Court opinions

COA upholds restraining order against man who threatened mother’s caretakers

August 24, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
A Clark County man’s behavior qualified as a credible threat of violence with respect to three employees of the assisted living facility where his mother lived, so the trial court correctly issued workplace violence restraining orders on their behalf, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed.
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DOC, trial court errors lead to reversal of parole revocation

August 23, 2016
Dave Stafford
A longtime criminal who was convicted of violating his parole on an attempted robbery sentence was deprived a hearing on a corrected record and therefore is entitled to post-conviction relief, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
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COA advice: Leave affirmation out of jury instructions

August 23, 2016
Dave Stafford
A man’s convictions of battery and disorderly conduct will stand, but the Indiana Court of Appeals cautioned trial courts that including law enforcement affirmations in jury instructions should not, calling the practice “undesirable and completely avoidable.”
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Split COA reverses sex conviction on ‘Romeo and Juliet’ grounds

August 22, 2016
The majority of a Court of Appeals panel reversed the conviction of a young man who claimed he was wrongly denied an opportunity to present Indiana’s “Romeo and Juliet” law as an affirmative defense to a charge of sexual misconduct with a minor.
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City owes man legal fees for ‘meritless, possibly frivolous’ case

August 22, 2016
Dave Stafford
The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department and the city’s Office of Corporation Counsel pursued a ‘wholly meritless, possibly frivolous argument’ in a public-records case, the Court of Appeals ruled Monday. The city will pay the legal fees of a man who sued to obtain records after he was denied.
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Appeals panel overturns man’s trespass conviction

August 22, 2016
Dave Stafford
An Indianapolis man who had lived with his father with the consent of the senior apartment complex where he resided should not have been convicted of trespass after he was ordered to leave, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled in overturning a bench trial verdict.
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Dissent: PO reversal ‘insulates’ domestic violence perpetrators

August 19, 2016
Dave Stafford
An ex-husband’s actions that prompted a woman to get a protective order against him did not constitute stalking or threatening behavior sufficient to warrant the court order, the majority of an Indiana Court of Appeals panel ruled Friday. A dissenting judge warned the holding “insulates perpetrators of domestic violence” who threaten friends or associates of former partners.
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Imam, Islamic Society entitled to fees from deposed member

August 19, 2016
Dave Stafford
A man who was drummed out of the Islamic Society of Michiana’s board of directors filed a combative, confusing brief demonstrating bad faith when he appealed a trial court’s dismissal of his pro se suit seeking $5.2 million in damages. Now he’s on the hook for damages.
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COA: Live-in girlfriend asked to leave didn’t trespass

August 19, 2016
Dave Stafford
A woman who accepted a man’s offer to live in his home and who soon became his lover should not have been convicted of trespass for refusing to leave when he tried to kick her out, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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COA: No error in admitting post-accident reports at negligence trial

August 18, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
Dealing with the question for the first time in a negligence case involving a fired truck driver, the Indiana Court of Appeals decided that a post-incident investigation is not an inadmissible subsequent remedial measure.
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Plea deal didn’t prevent government from referencing hostage incident

August 18, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a man’s claim that the government was barred by his plea agreement from mentioning a hostage situation that occurred several days prior to his arrest on drug and firearm charges.
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Warrantless inventory search of vehicle not unreasonable, COA holds

August 17, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
Despite a police officer’s failure to strictly follow relevant procedures for completing a written inventory of items found in an impounded car, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed that the warrantless search of the car was not unreasonable.
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Nurse to face criminal charges for prescriptions issued at drug clinic

August 16, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
A registered nurse at a Wayne County clinic that treated those with addictions will face criminal charges for her role in handing out prescriptions prepared outside the usual course of professional medical practice. The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the dismissal of those charges that was based on the fact she was not a doctor.
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Court grants habeas writ in case involving repealed drug statute

August 15, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
A man convicted of Class A felony possession of three grams of cocaine within 1,000 feet of a “youth program center” in March 2008 will either be released from prison or resentenced after the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals granted his habeas corpus petition.
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COA affirms woman in same-sex relationship legal parent of child

August 15, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals on Monday affirmed a trial court’s conclusion that a lesbian couple who entered into a registered domestic partnership in California should be treated like married spouses. As such, the judges affirmed the award of joint legal custody and parenting time to the non-biological parent after the couple broke up.
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6 years after finding flaws in disability benefits case, 7th Circuit remands again

August 10, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
Fifteen years after a woman first applied for disability benefits based on degenerative disk disease, obesity, depression, and other ailments, she continues to fight the denial of benefits by the Social Security Administration. On Tuesday, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ordered the SSA take another look at her case, the second time it has done so.
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Patel decision restricts feticide prosecutions

August 10, 2016
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals holds the Legislature didn’t intend feticide charges for pregnant women.
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COA splits over earliest, latest possible release dates

August 9, 2016
Dave Stafford
Two of three judges on an Indiana Court of Appeals panel urged lawmakers to revisit a requirement that trial courts advise convicts of their earliest and latest possible release dates, but a third judge dismissed the majority’s position that the requirement “imposes an impracticable burden on our trial courts.
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Pro se inmate wins appeal of sentence modification

August 5, 2016
Dave Stafford
An inmate’s pro se legal briefs arguing for a modification of his 70-year drug sentence impressed the Indiana Court of Appeals, who granted him another chance to make his case that he deserves leniency as a model prisoner who made the best of his time behind bars.
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Murderer deprived court record gets new shot at relief

August 5, 2016
Dave Stafford
A man convicted of killing a female co-worker whose skeletal remains were found in a Johnson County marsh was denied an opportunity to use the court record to plead his counsel was ineffective as he sought post-conviction relief, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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COA affirms probation revocation

August 5, 2016
Dave Stafford
A man failed to persuade the Indiana Court of Appeals that revocation of his probation on a drug charge was barred by the doctrine of res judicata because his placement in community corrections had already been revoked.
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Justices reinstate conviction divided COA reversed

August 5, 2016
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court on Thursday affirmed a man’s misdemeanor failure to identify conviction that had been reversed by a divided panel of the Court of Appeals.
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Reversal: Kroger must face claim for filling script in wrongful death case

August 4, 2016
Dave Stafford
Kroger must face a claim that its potential negligence in filling a prescription contributed to the death of a woman after she sought treatment for acute bronchitis, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday in a reversal.
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Split COA tosses robbery convictions pegged to cellphone data

August 4, 2016
Dave Stafford
A divided Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that cellphone users have a reasonable expectation to the privacy of their location information that’s tracked and collected by phone service providers. The majority’s holding reversed armed robbery convictions of an Ohio man found guilty of holding up two Dearborn County liquor stores.
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Judges divided over sentence review under Appellate Rule 7(B)

August 2, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The majority on a panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals declared Tuesday that Indiana Appellate Rule 7(B) requires only that the court “consider” the nature of the offense and the offender’s character, not that the defendant necessarily prove both of those prongs. This led to a separate opinion calling the decision “significant.”
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