Court opinions

Uncertain of meth’s status, COA tosses syringe conviction

August 4, 2015
Dave Stafford
A man who was convicted of two felonies for injecting himself with methamphetamine should not have been convicted of unlawful possession of a syringe, because it’s unclear whether meth qualifies as a legend drug, a Court of Appeals panel ruled Tuesday.
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Judge’s description not impermissible judicial testimony

August 4, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A Marion County judge who described the testimony to jurors as “heartfelt” did not overstep the prohibition against the judiciary acting as a witness.
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7th Circuit blasts Evansville flash bang search, notes racial factor

August 3, 2015
Dave Stafford
Evansville police “committed too many mistakes to pass the test of reasonableness” in a bungled home search and are not shielded from a federal excessive force lawsuit, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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Denial of disability benefits remanded for better explanation

August 3, 2015
 Associated Press
A rejection of a claimant’s application for disability is being remanded after the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals found the “abstruse signals” in the denial did not sufficiently explain the reasons for disregarding new evidence.
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Victim’s statements were dying declaration, COA rules

July 31, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected the argument that the victim, who was shot multiple times and eventually did die, could not have made a dying declaration because paramedics repeatedly told him he would live.
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No evidence of officer’s injury voids restitution order

July 31, 2015
Dave Stafford
An Indianapolis trial court abused its discretion by ordering a man convicted in a physical altercation with police to pay more than $27,000 in restitution despite a lack of evidence he caused injuries that resulted in those medical bills.
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Insurer off hook in Indy strip club shooting

July 31, 2015
Dave Stafford
A company that insured a westside Indianapolis strip club has no coverage duty for a patron who was shot in the face after an altercation outside the club three years ago, a federal judge has ruled.
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Justices reinstate grandparent visitation COA deemed excessive

July 31, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court Thursday reinstated a trial court’s grandparent visitation order that included monthly overnight visits and other visitation that the Court of Appeals ruled was excessive.
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Justices affirm molestation conviction despite vouching testimony

July 30, 2015
Dave Stafford
A man’s conviction of Class C felony child molestation was affirmed Thursday by the Indiana Supreme Court, which held that even though improper vouching testimony was admitted in error, the defendant failed to preserve the issue for appeal.
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Convictions based on ‘very same behavior’ do not violate double jeopardy

July 30, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A man was unable to overcome heavy precedent and convince the Indiana Supreme Court his convictions violated the state prohibition against double jeopardy.
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Trial court erred in ruling defendant waived counsel

July 30, 2015
Dave Stafford

A defendant who pleaded with a judge to try to obtain possibly exculpatory video evidence he said his public defender refused to seek did not, by his conduct, waive his right to counsel, the Indiana Court of Appeals determined Thursday.

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Tax Court stands by its original decision

July 30, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Reiterating the relationship between exclusion and consumption exemption, the Indiana Tax Court upheld its earlier ruling exempting Aztec Partners LLC from paying sales tax on the electricity it used.
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Rehearing finds defendant can raise additional defenses

July 30, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
In tweaking an earlier reversal, the Indiana Supreme Court has given the defendant the avenue to raise additional unasserted defenses.
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COA hands remonstrators another defeat

July 29, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed another annexation ruling, this time finding the town of Whitestown can move forward with plans to incorporate a portion of Perry Township.
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Litigant misses trial court’s SHOUTING

July 28, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
An Indiana man disputing with an Indiana law firm over the collection of his credit card debt was reminded by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals that capital letters included in a court order should not be ignored.
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Material alteration of terms sufficient for dismissal of foreclosure

July 28, 2015
Dave Stafford
A trial court properly ruled against a financial institution in a mortgage foreclosure action because terms of the surety’s contract were materially altered over time, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
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State must pay legal fees in unclaimed property appeal

July 24, 2015
Dave Stafford
A woman who previously won a federal lawsuit arguing she was entitled to interest on unclaimed property held by the Indiana attorney general’s office also won her claim that the state should pay her legal fees for her initial appeal.
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Unsupported search warrant voids drug conviction

July 24, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals Friday threw out a man’s cocaine dealing conviction, holding that a search warrant that led to charges against him should not have been issued.
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COA: Petitioner entitled to tax deed after completing all steps

July 21, 2015
Dave Stafford
An entity that bought two properties at a tax sale fulfilled all the requisite steps to acquire ownership of the parcels, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled, rejecting an appeal from the trust that previously owned the properties.
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Involuntary commitment vacated for lack of evidence

July 20, 2015
Dave Stafford
An Indianapolis woman was improperly ordered committed for mental illness, but there was insufficient evidence she was gravely disabled, a panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday. The decision further emphasizes the need for clear and convincing evidence of grave disability to support a commitment.
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Reversal: Court wrongly required $1.1M bond in estate spat

July 20, 2015
Dave Stafford
A trial court wrongly ordered an heir to an estate to post a bond of more than $1.1 million for a claim he submitted as he sought to block the sale of the family farm.
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Trial court had discretion in allowing hearsay statements into evidence

July 17, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A trial court, which excused two young girls from testifying against their abuser at trial and instead allowed their prior statements to be admitted into evidence, did not abuse its discretion, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled.
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Reversal: Trial court erred in vacating agreed paternity order

July 16, 2015
Dave Stafford
A Hendricks County trial court erred by disregarding a mother and father’s agreed paternity order, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday, sending the matter back to the trial court. The court affirmed a judgment against father to pay mother’s attorney fees.
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City not liable for injury caused by pothole

July 16, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Court of Appeals split over the extent of governmental immunity after a woman who broke her leg crossing the street sued the city of Beech Grove for negligence.
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Tax Court: IndyGo appeal of $800,000 budget cut may proceed

July 16, 2015
Dave Stafford
IndyGo received the green light to proceed with a Tax Court appeal of about $800,000 in budget cuts the state ordered for the public transportation service in 2012.
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  1. On a related note, I offered the ICLU my cases against the BLE repeatedly, and sought their amici aid repeatedly as well. Crickets. Usually not even a response. I am guessing they do not do allegations of anti-Christian bias? No matter how glaring? I have posted on other links the amicus brief that did get filed (search this ezine, e.g., Kansas attorney), read the Thomas More Society brief to note what the ACLU ran from like vampires from garlic. An Examiner pledged to advance diversity and inclusion came right out on the record and demanded that I choose Man's law or God's law. I wonder, had I been asked to swear off Allah ... what result then, ICLU? Had I been found of bad character and fitness for advocating sexual deviance, what result then ICLU? Had I been lifetime banned for posting left of center statements denigrating the US Constitution, what result ICLU? Hey, we all know don't we? Rather Biased.

  2. It was mentioned in the article that there have been numerous CLE events to train attorneys on e-filing. I would like someone to provide a list of those events, because I have not seen any such events in east central Indiana, and since Hamilton County is one of the counties where e-filing is mandatory, one would expect some instruction in this area. Come on, people, give some instruction, not just applause!

  3. This law is troubling in two respects: First, why wasn't the law reviewed "with the intention of getting all the facts surrounding the legislation and its actual impact on the marketplace" BEFORE it was passed and signed? Seems a bit backwards to me (even acknowledging that this is the Indiana state legislature we're talking about. Second, what is it with the laws in this state that seem to create artificial monopolies in various industries? Besides this one, the other law that comes to mind is the legislation that governed the granting of licenses to firms that wanted to set up craft distilleries. The licensing was limited to only those entities that were already in the craft beer brewing business. Republicans in this state talk a big game when it comes to being "business friendly". They're friendly alright . . . to certain businesses.

  4. Gretchen, Asia, Roberto, Tonia, Shannon, Cheri, Nicholas, Sondra, Carey, Laura ... my heart breaks for you, reaching out in a forum in which you are ignored by a professional suffering through both compassion fatigue and the love of filthy lucre. Most if not all of you seek a warm blooded Hoosier attorney unafraid to take on the government and plead that government officials have acted unconstitutionally to try to save a family and/or rescue children in need and/or press individual rights against the Leviathan state. I know an attorney from Kansas who has taken such cases across the country, arguing before half of the federal courts of appeal and presenting cases to the US S.Ct. numerous times seeking cert. Unfortunately, due to his zeal for the constitutional rights of peasants and willingness to confront powerful government bureaucrats seemingly violating the same ... he was denied character and fitness certification to join the Indiana bar, even after he was cleared to sit for, and passed, both the bar exam and ethics exam. And was even admitted to the Indiana federal bar! NOW KNOW THIS .... you will face headwinds and difficulties in locating a zealously motivated Hoosier attorney to face off against powerful government agents who violate the constitution, for those who do so tend to end up as marginalized as Paul Odgen, who was driven from the profession. So beware, many are mere expensive lapdogs, the kind of breed who will gladly take a large retainer, but then fail to press against the status quo and powers that be when told to heel to. It is a common belief among some in Indiana that those attorneys who truly fight the power and rigorously confront corruption often end up, actually or metaphorically, in real life or at least as to their careers, as dead as the late, great Gary Welch. All of that said, I wish you the very best in finding a Hoosier attorney with a fighting spirit to press your rights as far as you can, for you do have rights against government actors, no matter what said actors may tell you otherwise. Attorneys outside the elitist camp are often better fighters that those owing the powers that be for their salaries, corner offices and end of year bonuses. So do not be afraid to retain a green horn or unconnected lawyer, many of them are fine men and woman who are yet untainted by the "unique" Hoosier system.

  5. I am not the John below. He is a journalist and talk show host who knows me through my years working in Kansas government. I did no ask John to post the note below ...

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