Court opinions

Requiring deaf mom to sign doesn’t violate due process

July 30, 2014
Dave Stafford
A mother whose parental rights were terminated was not denied due process when a judge who couldn’t understand her spoken testimony required her to sign to an interpreter who then spoke her responses aloud.
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Court affirms judgment for NIPSCO in easement dispute

July 30, 2014
Dave Stafford
A trial court was correct in awarding a northern Indiana utility company $245,858 for the cost of reconstructing power lines on a new easement after prior owners had mined sand on the prior easement, making servicing poles difficult.
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Court affirms denial of post-conviction relief

July 30, 2014
Dave Stafford
An Elkhart County man twice convicted and sentenced to 50 years in prison on drug convictions was not improperly denied post-conviction relief, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.
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Denial of summary judgment affirmed in wrongful death case

July 30, 2014
Dave Stafford
A doctor and a South Bend healthcare facility must stand trial on a wrongful death claim, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday, affirming a trial court’s denial of summary judgment.
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Deputy’s ‘playful’ groin shot not cause for termination, COA affirms

July 30, 2014
Dave Stafford
A longtime Bartholomew County merit deputy disciplined after he “playfully shot a fellow officer in the groin with non-lethal training ammunition” was not fired for cause, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled in affirming an administrative law judge’s determination the deputy was entitled to unemployment benefits.
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Police questioning gets conviction booted a second time

July 29, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The child molesting conviction of a Lafayette man has again been overturned by the Indiana Court of Appeals because of problems with statements he made to police.
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Court allows education board lawsuit to proceed

July 29, 2014
 Associated Press
A Marion County judge has cleared the way for a lawsuit to proceed against members of the State Board of Education that alleges public access violations.
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Warrantless search based on smell does not violated 4th Amendment

July 28, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Despite the absence of danger to the public, the strong odor of raw marijuana provided the probable cause a police officer needed to conduct a warrantless search.
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COA rules grandparent visitation order prejudiced father

July 28, 2014
Dave Stafford
A father who asked the trial court for a continuance to hire a lawyer after he realized his child’s grandparents had hired an attorney was prejudiced when the request was denied, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday.
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Prisoner wins right to recruit counsel in federal civil suit

July 28, 2014
Dave Stafford
A prisoner was improperly denied counsel to help with discovery in his federal lawsuit that claimed a medical provider was deliberately indifferent to glaucoma that ultimately required removal of part of his eye.
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7th Circuit rejects prisoner’s ineffective assistance appeal

July 28, 2014
Dave Stafford
A man convicted of attempted murder failed to convince a panel of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals that he suffered sufficient prejudice to warrant relief from a 90-year sentence imposed after a brutal crime.
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7th Circuit affirms dismissal of Indianapolis wrongful arrest suit

July 28, 2014
Dave Stafford
A plaintiff who judges say took a “kitchen sink” approach to litigation over an alleged wrongful arrest failed to convince the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals that a federal judge in Indianapolis improperly dismissed most of her complaint.
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Court rules stun gun is deadly weapon under battery statute

July 28, 2014
Dave Stafford
The battery with a deadly weapon conviction of a man who attacked a resident manager at a Noblesville trailer park with a metal pipe and a stun gun was affirmed by the Indiana Court of Appeals Monday.
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Non life-threatening injury gets aggravated battery conviction reversed

July 28, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A defendant who shot at a car with a semiautomatic rifle, causing a bullet to graze the driver, did not commit Class B felony aggravated battery because the injury inflicted upon the victim did not create a substantial risk of death.
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Employee's auto accident on way home from business meeting not company's fault

July 25, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A company whose employee hit and killed another motorist after having dinner and drinks with a client is not liable because the employee was “going and coming” from work when the tragedy occurred, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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COA reverses ruling against Carmel in building dispute

July 25, 2014
Dave Stafford
A Carmel couple who successfully sued the city that at first permitted construction of an accessory building that neighbors later complained was taller than zoning codes allowed lost Friday at the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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Additional public defender fees without hearing affirmed

July 25, 2014
A man who appealed a court order that he pay fees in excess of the statutory public defender fee capped at $100 lost his appeal, though one judge said the trial court must hold a hearing on the defendant’s ability to pay.
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Woman’s burglary conspiracy conviction affirmed

July 25, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals Friday affirmed the conviction of a correctional officer who played a role in arranging the burglary of a safe from a friend’s home.
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Supreme Court lets lawyer’s suit against Duke Realty proceed

July 25, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court summarily affirmed a Court of Appeals ruling that a jury should decide whether a real estate company intentionally induced a law firm to terminate an attorney’s partnership agreement as the result of a dispute over a land agreement.
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Appeals court affirms denial of post-conviction relief

July 25, 2014
Dave Stafford
A man who was represented by a law student at his guilty plea hearing and claimed he received ineffective assistance of counsel could not persuade a panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals to reverse a denial of his petition for post-conviction relief.
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Summary judgment proper on issue of causation, COA rules

July 23, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed summary judgment in favor of a doctor sued by a patient who claimed a delay in a diagnosis caused him to have increased pain and problems. The evidence doesn’t establish a genuine issue of material fact on the issue of causation.
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Man can be charged for failing to register in 2 counties

July 23, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has ordered a trial on a charge of failing to register as a sex offender in Vanderburgh County, ruling that a man can be charged in that county even though he pleaded guilty to failing to register in a different county based on the same move.
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COA: drug court participant not entitled to credit time for electronic monitoring

July 22, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The trial court properly denied awarding credit time to a drug court participant on electronic monitoring who violated the conditions of his agreement four times, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Illinois law applies to accident in that state involving Hoosiers

July 22, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court properly held that Illinois substantive law is applicable to a collision that occurred in Illinois between two Indiana residents, the Court of Appeals concluded Tuesday.
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Court erred in denying nursing home’s motion to compel arbitration

July 22, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court incorrectly concluded that an arbitration agreement contained in a nursing home’s facility admission agreement was ambiguous because the parties bound by the agreement are not clearly named, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Tuesday.
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  1. I like the concept. Seems like a good idea and really inexpensive to manage.

  2. I don't agree that this is an extreme case. There are more of these people than you realize - people that are vindictive and/or with psychological issues have clogged the system with baseless suits that are costly to the defendant and to taxpayers. Restricting repeat offenders from further abusing the system is not akin to restricting their freedon, but to protecting their victims, and the court system, from allowing them unfettered access. From the Supreme Court opinion "he has burdened the opposing party and the courts of this state at every level with massive, confusing, disorganized, defective, repetitive, and often meritless filings."

  3. So, if you cry wolf one too many times courts may "restrict" your ability to pursue legal action? Also, why is document production equated with wealth? Anyone can "produce probably tens of thousands of pages of filings" if they have a public library card. I understand this is an extreme case, but our Supreme Court really got this one wrong.

  4. He called our nation a nation of cowards because we didn't want to talk about race. That was a cheap shot coming from the top cop. The man who decides who gets the federal government indicts. Wow. Not a gentleman if that is the measure. More importantly, this insult delivered as we all understand, to white people-- without him or anybody needing to explain that is precisely what he meant-- but this is an insult to timid white persons who fear the government and don't want to say anything about race for fear of being accused a racist. With all the legal heat that can come down on somebody if they say something which can be construed by a prosecutor like Mr Holder as racist, is it any wonder white people-- that's who he meant obviously-- is there any surprise that white people don't want to talk about race? And as lawyers we have even less freedom lest our remarks be considered violations of the rules. Mr Holder also demonstrated his bias by publically visiting with the family of the young man who was killed by a police offering in the line of duty, which was a very strong indicator of bias agains the offer who is under investigation, and was a failure to lead properly by letting his investigators do their job without him predetermining the proper outcome. He also has potentially biased the jury pool. All in all this worsens race relations by feeding into the perception shared by whites as well as blacks that justice will not be impartial. I will say this much, I do not blame Obama for all of HOlder's missteps. Obama has done a lot of things to stay above the fray and try and be a leader for all Americans. Maybe he should have reigned Holder in some but Obama's got his hands full with other problelms. Oh did I mention HOlder is a bank crony who will probably get a job in a silkstocking law firm working for millions of bucks a year defending bankers whom he didn't have the integrity or courage to hold to account for their acts of fraud on the United States, other financial institutions, and the people. His tenure will be regarded by history as a failure of leadership at one of the most important jobs in our nation. Finally and most importantly besides him insulting the public and letting off the big financial cheats, he has been at the forefront of over-prosecuting the secrecy laws to punish whistleblowers and chill free speech. What has Holder done to vindicate the rights of privacy of the American public against the illegal snooping of the NSA? He could have charged NSA personnel with violations of law for their warrantless wiretapping which has been done millions of times and instead he did not persecute a single soul. That is a defalcation of historical proportions and it signals to the public that the government DOJ under him was not willing to do a damn thing to protect the public against the rapid growth of the illegal surveillance state. Who else could have done this? Nobody. And for that omission Obama deserves the blame too. Here were are sliding into a police state and Eric Holder made it go all the faster.

  5. JOE CLAYPOOL candidate for Superior Court in Harrison County - Indiana This candidate is misleading voters to think he is a Judge by putting Elect Judge Joe Claypool on his campaign literature. paragraphs 2 and 9 below clearly indicate this injustice to voting public to gain employment. What can we do? Indiana Code - Section 35-43-5-3: Deception (a) A person who: (1) being an officer, manager, or other person participating in the direction of a credit institution, knowingly or intentionally receives or permits the receipt of a deposit or other investment, knowing that the institution is insolvent; (2) knowingly or intentionally makes a false or misleading written statement with intent to obtain property, employment, or an educational opportunity; (3) misapplies entrusted property, property of a governmental entity, or property of a credit institution in a manner that the person knows is unlawful or that the person knows involves substantial risk of loss or detriment to either the owner of the property or to a person for whose benefit the property was entrusted; (4) knowingly or intentionally, in the regular course of business, either: (A) uses or possesses for use a false weight or measure or other device for falsely determining or recording the quality or quantity of any commodity; or (B) sells, offers, or displays for sale or delivers less than the represented quality or quantity of any commodity; (5) with intent to defraud another person furnishing electricity, gas, water, telecommunication, or any other utility service, avoids a lawful charge for that service by scheme or device or by tampering with facilities or equipment of the person furnishing the service; (6) with intent to defraud, misrepresents the identity of the person or another person or the identity or quality of property; (7) with intent to defraud an owner of a coin machine, deposits a slug in that machine; (8) with intent to enable the person or another person to deposit a slug in a coin machine, makes, possesses, or disposes of a slug; (9) disseminates to the public an advertisement that the person knows is false, misleading, or deceptive, with intent to promote the purchase or sale of property or the acceptance of employment;

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