Court opinions

Court: Disputed model year may void van sale agreement

December 29, 2015
Dave Stafford
A trial court erred when it granted summary judgment in favor of the seller of a van who represented to the buyer the vehicle was a year newer than recorded on the title.
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COA on rehearing clarifies where to send payment

December 28, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals Monday rejected arguments that its prior decision regarding a student-loan debt owed to a bankrupt note-holder caused confusion as to who was owed and left the debtor open to the possibility of multiple judgments.
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Reversal: BMV must report driver’s expunged OWI conviction

December 28, 2015
Dave Stafford
A trial court erred in prohibiting the Bureau of Motor Vehicles from reporting the operating while intoxicated conviction of a driver who had his criminal record expunged.
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COA reaffirms reversal of molest convictions for vouching

December 23, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals clarified its position on rehearing Wednesday in the reversal of child molesting convictions that the state “vigorously argues” were erroneously ruled reversible error.
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Reversal: Care facility must pay legal fees after $1M negligence verdict

December 23, 2015
Dave Stafford
An assisted-living facility where a resident died after being badly burned must pay the estate’s attorney fees, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday in reversing a trial court.
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South Bend man wins partial reversal of sewer nuisance suit

December 23, 2015
Dave Stafford
A man who sued South Bend claiming that noxious gas from city sewer lines had been forced into his home may proceed with part of his lawsuit against the city.
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COA upholds decision to deny Edinburgh tax deed

December 22, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court did not err when it entered an order denying the town of Edinburgh’s request for the issuance of a tax deed and granting the landowner equitable relief, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Tuesday.
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Split court reverses dismissal of complaint against probation officers

December 22, 2015
The Indiana Supreme Court decided 3-2 Tuesday to reverse the dismissal of a man’s claims arising out of his incarceration for a probation violation that allegedly occurred after his term of probation had expired.
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Appeals court concerned about fee-shifting provisions in domestic relations cases

December 22, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a trial court’s decision to not award a mother attorney fees despite the inclusion of a fee-shifting provision in her divorce settlement. In doing so, the appeals court pointed out how these provisions may go against public policy.
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COA rules in contentious attorney fees case

December 22, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals had harsh words for the three lawyers involved in a protracted, unprofessional legal battle over attorney fees owed in a breach of contract lawsuit against Lake Station, Indiana.
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7th Circuit orders new resentencing hearing

December 21, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A man who appealed the parts of his Section 2255 proceeding that were denied, as well as his new criminal judgment entered on rehearing, will be getting a new sentencing hearing, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals determined Monday.
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COA: Breath test properly admitted

December 21, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A man convicted of drunken-driving failed to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that the state did not prove that the chemicals used in his breath test equipment were certified under Indiana administrative rules.
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Judge believes restitution order properly entered

December 21, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
An Indiana Court of Appeals judge dissented from his colleagues Monday in a case in which the majority reversed the court-ordered $3,600 in restitution for a coin sale that turned out to be fraudulent. The dissenting judge also raised public policy concerns about requiring victims to appear at sentencing hearings.
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7th Circuit divided over injunction in defamation case

December 18, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Friday found an injunction issued in a case involving religious artifacts and defamation claims was entirely too broad and threatened to silence the defendants completely. But the judges were split over whether the district court should be able to modify the injunction.
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Monarch Beverage again fails in liquor distribution suit

December 17, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Monarch Beverage Company’s arguments that Indiana alcohol wholesale laws are discriminatory fell flat at the Indiana Court of Appeals, marking the second time this week that attempts to overturn the state’s statutes regarding booze failed.
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COA strikes sentence about laughing jurors in footnote

December 16, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
That jurors laughed at times during a handwriting expert’s testimony in a case contesting probate of a will has been removed from the official court opinion. The Court of Appeals made the move in a rehearing opinion issued Wednesday.
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Justices affirm ruling for school in fired principal’s suit

December 16, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
An elementary school principal whose administrator’s contract was canceled after school officials learned of his affair with a teacher received constitutional due process in his termination proceedings, the Indiana Supreme Court affirmed Tuesday.
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ALJ correct in finding nurses, phlebotomists are employees

December 16, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed an administrative law judge’s decision that certain workers were employees of a consulting business, and so the company was liable for additional unemployment taxes.
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Indiana’s cold beer prohibition survives rational-basis review

December 15, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Finding retailers did not meet their burden in attempting to overturn one of Indiana’s quirky alcohol laws, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the state’s limits on the sale of cold beer is not unconstitutional.
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Fraud claims against insurers wrongly dismissed

December 15, 2015
Dave Stafford
Plaintiffs who purchased cash-value life insurance policies for their employees and deducted those contributions on income taxes that were later disallowed were wrongly denied their day in court against the insurers.
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‘Inference of discriminatory motive’ in striking juror not reversible error

December 15, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals noted one of a prosecutor’s reasons for striking a prospective juror in a criminal case “raises an inference of discriminatory motive,” but this was insufficient to reverse a man’s felony resisting law enforcement conviction.
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7th Circuit upholds Indiana’s cold beer law

December 14, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Cold beer will continue to be sold only by licensed liquor stores in Indiana. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld state law that prohibits convenience stores, gas stations and other retailers from selling beer cold.
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Reversal: Host owed duty to guest who died after drinking, fight

December 14, 2015
Dave Stafford
The host of a birthday party for her live-in boyfriend had a duty to render aid to a guest she saw unconscious after he’d been drinking and involved in a fight, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled. The man later died.
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Justices block Alabama court order in lesbian adoption case

December 14, 2015
 Associated Press
The U.S. Supreme Court has sided with a lesbian mother who wants to see her adopted children, blocking an Alabama court's order that declared the adoption invalid.
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High court rejects LA appeal over $5.7M jury award to felon

December 14, 2015
 Associated Press
The justices on Monday let stand a lower court ruling that upheld the award to Robert Contreras, who was left paralyzed after police shot him multiple times when he fled the scene of a drive-by shooting in 2005.
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