Court opinions

Justices find Ohio, Indiana burglary statutes are ‘substantially similar’

December 16, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Supreme Court Friday overturned a lower court’s decision to throw out a man’s serious violent felon charges, writing that statutes governing burglary convictions in Ohio and Indiana are “substantially” similar.
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Justices reaffirm decision after correcting factual error

December 16, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Supreme Court has reaffirmed its decision to deny relief to a man convicted of child solicitation after granting a rehearing on that decision to correct a factual error.
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COA affirms ex-wife’s murder conviction, sentence

December 16, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the conviction of a woman who shot and killed her ex-husband in 2014, finding that her claims of self-defense against domestic abuse were unsubstantiated.
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COA rejects Duke’s claims against proposed Franklin traffic expansion

December 16, 2016
Olivia Covington
Duke Energy of Indiana cannot prevent the city of Franklin from expanding an east-side intersection, the Indiana Court of Appeals found Friday, allowing the city to move forward with a project designed to beautify the State Road 44 corridor off of Interstate 65.
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COA: Case for relief against INDOT may continue

December 16, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals allowed a local government entity to continue seeking relief against the Indiana Department of Transportation Friday, holding that the local unit of government had standing to seek both injunctive and declaratory relief.
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Order for parents to pay grad school costs reversed

December 14, 2016
Dave Stafford
Parents who were ordered in a divorce decree to pay their child's costs of graduate school won’t have to after the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled the trial court abused its discretion in so ordering.
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Adams Co. judge not required to recuse himself from case involving former client

December 12, 2016
Olivia Covington
An Adams County judge who presided over a case in which the defendant was his former legal client was not required to recuse himself, the Indiana Court of Appeals found Monday.
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Child molester’s failure to register conviction vacated

December 12, 2016
Olivia Covington
A convicted child molester will not also have a conviction of failure to register as a sex offender after the Indiana Court of Appeals found Monday that his arrest was premature.
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COA reaffirms decision imposing sanctions on mental health service provider

December 9, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals has reaffirmed an earlier decision finding that sanctions against a mental health provider were warranted, making clear Friday that it fully understood why the sanctions were imposed.
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7th Circuit affirms dismissal of claims against Indiana, Marion County officials

December 9, 2016
Olivia Covington
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed the dismissal of claims against several Indiana state and county officials, finding that most of the claims failed due to the immunity provided to government employees in the scope of their employment.
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COA: Law enforcement may not refuse to hire based solely on expunged criminal histories

December 8, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that law enforcement agencies are not permitted under state statute to refuse to hire new employees solely because those people have prior criminal histories that have since been expunged.
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Court abused discretion in letting public defender withdraw appearance

December 8, 2016
Olivia Covington
An attorney seeking a motion to withdraw appearance had to prove there was justification for his withdrawal and provide sufficient notice to the party he represented before the motion could be granted, the Indiana Court of Appeals found Thursday.
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COA holds public trust rights rule along lakeshore

December 7, 2016
Olivia Covington
When a private property owner’s land deed overlaps with that of the public trust along Lake Michigan, the rights to the shore are controlled by the common law public trust doctrine, the Indiana Court of Appeals found Wednesday in a landmark decision that prevents private property owners from exerting complete control over lakeshore land between ordinary high- and low-water marks.
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COA affirms lifetime suspension of driving rights

December 7, 2016
Olivia Covington
A man who was caught driving with a suspended license cannot challenge the legality of the lifetime suspension of his driving privileges because the law in effect at the time of his arrest required the lifetime suspension, the Indiana Court of Appeals found Wednesday.
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COA reverses handgun conviction after state failed to meet burden of proof

December 7, 2016
Olivia Covington
The state failed to meet its burden of proof to show that an Indianapolis man was carrying a handgun without a license outside of his dwelling, workplace or property, the Court of Appeals found Wednesday, thus vacating the man’s misdemeanor conviction.
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‘Strict compliance’ with contempt statute not required if sufficient notice is given

December 7, 2016
Olivia Covington
A majority of the justices of the Indiana Supreme Court found Tuesday that strict compliance with a state statute regarding contempt orders can be excused if the party in contempt has been sufficiently notified of their contempt, thus affirming a trial court decision requiring an ex-husband to produce income and tax documents for his ex-wife.
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Justices uphold Katrina fraud verdict against State Farm

December 6, 2016
 Associated Press
A unanimous U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld a jury verdict that State Farm Fire and Casualty Co. committed fraud against the federal government after 2005's Hurricane Katrina.
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7th Circuit rules Duke Energy must pay for wind-generated power

December 6, 2016
Olivia Covington
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a district court decision Tuesday requiring Duke Energy to pay for power generated by a local wind farm only if it passes to a lower grid, deciding instead that the energy company is contractually obligated to pay for any generated power regardless of transmission issues.
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Indiana attorney illegally practicing in Florida suspended for 18 months

December 6, 2016
Olivia Covington
An Indiana attorney who was illegally practicing law in Florida has been suspended in Indiana for 18 months without automatic reinstatement.
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Divided COA says trial court must hold hearing on order to pay

December 6, 2016
Olivia Covington
A Floyd County trial court cannot order debtors to make monthly payments toward a mortgage, taxes and insurance premiums in a foreclosure case without first holding a hearing on the debtors’ ability to pay, a divided Indiana Court of Appeals held Tuesday.
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7th Circuit rules student-athletes aren’t considered ‘employees’

December 6, 2016
Olivia Covington
Collegiate athletes cannot be considered university employees and, thus, are not eligible for minimum wage pay, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Monday, affirming a district court decision that dismissed a lawsuit brought against the NCAA.
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COA reverses handgun conviction because officer didn’t follow protocol

December 5, 2016
Olivia Covington
A police officer did not follow the proper protocol for conducting an inventory search of a detainee’s car, thus making the search impermissible under state and federal constitutions and prohibiting the admittance of any evidence obtained through the search.
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7th Circuit affirms murder, racketeering convictions despite government error

December 5, 2016
Olivia Covington
Despite improper statements made by the government during closing arguments of a trial, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the defendant’s murder and racketeering convictions, writing that the statements constituted harmless error.
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COA affirms dismissal of case due to res judicata

December 2, 2016
Olivia Covington
Res judicata prevents a title insurance company from taking a “second bite” at the apple, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday, in a case in which the company appealed dismissal of its second attempt to challenge an action by the Indiana Department of Insurance.
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Lawyer’s use of word ‘Negro’ prejudiced client, but doesn't get PCR

December 1, 2016
Dave Stafford
A defense attorney who has since been disbarred prejudiced his absent client when he referred to him as a “Negro” before potential jurors, a judge wrote, but the offending word wasn’t enough for the Court of Appeals to grant post-conviction relief.
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