Court opinions

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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Lack of evidence divides judges on false claims suit

July 8, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
Based on the evidence presented before it on a False Claims Act lawsuit brought by a labor union, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals decided to affirm summary judgment in favor of the union member’s company. But the dissenting judge believed the record required remand for a trial.
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Continuous crime doctrine requires reversal of 2 domestic battery convictions

July 8, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
Because the evidence showed a man’s acts of domestic violence against his now ex-wife constituted a single transaction for purposes of the continuing crime doctrine, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed two of the man’s three convictions.
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Lawyer loses appeals over Indy skyline photo

July 5, 2016
Dave Stafford
An Indianapolis lawyer who defendants call a copyright troll lost his appeals against three people who successfully defended against his suits over use of one of his photos.
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Robber’s use of debit card is forgery, COA affirms

July 1, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a defendant’s claim that he couldn’t be convicted of forgery under Indiana law because using his robbery victims’ ATM cards did not qualify as “uttering a written instrument.”
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COA reverses lifetime sex offender registration, upholds ban from school property

July 1, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals agreed with a man challenging his lifetime registration as a sex offender that the law as applied to him violates the Indiana Constitution’s prohibition against ex post facto laws. But he lost a similar challenge to the unlawful-entry statute that prohibits him from entering school property.
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Stricken Indiana abortion law ‘unprecedented,’ opponents say

July 1, 2016
Dave Stafford
Indiana’s strict anti-abortion legislation that Gov. Mike Pence signed this year was “unprecedented” in scope and in its rejection of long-established federal law, said opponents who succeeded in blocking the law from taking effect.
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COA majority rules dog sniff did not prolong stop

June 30, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a woman’s motion to suppress evidence found at a traffic stop in a 2-1 decision after the court ruled the stop was not extended by an officer’s check of the car with his dog.
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Evidence found during arrest for public intox is admissible, COA rules

June 30, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a man’s misdemeanor cocaine possession conviction after it held the search an officer conducted after finding the man asleep in his car did not violate his Fourth Amendment rights and thus the trial court did not abuse its discretion by admitting the cocaine found during the search.
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Majority: 2 shoplifting charges not RICO violations

June 30, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled in a split decision the state went too far when it convicted a man who committed two acts of shoplifting under the state’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act and reversed his conviction for corrupt business influence.
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COA: Failure to give breath test sample was refusal to take test

June 30, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a woman refused a chemical breath test, noting the officer giving the test followed all the proper procedures and was within his rights to determine she refused the test after she failed to give a valid sample three times.
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COA: Minors’ malpractice suit can continue

June 29, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled a medical malpractice lawsuit filed by minor children can continue after it found the suit was not untimely filed. The children were in the correct age range to trigger an exception in the Medical Malpractice Act.
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COA: Death during robbery is felony murder

June 29, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals found evidence was sufficient to uphold a robber’s conviction of felony murder after one of his accomplices was killed in a fight with a robbery victim.
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7th Circuit affirms judgment for employee on ADA claim

June 29, 2016
Scott Roberts
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed judgment for an employee who claimed the city of Anderson did not accommodate his disability when it fired him for not having a commercial driver’s license he could no longer get because of his diabetes.
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COA: Testimony would have restricted jury’s ability to decide

June 28, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a man’s conviction of voluntary manslaughter after it found the trial court did not err in restricting the testimony of an expert witness for the defense.
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COA: CVRA damages are distinct from punitive damages

June 28, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a damages award pursuant to the Crime Victim Relief Act after the court found in its second hearing of a case that CVRA damages are distinct from common law punitive damages.
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Supreme Court extends Charlie White’s suspension

June 28, 2016
Dave Stafford
Former Indiana Secretary of State Charlie White may never be allowed to practice law again, the Indiana Supreme Court suggested Tuesday in extending his suspension another two years without automatic reinstatement.
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COA: Tenant does not have obligation to indemnify landlord

June 27, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled a tenant did not have to indemnify a landlord against a woman’s personal injury claims after she filed suit against both of them.
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COA reverses grant of woman’s unemployment benefits

June 27, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed unemployment benefits awarded to a woman after it found she did have notice her job was in jeopardy despite various notes thanking her for her help in office matters she received from her employer.
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Vendor, Department of Revenue win partial victories on sales tax case

June 24, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Department of Revenue and a company that sold food through vending machines and its cafeteria both were victorious in Indiana Tax Court Thursday on the issue of whether all of the company’s vending machine sales and cafeteria sales are subject to sales tax and negligence penalties.
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Pence praises US Supreme Court immigration ruling

June 24, 2016
 Associated Press
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence praised a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court striking down President Barack Obama's executive order on immigration.
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7th Circuit reversal: Conour fraud victims, not creditor, take priority

June 23, 2016
Dave Stafford
Fraud victims of disgraced former lawyer William Conour have the upper hand over his former law firm creditor who was awarded a judgment of almost $775,000, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday, reversing the District Court and signaling too much may have been awarded.
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COA: Seller not liable for undisclosed septic system

June 23, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed judgment against a man who claimed fraud because he was not told the property he bought was connected to a septic system.
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Murder defendant’s trial attorney ineffective, COA rules

June 23, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed and remanded the denial of a man’s post-conviction relief petition, finding his trial counsel was ineffective and his petition was not barred by laches.
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High court limits drunken-driving test laws

June 23, 2016
 Associated Press
The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday placed new limits on state laws that make it a crime for motorists suspected of drunken driving to refuse alcohol tests.
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  1. Indiana's seatbelt law is not punishable as a crime. It is an infraction. Apparently some of our Circuit judges have deemed settled law inapplicable if it fails to fit their litmus test of political correctness. Extrapolating to redefine terms of behavior in a violation of immigration law to the entire body of criminal law leaves a smorgasbord of opportunity for judicial mischief.

  2. I wonder if $10 diversions for failure to wear seat belts are considered moral turpitude in federal immigration law like they are under Indiana law? Anyone know?

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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