Court opinions

COA tosses feticide conviction, says statute doesn’t apply to self abortion

July 22, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Legislature did not intend for the state’s feticide statute to apply to pregnant women or illegal abortions, including the one a northern Indiana woman executed by taking drugs ordered from Hong Kong, the Court of Appeals held Friday.
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COA upholds mother’s neglect conviction for causing son’s health issues

July 21, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals, acknowledging differing expert testimony in a mother’s neglect of a dependent case, declined to reweigh the evidence and upheld her Class B felony conviction.
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Appeals court sends request for benefits back to Social Security office

July 21, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
A federal court in Indianapolis never should have affirmed the denial of Supplemental Security Income sought by an intellectually disabled woman because the administrative law judge’s decision was unsupported by the record, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals held Wednesday.
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Justices uphold Jay County teachers’ CBA

July 21, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
In a 4-1 decision, the Indiana Supreme Court affirmed the last best offer made by the Jay School Corp. regarding a collective bargaining agreement for the 2013-14 school year. The teachers took issue with a provision involving the salary of teachers hired mid-school year.
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Recommendation of plea document passes ‘duck test’

July 21, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
Citing the “duck test” credited to Hoosier poet James Whitcomb Riley, the Indiana Court of Appeals held that a “recommendation of plea” document was a plea agreement the trial judge was free to accept or reject.
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Judges affirm grant of senior living facility’s arbitration motion

July 21, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
Although a senior living facility “inexplicably” failed to keep a copy of an arbitration agreement signed by a resident, the facility produced enough extrinsic evidence to conclude an enforceable arbitration agreement exists, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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7th Circuit: Judge should have disqualified herself in sentence challenge

July 21, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday that a federal judge in Indianapolis should have excused herself from hearing a man’s petition regarding his sentence because she was the one who sentenced him while she was a judge in state court. In doing so, the federal appellate court overturned two lines of decisions.
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COA: Woman, not bank, entitled to foreclosure surplus funds

July 21, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court misapplied the law regarding disbursement of surplus sale proceedings from a sheriff’s sale when it ordered the full surplus to the bank that owned the first mortgage on the home, the Indiana Court of Appeals held. The law requires the surplus to go to the mortgage debtor.
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On rehearing, judges find investigator’s photos admissible

July 20, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals granted rehearing to a case involving a lawsuit brought by a man injured by a sheriff deputy’s vehicle while he walked along the side of the road. The divided court held certain evidence, including an investigator’s affidavit and photos, are admissible at trial.
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COA: School’s insurance doesn’t cover student who injured teacher

July 20, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
Although the Indiana Court of Appeals disagreed with parts of a trial court’s ruling in an insurance coverage dispute, the judges affirmed the ruling that the insurance policy of a school where a student injured her teacher during class is not the primary insurance in the teacher’s personal injury suit.
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State revenue department bound by 1998 ruling

July 19, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Department of State Revenue should have granted a medical equipment company’s request for a sales tax refund, the Indiana Tax Court ruled, finding the department is bound by its published ruling interpreting the exemption at issue.
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COA affirms propane company must pay customers’ attorney fees

July 15, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals agreed with a trial court that a propane company is on the hook for two customers’ attorney fees after it failed to deliver prepaid propane gas under an agreement with the couple.
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Church not entitled to $322,000 on breach of contract claim

July 14, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court erred when it determined that a church was entitled to $322,000 on its breach of contract claim after its building lessor ordered the church to vacate the premises before the end of its contract, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Quoting Dickens’ ‘Bleak House,’ judge decides 24-year-old lawsuit

July 14, 2016
Dave Stafford
A Lake County judge on Wednesday ordered summary judgment for defendants in a 24-year-old lawsuit he likened to the interminable Jarndyce and Jarndyce case in Charles Dickens’ novel “Bleak House.”
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Doctor’s criminal charges provide 2 first impression issues

July 14, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals had to decide two issues of first impression Thursday in an appeal regarding charges of reckless homicide and issuing an invalid prescription for legend drugs by a practitioner against an Indianapolis doctor.
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COA: Law doesn’t require insurer to provide UIM coverage

July 14, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court erred by denying an insurance company’s motion for summary judgment regarding underinsured motorist coverage because a law change in 2005 no longer required it to provide that coverage.
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COA orders new trial on vicarious liability issue

July 13, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
A new jury will decide whether a Sony employee in Terre Haute was acting in the scope of his employment when he hit a security guard on the property while driving to recycle personal items on company property.
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Evidence supports order to raze uninhabited home

July 13, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Grant County Area Plan Commission provided enough evidence to support the trial court’s decision to order a home torn down because it is not up to code and is uninhabitable, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.
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‘Unprecedented’ law blocked, Planned Parenthood takes aim again

July 13, 2016
Dave Stafford
After a federal judge on June 30 blocked a restrictive new Indiana abortion law from taking effect, Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky and the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana vowed to take aim at other recent enactments that might infringe on the constitutional right. A week later, a fresh federal lawsuit targeted another Indiana abortion law passed this year.
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State's parenthood laws ruled unconstitutional

July 13, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Indiana’s married lesbian parents win the right to be listed on their child’s birth certificate.
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Brutal Indy home invasion leader gets sentence tweak

July 12, 2016
Dave Stafford
The alleged ringleader of six men who brutalized, shot and sexually assaulted three north side Indianapolis residents in their home will still likely spend the rest of his life behind bars after the Indiana Court of Appeals modestly reduced his sentence Tuesday.
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Power of attorney may trump guardianship order

July 12, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
An elaborate court ruling that sought to bring family harmony by appointing each of six siblings as co-guardians over a specific area of their elderly mother’s life may have hit a sour note because of a 12-year-old power of attorney which remains valid.
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Justices adopt COA opinion, affirm intimidation conviction

July 12, 2016
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court on Tuesday affirmed the intimidation conviction of a man who threatened to kill his sister’s landlord if she returned to the Indianapolis apartment.
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7th Circuit tosses legal fees suit arising from bankruptcy case

July 8, 2016
Dave Stafford
An unsecured creditor’s lawsuit against two law firms over legal fees collected for services provided to a bankrupt Fort Wayne company’s estate should not have proceeded, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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Plea agreement provision ‘constitutionally suspect,’ COA finds

July 8, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
A man who had taken steps to prepare for home detention but was committed for mental health reasons when he was to report to community corrections should not have been ordered to serve his sentence in the Department of Correction, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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  1. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

  2. Justice has finally been served. So glad that Dr. Ley can finally sleep peacefully at night knowing the truth has finally come to the surface.

  3. While this right is guaranteed by our Constitution, it has in recent years been hampered by insurance companies, i.e.; the practice of the plaintiff's own insurance company intervening in an action and filing a lien against any proceeds paid to their insured. In essence, causing an additional financial hurdle for a plaintiff to overcome at trial in terms of overall award. In a very real sense an injured party in exercise of their right to trial by jury may be the only party in a cause that would end up with zero compensation.

  4. Why in the world would someone need a person to correct a transcript when a realtime court reporter could provide them with a transcript (rough draft) immediately?

  5. This article proved very enlightening. Right ahead of sitting the LSAT for the first time, I felt a sense of relief that a score of 141 was admitted to an Indiana Law School and did well under unique circumstances. While my GPA is currently 3.91 I fear standardized testing and hope that I too will get a good enough grade for acceptance here at home. Thanks so much for this informative post.

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