Court opinions

Appeals panel affirms termination of guardianship

May 30, 2017
Dave Stafford
The aunt and uncle of a 5-year-old who were appointed the child’s guardian after the child’s mother was charged with neglect failed to persuade the Indiana Court of Appeals that a trial court had erred in terminating their guardianship.
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Appeals court reinstates grant of petition to relocate easement

May 25, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Town of Ellettsville Plan Commission can move forward with its plan to grant a petition to move an easement after the Indiana Court of Appeals found Thursday the man who owns the easement did not prove the petition was unreasonable.
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COA affirms convictions in nursing home burglary scheme

May 25, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed a man’s various felony theft and burglary convictions after finding there was sufficient evidence to prove he broke into the dwelling of nursing home residents and stole narcotics worth more than $3,000.
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Law firm entitled to $36k in unpaid legal fees, court rules, but not all it sought

May 24, 2017
Jennifer Nelson
A Vincennes firm scored a partial victory in the Indiana Court of Appeals on Wednesday after the court upheld the award of more than $36,000 in unpaid legal fees for guardianship and estate work. The appeals court remanded the case for reconsideration of other collection costs and prejudgment interest awarded.
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COA affirms denial of motion to suppress after prolonged traffic stop

May 22, 2017
Olivia Covington
An Indianapolis police officer did not violate a man’s federal and state constitutional rights when he intentionally prolonged a traffic stop which led to the discovery of paraphernalia in the man’s vehicle, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday. The appellate court found the officer had reasonable suspicion to prolong the stop.
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Man's companion entitled to compensation for services, COA rules

May 19, 2017
Olivia Covington
An Indiana probate court correctly allowed a woman’s partial claim for compensation for 14 years of household and medical services to a man she considered a “loving companion,” the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday, finding the woman had rebutted the presumption her services were gratuitous.
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COA reverses forfeiture against drug offender

May 19, 2017
Olivia Covington
The state must return funds seized from a man convicted of possession of marijuana after the Indiana Court of Appeals found no proof linking the cash to any drug crimes.
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7th Circuit orders Lilly to reinstate ex-employee’s disability benefits

May 19, 2017
Olivia Covington
Eli Lilly and Co. must reinstate disability benefits to its former human resources director after a divided 7th Circuit Court of Appeals found insufficient evidence to support the company’s argument that the former director could still work despite her fibromyalgia symptoms.
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7th Circuit allows inmate’s due process claim to continue

May 11, 2017
Olivia Covington
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed summary judgment against a federal inmate on his constitutional due process claims, finding that the reviews of his prolonged stay in solitary confinement may not pass constitutional muster.
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Relying on video evidence that contradicts trial court is not ‘reweighing,’ justices rule

May 11, 2017
Olivia Covington
An appellate court’s decision to rely on video evidence to reverse a trial court’s findings does not constitute impermissible reweighing of the evidence if the video indisputably contradicts the trial court, the Indiana Supreme Court held Thursday while simultaneously affirming a man’s resisting law enforcement and battery against a law enforcement animal convictions.
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Appeals court vacates multiple domestic violence convictions

May 11, 2017
Dave Stafford
Multiple domestic violence convictions against a man accused of repeatedly beating and choking his wife were vacated Thursday by the Indiana Court of Appeals, along with his adjudication as a habitual offender.
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COA affirms $2.13M award against trucking firm in crash

May 11, 2017
Dave Stafford
A Tippecanoe County jury’s award of $2.13 million in damages to a woman permanently injured in a crash that killed her fiancé was affirmed Thursday by the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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COA: Expert should have testified about personal medical practices

May 11, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
In a case of first impression, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled a patient in a medical malpractice case should have been able to cross-examine the medical expert about his personal medical practices.
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Supreme Court: ‘remoteness’ of prior conviction doesn’t affect admissibility

May 11, 2017
Olivia Covington
Determining that the “remoteness” of a prior offense does not affect the admissibility of evidence at trial, the Indiana Supreme Court has affirmed the award of roughly $2 million in compensatory and punitive damages to a man injured by a drunk driver.
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New Jersey man to get attorney fees, interest in failed real estate deal

May 10, 2017
Olivia Covington
After affirming the denial of summary judgment to northern Indiana landowners who misrepresented a property zoning to a potential buyer, the Indiana Court of Appeals also reversed the denial of attorney fees and prejudgment and post-judgment interest to the buyer.
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COA reverses woman’s conviction for violation of protective order

May 10, 2017
Olivia Covington
A woman who sent an email to the board of elders of her former church did not violate the church pastor’s protective order against her because the email was intended for the elders, not the pastor, a divided Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.
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Supreme Court reverses denial of motion to suppress in gun-tip case

May 10, 2017
Olivia Covington
Evidence of a man’s illegal possession of a handgun must be suppressed at his trial on remand after the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Tuesday the evidence was obtained in violation of constitutional protections.
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Appeals court affirms denial of workers’ comp benefits

May 9, 2017
Olivia Covington
A divided Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed the Indiana Worker’s Compensation Board’s decision to deny workers’ compensation benefits to a man after determining that his medical problems were not related to an on-the-job injury in 2010.
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COA corrects erroneous conclusion in footnote in post-conviction case

May 8, 2017
Olivia Covington
After granting rehearing to correct an error in a footnote of an earlier opinion, the Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed its March decision to give a Franklin County man a second chance at post-conviction relief.
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Supreme Court remands 1995 murder case for new trial

May 5, 2017
A man convicted of murder more than 20 years ago will have a new trial after the Indiana Supreme Court held Friday that his trial counsel performed deficiently and his appeal was not barred by the doctrine of laches.
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COA rejects self-defense claim against battery charge

May 5, 2017
 Associated Press
A man who punched a racer at a southern Indiana racing track cannot claim self-defense to rebut his battery charge because the facts show that the man was the initial aggressor against the racer, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Friday.
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7th Circuit affirms tax fraud convictions

May 5, 2017
Olivia Covington
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed the convictions and sentence of a man convicted on three tax fraud charges, finding that the district court properly excluded evidence of his corporate “meeting minutes.”
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Justices create framework for determining admissibility of immigration status

May 4, 2017
Olivia Covington
After reversing a trial court’s decision to admit a plaintiff’s unauthorized immigrant status as evidence in his case for decreased earning capacity damages, the Indiana Supreme Court laid out a new framework Thursday for determining when immigration status can be admissible.
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COA recommends judge's recusal in remand of motion to contest adoption

May 4, 2017
Olivia Covington
In a 41-page opinion handed down Thursday, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the dismissal of a putative father’s motion to contest adoption, finding that the adoptive parents had caused delays in the court proceedings and also noting that the judge in the case should have recused himself to avoid the appearance of impropriety.
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COA affirms summary judgment to parents in family land dispute

May 4, 2017
Olivia Covington
After a yearslong dispute between northern Indiana parents and their daughter and son-in-law, the Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed the grant of partial summary judgment to the parents, finding that a real estate contract between the two couples was unenforceable.
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