury instructions

August 23, 2016
Dave Stafford
A man’s convictions of battery and disorderly conduct will stand, but the Indiana Court of Appeals cautioned trial courts that including law enforcement affirmations in jury instructions should not, calling the practice “undesirable and completely avoidable.”
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Split COA reverses sex conviction on ‘Romeo and Juliet’ grounds

August 22, 2016
The majority of a Court of Appeals panel reversed the conviction of a young man who claimed he was wrongly denied an opportunity to present Indiana’s “Romeo and Juliet” law as an affirmative defense to a charge of sexual misconduct with a minor.
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City owes man legal fees for ‘meritless, possibly frivolous’ case

August 22, 2016
Dave Stafford
The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department and the city’s Office of Corporation Counsel pursued a ‘wholly meritless, possibly frivolous argument’ in a public-records case, the Court of Appeals ruled Monday. The city will pay the legal fees of a man who sued to obtain records after he was denied.
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Appeals panel overturns man’s trespass conviction

August 22, 2016
Dave Stafford
An Indianapolis man who had lived with his father with the consent of the senior apartment complex where he resided should not have been convicted of trespass after he was ordered to leave, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled in overturning a bench trial verdict.
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Dissent: PO reversal ‘insulates’ domestic violence perpetrators

August 19, 2016
Dave Stafford
An ex-husband’s actions that prompted a woman to get a protective order against him did not constitute stalking or threatening behavior sufficient to warrant the court order, the majority of an Indiana Court of Appeals panel ruled Friday. A dissenting judge warned the holding “insulates perpetrators of domestic violence” who threaten friends or associates of former partners.
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Imam, Islamic Society entitled to fees from deposed member

August 19, 2016
Dave Stafford
A man who was drummed out of the Islamic Society of Michiana’s board of directors filed a combative, confusing brief demonstrating bad faith when he appealed a trial court’s dismissal of his pro se suit seeking $5.2 million in damages. Now he’s on the hook for damages.
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COA: Live-in girlfriend asked to leave didn’t trespass

August 19, 2016
Dave Stafford
A woman who accepted a man’s offer to live in his home and who soon became his lover should not have been convicted of trespass for refusing to leave when he tried to kick her out, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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COA: No error in admitting post-accident reports at negligence trial

August 18, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
Dealing with the question for the first time in a negligence case involving a fired truck driver, the Indiana Court of Appeals decided that a post-incident investigation is not an inadmissible subsequent remedial measure.
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Plea deal didn’t prevent government from referencing hostage incident

August 18, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a man’s claim that the government was barred by his plea agreement from mentioning a hostage situation that occurred several days prior to his arrest on drug and firearm charges.
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Warrantless inventory search of vehicle not unreasonable, COA holds

August 17, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
Despite a police officer’s failure to strictly follow relevant procedures for completing a written inventory of items found in an impounded car, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed that the warrantless search of the car was not unreasonable.
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Nurse to face criminal charges for prescriptions issued at drug clinic

August 16, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
A registered nurse at a Wayne County clinic that treated those with addictions will face criminal charges for her role in handing out prescriptions prepared outside the usual course of professional medical practice. The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the dismissal of those charges that was based on the fact she was not a doctor.
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Court grants habeas writ in case involving repealed drug statute

August 15, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
A man convicted of Class A felony possession of three grams of cocaine within 1,000 feet of a “youth program center” in March 2008 will either be released from prison or resentenced after the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals granted his habeas corpus petition.
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COA affirms woman in same-sex relationship legal parent of child

August 15, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals on Monday affirmed a trial court’s conclusion that a lesbian couple who entered into a registered domestic partnership in California should be treated like married spouses. As such, the judges affirmed the award of joint legal custody and parenting time to the non-biological parent after the couple broke up.
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6 years after finding flaws in disability benefits case, 7th Circuit remands again

August 10, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
Fifteen years after a woman first applied for disability benefits based on degenerative disk disease, obesity, depression, and other ailments, she continues to fight the denial of benefits by the Social Security Administration. On Tuesday, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ordered the SSA take another look at her case, the second time it has done so.
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Patel decision restricts feticide prosecutions

August 10, 2016
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals holds the Legislature didn’t intend feticide charges for pregnant women.
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COA splits over earliest, latest possible release dates

August 9, 2016
Dave Stafford
Two of three judges on an Indiana Court of Appeals panel urged lawmakers to revisit a requirement that trial courts advise convicts of their earliest and latest possible release dates, but a third judge dismissed the majority’s position that the requirement “imposes an impracticable burden on our trial courts.
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Pro se inmate wins appeal of sentence modification

August 5, 2016
Dave Stafford
An inmate’s pro se legal briefs arguing for a modification of his 70-year drug sentence impressed the Indiana Court of Appeals, who granted him another chance to make his case that he deserves leniency as a model prisoner who made the best of his time behind bars.
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Murderer deprived court record gets new shot at relief

August 5, 2016
Dave Stafford
A man convicted of killing a female co-worker whose skeletal remains were found in a Johnson County marsh was denied an opportunity to use the court record to plead his counsel was ineffective as he sought post-conviction relief, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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COA affirms probation revocation

August 5, 2016
Dave Stafford
A man failed to persuade the Indiana Court of Appeals that revocation of his probation on a drug charge was barred by the doctrine of res judicata because his placement in community corrections had already been revoked.
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  1. He TIL team,please zap this comment too since it was merely marking a scammer and not reflecting on the story. Thanks, happy Monday, keep up the fine work.

  2. You just need my social security number sent to your Gmail account to process then loan, right? Beware scammers indeed.

  3. The appellate court just said doctors can be sued for reporting child abuse. The most dangerous form of child abuse with the highest mortality rate of any form of child abuse (between 6% and 9% according to the below listed studies). Now doctors will be far less likely to report this form of dangerous child abuse in Indiana. If you want to know what this is, google the names Lacey Spears, Julie Conley (and look at what happened when uninformed judges returned that child against medical advice), Hope Ybarra, and Dixie Blanchard. Here is some really good reporting on what this allegation was: http://media.star-telegram.com/Munchausenmoms/ Here are the two research papers: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0145213487900810 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0145213403000309 25% of sibling are dead in that second study. 25%!!! Unbelievable ruling. Chilling. Wrong.

  4. Mr. Levin says that the BMV engaged in misconduct--that the BMV (or, rather, someone in the BMV) knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged fees but did nothing to correct the situation. Such misconduct, whether engaged in by one individual or by a group, is called theft (defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the other person of the property's value or use). Theft is a crime in Indiana (as it still is in most of the civilized world). One wonders, then, why there have been no criminal prosecutions of BMV officials for this theft? Government misconduct doesn't occur in a vacuum. An individual who works for or oversees a government agency is responsible for the misconduct. In this instance, somebody (or somebodies) with the BMV, at some time, knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged. What's more, this person (or these people), even after having the error of their ways pointed out to them, did nothing to fix the problem. Instead, the overcharges continued. Thus, the taxpayers of Indiana are also on the hook for the millions of dollars in attorneys fees (for both sides; the BMV didn't see fit to avail itself of the services of a lawyer employed by the state government) that had to be spent in order to finally convince the BMV that stealing money from Indiana motorists was a bad thing. Given that the BMV official(s) responsible for this crime continued their misconduct, covered it up, and never did anything until the agency reached an agreeable settlement, it seems the statute of limitations for prosecuting these folks has not yet run. I hope our Attorney General is paying attention to this fiasco and is seriously considering prosecution. Indiana, the state that works . . . for thieves.

  5. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.

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