Court opinions

COA: Case for relief against INDOT may continue

December 16, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals allowed a local government entity to continue seeking relief against the Indiana Department of Transportation Friday, holding that the local unit of government had standing to seek both injunctive and declaratory relief.
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Order for parents to pay grad school costs reversed

December 14, 2016
Dave Stafford
Parents who were ordered in a divorce decree to pay their child's costs of graduate school won’t have to after the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled the trial court abused its discretion in so ordering.
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Adams Co. judge not required to recuse himself from case involving former client

December 12, 2016
Olivia Covington
An Adams County judge who presided over a case in which the defendant was his former legal client was not required to recuse himself, the Indiana Court of Appeals found Monday.
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Child molester’s failure to register conviction vacated

December 12, 2016
Olivia Covington
A convicted child molester will not also have a conviction of failure to register as a sex offender after the Indiana Court of Appeals found Monday that his arrest was premature.
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COA reaffirms decision imposing sanctions on mental health service provider

December 9, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals has reaffirmed an earlier decision finding that sanctions against a mental health provider were warranted, making clear Friday that it fully understood why the sanctions were imposed.
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7th Circuit affirms dismissal of claims against Indiana, Marion County officials

December 9, 2016
Olivia Covington
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed the dismissal of claims against several Indiana state and county officials, finding that most of the claims failed due to the immunity provided to government employees in the scope of their employment.
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COA: Law enforcement may not refuse to hire based solely on expunged criminal histories

December 8, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that law enforcement agencies are not permitted under state statute to refuse to hire new employees solely because those people have prior criminal histories that have since been expunged.
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Court abused discretion in letting public defender withdraw appearance

December 8, 2016
Olivia Covington
An attorney seeking a motion to withdraw appearance had to prove there was justification for his withdrawal and provide sufficient notice to the party he represented before the motion could be granted, the Indiana Court of Appeals found Thursday.
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COA holds public trust rights rule along lakeshore

December 7, 2016
Olivia Covington
When a private property owner’s land deed overlaps with that of the public trust along Lake Michigan, the rights to the shore are controlled by the common law public trust doctrine, the Indiana Court of Appeals found Wednesday in a landmark decision that prevents private property owners from exerting complete control over lakeshore land between ordinary high- and low-water marks.
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COA affirms lifetime suspension of driving rights

December 7, 2016
Olivia Covington
A man who was caught driving with a suspended license cannot challenge the legality of the lifetime suspension of his driving privileges because the law in effect at the time of his arrest required the lifetime suspension, the Indiana Court of Appeals found Wednesday.
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COA reverses handgun conviction after state failed to meet burden of proof

December 7, 2016
Olivia Covington
The state failed to meet its burden of proof to show that an Indianapolis man was carrying a handgun without a license outside of his dwelling, workplace or property, the Court of Appeals found Wednesday, thus vacating the man’s misdemeanor conviction.
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‘Strict compliance’ with contempt statute not required if sufficient notice is given

December 7, 2016
Olivia Covington
A majority of the justices of the Indiana Supreme Court found Tuesday that strict compliance with a state statute regarding contempt orders can be excused if the party in contempt has been sufficiently notified of their contempt, thus affirming a trial court decision requiring an ex-husband to produce income and tax documents for his ex-wife.
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Justices uphold Katrina fraud verdict against State Farm

December 6, 2016
 Associated Press
A unanimous U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld a jury verdict that State Farm Fire and Casualty Co. committed fraud against the federal government after 2005's Hurricane Katrina.
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7th Circuit rules Duke Energy must pay for wind-generated power

December 6, 2016
Olivia Covington
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a district court decision Tuesday requiring Duke Energy to pay for power generated by a local wind farm only if it passes to a lower grid, deciding instead that the energy company is contractually obligated to pay for any generated power regardless of transmission issues.
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Indiana attorney illegally practicing in Florida suspended for 18 months

December 6, 2016
Olivia Covington
An Indiana attorney who was illegally practicing law in Florida has been suspended in Indiana for 18 months without automatic reinstatement.
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Divided COA says trial court must hold hearing on order to pay

December 6, 2016
Olivia Covington
A Floyd County trial court cannot order debtors to make monthly payments toward a mortgage, taxes and insurance premiums in a foreclosure case without first holding a hearing on the debtors’ ability to pay, a divided Indiana Court of Appeals held Tuesday.
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7th Circuit rules student-athletes aren’t considered ‘employees’

December 6, 2016
Olivia Covington
Collegiate athletes cannot be considered university employees and, thus, are not eligible for minimum wage pay, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Monday, affirming a district court decision that dismissed a lawsuit brought against the NCAA.
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COA reverses handgun conviction because officer didn’t follow protocol

December 5, 2016
Olivia Covington
A police officer did not follow the proper protocol for conducting an inventory search of a detainee’s car, thus making the search impermissible under state and federal constitutions and prohibiting the admittance of any evidence obtained through the search.
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7th Circuit affirms murder, racketeering convictions despite government error

December 5, 2016
Olivia Covington
Despite improper statements made by the government during closing arguments of a trial, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the defendant’s murder and racketeering convictions, writing that the statements constituted harmless error.
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COA affirms dismissal of case due to res judicata

December 2, 2016
Olivia Covington
Res judicata prevents a title insurance company from taking a “second bite” at the apple, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday, in a case in which the company appealed dismissal of its second attempt to challenge an action by the Indiana Department of Insurance.
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Lawyer’s use of word ‘Negro’ prejudiced client, but doesn't get PCR

December 1, 2016
Dave Stafford
A defense attorney who has since been disbarred prejudiced his absent client when he referred to him as a “Negro” before potential jurors, a judge wrote, but the offending word wasn’t enough for the Court of Appeals to grant post-conviction relief.
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Court affirms injunction preventing violations of non-compete clauses

November 30, 2016
Olivia Covington
After several employees from one civil engineering firm began soliciting employees from a competitor, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday that a trial court correctly issued a preliminary injunction to force the employees to comply with non-compete and non-solicitation clauses they had signed.
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COA upholds summary judgment in workers’ comp case

November 30, 2016
Olivia Covington
Although he was hired to work on a specific project for a southern Indiana construction company, a worker who was injured on a construction job must seek damages through Indiana’s Worker’s Compensation Act because he was considered an “employee” of the company.
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COA: Indiana trial court has no personal jurisdiction over New York resident

November 30, 2016
Olivia Covington
An Indiana trial court cannot assume personal jurisdiction over a woman who lives in New York and has no ties to the Hoosier state, despite the fact that she is being sued by Indiana litigants.
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Judges: Parents, courts need guidance on discipline

November 30, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a man’s conviction for battery against his daughter on Wednesday but expressed concern over the lack of guidance courts are given when trying to determine when parental discipline goes too far.
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  1. The is an unsigned editorial masquerading as a news story. Almost everyone quoted was biased in favor of letting all illegal immigrants remain in the U.S. (Ignoring that Obama deported 3.5 million in 8 years). For some reason Obama enforcing part of the immigration laws was O.K. but Trump enforcing additional parts is terrible. I have listed to press conferences and explanations of the Homeland Security memos and I gather from them that less than 1 million will be targeted for deportation, the "dreamers" will be left alone and illegals arriving in the last two years -- especially those arriving very recently -- will be subject to deportation but after the criminals. This will not substantially affect the GDP negatively, especially as it will take place over a number of years. I personally think this is a rational approach to the illegal immigration problem. It may cause Congress to finally pass new immigration laws rationalizing the whole immigration situation.

  2. Mr. Straw, I hope you prevail in the fight. Please show us fellow American's that there is a way to fight the corrupted justice system and make them an example that you and others will not be treated unfairly. I hope you the best and good luck....

  3. @ President Snow - Nah, why try to fix something that ain't broken??? You do make an excellent point. I am sure some Mickey or Minnie Mouse will take Ruckers seat, I wonder how his retirement planning is coming along???

  4. Can someone please explain why Judge Barnes, Judge Mathias and Chief Judge Vaidik thought it was OK to re weigh the evidence blatantly knowing that by doing so was against the rules and went ahead and voted in favor of the father? I would love to ask them WHY??? I would also like to ask the three Supreme Justices why they thought it was OK too.

  5. How nice, on the day of my car accident on the way to work at the Indiana Supreme Court. Unlike the others, I did not steal any money or do ANYTHING unethical whatsoever. I am suing the Indiana Supreme Court and appealed the failure of the district court in SDIN to protect me. I am suing the federal judge because she failed to protect me and her abandonment of jurisdiction leaves her open to lawsuits because she stripped herself of immunity. I am a candidate for Indiana Supreme Court justice, and they imposed just enough sanction so that I am made ineligible. I am asking the 7th Circuit to remove all of them and appoint me as the new Chief Justice of Indiana. That's what they get for dishonoring my sacrifice and and violating the ADA in about 50 different ways.

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