Court opinions

Judges say Circuit split requires clarification from sentencing commission

October 22, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A panel of judges on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a man’s 117-month prison sentence on drug and weapons charges, but two judges believed the case should have been heard en banc based on the importance of a sentencing issue.
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Court reverses $1,660 attorney fee award in parenting time action

October 22, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Because there is nothing in the record to show the court considered the resources of the parties when it awarded a guardian $1,660 in attorney fees, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed Wednesday.
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Daughter’s cheating negates father’s obligation to pay for college

October 22, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Finding that the “F” a Purdue University student received after her teacher discovered the student plagiarized comments from other students amounted to disciplinary action from the school, the Indiana Court of Appeals upheld the decision that her father no longer had to pay a portion of her school expenses based on a previous court order.
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Officers’ entry into home to chase bloodied dog unreasonable, justices rule

October 22, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that drug evidence obtained by police after they entered a home without a warrant to capture an aggressive dog should not have been admitted at the defendant’s trial. The justices held the search violated Article I, Section 11 of the Indiana Constitution.
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Split COA reverses denial of post-conviction relief

October 21, 2014
Dave Stafford
A defense attorney’s failure to raise the consecutive sentencing limitation prejudiced his client, the majority of a Court of Appeals panel ruled, reversing denial of post-conviction relief for a man convicted of multiple burglaries. The court remanded for resentencing to trim six years off a 28-year prison term.
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Error in admitting drug conviction was harmless, 7th Circuit rules

October 20, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Although a witness’s changed testimony did not open the door wide enough to allow the introduction of a defendant’s prior drug record, the prosecution’s case was still substantial without the improper evidence so the defendant’s federal conviction will stand.
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Justices uphold fired DWD employee’s ban from executive branch employment

October 16, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A fired Indiana Department of Workforce Development employee who argued that she shouldn’t be sanctioned and barred from future executive branch employment because of her misuse of state property lost her appeal before the Indiana Supreme Court Thursday.
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Justices affirm denial of Crime Victims Relief Act liability

October 15, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court affirmed a trial court’s decision to not impose Crime Victims Relief Act liability on a couple who sold their home knowing it had defects. And although the Indiana Court of Appeals also affirmed, Chief Justice Loretta Rush pointed out the high court has different reasons for leaving the trial court’s judgment in place.
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‘Common sense’ requires ruling in favor of inmate, judge says

October 15, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed judgment in favor of jail officials on an inmate’s complaint that he was denied medical access while in jail. The judges did not agree with the magistrate judge’s decision that Randy Swisher had failed to exhaust his administrative remedies by not filing a written grievance.
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Judges affirm denial of child molester's PCR petition

October 15, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals decided Wednesday that it did have jurisdiction to hear a prisoner’s petition for post-conviction relief that was filed 31 days after the trial court denied him relief. But the man was unsuccessful before the appellate court.
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Appeals court revives inverse condemnation claim

October 10, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A woman who sued after town and county officials worked on a drainage project on her property without her permission will be able to present her claim for inverse condemnation. The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the dismissal of that claim in her lawsuit against officials but affirmed she acted too late to present a trespass claim.
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Judges uphold convictions for death of child at unlicensed home daycare

October 9, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The state presented sufficient evidence that a Hamilton County woman operated a child care home under the law, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Thursday in affirming her convictions related to a death of a child while in her care.
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Humvee maker wins $27.9M judgment against supplier

October 8, 2014
Dave Stafford
A supplier of armored doors for Humvees made for the military overcharged the manufacturer, a federal judge ruled Monday, awarding South Bend-based AM General LLC a $27.9 million judgment.
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Evidence doesn’t show existence of family housing complex at time of crime

October 8, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a man’s Class A felony conviction for dealing cocaine within 1,000 feet of a family housing complex because the state didn’t prove the complex qualified as family housing under the law at the time of the offense.
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Keeping death certification accessible is 'victory for the public'

October 8, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Both the Hoosier State Press Association and the Indiana attorney general are applauding the Indiana Supreme Court’s ruling Tuesday that cause of death information is public.
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Officer's meth-exposure claims untangled by appeals court

October 8, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals rules an injured city policeman must exhaust workers' comp remedies before turning to the injured-on-duty statute.
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Unanimous Supreme Court holds death certificates are public records

October 7, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Taking what it called a “plain reading” of the state statute, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled death certificates which include the cause of death are public records and should be available to anyone who requests access.
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7th Circuit rules against insurer in jurisdiction dispute

October 7, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a federal court judgment in favor of an insurer after the insurer’s motion to intervene in a state court lawsuit on the same matter was denied. The federal court incorrectly determined the state court did not have jurisdiction over an injured worker’s lawsuit.
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Mother loses custody after COA rules trial court had jurisdiction

October 7, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A mother’s argument that the trial court did not have jurisdiction to grant full custody of her daughter to the girl’s father did not convince the Indiana Court of Appeals, which found an agreement between the parents gave the court jurisdiction.
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Accomplice in jewelry store robbery loses sentence appeal

October 7, 2014
Dave Stafford
The 45-year sentence imposed on an accomplice in a jewelry store robbery was affirmed by the Indiana Court of Appeals Tuesday, even though the crime to which he pleaded guilty is now punishable by a maximum sentence of 20 years.
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Judge: Yorktown’s door-to-door soliciting restriction unconstitutional

October 3, 2014
IL Staff
Yorktown’s ordinance forbidding door-to-door canvassing before or after daylight hours is unconstitutional, a federal judge ruled.
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Appeals court affirms rejection of YouTube defamation claims

October 3, 2014
Dave Stafford
The sister-in-law of a Boston woman who disappeared in 1981 and whose body was found buried in Massachusetts nine years later lost a defamation appeal Friday stemming from comments to a YouTube video she posted about the case.
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Appeals court affirms disbarred attorney’s convictions

October 2, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The South Bend attorney who was disbarred in 2010 and convicted of forgery in 2013 lost his appeal before the Indiana Court of Appeals Thursday.
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Defendant’s breach of plea agreement allows state to back out

October 2, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals addressed an issue of first impression Thursday: whether the state can withdraw from a plea agreement after the trial court has accepted it. The state was allowed to withdraw its agreement with a defendant after the man refused to testify at his co-conspirator’s trial, which was part of the deal.
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Judge concerned remonstrators may not have enough time to ask for a stay

October 2, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the annexation by the city of Martinsville of approximately 3,000 acres, finding the remonstrators’ appeal is moot because they did not ask for a stay of the annexation approval. But one judge had concerns that municipality clerks may be able to make an annexation final before remonstrators have enough time to consider requesting a stay.
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  1. Hail to our Constitutional Law Expert in the Executive Office! “What you’re not paying attention to is the fact that I just took an action to change the law,” Obama said.

  2. What is this, the Ind Supreme Court thinking that there is a separation of powers and limited enumerated powers as delegated by a dusty old document? Such eighteen century thinking, so rare and unwanted by the elites in this modern age. Dictate to us, dictate over us, the massess are chanting! George Soros agrees. Time to change with times Ind Supreme Court, says all President Snows. Rule by executive decree is the new black.

  3. I made the same argument before a commission of the Indiana Supreme Court and then to the fedeal district and federal appellate courts. Fell flat. So very glad to read that some judges still beleive that evidentiary foundations matter.

  4. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  5. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

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