Court opinions

Justices: Pattern Jury Instruction 9.05 is correct statement of law

October 30, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Clearing up confusion among the courts as to whether a jury instruction regarding the definition of “intentionally” can include that the defendant intended to “cause the result” of his conduct, the Indiana Supreme Court affirmed Pattern Jury Instruction 9.05 represents a correct statement of the law.
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Court orders more proceedings on injured subcontractor’s negligence lawsuit

October 29, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Finding genuine issues of material fact exist in a negligence lawsuit as to the general contractor’s role in a subcontractor’s injury, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed summary judgment and ordered further proceedings.
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Justices reverse judgment for defendants in suit involving student’s death

October 29, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court has ordered further proceedings in a negligence lawsuit filed by the parents of a special needs student who died after choking on her lunch at school. The justices found there are questions as to whether the parents complied with tort claim notice requirements, so judgment in favor of the defendants is not proper.
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Court affirms dismissal of lawsuit alleging malicious prosecution

October 29, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the decision to dismiss a man’s Section 1983 lawsuit claiming malicious prosecution by a police officer and bank, finding the man never presented a viable constitutional violation to support the claim.
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Owner not entitled to more cash for building destroyed by fire

October 29, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed that the owner of a building leased to a Bloomington pet shop that was destroyed by a fire in 2008 is only entitled to the actual cash value of the building and not the replacement cost.
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Court adopts case-by-case approach in subrogation issue

October 28, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals, after skirting around the issue in 2012, decided that Indiana should use the case-by-case approach to address subrogation claims of landlords’ insurers against negligent tenants.
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Children should remain in home despite grandmother’s felony conviction

October 28, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found I.C. 31-19-11-1(c) to be unconstitutional as applied and upheld the adoption of two boys by their maternal grandmother. The judges held that her 1997 felony conviction for neglect of a dependent should not automatically bar her from adopting the children.
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Police had probable cause to arrest man at library for child porn possession

October 28, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Even though a man’s possession of child pornography charge was eventually dismissed, his arrest on the matter at a Bloomington library led to other charges. The Court of Appeals Tuesday affirmed the denial of Paul Allen Decker’s motion to suppress, in which he claimed any evidence stemming from that arrest must be suppressed.
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Defense counsel’s move to prosecutor’s side doesn’t require special prosecutor

October 28, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a man’s 60-year sentence for shooting and killing his girlfriend after an argument, rejecting his claim that a special prosecutor should have been appointed in his case after his defense counsel took a job with the prosecutor’s office.
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COA dismisses appeal that gave man ‘second bite at apple’

October 28, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals dismissed a case in which the trial court set aside a previous judgment in order to have a chance to get a new appeal. When doing so, the trial court noted, “hopefully the Court of Appeals wouldn’t frown upon” the judge who did that.
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7th Circuit reverses 2 special conditions with bank fraud conviction

October 28, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The government conceded that a man convicted for using fraudulently produced credit cards should not be subjected to suspicionless searches and seizures by authorities, so the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed that condition of his supervised release.
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Judges affirm DOE can counterclaim for repayment of student loans

October 28, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with the lower court that the U.S. Department of Education’s counterclaim for loan repayment, filed in a man’s lawsuit seeking to not have to repay his student loans, is not barred.
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COA agrees sellers must pay $280,000 in damages for ‘downright dangerous’ home

October 27, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A couple who sold a house they built themselves that contained numerous structural issues is on the hook for $280,000 to the buyers of the home. The Court of Appeals found that the sellers made misrepresentations on their real estate sales disclosure form.
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Judges affirm Indiana retailer owes Levi’s $315,000 after violating policies

October 27, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
An Indiana company that operates a website selling jeans must pay Levi Strauss North America more than $315,000 after the company violated Levi’s Internet policies for distributors.
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Judges reject property owner’s interpretation of tax sale statute

October 24, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed that the purchaser of property in a tax sale substantially complied with the statutory requirement that the owner of record is notified about the buyer’s intent to petition for a tax deed.
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COA affirms seizure of gun from apartment without search warrant

October 22, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed a man’s misdemeanor handgun charge after finding the police did not need a search warrant to retrieve the gun after the man placed it inside an apartment in view of the officers.
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COA: Bank should be allowed to intervene in foreclosure matter

October 22, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the denial of JPMorgan Chase Bank’s motion to intervene in a homeowners association’s attempt to foreclose on a home to fulfill a judgment. The COA found that the bank did not have actual notice of a pending action against the homeowner in 2007, as the association argued.
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COA: Gas station did not commit spoliation regarding mat

October 22, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a lower court’s decision to not instruct a jury in a personal injury action regarding the spoliation of evidence. Margaret Dawson, the injured party, had ample time to inspect the mat she tripped on before the store replaced it.
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Majority reverses termination of incarcerated father’s parental rights

October 22, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Finding the state did not prove that the parental rights of a man – who learned he was a father while incarcerated pending trial – should be terminated, two of the three judges on a Court of Appeals panel reversed.
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Judges say Circuit split requires clarification from sentencing commission

October 22, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A panel of judges on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a man’s 117-month prison sentence on drug and weapons charges, but two judges believed the case should have been heard en banc based on the importance of a sentencing issue.
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Court reverses $1,660 attorney fee award in parenting time action

October 22, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Because there is nothing in the record to show the court considered the resources of the parties when it awarded a guardian $1,660 in attorney fees, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed Wednesday.
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Daughter’s cheating negates father’s obligation to pay for college

October 22, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Finding that the “F” a Purdue University student received after her teacher discovered the student plagiarized comments from other students amounted to disciplinary action from the school, the Indiana Court of Appeals upheld the decision that her father no longer had to pay a portion of her school expenses based on a previous court order.
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Officers’ entry into home to chase bloodied dog unreasonable, justices rule

October 22, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that drug evidence obtained by police after they entered a home without a warrant to capture an aggressive dog should not have been admitted at the defendant’s trial. The justices held the search violated Article I, Section 11 of the Indiana Constitution.
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Split COA reverses denial of post-conviction relief

October 21, 2014
Dave Stafford
A defense attorney’s failure to raise the consecutive sentencing limitation prejudiced his client, the majority of a Court of Appeals panel ruled, reversing denial of post-conviction relief for a man convicted of multiple burglaries. The court remanded for resentencing to trim six years off a 28-year prison term.
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Error in admitting drug conviction was harmless, 7th Circuit rules

October 20, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Although a witness’s changed testimony did not open the door wide enough to allow the introduction of a defendant’s prior drug record, the prosecution’s case was still substantial without the improper evidence so the defendant’s federal conviction will stand.
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  1. What is this, the Ind Supreme Court thinking that there is a separation of powers and limited enumerated powers as delegated by a dusty old document? Such eighteen century thinking, so rare and unwanted by the elites in this modern age. Dictate to us, dictate over us, the massess are chanting! George Soros agrees. Time to change with times Ind Supreme Court, says all President Snows. Rule by executive decree is the new black.

  2. I made the same argument before a commission of the Indiana Supreme Court and then to the fedeal district and federal appellate courts. Fell flat. So very glad to read that some judges still beleive that evidentiary foundations matter.

  3. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  4. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

  5. I will agree with that as soon as law schools stop lying to prospective students about salaries and employment opportunities in the legal profession. There is no defense to the fraudulent numbers first year salaries they post to mislead people into going to law school.

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