Court opinions

7th Circuit halts fraud restitution for ‘reckless’ Bank of America

February 13, 2017
Dave Stafford
Three defendants convicted of wire fraud in the purchase of 16 properties in Gary were clearly guilty of the crimes, but the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Friday threw out a restitution order in favor of Bank of America and urged the district court in Hammond to consider fining the defendants instead.
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COA overturns bestiality conviction based on confession

February 9, 2017
Olivia Covington
Although a Delaware County man admitted to sexually assaulting his roommate’s dog, the Indiana Court of Appeals overturned the man’s bestiality conviction Thursday because the prosecution failed to establish a corpus delicti.
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7th Circuit affirms deferral on sentencing request

February 9, 2017
Olivia Covington
An Indiana federal judge appropriately deferred judgment on a convicted child molester’s request for concurrent state and federal sentences because the state court was presented with additional facts that were relevant to sentencing, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals decided Wednesday.
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Justices hold mayor lacked authority to fire utilities superintendent

February 8, 2017
Olivia Covington
A divided Indiana Supreme Court held Wednesday that a mayor did not have statutory authority to terminate his city’s utilities superintendent, writing in an opinion that “may well offend sound public policy” that only the utilities board can terminate the superintendent with cause, notice and a hearing.
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COA affirms convictions of man involved in fatal police chase

February 8, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a man’s various drug, handgun and resisting law enforcement convictions Wednesday after holding that the man was aware of the contraband in his vehicle and that his operation of the vehicle resulted in a passenger’s death.
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Supreme Court reverses CHINS determination

February 7, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Supreme Court reversed a children in need of services determination Tuesday after agreeing to hear the parents’ case on the merits, despite their premature notices of appeal.
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COA affirms summary judgment against Celadon in class action

February 7, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed summary judgment against a prominent trucking company in a class-action lawsuit, holding that the terms of the company’s contract with its independent drivers require the company to deduct the cost of fuel from their compensation based only on the lowest discounted price.
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COA: Declaratory judgment, tort actions can arise from same occurrence

February 7, 2017
Olivia Covington
A declaratory judgment action can arise from the same occurrence as an underlying tort action for purposes of permissive joinder under Trial Rule 20, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Tuesday. The judges affirmed the denial of a request to sever two tort counts from a count seeking declaratory judgment.
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Reversal: ‘Odor of raw marijuana’ sufficient grounds for search

February 6, 2017
Dave Stafford
A police officer who said he detected “a strong odor of raw marijuana” coming from a car during a traffic stop had probable cause to search the driver, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled in reversing a trial court.
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COA: Malpractice claim barred by statute of limitations

February 6, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals has rejected a woman’s malpractice claim after holding that the claim was barred by a two-year statute of limitations.
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Cop denied murder rehearing to appeal to US Supreme Court

February 6, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed itself and vacated its order to rehear a case of an Indiana police officer convicted of murder and arson. Glenn Patrick Bradford's attorney said he will ask the Supreme Court of the United States to hear the appeal.
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7th Circuit dismisses Moorish tax claim, condemns ‘sovereign citizen’ ideology

February 3, 2017
Olivia Covington
A man who declared himself a “sovereign citizen” as a result of his “Moorish” heritage is in fact not a sovereign citizen who is exempt from taxes, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals wrote in a Friday opinion that delved into the history of the Moorish-American movement that has been the source of “difficult litigation."
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COA: Convicted sex offender can’t seek expungement for unrelated charges

February 3, 2017
Olivia Covington
A man convicted of Class D felonies is not eligible for expungement of those offenses because he has also been convicted of sex crimes, the Indiana Court of Appeals decided Friday.
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COA: Bank had no duty to woman injured by drunken driver

February 2, 2017
Olivia Covington
An Indiana bank does not owe a duty of care to a woman who was injured by a drunken driver after the bank’s employees helped the driver change his tire without knowing that he had been drinking, the Indiana Court of Appeals found Thursday.
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7th Circuit upholds judgment in favor of nonprofit’s board of directors

February 2, 2017
Olivia Covington
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld summary judgment in favor of a sister on the board of directors of a family foundation after finding that her brother lacked standing to bring either individual or derivative claims on behalf of the corporation.
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7th Circuit allows evidentiary hearing on ineffective assistance of counsel claim

February 2, 2017
Olivia Covington
A doctrine allowing prisoners to bring ineffective assistance of counsel claims after a procedural default at the state level applies in Indiana and, thus, entitles a convicted murderer to an evidentiary hearing on his ineffective counsel claim, a divided 7th Circuit Court of Appeals decided Wednesday.
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COA affirms default judgment against Menards in injury lawsuit

February 1, 2017
Olivia Covington
A summons and complaint in a personal injury claim were adequately served on a Menards store in Gary, the Indiana Court of Appeals found Wednesday, so the store cannot seek relief from default judgment entered against it on the basis of the service of process.
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Supreme Court upholds man's life sentence

January 25, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
An Elkhart County man who smoked synthetic marijuana then stabbed his girlfriend to death was unable to convince the Indiana Supreme Court that his sentence of life without parole was unconstitutional.
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Justices revise sentence of man with mental illness

January 25, 2017
Olivia Covington
The justices of the Indiana Supreme Court have revised the sentence of a Daviess County man with a history of mental illness who was convicted of burglary, drawing on the dissent of Indiana Court of Appeals Judge Paul Mathias, who advocated for treatment for offenders who are mentally ill.
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7th Circuit vacates denial of prisoner’s request for help finding counsel

January 25, 2017
Olivia Covington
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has vacated a district court order denying a request to help an inmate living in another state recruit counsel for an Indiana case, noting that without counsel or a medical expert, the inmate will be unable to build a strong legal case.
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COA: Restitution must be based on value of damaged car, not upgraded vehicle

January 25, 2017
Olivia Covington
Trial courts must award restitution based on the cost of an item that was stolen or damaged, not the cost of upgrading to a new item, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday, so the Marion Superior Court erred when it ordered restitution based on the cost a woman incurred in purchasing a newer vehicle after a wreck.
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7th Circuit affirms denial of evidentiary hearing, post-conviction review

January 25, 2017
Olivia Covington
The appointed public defender for a man convicted and sentenced for distributing cocaine tried to advise his client to accept a plea agreement, so that client cannot appeal on the basis of ineffective assistance of counsel, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.
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District court declines to stop Supreme Court disciplinary hearing

January 24, 2017
Olivia Covington
A federal judge has declined to intervene in an Indiana Supreme Court disciplinary proceeding against a northern Indiana attorney who claims he is being discriminated against in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
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COA: Company cannot withhold ‘voluntary’ deductions from ex-employee's pay

January 23, 2017
Olivia Covington
A plumbing and electrical company cannot impose “voluntary” tax deductions on a former employee’s final paycheck without statutory authority, nor can it force that employee to pay a $1,000 insurance deductible after an auto accident, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Monday.
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Sexual assault nurse’s testimony qualifies under medical hearsay exceptions

January 20, 2017
Olivia Covington
A Huntington County man who molested his young relative cannot challenge the admission of the testimony of the nurse who examined the victim because the testimony qualified under the medical treatment exception to hearsay rules, the Indiana Court of Appeals decided.
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  1. As one of the many consumers affected by this breach, I found my bank data had been lifted and used to buy over $200 of various merchandise in New York. I did a pretty good job of tracing the purchases to stores around a college campus just from the info on my bank statement. Hm. Mr. Hill, I would like my $200 back! It doesn't belong to the state, in my opinion. Give it back to the consumers affected. I had to freeze my credit and take out data protection, order a new debit card and wait until it arrived. I deserve something for my trouble!

  2. Don't we have bigger issues to concern ourselves with?

  3. Anyone who takes the time to study disciplinary and bar admission cases in Indiana ... much of which is, as a matter of course and by intent, off the record, would have a very difficult time drawing lines that did not take into account things which are not supposed to matter, such as affiliations, associations, associates and the like. Justice Hoosier style is a far departure than what issues in most other parts of North America. (More like Central America, in fact.) See, e.g., http://www.theindianalawyer.com/indiana-attorney-illegally-practicing-in-florida-suspended-for-18-months/PARAMS/article/42200 When while the Indiana court system end the cruel practice of killing prophets of due process and those advocating for blind justice?

  4. Wouldn't this call for an investigation of Government corruption? Chief Justice Loretta Rush, wrote that the case warranted the high court’s review because the method the Indiana Court of Appeals used to reach its decision was “a significant departure from the law.” Specifically, David wrote that the appellate panel ruled after reweighing of the evidence, which is NOT permissible at the appellate level. **But yet, they look the other way while an innocent child was taken by a loving mother who did nothing wrong"

  5. Different rules for different folks....

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