Court opinions

Judges affirm man’s handgun conviction

January 18, 2017
Jennifer Nelson
A Vanderburgh Circuit judge tendered a proper jury instruction on the charge of carrying a handgun without a license, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday in affirming a man’s conviction.
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Trial court erred in granting new trial in electrocution estate dispute

January 18, 2017
Dave Stafford
A trial court erred in ordering a new trial after a jury returned a general verdict in favor of the estate of an electrician who wired a barn where a teenager was electrocuted in 2010, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.
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Trial court abused discretion in ordering indigent juvenile to pay restitution

January 17, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Marion Superior Court erred when it ordered a juvenile delinquent to pay restitution to his theft victim after the court noted in its dispositional order that the juvenile offender was unable to pay, the Indiana Court of Appeals found Tuesday.
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Electronic copies of warrants are equal to paper copies

January 17, 2017
Olivia Covington
An electronic version of a signed search warrant is legally considered the equivalent of a paper warrant, the Indiana Court of Appeals has held, so a man’s constitutional rights were not violated when an officer drew his blood after showing him only a photo of a warrant in an email.
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Courts cannot force contact with extended family members other than grandparents

January 17, 2017
Olivia Covington
Courts do not have the authority to force parents to allow their children to have contact with members of their extended family, aside from grandparents, the Indiana Court of Appeals decided Tuesday.
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Justices consider PCR waiver in death penalty case

January 12, 2017
Olivia Covington
After a public defender failed to secure a statutorily required signature on Kevin Isom’s petition for post-conviction relief, Isom, a convicted murderer who has been sentenced to death, lost confidence in his legal team. He refused to provide his signature after the error was discovered, vowing not to sign unless he was appointed new counsel.
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COA vacates arbitration award for lack of agreement

January 12, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals vacated an arbitration award Thursday after determining that an arbitration agreement did not exist, thus making the arbitration proceedings between a Lake County couple and an automotive company pointless.
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Couple who claim bank's actions led to their divorce lose appeal

January 11, 2017
Jennifer Nelson
An Indiana attorney and her ex-husband couldn’t convince the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals that a bank violated the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act with regards to an errant insurance payment and that alleged error led to their divorce and caused $300,000 in damages.
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COA: Revocation of sex offender’s probation was not an abuse of discretion

January 11, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Harrison Superior Court did not abuse its discretion when it revoked a convicted sex offender’s probation after he contacted people under 18 years of age and lived within one mile of his victim in violation of the terms of his probation, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday.
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COA upholds child support order in peculiar case involving non-biological son

January 11, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
A divorce involving a troubled husband, unfaithful wife and a 12-year lie unraveled into a child support and paternity dispute that ended with a split Indiana Court of Appeals ordering the non-biological father to provide financial assistance. Any other ruling, the majority reasoned, would leave the minor without a dad.
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Divided COA rules in favor of Pence in public records case

January 9, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals has upheld a trial court decision finding that former Indiana Gov. and Vice President-elect Mike Pence did not violate open records laws when he redacted and withheld certain documents related to his decision to join a Texas lawsuit challenging federal executive orders on immigration.
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COA reverses drug convictions for unreasonable ‘military-style assault’

January 6, 2017
Olivia Covington
A “military-style assault” on an Evansville home was unreasonable, a divided Indiana Court of Appeals held Friday, reversing a man’s various felony and misdemeanor drug convictions.
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7th Circuit: Umbrella commercial policies’ UIM coverage must reach limits

January 4, 2017
Dave Stafford
A man who was seriously injured in a vehicle crash while driving for his job won a reversal of a federal court ruling in the insurance company’s favor Tuesday.
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7th Circuit affirms Indiana’s ban on robocalls

January 4, 2017
Dave Stafford
A political organization that argued Indiana’s ban on telephone robocalls disfavored political speech and was content discrimination got a terse reply from the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Tuesday.
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Man can't seek relief for murder conviction after robbery resentencing

January 4, 2017
Olivia Covington
An inmate convicted of murder and attempted robbery cannot be granted habeas relief for the murder conviction because the statute of limitations for that conviction under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act had passed, despite a resentencing on the robbery charge, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals decided Tuesday.<
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Federal statute of limitations does not preempt state statute in collections action

January 3, 2017
Olivia Covington
The United States Congress’ purpose in passing the Interstate Commerce Commission Termination Act was not to preempt state statutes of limitations, the Indiana Supreme Court held Tuesday, so an 18-month federal statute of limitations cannot bar a transportation company’s collections claim against an Indiana manufacturer.
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Property contract with no-cheating clause enforceable

January 3, 2017
Olivia Covington
A Jefferson County woman must convey her assets in a property she shared with her ex-boyfriend after she became pregnant by another man in breach of a contract she signed with the ex-boyfriend, the Indiana Court of Appeals found Friday.
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Owners of flooded house lose appeal in suit against Valparaiso

January 3, 2017
Jennifer Nelson
A couple whose home near a water retention and detention facility was flooded in 2008 when the city of Valparaiso experienced a 200-year storm are not able to assert a private cause of action under Indiana’s Flood Control Act, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed Friday.
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COA: Court properly denied motion to set aside default judgment

January 3, 2017
Jennifer Nelson
A company being sued for negligence failed to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that the default judgment entered against it in the matter should be overturned.
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Assessor waived objection to untimely filing of record

January 3, 2017
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Tax Court on Friday determined that a northern Indiana assessor’s office waived its objection to a late-filed certified administrative record in a tax appeal, ruling that an objection must be made before the merits of a case have been furthered.
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Former IDEM employee’s unlawful termination case can continue

December 29, 2016
Olivia Covington
A former Indiana state employee can continue her case against the Indiana Department of Environmental Management after the Court of Appeals decided Thursday that her unlawful termination complaint stated a claim upon which relief can be granted and that sovereign immunity cannot apply.
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Granddaughter can continue to seek guardianship of grandfather

December 29, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals is allowing a granddaughter to continue seeking guardianship over her grandfather after determining that the trial court erroneously dismissed her guardianship petition.
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COA: Trial court’s erroneous statement did not change terms of plea agreement

December 29, 2016
Olivia Covington
A man convicted of drug-related charges must adhere to the waiver of his right  to appeal his sentence as part of his plea deal after the Indiana Court of Appeals found Thursday that the trial court’s erroneous statement did not change the terms of that agreement.
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Gun evidence admissibility divides Court of Appeals

December 29, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
In a “he said, she said” case before the Indiana Court of Appeals Thursday, the judges were divided on whether admission of a gun into evidence prejudiced a woman’s convictions of resisting law enforcement and battery against a public safety official and her boyfriend’s battery conviction.
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Appeals court finds judge complied with credit-restricted felon statute

December 29, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
In an issue of first impression, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled that an Elkhart Superior judge’s advisement to a convicted child molester that she is a credit-restricted felon substantially complied with statute.
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