Court opinions

Steak n Shake can’t force arbitration with disgruntled franchisees

September 2, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday affirmed that Steak n Shake Enterprises Inc. cannot compel several of its franchisees to engage in nonbinding arbitration regarding claims brought by the franchisees in federal court. Steak n Shake tried to force arbitration after the restaurants already sued over the requirement all restaurants must adhere to company pricing and promotions.
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7th Circuit dismisses 3 Latin Kings gang members’ appeals

September 2, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Because three Latin Kings gang members took plea deals with the government after they were charged with several counts – including conspiracy to participate in racketeering – that limited their ability to appeal, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals threw out their appeals Friday.
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Teen has 1 adjudication overturned, must still pay restitution

August 29, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A teenager adjudicated as delinquent after it was determined he was in a stolen car was able to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals to reverse one of his adjudications due to double jeopardy. But, the teen must still pay restitution to the victims of his crimes.
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Man waited too long to ask for return of cash bond

August 29, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Although the trial court was not statutorily authorized to retain a man’s cash bond in 2005, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the denial of his motion to release the bond because he waived his argument.
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Judges order new rape trial based on inadmissible evidence

August 29, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Because a detective’s testimony that a man on trial for committing rape was also a suspect in another case likely had a prejudicial impact on the jury finding the man guilty, the Indiana Court of Appeals ordered a new trial.
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COA affirms reduction of incarcerated father’s child support obligation

August 29, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court did not abuse its discretion by reducing a father’s child support and arrearage to an absolute minimum level after he requested review of his obligation, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed Friday. The man, who is incarcerated, claimed the court did not consider his income or needs when making the reduction.
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COA: Break in employment triggered non-compete agreement

August 28, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A man who joined a competitor immediately after his employment ended at another company did not violate a non-compete agreement, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday. The judges agreed that a 10-day break in employment with the prior employer two years earlier constituted the beginning of his non-compete agreement, and his new job falls outside that two-year non-compete restriction.
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COA declines to reverse conviction after co-defendant’s conviction overturned

August 27, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A panel on the Indiana Court of Appeals Wednesday did not agree with a defendant that his conviction of attempted aggravated battery should be reversed based on the reasoning of a separate appeals panel that overturned the same conviction of his co-defendant.
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7th Circuit finds ALJ’s methodology flawed, orders more proceedings

August 27, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals found an administrative law judge’s opinion denying a man Social Security disability benefits reflects a “flawed evaluation of the record of evidence,” so it ordered more proceedings on the matter.
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Fee cap provision in Med Mal Act does not reduce fund’s liability

August 27, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court has sided with an estate in a dispute over whether the Indiana Medical Malpractice Act's cap on attorney fees from a Patient Compensation Fund award also applies to reduce the fund’s liability. The issue is one of first impression in Indiana.
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Termination of drug court placement over missed therapy affirmed

August 26, 2014
Dave Stafford
A woman who missed several drug court mental health therapy sessions failed on appeal to prove she was wrongly terminated from the problem-solving court.
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Deputy’s lack of certification not an issue in suspension of license

August 26, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A Shelby County man’s refusal to submit to a chemical test for alcohol intoxication voided his argument that his driving privileges should be reinstated because the arresting deputy was not qualified to administer the sobriety test.
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Court upholds $4.7 million judgment in divorce case, orders hearing on stock interests

August 26, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
In a divorce decree complicated by the husband’s ownership and interest in several construction and development companies, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed he must pay his wife more than $4.7 million as an equalization payment, plus any interest accruing after 90 days.
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Court affirms escape conviction for home detention violation

August 26, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals Tuesday affirmed a Class D felony escape conviction for an Indianapolis man arrested after he broke his home detention curfew.
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COA rules workers’ comp is remedy for temporary employee

August 26, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A man who suffered severe heat stroke while working as a temporary employee failed to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals this his only employer was the temp agency.
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Court affirms judgment in favor of insurer over fire damages

August 26, 2014
Dave Stafford
An insurer was entitled to summary judgment in a lawsuit filed by a couple who claimed the policy limits did not fully compensate them after a fire destroyed their home.
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Court must make findings in denying visitation for imprisoned dad

August 26, 2014
Dave Stafford
A man released to probation on a murder conviction but subsequently ordered to serve the remainder of his sentence following probation violations failed to persuade the Indiana Court of Appeals to reverse denial of his request for parenting time.
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Mail not hearsay, COA rules in affirming drug, gun convictions

August 26, 2014
Dave Stafford
A Fort Wayne man’s convictions on multiple cocaine-dealing and felony weapons charges were affirmed Tuesday after the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled on an issue of first impression, indicating that he was not prejudiced by mail. Lamont Carpenter asserted the trial court abused its discretion when it admitted mail containing his name and address because it was hearsay.
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Justices reverse Tax Court ruling favoring Caterpillar

August 25, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court Monday reversed a Tax Court ruling that favored Caterpillar Inc., holding the company could not deduct foreign-source dividend income when calculating its net operating losses for the years 2000 through 2003 for Indiana tax purposes.
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Negative drug test, prior accusations don’t change molester’s convictions

August 25, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals Monday affirmed the child molesting convictions and 30-year sentence of a man who claimed he was prejudiced because the trial court declined to admit a drug test from the victim showing she had no marijuana in her system.
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Counsel’s conflict, misconduct bar class certification in tax sale suit

August 22, 2014
Dave Stafford
A federal judge cited an attorney’s conflict of interest, misconduct and relative inexperience in rejecting his bid to certify a class in a lawsuit over costs of redeeming property after tax sales.
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Tax Court affirms racquet club assessments

August 22, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Tax Court affirmed 2002 property tax assessments of the Indianapolis Racquet Club Thursday.
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COA affirms man’s speedy trial request not violated

August 21, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals Thursday affirmed the 25-year sentence handed down to a man whose erratic driving led police to pull his vehicle over and discover cocaine on the passenger. The judges found his right to a fast and speedy trial was not violated and the evidence supports that he jointly possessed the cocaine.
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Duke can charge ratepayers for time construction delayed on Edwardsport plant

August 21, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed grant of Duke Energy Indiana’s request to include the amount spent during an 80-day delay in construction of the coal gasification plant in Edwardsport in a rate adjustment rider. Several parties intervened, claiming construction delays attributable to Duke should not be chargeable to ratepayers.
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Companies can’t recover attorney fees from general contractor

August 20, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The judgments awarded against the general contractor in the construction of a Portage movie theater are supported by the evidence, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed Wednesday. But, the trial court should not have awarded the contractors who sued attorney fees under the mechanic’s lien statute.
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  1. I like the concept. Seems like a good idea and really inexpensive to manage.

  2. I don't agree that this is an extreme case. There are more of these people than you realize - people that are vindictive and/or with psychological issues have clogged the system with baseless suits that are costly to the defendant and to taxpayers. Restricting repeat offenders from further abusing the system is not akin to restricting their freedon, but to protecting their victims, and the court system, from allowing them unfettered access. From the Supreme Court opinion "he has burdened the opposing party and the courts of this state at every level with massive, confusing, disorganized, defective, repetitive, and often meritless filings."

  3. So, if you cry wolf one too many times courts may "restrict" your ability to pursue legal action? Also, why is document production equated with wealth? Anyone can "produce probably tens of thousands of pages of filings" if they have a public library card. I understand this is an extreme case, but our Supreme Court really got this one wrong.

  4. He called our nation a nation of cowards because we didn't want to talk about race. That was a cheap shot coming from the top cop. The man who decides who gets the federal government indicts. Wow. Not a gentleman if that is the measure. More importantly, this insult delivered as we all understand, to white people-- without him or anybody needing to explain that is precisely what he meant-- but this is an insult to timid white persons who fear the government and don't want to say anything about race for fear of being accused a racist. With all the legal heat that can come down on somebody if they say something which can be construed by a prosecutor like Mr Holder as racist, is it any wonder white people-- that's who he meant obviously-- is there any surprise that white people don't want to talk about race? And as lawyers we have even less freedom lest our remarks be considered violations of the rules. Mr Holder also demonstrated his bias by publically visiting with the family of the young man who was killed by a police offering in the line of duty, which was a very strong indicator of bias agains the offer who is under investigation, and was a failure to lead properly by letting his investigators do their job without him predetermining the proper outcome. He also has potentially biased the jury pool. All in all this worsens race relations by feeding into the perception shared by whites as well as blacks that justice will not be impartial. I will say this much, I do not blame Obama for all of HOlder's missteps. Obama has done a lot of things to stay above the fray and try and be a leader for all Americans. Maybe he should have reigned Holder in some but Obama's got his hands full with other problelms. Oh did I mention HOlder is a bank crony who will probably get a job in a silkstocking law firm working for millions of bucks a year defending bankers whom he didn't have the integrity or courage to hold to account for their acts of fraud on the United States, other financial institutions, and the people. His tenure will be regarded by history as a failure of leadership at one of the most important jobs in our nation. Finally and most importantly besides him insulting the public and letting off the big financial cheats, he has been at the forefront of over-prosecuting the secrecy laws to punish whistleblowers and chill free speech. What has Holder done to vindicate the rights of privacy of the American public against the illegal snooping of the NSA? He could have charged NSA personnel with violations of law for their warrantless wiretapping which has been done millions of times and instead he did not persecute a single soul. That is a defalcation of historical proportions and it signals to the public that the government DOJ under him was not willing to do a damn thing to protect the public against the rapid growth of the illegal surveillance state. Who else could have done this? Nobody. And for that omission Obama deserves the blame too. Here were are sliding into a police state and Eric Holder made it go all the faster.

  5. JOE CLAYPOOL candidate for Superior Court in Harrison County - Indiana This candidate is misleading voters to think he is a Judge by putting Elect Judge Joe Claypool on his campaign literature. paragraphs 2 and 9 below clearly indicate this injustice to voting public to gain employment. What can we do? Indiana Code - Section 35-43-5-3: Deception (a) A person who: (1) being an officer, manager, or other person participating in the direction of a credit institution, knowingly or intentionally receives or permits the receipt of a deposit or other investment, knowing that the institution is insolvent; (2) knowingly or intentionally makes a false or misleading written statement with intent to obtain property, employment, or an educational opportunity; (3) misapplies entrusted property, property of a governmental entity, or property of a credit institution in a manner that the person knows is unlawful or that the person knows involves substantial risk of loss or detriment to either the owner of the property or to a person for whose benefit the property was entrusted; (4) knowingly or intentionally, in the regular course of business, either: (A) uses or possesses for use a false weight or measure or other device for falsely determining or recording the quality or quantity of any commodity; or (B) sells, offers, or displays for sale or delivers less than the represented quality or quantity of any commodity; (5) with intent to defraud another person furnishing electricity, gas, water, telecommunication, or any other utility service, avoids a lawful charge for that service by scheme or device or by tampering with facilities or equipment of the person furnishing the service; (6) with intent to defraud, misrepresents the identity of the person or another person or the identity or quality of property; (7) with intent to defraud an owner of a coin machine, deposits a slug in that machine; (8) with intent to enable the person or another person to deposit a slug in a coin machine, makes, possesses, or disposes of a slug; (9) disseminates to the public an advertisement that the person knows is false, misleading, or deceptive, with intent to promote the purchase or sale of property or the acceptance of employment;

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