Court opinions

Judges reverse drug charges based on constitutional violation

November 19, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed drug charges against two Bloomington men after finding the police detective’s actions unreasonable. The detectives entered the men’s property while looking for another person despite clear signs of "no trespassing."
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Split COA orders trial for woman injured measuring countertop

November 19, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A divided Indiana Court of Appeals on Wednesday concluded summary judgment was not proper for a home improvement business on a woman’s negligence claim. The customer was injured when a granite countertop propped up outside of the business fell on her foot while she was measuring it.
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7th Circuit reverses summary judgment in prison attack lawsuit

November 18, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Repeatedly drawing attention to the heavily redacted record and scant information about procedures, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals tossed out a summary judgment granted to the government in a lawsuit stemming from a prison yard attack.
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Failure to object to judge in termination case waives argument on appeal

November 18, 2014
Dave Stafford
A father whose parental rights were terminated by the same judge who presided when he was convicted of child molesting and neglect raised the issue on appeal for the first time, therefore waiving the objection, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
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Delay of protection order hearing called ‘disturbing’

November 17, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Court of Appeals called a trial court’s delay in setting a hearing on a petition for a permanent protection order “disturbing” and found the lower court’s denial of the order did not comply with the state’s trial rules.
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Language of trust overrides statutes, COA rules

November 17, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A man’s promise to sue his brother and deplete their father’s trust of its assets resulted in him being ordered to pay $13,166 in attorney fees to the trust.
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Denomination loses appeal in favor of breakaway church

November 17, 2014
Dave Stafford
A church denomination failed to prove to the Indiana Court of Appeals that it was entitled to the property of a congregation that broke away.
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Conviction for hit-and-run fatality affirmed

November 17, 2014
Dave Stafford
The conviction of a driver who struck and killed a woman while she walked on a busy street during a rainstorm was affirmed Monday by the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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COA rules contract with missing elements is still valid

November 14, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A Hamilton County man failed to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that the absence of start and completion dates along with his name rendered his contract with a home improvement company invalid.
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COA reverses judgment for driver in fatality, rules for moped rider’s dad

November 14, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals Friday turned upside down a trial court’s judgment in favor of a driver who collided with a moped rider who died at the scene of the Indianapolis crash in August 2012.
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Lawyer: Affirmed $1.4M judgment against Walgreen sets HIPAA precedent

November 14, 2014
Dave Stafford
A Marion County jury verdict affirmed Friday by the Indiana Court of Appeals upholds a $1.4 million verdict for a Walgreen pharmacy customer whose prescription information was provided to a third party and sets a national precedent, according to the lawyer who argued the case.
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In affirming conviction, justices clarify required meth evidence

November 14, 2014
Dave Stafford
Authorities improperly charged a man with meth manufacturing based on the volume of an intermediate mixture, but other evidence was sufficient to affirm his conviction of Class A felony manufacturing methamphetamine, the Indiana Supreme Court held Thursday.
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Government’s legal error requires another look at convictions

November 13, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The United States government conceded on appeal that its treatment of vehicle titles and license plates as “property” from the perspective of Indiana in order to convict defendants of conspiracy to commit mail or wire fraud was a legal error. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the convictions but did not foreclose the possibility of retrial.
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Agency record required for judicial review of agency action

November 13, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A petitioner seeking judicial review of an agency action must file with the trial court the agency record as defined by the Administrative Orders and Procedures Act. Not doing so will result in dismissal of the petition, the Indiana Supreme Court unanimously ruled Thursday.
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COA upholds order man pay ex-wife’s appellate attorney fees

November 13, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a man’s claim that the same standard for awarding attorney fees should apply regardless of the forum. The judges affirmed the order that he pay his ex-wife’s appellate attorney fees because he is in a better position than she is to pay them.
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School police justified in searching student’s backpack, COA holds

November 13, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The search by school police of a student’s backpack was justified based on a teacher’s suspicion that the backpack may have contained drugs or weapons, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday. The officer’s search turned up a gun.
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Law firm disqualified based on attorney’s previous representation of doctor

November 13, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
In a case involving the conflicts that arise and obligations that remain when lawyers move from one firm to another, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded that a law firm hired to represent plaintiffs in a medical malpractice lawsuit must be disqualified based on an attorney’s prior representation of the doctor being sued.
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Judge urges high court to look at counsel assistance during state psychiatric exam

November 13, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A judge on the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed citing court precedent that a defendant who was to be examined by the state’s expert based on his insanity defense has no right to the presence of counsel during the psychiatric exam. But Judge Terry Crone argues the Indiana Supreme Court needs to take another look at this issue.
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Appeals court upholds burglary conviction but sends matter back to trial court

November 12, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found sufficient evidence to conclude that a man’s house qualified as a dwelling, thereby supporting a defendant’s burglary conviction. But the judges sua sponte reviewed the trial court’s entry of judgment and sentencing order and decided to send the matter back to the lower court.
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COA: Judge should dismiss habeas petition

November 12, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found a Henry County judge erred when he denied an inmate’s petition for habeas corpus challenging a disciplinary decision from the Indiana Department of Correction. The judge should have instead dismissed the petition.
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Mill not entitled to prejudgment interest on breach of contract claim

November 10, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a $36 million award to an East Chicago mill after a braking system failure led to the spillage of molten iron within the shop. But the judges reversed the grant of more than $3 million in prejudgment interest.
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COA: Standard of care same for all doctors

November 10, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled in a medical malpractice claim brought by a former inmate who had gender reassignment surgery that the standard of care for doctors practicing inside prisons is the same as the standard of care for those practicing outside of prison.
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Man convicted of making false statements on gun application to get new trial

November 10, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a Manilla, Indiana, man’s convictions of making false statements in connection with the purchase of a firearm, holding the trial court violated his due process right to present a mistake-of-fact defense.
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Doctrine of continuing wrong not applicable to man’s malpractice claim

November 7, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the denial of summary judgment in favor of a physician and a medical group on a patient’s claim of malpractice after the patient learned his allergic reactions were caused by the disinfectant used by the doctor. The judges held the doctrine of continuing wrong does not apply in this case.
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AG asks court to appoint attorney as receiver of INCASA

November 7, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller has asked a Marion County Court to appoint an attorney as receiver of an Indianapolis-based nonprofit that suspended operations in June due to financial insolvency.
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  1. Whether you support "gay marriage" or not is not the issue. The issue is whether the SCOTUS can extract from an unmentionable somewhere the notion that the Constitution forbids government "interference" in the "right" to marry. Just imagine time-traveling to Philadelphia in 1787. Ask James Madison if the document he and his fellows just wrote allowed him- or forbade government to "interfere" with- his "right" to marry George Washington? He would have immediately- and justly- summoned the Sergeant-at-Arms to throw your sorry self out into the street. Far from being a day of liberation, this is a day of capitulation by the Rule of Law to the Rule of What's Happening Now.

  2. With today's ruling, AG Zoeller's arguments in the cases of Obamacare and Same-sex Marriage can be relegated to the ash heap of history. 0-fer

  3. She must be a great lawyer

  4. Ind. Courts - "Illinois ranks 49th for how court system serves disadvantaged" What about Indiana? A story today from Dave Collins of the AP, here published in the Benton Illinois Evening News, begins: Illinois' court system had the third-worst score in the nation among state judiciaries in serving poor, disabled and other disadvantaged members of the public, according to new rankings. Illinois' "Justice Index" score of 34.5 out of 100, determined by the nonprofit National Center for Access to Justice, is based on how states serve people with disabilities and limited English proficiency, how much free legal help is available and how states help increasing numbers of people representing themselves in court, among other issues. Connecticut led all states with a score of 73.4 and was followed by Hawaii, Minnesota, New York and Delaware, respectively. Local courts in Washington, D.C., had the highest overall score at 80.9. At the bottom was Oklahoma at 23.7, followed by Kentucky, Illinois, South Dakota and Indiana. ILB: That puts Indiana at 46th worse. More from the story: Connecticut, Hawaii, Minnesota, Colorado, Tennessee and Maine had perfect 100 scores in serving people with disabilities, while Indiana, Georgia, Wyoming, Missouri and Idaho had the lowest scores. Those rankings were based on issues such as whether interpretation services are offered free to the deaf and hearing-impaired and whether there are laws or rules allowing service animals in courthouses. The index also reviewed how many civil legal aid lawyers were available to provide free legal help. Washington, D.C., had nearly nine civil legal aid lawyers per 10,000 people in poverty, the highest rate in the country. Texas had the lowest rate, 0.43 legal aid lawyers per 10,000 people in poverty. http://indianalawblog.com/archives/2014/11/ind_courts_illi_1.html

  5. A very thorough opinion by the federal court. The Rooker-Feldman analysis, in particular, helps clear up muddy water as to the entanglement issue. Looks like the Seventh Circuit is willing to let its district courts cruise much closer to the Indiana Supreme Court's shorelines than most thought likely, at least when the ADA on the docket. Some could argue that this case and Praekel, taken together, paint a rather unflattering picture of how the lower courts are being advised as to their duties under the ADA. A read of the DOJ amicus in Praekel seems to demonstrate a less-than-congenial view toward the higher echelons in the bureaucracy.

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