Court opinions

Parties’ oral modification of land agreement unenforceable

May 28, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld the decision by a trial court finding an oral agreement between a buyer and seller that modified a written land contract had to be in writing based on the Statute of Frauds and that the buyer defaulted on the terms of the agreement.
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No abuse in giving jury instruction, but COA still reverses 1 conviction

May 28, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court did not abuse its discretion when it gave a jury instruction during an invasion of privacy trial, the Court of Appeals ruled, but the appeals court sua sponte did reverse one of two convictions because of double jeopardy.
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COA affirms admission of gun and photographs into evidence

May 27, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court did not abuse its discretion when it admitted as evidence a handgun and photographs of the gun found in a car being impounded after police discovered the driver did not own the car and believed it was unsafe to operate, the Court of Appeals held.
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Judge concerned about doctor’s contradictory affidavit

May 27, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
An Indiana Court of Appeals judge found it troubling that a member of a medical review panel that unanimously found defendants breached their duty of care to a patient could later issue an affidavit in which he changed his mind relating to a doctor accused of medical malpractice.
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Police did not induce woman to commit prostitution, COA rules

May 27, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A woman who was arrested for prostitution after she agreed to have sex in exchange for money with an undercover detective outside of a strip club was not entrapped by the detective, the Court of Appeals held Wednesday.
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Probationer’s admission to smoking marijuana supports revocation

May 27, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Because a man on probation admitted to participating in unlawful conduct during his probationary period, the trial court correctly revoked his probation, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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COA upholds man’s belated appeal, molestation conviction

May 27, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Citing the defendant’s limited understanding of English and his timely request for appellate counsel, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the decision by the trial court to grant a man’s belated notice of appeal regarding a child molesting conviction.
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Judge believes lack of victim notification of plea supports vacating agreement

May 26, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A Court of Appeals judge dissented from his colleagues on Tuesday when he voted to support a trial court's decision to throw out a plea agreement on the day of sentencing. The trial court discovered the victim in the case had not been notified of the plea agreement.
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Court declines to rule on constitutionality of statute as it relates to auditors

May 26, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Because the Marion County auditor does not have statutory or common law standing to appeal a property tax assessment board of appeals’ decision under Indiana Code 6-1.1-15-12 to the Indiana Tax Court, its judge, Martha Wentworth, held that the constitutional challenge raised regarding the statute will have to be decided another day.
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Drug conviction reversed because state didn’t prove substance was heroin

May 26, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Because police did not prove the product of a controlled drug buy was heroin, the Court of Appeals reversed a man's conviction of Class A felony dealing in a narcotic within 1,000 feet of a school.
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COA: No evidence employee violated professional conduct rule

May 26, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals on Tuesday reversed the denial of a man's application for unemployment benefits, finding the record doesn't support that he was fired for just cause for violating his employer's professional conduct rules. The man kept a mentally disabled client in a hot car, citing his safety and the safety of other riders.
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State proved man forced his way into apartment, COA holds

May 26, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A man convicted of three crimes stemming from the robbery of an apartment could not convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that he did not force his way into the apartment because someone inside opened the door first.
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COA reverses felony conviction for lack of evidence

May 22, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The state did not prove that a St. Joseph County man intimidated another person when the man pulled out a knife after being confronted about stealing water, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Friday. The dissenting judge believed there to be no distinction between the defendant being “caught” stealing water and “confronting” the defendant about stealing it.
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Man’s appellate arguments challenging misdemeanor convictions waived

May 22, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals agreed with the state that a man waived his arguments on appeal because he did not raise a relevant objection at trial, he did not make a cogent argument on appeal, and because his arguments are otherwise meritless.
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Magistrate chides ‘bloated filings’ in long-running gun dispute

May 20, 2015
Dave Stafford
A federal magistrate judge in a protracted trademark dispute over the design of competing firearms took aim Tuesday at lawyers he said were slowing the case.
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Savings clause of 2014 criminal code revision not unconstitutional

May 20, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a man’s claim that the savings clause of the 2014 criminal code revision violates the Equal Privileges and Immunities Clause of the Indiana Constitution.
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COA: Trial court properly admitted drug evidence

May 20, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals held that a trial court acted within its discretion when it admitted evidence found after executing a search warrant of a large quantity of marijuana in a defendant’s backpack, which led to the revocation of the defendant’s probation.
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Woman’s theft, check deception convictions affirmed

May 20, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Court of Appeals concluded Wednesday that a defendant did not establish that the trial court abused its discretion by refusing her proffered jury instruction or in the admission of pretrial identification evidence.
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7th Circuit affirms denial of railroad disability benefits

May 20, 2015
Dave Stafford
A railroad worker treated in Indiana for years for back injuries and pain failed to convince the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals he was entitled to federal disability benefits.
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Justices find nature of murders supports death penalty

May 20, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A Gary man who shot and killed his wife and her two children at close range will remain on death row, the Indiana Supreme Court concluded Wednesday.
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Man’s life without parole sentence upheld

May 20, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
There is sufficient evidence to affirm a Fulton County man’s sentence of life without parole for his connection in the murder of an elderly woman during a home invasion, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Wednesday.
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Double jeopardy requires reversal of 1 of prisoner’s convictions

May 20, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
An inmate in the Miami Correctional Facility scored a partial victory before the Indiana Supreme Court Tuesday. The justices reversed one of his convictions for battering a correctional officer, but declined to reduce his eight-year sentence.
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7th Circuit again denies Notre Dame’s request for injunction in contraception suit

May 20, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A month after rehearing the University of Notre Dame’s request for a preliminary injunction that it need not comply with the Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals again affirmed the denial of the school’s request.
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Indiana judge weighs fate of BMV overcharges case

May 19, 2015
 Associated Press
A judge is weighing the fate of a lawsuit targeting the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles after he heard arguments Monday in the case alleging that the BMV overcharged motorists by tens of millions of dollars for fees and services.
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Former Lake County clerk given 4-year suspension

May 19, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The former clerk of Lake County who used federal funds to pay himself bonuses has been suspended from the practice of law after the Indiana Supreme Court found he had betrayed the public’s trust and violated both his oath of office and of attorneys.
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