Court opinions

Second court knocks out Indiana's labor law on constitutional grounds

August 13, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Two years after Indiana’s right-to-work law fought its way out of the Statehouse, the measure has suffered another knockout blow in a state court. Plaintiffs have successfully convinced two courts that the Indiana Constitution has given the controversial statute a glass jaw.
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Workplace threat injunction deemed invalid

August 13, 2014
Dave Stafford
An employee’s reported threat to blow his boss’s head off resulted in an injunction barring him from the workplace, but the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed recently in a case that highlighted conflicting statutes aimed at preventing violence on the job.
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Court affirms termination of parental rights without case plan

August 12, 2014
Dave Stafford
Morgan County parents, including a father who dealt meth to a confidential informant while his wife and three minor children were present, lost an appeal of their termination of parental rights Tuesday.
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Payment of ‘ad valorem’ taxes sustain ownership in mineral interest

August 11, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Reversing the trial court’s ruling, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded that a woman’s payment of “ad valorem” taxes on a mineral interest in Posey County prevented the lapse of her partial ownership.
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Argumentative passenger’s public intoxication conviction reversed

August 11, 2014
Dave Stafford
A passenger in a car that a police officer stopped after seeing an arm and object hanging out of the car window, followed by the sound of shattering glass, was improperly convicted of public intoxication, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday.
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COA: Sentencing court must hear inmate’s habeas petition

August 11, 2014
Dave Stafford
A man serving a 60-year murder sentence at the Pendleton Correctional Facility must seek relief in the court where he was sentenced, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday.
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Evidence does not support stand-your-ground defense

August 11, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A man’s attempt to bolster his defense by using Indiana’s stand-your-ground law was rejected because the evidence did not support his claim.
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Insurer loses appeal over matter litigated elsewhere

August 8, 2014
Dave Stafford
An insurance company may not recover in Marion Superior Court claims paid for an auto accident after a St. Joseph court ruled a driver was not at fault in the crash.
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Search of home after improper GPS tracking affirmed

August 8, 2014
Dave Stafford
Though the Indiana Court of Appeals agreed the warrantless installation of GPS devices was improper, it affirmed a trial court’s denial of a motion to suppress evidence subsequently collected at the home of a suspected drug dealer.
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Tough anti-abortion laws examined in federal court

August 8, 2014
 Associated Press
Even with legislatures in summer recess, there's no lull in the battle over state anti-abortion laws as several federal courts decide whether to uphold or strike down some of the most sweeping measures.
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Court upholds property tax assessments of Kokomo Mall

August 7, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Tax Court Wednesday affirmed the decision by the state Board of Tax Review to reduce Kokomo Mall LLC’s commercial property assessments for the 2007-2009 tax years.
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Court clarifies ‘known claim’ exclusion applies in insurance coverage dispute

August 7, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals granted rehearing to a case involving a dispute over coverage for environmental contamination and found that the "known claim” exclusion applies, not the known loss doctrine.
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Judge ‘troubled’ by delays in relocation case

August 7, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals Thursday upheld a mother’s decision to relocate from Indiana to Georgia with her daughter before a court hearing was held on the matter. But one judge on the panel found the court’s reliance on the time the mother and child lived in Georgia to support its decision “makes a mockery” of the relocation statute.
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Man does not need to wait 3 years to file new expungement petition

August 6, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals granted a defendant’s petition for rehearing to address a “perhaps unique question” presented in his petition: Does he have to wait three years before he can file another petition to expunge the records of his Class A misdemeanor conviction?
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Court correctly ruled man with terminated employment contract could retire

August 6, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
An employment contract between a certified public accountant and his employer did not prohibit the CPA from retiring from his position after the company announced it would not be renewing his contract, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded Wednesday.
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Women who dodged orders to appear at trial properly declared unavailable

August 6, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a teen’s conviction of felony robbery, finding the trial court did not abuse its discretion in declaring two women unavailable for his trial and admitting their depositions at his trial.
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7th Circuit affirms man not entitled to habeas relief

August 5, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Although a federal judge erroneously held that a savings clause did not apply to a habeas petition filed by an inmate in Terre Haute, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal based on the merits of the petition.
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7th Circuit overrules decades-old precedent, orders more proceedings on benefits case

August 5, 2014
Jennifer Nelson

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the dismissal by a federal judge of a woman’s petition for judicial review of the decision to deny rehearing her request for Social Security disability benefits. In doing so, the judges overruled a 1980 7th Circuit decision with similar facts.

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Judges reverse 8 forgery convictions based on fake ballot signatures

August 5, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A St. Joseph County man charged with multiple counts of forgery after falsifying signatures on an election ballot petition for Barack Obama in 2008 was not prejudiced when the state was allowed to amend the charging information at the end of his trial. But, the Indiana Court of Appeals held the evidence only supports convicting him of one count of forgery, not nine.
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Death row inmate denied relief by 7th Circuit

August 4, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
An Arkansas man on death row in Indiana for killing a woman in Texas nearly 20 years ago was unable to convince the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals that he should not be put to death. Bruce Carneil Webster argues he is mentally retarded and has new evidence that would affect his sentence.
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Testimony properly authenticates video

August 1, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A video showing two brothers outside a home where a drug deal occurred was properly authenticated for trial, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled.
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Appeals panel: Trust’s real property bequeath by later writing invalid

July 31, 2014
Dave Stafford
A panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that a mother’s specific gift of real property incorporated into trust documents was an invalid method of willing it to heirs.
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Absence of a plan foils development proposal

July 31, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A plan commission did not overstep its authority when it turned down a proposal to build a 300-unit apartment complex, in part, because the developer did not submit a preliminary plan for the project.
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Asset forfeiture dispute divides appeals panel

July 31, 2014
Dave Stafford
An order transferring to the federal government money seized from a criminal defendant was deemed proper by the Indiana Court of Appeals Thursday, though a dissenting judge said the defendant didn’t even know the order had been issued until nearly two years later.
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7th Circuit remands denial of request for crack cocaine sentence reduction

July 31, 2014
Dave Stafford
A man sentenced to 30 years in federal prison for his role as a Gary gang member who sold large quantities of crack cocaine will have a new shot at a sentence modification, as will the judge who wrote that the defendant may have been linked to several gang-related murders.
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