Court opinions

Elkhart teacher loses age-discrimination appeal

July 25, 2016
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday rejected an appeal of an Elkhart teacher who claimed the school system discriminated against her on the basis of her race and age in denying her 12 different promotions over a span of eight years.
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COA admonishes prosecutor’s misconduct, doesn’t reverse conviction

July 22, 2016
Dave Stafford
A prosecutor’s suggestion to the jury during an attempted rape trial that a defense attorney influenced a witness was misconduct, but not sufficient to warrant reversal of the defendant’s conviction, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday. But the court also called out the prosecutor and warned him.
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Reversal: HHGregg prevails in appeal over managers’ bonuses

July 22, 2016
Dave Stafford
HHGregg senior managers are not entitled to share in $40 million in life insurance proceeds from the 2012 death of executive chairman of the board Jerry Throgmartin, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday, reversing a trial court ruling in the managers’ favor.
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Wal-Mart shoplifter’s resisting conviction affirmed

July 22, 2016
Dave Stafford
A man who fled from police and later was arrested after he and another man had been spotted allegedly shoplifting from a Lafayette Wal-Mart store was properly convicted of Class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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COA tosses feticide conviction, says statute doesn’t apply to self abortion

July 22, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Legislature did not intend for the state’s feticide statute to apply to pregnant women or illegal abortions, including the one a northern Indiana woman executed by taking drugs ordered from Hong Kong, the Court of Appeals held Friday.
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COA upholds mother’s neglect conviction for causing son’s health issues

July 21, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals, acknowledging differing expert testimony in a mother’s neglect of a dependent case, declined to reweigh the evidence and upheld her Class B felony conviction.
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Appeals court sends request for benefits back to Social Security office

July 21, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
A federal court in Indianapolis never should have affirmed the denial of Supplemental Security Income sought by an intellectually disabled woman because the administrative law judge’s decision was unsupported by the record, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals held Wednesday.
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Justices uphold Jay County teachers’ CBA

July 21, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
In a 4-1 decision, the Indiana Supreme Court affirmed the last best offer made by the Jay School Corp. regarding a collective bargaining agreement for the 2013-14 school year. The teachers took issue with a provision involving the salary of teachers hired mid-school year.
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Recommendation of plea document passes ‘duck test’

July 21, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
Citing the “duck test” credited to Hoosier poet James Whitcomb Riley, the Indiana Court of Appeals held that a “recommendation of plea” document was a plea agreement the trial judge was free to accept or reject.
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Judges affirm grant of senior living facility’s arbitration motion

July 21, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
Although a senior living facility “inexplicably” failed to keep a copy of an arbitration agreement signed by a resident, the facility produced enough extrinsic evidence to conclude an enforceable arbitration agreement exists, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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7th Circuit: Judge should have disqualified herself in sentence challenge

July 21, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday that a federal judge in Indianapolis should have excused herself from hearing a man’s petition regarding his sentence because she was the one who sentenced him while she was a judge in state court. In doing so, the federal appellate court overturned two lines of decisions.
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COA: Woman, not bank, entitled to foreclosure surplus funds

July 21, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court misapplied the law regarding disbursement of surplus sale proceedings from a sheriff’s sale when it ordered the full surplus to the bank that owned the first mortgage on the home, the Indiana Court of Appeals held. The law requires the surplus to go to the mortgage debtor.
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On rehearing, judges find investigator’s photos admissible

July 20, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals granted rehearing to a case involving a lawsuit brought by a man injured by a sheriff deputy’s vehicle while he walked along the side of the road. The divided court held certain evidence, including an investigator’s affidavit and photos, are admissible at trial.
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COA: School’s insurance doesn’t cover student who injured teacher

July 20, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
Although the Indiana Court of Appeals disagreed with parts of a trial court’s ruling in an insurance coverage dispute, the judges affirmed the ruling that the insurance policy of a school where a student injured her teacher during class is not the primary insurance in the teacher’s personal injury suit.
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State revenue department bound by 1998 ruling

July 19, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Department of State Revenue should have granted a medical equipment company’s request for a sales tax refund, the Indiana Tax Court ruled, finding the department is bound by its published ruling interpreting the exemption at issue.
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COA affirms propane company must pay customers’ attorney fees

July 15, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals agreed with a trial court that a propane company is on the hook for two customers’ attorney fees after it failed to deliver prepaid propane gas under an agreement with the couple.
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Church not entitled to $322,000 on breach of contract claim

July 14, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court erred when it determined that a church was entitled to $322,000 on its breach of contract claim after its building lessor ordered the church to vacate the premises before the end of its contract, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Quoting Dickens’ ‘Bleak House,’ judge decides 24-year-old lawsuit

July 14, 2016
Dave Stafford
A Lake County judge on Wednesday ordered summary judgment for defendants in a 24-year-old lawsuit he likened to the interminable Jarndyce and Jarndyce case in Charles Dickens’ novel “Bleak House.”
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Doctor’s criminal charges provide 2 first impression issues

July 14, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals had to decide two issues of first impression Thursday in an appeal regarding charges of reckless homicide and issuing an invalid prescription for legend drugs by a practitioner against an Indianapolis doctor.
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COA: Law doesn’t require insurer to provide UIM coverage

July 14, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court erred by denying an insurance company’s motion for summary judgment regarding underinsured motorist coverage because a law change in 2005 no longer required it to provide that coverage.
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COA orders new trial on vicarious liability issue

July 13, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
A new jury will decide whether a Sony employee in Terre Haute was acting in the scope of his employment when he hit a security guard on the property while driving to recycle personal items on company property.
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Evidence supports order to raze uninhabited home

July 13, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Grant County Area Plan Commission provided enough evidence to support the trial court’s decision to order a home torn down because it is not up to code and is uninhabitable, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.
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‘Unprecedented’ law blocked, Planned Parenthood takes aim again

July 13, 2016
Dave Stafford
After a federal judge on June 30 blocked a restrictive new Indiana abortion law from taking effect, Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky and the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana vowed to take aim at other recent enactments that might infringe on the constitutional right. A week later, a fresh federal lawsuit targeted another Indiana abortion law passed this year.
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State's parenthood laws ruled unconstitutional

July 13, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Indiana’s married lesbian parents win the right to be listed on their child’s birth certificate.
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Brutal Indy home invasion leader gets sentence tweak

July 12, 2016
Dave Stafford
The alleged ringleader of six men who brutalized, shot and sexually assaulted three north side Indianapolis residents in their home will still likely spend the rest of his life behind bars after the Indiana Court of Appeals modestly reduced his sentence Tuesday.
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