Court opinions

COA affirms $147,000 judgment against smelter manufacturer

June 7, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a $147,000 judgment against a manufacturer of lead smelters, finding the trial court did not abuse its discretion when it entered default judgment against the company when it did not respond properly to a complaint.
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West Lafayette business owner scores victory in Tax Court

June 3, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The owner of two shops that sold books, music and other items, as well as rented movies, got a favorable ruling regarding his adjusted gross income tax owed in the Indiana Tax Court Friday.
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Justices rule Ed Martin Toyota can relocate to Hamilton County

June 2, 2016
Scott Roberts
Three central Indiana Toyota dealers lost their battle to stop a fourth from moving into their vicinity as the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Thursday they did not have standing to stop the move from happening.
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7th Circuit: Drivers not entitled to ‘special services’ profit

June 2, 2016
Scott Roberts
Truck drivers are not entitled to profits from any “special services” a company they drive for provides, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed Wednesday, because the language supporting such a claim isn’t in the contract.
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Justices: Divorced parents don't have to pay graduate school costs for their children

June 1, 2016
Scott Roberts
In a unanimous decision, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled divorced parents cannot be obligated to pay the graduate or professional school expenses of their adult children in a case where a mother and father were forced to share a child’s dental school expenses after she completed her undergraduate degree.
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COA: Mother justified in deciding not to work as doctor

May 31, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
In a child support case in which a man challenged the decision by his son’s mother to quit her job as a doctor to stay at home with her children, the Indiana Court of Appeals found she had just cause to do so based on the sons’ special needs.
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Suspended attorney’s UPL convictions upheld

May 31, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a suspended Elkhart attorney’s convictions of practicing law by a non-attorney after ruling there is sufficient evidence he continued to provide legal work after he was disciplined by the Indiana Supreme Court two years ago.
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Division of judgment in failed care facility financing affirmed

May 31, 2016
Dave Stafford
A former Indiana lawmaker and his business partners must pay a pro rata share of a deficiency judgment over defaulted financing for a rehabilitation care facility in Liberty, Indiana, the Court of Appeals affirmed Tuesday.
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Although unlicensed in county, contractor still owed for work

May 31, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled a contractor violated the Home Improvement Contracts Act when he misled a family into thinking he was locally licensed and voided the contract between the two. However, the court said he should still be paid for the work he did because the family would be unjustly enriched if he was not paid.
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Contract’s ambiguities win homeowners a reversal

May 31, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Owners of a shabbily built house will get another chance to hold their architects accountable for the construction headaches after the Indiana Court of Appeals found there are questions of material fact that should be considered.
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COA affirms child care worker’s convictions of sex with minors

May 31, 2016
Dave Stafford
A Putnam County man convicted of multiple counts of sex with minors under his care failed to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that evidence against him was improperly admitted in his bench trial.
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Stepfather who proved paternity can’t deprive ex of joint custody

May 31, 2016
Dave Stafford
A man who fathered a child while the mother was married to another man lost his appeal Tuesday that sought relief from a court order concerning the child's custody.
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7th Circuit: Probationary phone records are admissible evidence

May 31, 2016
Scott Roberts
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled evidence of a deceased man’s phone numbers provided to his probation officer is not inadmissible hearsay and those records should be included in another man’s criminal case.
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COA: Court cannot order juvenile to pay restitution as a civil judgment

May 27, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled a trial court may not order a juvenile to pay restitution as a civil judgment after a minor was ordered to pay restitution in two cases where he violated his probation.
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COA: Man did not have expectation of privacy after he was tracked by GPS

May 26, 2016
Scott Roberts
Tracking of man by GPS did not violate his Fourth Amendment or Indiana constitutional rights, the Court of Appeals ruled, because he did not have a reasonable expectation of privacy. The appellate court upheld Joseph Sidener's Class C felony burglary conviction and the finding he is an habitual offender.
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COA rules DCS has duty to protect caller’s identity

May 26, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled in a 2-1 decision the Indiana Department of Child Services had a duty to protect a man’s identity after he called the DCS hotline and reported his neighbors’ children as children in need of services.
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7th Circuit upholds lifetime supervised release

May 25, 2016
Scott Roberts
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday affirmed a federal judge’s findings and explanations were sufficient to support lifetime supervised release for 66-year-old man in poor health.
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COA: Gun evidence lawfully obtained

May 25, 2016
Scott Roberts
In its third Fourth Amendment case in two weeks, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled evidence obtained during a stop of a man who was loitering around an apartment complex and then left suspiciously was lawfully seized. The judges affirmed the trial court’s denial of his motion to suppress on interlocutory appeal.
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Divided COA rules karate kick is an issue of material fact

May 24, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 that a man’s kick in karate class, which injured a woman, constituted an issue of material fact and reversed summary judgment in his favor.
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Property manager not liable in drunken driving crash, COA holds

May 24, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled the property management company of a Camby bar has no duty of care to a woman who was seriously injured in a car accident in which she and the driver were intoxicated.
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COA deals blow to AG’s foreclosure lawyer consumer suit

May 23, 2016
Dave Stafford
An effectively disbarred Florida attorney whose company hired Indiana lawyers to represent people in foreclosures must face a consumer lawsuit brought by the Indiana Attorney General’s Office, but her company is largely exempted, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday.
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'Abusive litigant' loses appeal for damages

May 23, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals denied a prolific litigant's attempt to get more than $30,000 in damages after he claimed a printer he purchased online for less than $75 did not work and then sued for thousands of dollars in damages.
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Ex-credit union chief loses defamation per se appeal

May 18, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment for an employer after the president of a company was fired over an executive's hotline call. The president claimed defamation per se and considered the hotline company liable, but the COA ruled comments made during the call were not defamatory.
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COA: Lack of release advisement was harmless error

May 13, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled a trial court’s failure to advise a man of his possible release dates was harmless error and affirmed his sentence for two felonies.
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7th Circuit: Officer not entitled to qualified immunity

May 12, 2016
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a police officer who released a dog during an arrest to find a suspect is not entitled to qualified immunity.
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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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