Court opinions

Judges affirm woman who emailed racist joke not entitled to unemployment benefits

December 11, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A newspaper employee who emailed a racist joke to two co-workers was correctly denied unemployment benefits after she was fired, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Woman fails to prove discrimination claims after she lost counseling job

December 10, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A woman who was not hired by the private company the Department of Correction contracted with to provide counseling for inmates could not prove the company’s decision was due to age or sex discrimination.
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COA finds no reason to reverse man’s child molesting conviction

December 10, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
There was no prosecutorial misconduct or errors by the trial court that would require the Indiana Court of Appeals to reverse a Marion County man’s child molesting conviction. The man raised several claims, including he was denied the right to an impartial jury and fair trial.
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Justices split over reducing meth sentence

December 10, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Justices Brent Dickson and Mark Massa disagreed with their colleagues Wednesday that a Tippecanoe County man’s 40-year sentence for Class A felony dealing in methamphetamine needed to be revised.
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Court affirms probation revocation, total time ordered in DOC

December 10, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A Vigo County man lost his argument before the Indiana Court of Appeals that his term of informal probation should not have been revoked by the trial court after he violated terms of his placement in a home detention program.
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Appeals court upholds teen’s 55-year sentence for murder

December 10, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
In a case of first impression, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the 55-year sentence imposed on a juvenile waived into adult court for the murder of a friend. The teen claimed he should have been sentenced under the alternative sentencing scheme available for juveniles.
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Reservist entitled to full longevity pay despite time away from police force

December 10, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals held Tuesday that a Plymouth, Indiana, patrolman should receive the $2,700 in longevity pay he is entitled to from the city under an ordinance. The city cut the payment by two-thirds because the man served eight months on activity duty in the U.S. Air Force.
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COA reverses marijuana conviction based on illegal traffic stop

December 9, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A police officer was mistaken when he pulled over a vehicle that, due to a broken tail light, emitted more white light than red light, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday. The statute only requires that some red light be visible, which occurred in this case.
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Court upholds serious violent felon finding, despite not using term ‘SVF’

December 9, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a man’s claim that because a stipulation to being a serious violent felon did not use the term “serious violent felon,” the state didn’t establish that as his status.
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COA reverses syringe possession conviction due to lack of evidence

December 9, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Because the state couldn’t prove that a man intended to use a syringe to inject a legend drug, as is required by the statute to convict him of possession of a syringe, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the man’s conviction. The man intended to use the syringe to inject heroin, which is not covered by the statute.
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DOC credit-time policy does not result in disparate treatment

December 8, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected an inmate’s argument in his lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Department of Correction’s policy concerning the restoration of credit time for inmates. Because the policy does not result in disparate treatment, the judges affirmed the lower court ruling in favor of the DOC.
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COA reverses convictions based on ineffective appellate counsel

December 8, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a man’s convictions of Class A felony child molesting and Class B felony sexual misconduct with a minor based on his sexual advances toward his stepdaughter when she was in junior high and high school. The judges acknowledged as a result of their decision, the stepfather won’t face any legal consequences for those actions, but the state had a duty to present sufficient evidence to support those convictions.
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Clarksville Town Court judge must resign following OWI conviction in Kentucky

December 5, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court publicly reprimanded Clarksville Town Court Judge Mickey K. Weber Friday and ordered he resign from the bench, effective Dec. 31. Weber pleaded guilty earlier this year to two charges stemming from a drunken-driving incident in Louisville, Kentucky.
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7th Circuit reverses denial of benefits, blasts ALJ’s reasoning

December 5, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Finding several things “wrong” with an administrative law judge’s decision denying a Fort Wayne woman’s application for Social Security Income for the years prior to her turning 55, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed and remanded for further proceedings.
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Justices order adoption petitions moved to juvenile division based on local rule

December 5, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court noted Thursday that the parties and both of the previous courts involved in an adoption matter were partly correct in their analyses as to where the petitions needed to be filed. But the Lake Superior Court, Civil Division should have transferred the petitions from its court to the juvenile division, where a local rule requires adoption petitions to be filed.
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‘Disputed facts’ prevent federal judge from overturning contested abortion restrictions

December 4, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Conflicting opinions from medical experts has stopped a federal judge from issuing a final summary judgment in a challenge to the Indiana statute that requires non-surgical abortion clinics to have the same equipment and adhere to the same requirements as a surgical facility.
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Court erred in affirming decision new seawall must be removed

December 4, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed the portion of a trial court’s order that affirmed the decision by a board of zoning appeals denying a company’s request for a variance which allowed its newly completed seawall to remain intact. The judges found Caddyshack Looper LLC demonstrated that strict application of the setback requirement will result in practical difficulties.
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Justices: Homes subject to tax sale from delinquent sewer fees

December 4, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court issued two cases dealing with the same issue Thursday: whether a tax sale could be used to collect unpaid sewer bills. The justices ruled it could and reversed judgment in favor of the homeowners.
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COA orders man’s birth certificate change to reflect gender

December 4, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The birth certificate of a person who was born a woman but now identifies as a man and has undergone extensive medical treatment for gender transition should be changed to show he is male, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday.
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Questions exist as to whether teen furnished alcohol to other teens

December 4, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed summary judgment in favor of a Pittsboro man in a lawsuit alleging he was liable for the death of friend because he furnished alcohol at a party. The friend died in a car accident while riding with another teen who had consumed alcohol at the party.
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No advice from counsel leads to post-conviction relief

December 2, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A mother’s refusal to convey her son’s threats of harm possibly saved the man from violating Indiana’s intimidation statute.
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Divided panel reverses default judgment against bank

December 2, 2014
Dave Stafford
The bank that promises customers 24-hour grace overdraft protection received more than 20 days grace in an Indiana Court of Appeals ruling Tuesday.
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Fired nurse’s retaliation claim reinstated

December 2, 2014
Dave Stafford
A nurse fired from a St. Joseph County clinic that treated patients with sexually transmitted diseases may go forward with a lawsuit claiming her termination was in retaliation for expressing concern that treating undiagnosed patients went beyond her scope of practice.
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Statements by insurance provider do not constitute defamation, COA rules

December 1, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A surgery center’s defamation claim that an insurance provider was making false statements purposefully to harm the center’s business reputation was dismissed because the communication did not allege any misconduct in business practices or trade. 
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Enhancement to sentence upheld by COA

November 26, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Finding Indiana’s criminal gang enhancement statute can be understood by individuals of ordinary intelligence, the Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a man’s challenge to his 175-year aggregate sentence.
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  1. I need an experienced attorney to handle a breach of contract matter. Kindly respond for more details. Graham Young

  2. I thought the slurs were the least grave aspects of her misconduct, since they had nothing to do with her being on the bench. Why then do I suspect they were the focus? I find this a troubling trend. At least she was allowed to keep her law license.

  3. Section 6 of Article I of the Indiana Constitution is pretty clear and unequivocal: "Section 6. No money shall be drawn from the treasury for the benefit of any religious or theological institution."

  4. Video pen? Nice work, "JW"! Let this be a lesson and a caution to all disgruntled ex-spouses (or soon-to-be ex-spouses) . . . you may think that altercation is going to get you some satisfaction . . . it will not.

  5. First comment on this thread is a fitting final comment on this thread, as that the MCBA never answered Duncan's fine question, and now even Eric Holder agrees that the MCBA was in material error as to the facts: "I don't get it" from Duncan December 1, 2014 5:10 PM "The Grand Jury met for 25 days and heard 70 hours of testimony according to this article and they made a decision that no crime occurred. On what basis does the MCBA conclude that their decision was "unjust"? What special knowledge or evidence does the MCBA have that the Grand Jury hearing this matter was unaware of? The system that we as lawyers are sworn to uphold made a decision that there was insufficient proof that officer committed a crime. How can any of us say we know better what was right than the jury that actually heard all of the the evidence in this case."

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