Court opinions

Man who attacked officers not insane during incident

September 30, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a defendant’s claim that he was insane when he charged at, bit and spit at officers while he was in jail, but that his behavior was a result of his drug withdrawal.
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Posey County man’s convictions for rape, confinement of woman affirmed

September 30, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The past drug use of the woman who was held against her will for nearly two months and repeatedly raped was not relevant to the criminal trial of the man who abducted her, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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Hot dog vendor who stabbed man in head loses appeal

September 30, 2016
Dave StaffordMore

Charge under wrong part of statute reverses conviction

September 30, 2016
Dave Stafford
A man’s conviction of attempted obstruction of justice was reversed Friday by the Indiana Court of Appeals because the state charged him under the wrong part of the statute.
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Tax Court dismisses case against Department of Revenue due to petitioner inaction

September 30, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Tax Court dismissed a gasoline and convenience store company’s case against the state Department of Revenue Thursday, writing that the company failed to respond to discovery requests or take any action in the case for a period of more than two months.
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Supreme Court upholds man's murder, robbery convictions

September 29, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Supreme Court has upheld a man’s convictions and life sentence for murder and robbery after the justices rejected each of his arguments alleging error on the part of the Grant Superior Court.
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Supreme Court vacates order to require restitution as part of woman’s probation

September 29, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Supreme Court has vacated an order a defendant pay restitution as a condition of probation after finding that the trial court failed to determine that the defendant did not have the ability to pay.
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COA rejects ex-teacher’s appeal for lighter sentence for seduction of student

September 29, 2016
Olivia Covington
A former Indiana teacher and coach convicted of child seduction with a student cannot have his sentence reduced after the Indiana Court of Appeals decided Wednesday that his character and the nature of his offense do not warrant a lighter sentence.
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COA finds electrician can sue companies after mesothelioma diagnosis

September 28, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday that an electrician can sue the companies where he previously worked as an independent contractor for negligence and liability after he was exposed to asbestos.
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COA says attempted murder is not an exception to voluntary intoxication statute

September 28, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals found Wednesday that a man cannot have his attempted murder charge overturned because he was drunk at the time of the incident, writing that voluntary intoxication does not negate the specific intent to kill requirement of an attempted murder charge.
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COA finds no evidence of severe mental illness to prohibit pro se proceedings

September 28, 2016
Olivia Covington
A woman’s convictions for possession of controlled substances and operating a vehicle while intoxicated will stand after the Indiana Court of Appeals found Wednesday that she did not suffer from a severe mental illness that should have precluded her from proceeding pro se.
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COA rules that negligent hiring claim against Pizza Hut can proceed

September 27, 2016
Olivia Covington
A negligent hiring claim against Pizza Hut can continue to move through Jefferson Circuit Court after the Indiana Court of Appeals found Tuesday that the trial court erred when it granted summary judgment in favor of the pizza chain.
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Court of Appeals finds parents unfit, affirms termination of parental rights

September 26, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed Monday a decision to terminate parental rights after both parents failed to show evidence that allowing them to maintain their rights would be in the best interest of the children.
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COA affirms denial of timber buyer’s petition for post-conviction relief

September 26, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals found Monday that a Washington County timber buyer failed to prove that he was not guilty of illegally purchasing timber and, thus, is not entitled to post-conviction relief.
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Tax Court allows for withdrawal of 29 requests for admissions

September 26, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Tax Court has ruled in favor of a recreational vehicle manufacturer and allowed a group of 29 separate requests for admissions to be withdrawn.
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COA affirms denial of foster parents’ petition for adoption

September 23, 2016
Olivia Covington
A set of foster parents do not have the right to adopt two children without their father’s consent despite the fact that the father does not have visitation with the children, the Indiana Court of Appeals found Friday.
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7th Circuit Court finds former county employee’s FLSA rights were not violated

September 23, 2016
Olivia Covington
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals found Thursday that Tippecanoe County adequately compensated a former employee who sued the county for violation of his rights under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
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7th Circuit affirms decision not to hold special election for judges

September 22, 2016
Olivia Covington
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed a district court’s decision not to order a special election for Marion County Superior judges after two candidates for judge said their names were unconstitutionally kept off of the general election ballot.
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COA vacates public defender, probation fees for indigent man

September 21, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals has vacated an order for a man convicted of public intoxication and found to be indigent to pay more than $600 in public defender and probation fees.
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COA finds that defendant did not prove counsel error

September 21, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals will not reverse a decision to deny a man’s petition for post-conviction relief after he was convicted of three counts of felony robbery, despite his argument that the third charge of felony robbery was added against him in an untimely manner.
More

COA reverses judgment against State Farm, finds trial court erred in excluding evidence

September 20, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a judgment Tuesday against State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. after finding that a trial court erred in excluding evidence that could have proven the insurance company did not play a role in an accident that led to the plaintiff suffering from severe migraine headaches.
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Woman’s criminal recklessness, battery convictions against husband affirmed

September 20, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals on Tuesday upheld a woman’s conviction of misdemeanor battery against her husband despite her claim that the trial court did not allow her to admit evidence relevant to her case.
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K-9 search turning up heroin in car sufficient for conviction

September 16, 2016
Dave Stafford
A South Bend man’s conviction of Level 6 felony possession of a narcotic was affirmed by the Indiana Court of Appeals Friday, which found the evidence was sufficient to support the jury’s verdict.
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COA: Defrauded Logansport business can’t sue Michigan law firms here

September 16, 2016
Dave Stafford
A Logansport businessman who was defrauded of more than $20,000 cannot use Indiana courts to sue the Michigan law firm whose client was later convicted of wire fraud, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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Judge: Elkhart school's Christmas program didn't violate law

September 16, 2016
 Associated Press
A U.S. District Court judge has ruled that an Elkhart high school's Christmas program last year didn't violate constitutional prohibitions against the endorsement of religion by public entities.
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  1. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  2. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

  3. Diversity is important, but with some limitations. For instance, diversity of experience is a great thing that can be very helpful in certain jobs or roles. Diversity of skin color is never important, ever, under any circumstance. To think that skin color changes one single thing about a person is patently racist and offensive. Likewise, diversity of values is useless. Some values are better than others. In the case of a supreme court justice, I actually think diversity is unimportant. The justices are not to impose their own beliefs on rulings, but need to apply the law to the facts in an objective manner.

  4. Have been seeing this wonderful physician for a few years and was one of his patients who told him about what we were being told at CVS. Multiple ones. This was a witch hunt and they shold be ashamed of how patients were treated. Most of all, CVS should be ashamed for what they put this physician through. So thankful he fought back. His office is no "pill mill'. He does drug testing multiple times a year and sees patients a minimum of four times a year.

  5. Brian W, I fear I have not been sufficiently entertaining to bring you back. Here is a real laugh track that just might do it. When one is grabbed by the scruff of his worldview and made to choose between his Confession and his profession ... it is a not a hard choice, given the Confession affects eternity. But then comes the hardship in this world. Imagine how often I hear taunts like yours ... "what, you could not even pass character and fitness after they let you sit and pass their bar exam ... dude, there must really be something wrong with you!" Even one of the Bishop's foremost courtiers said that, when explaining why the RCC refused to stand with me. You want entertaining? How about watching your personal economy crash while you have a wife and five kids to clothe and feed. And you can't because you cannot work, because those demanding you cast off your Confession to be allowed into "their" profession have all the control. And you know that they are wrong, dead wrong, and that even the professional code itself allows your Faithful stand, to wit: "A lawyer may refuse to comply with an obligation imposed by law upon a good faith belief that no valid obligation exists. The provisions of Rule 1.2(d) concerning a good faith challenge to the validity, scope, meaning or application of the law apply to challenges of legal regulation of the practice of law." YET YOU ARE A NONPERSON before the BLE, and will not be heard on your rights or their duties to the law -- you are under tyranny, not law. And so they win in this world, you lose, and you lose even your belief in the rule of law, and demoralization joins poverty, and very troubling thoughts impeaching self worth rush in to fill the void where your career once lived. Thoughts you did not think possible. You find yourself a failure ... in your profession, in your support of your family, in the mirror. And there is little to keep hope alive, because tyranny rules so firmly and none, not the church, not the NGO's, none truly give a damn. Not even a new court, who pay such lip service to justice and ancient role models. You want entertainment? Well if you are on the side of the courtiers running the system that has crushed me, as I suspect you are, then Orwell must be a real riot: "There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always — do not forget this, Winston — always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever." I never thought they would win, I always thought that at the end of the day the rule of law would prevail. Yes, the rule of man's law. Instead power prevailed, so many rules broken by the system to break me. It took years, but, finally, the end that Dr Bowman predicted is upon me, the end that she advised the BLE to take to break me. Ironically, that is the one thing in her far left of center report that the BLE (after stamping, in red ink, on Jan 22) is uninterested in, as that the BLE and ADA office that used the federal statute as a sword now refuses to even dialogue on her dire prediction as to my fate. "C'est la vie" Entertaining enough for you, status quo defender?

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