Court opinions

COA awards summary judgment to city in mountain bike liability case

March 23, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals granted summary judgment in favor of the city of Indianapolis and Indy Parks and Recreation department after determining that the city was not liable for injuries sustained by a mountain biker as he was riding on a city-owned trail.
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Cheerleading uniform copyrights backed by US Supreme Court

March 22, 2017
 Bloomberg News
The U.S. Supreme Court upheld an apparel company’s copyrights on its cheerleading outfits in a ruling that bolsters the legal protections for pictures and graphic designs.
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SCOTUS bolsters rights of learning-disabled students

March 22, 2017
 Associated Press
A unanimous Supreme Court of the United States on Wednesday bolstered the rights of millions of learning-disabled students in a ruling that requires public schools to offer special education programs that meet higher standards.
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Parents lose constitutional challenge of post-secondary school expenses

March 22, 2017
Jennifer Nelson
Bound by precedent, the Indiana Court of Appeals declined to find the statute allowing courts to impose post-secondary educational expenses on divorced parents is unconstitutional. The parents had argued the statute needs another look.
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COA rules park with no playground cannot enhance drug conviction

March 22, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
A split Indiana Court of Appeals, divided over whether a park with no trees, no playground equipment and no benches could attract children during a school day, reversed a man’s conviction for Level 4 felony dealing in methamphetamine.
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Overruling COA, justices decide Florida law group must face suit

March 21, 2017
Dave Stafford
A Florida law group that hired several Indiana attorneys to represent clients in foreclosures and bankruptcies must face a civil lawsuit, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Tuesday.
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Adjudicating on different CHINS petition allowed under Trial Rule 15(B), COA rules

March 21, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
A troubled teenager found to be a child in need of services was properly adjudicated even though the juvenile court ruled the state did not meet its burden in proving the basis of its CHINS petition.
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Appeals court reverses CHINS finding

March 21, 2017
Dave Stafford
A trial court erred in declaring a boy in the custody of his father to be a child in need of services on account of his meth-abusing mother, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
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7th Circuit affirms summary judgment to jail health care providers

March 21, 2017
Olivia Covington
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment to a county jail healthcare provider and his employer Monday after finding that the inmate bringing the malpractice claims against the providers failed to prove that his care was objectively unreasonable.
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COA orders new attempted murder trial

March 17, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals has ordered a new trial in a Greene County attempted murder case after finding the trial court incorrectly applied the standard of a “knowing” mens rea, rather than a “specific intent to kill.”
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Supreme Court: Man allowed to view video of controlled drug buy with informant

March 17, 2017
Olivia Covington
A Vigo County man facing drug charges will now be able to review a video of a controlled drug buy between himself and an informant after the Indiana Supreme Court decided Friday that the disclosure of the video would be relevant and helpful to his case.
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Dissent: Teen killer’s 110-year sentence warrants review

March 17, 2017
Dave Stafford
A man who was convicted of murdering two people in an East Chicago confrontation in 1996 when he was 16 is entitled by subsequent U.S. Supreme Court rulings to a fresh look at his sentence, a dissenting 7th Circuit Court of Appeals judge wrote.
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Insurance company wasn’t required to cover late claim

March 16, 2017
Olivia Covington
An insurance company was not required to defend an Indiana doctor in a medical malpractice case because the applicable insurance policy had expired before the insurer received notice of the claim.
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Teen’s felony murder conviction upheld

March 16, 2017
Olivia Covington
An man’s felony murder conviction in Elkhart County will stand after the Indiana Court of Appeals held Thursday there was sufficient evidence to support it and that the trial court did not err in instructing the jury.
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COA: Mother denied right to counsel in adoption proceeding

March 16, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed a Johnson County adoption after finding the mother was denied due process when the adoption court found that she had waived her right to counsel.
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COA rejects ineffective counsel claim based on judge’s sentencing practices

March 15, 2017
Olivia Covington
A man who pleaded guilty to child molesting cannot prove that he received ineffective assistance of trial counsel, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday, but the post-conviction court must still address the issue of whether his plea was voluntary.
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Woman may amend tortious interference claim against Allison Transmission

March 15, 2017
Olivia Covington
A woman who alleges that an Indianapolis company contributed to her employment termination may continue her defamation claim against the company and amend her tortious interference claim pursuant to Indiana trial rules, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled.
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Justices uphold St. Joseph County foreclosure

March 14, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Supreme Court has ruled in favor of a mortgage company that foreclosed on a St. Joseph County couple’s home, holding that although the couple’s personal liability was discharged under Chapter 7 liquidation, the lien on the property was still an enforceable action.
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COA orders post-conviction court to reduce criminal confinement sentence

March 14, 2017
Olivia Covington
A man who pleaded guilty to criminal confinement will have his sentence reduced by eight years after the Indiana Court of Appeals held Tuesday that his trial attorney’s erroneous counsel led the man to make the decision to reject a previous plea agreement.
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Trial court must reconsider convicted murderer’s PCR petition

March 14, 2017
Olivia Covington
A convicted murderer facing life without parole in Franklin County is getting a second chance at post-conviction relief after the Indiana Court of Appeals found Tuesday the trial court did not consider all the post-conviction claims properly before it.
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Judges uphold dismissal of motion to set aside dissolution decree

March 10, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals has rejected a LaPorte County man’s appeal of the dismissal of his motion to set aside a dissolution decree, finding he did not follow the proper procedure to have his motion heard.
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COA affirms summary judgment to GEICO in parking lot altercation

March 10, 2017
Olivia Covington
Summary judgment was properly granted to an insurance company that declined to cover the cost of a judgment entered against one of its clients because the client did not have an “active relationship” with the insured vehicle at the time of the incident, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Friday.
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Trial court had no statutory authority to impose second public defender fee

March 10, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Marion Superior Court abused its discretion in imposing a second supplemental public defender fee on an indigent litigant because it lacked statutory authority to impose the fee, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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COA orders transfer of state habeas petition to Monroe County

March 10, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Henry Circuit Court must transfer a man’s petition for writ of state habeas corpus to Monroe County, where the man was convicted, after the Indiana Court of Appeals held Friday that Indiana Post-Conviction rules require the petition to be considered in the conviction court.
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7th Circuit affirms denial of insurance coverage to Carmel communications group

March 10, 2017
Olivia Covington
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of insurers who denied coverage to a Carmel-based communications company, finding that the communications group’s claims were properly denied and that it cannot split its claims against the insurers through two separate lawsuits.
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