Court opinions

Reservist entitled to full longevity pay despite time away from police force

December 10, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals held Tuesday that a Plymouth, Indiana, patrolman should receive the $2,700 in longevity pay he is entitled to from the city under an ordinance. The city cut the payment by two-thirds because the man served eight months on activity duty in the U.S. Air Force.
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COA reverses marijuana conviction based on illegal traffic stop

December 9, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A police officer was mistaken when he pulled over a vehicle that, due to a broken tail light, emitted more white light than red light, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday. The statute only requires that some red light be visible, which occurred in this case.
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Court upholds serious violent felon finding, despite not using term ‘SVF’

December 9, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a man’s claim that because a stipulation to being a serious violent felon did not use the term “serious violent felon,” the state didn’t establish that as his status.
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COA reverses syringe possession conviction due to lack of evidence

December 9, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Because the state couldn’t prove that a man intended to use a syringe to inject a legend drug, as is required by the statute to convict him of possession of a syringe, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the man’s conviction. The man intended to use the syringe to inject heroin, which is not covered by the statute.
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DOC credit-time policy does not result in disparate treatment

December 8, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected an inmate’s argument in his lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Department of Correction’s policy concerning the restoration of credit time for inmates. Because the policy does not result in disparate treatment, the judges affirmed the lower court ruling in favor of the DOC.
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COA reverses convictions based on ineffective appellate counsel

December 8, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a man’s convictions of Class A felony child molesting and Class B felony sexual misconduct with a minor based on his sexual advances toward his stepdaughter when she was in junior high and high school. The judges acknowledged as a result of their decision, the stepfather won’t face any legal consequences for those actions, but the state had a duty to present sufficient evidence to support those convictions.
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Clarksville Town Court judge must resign following OWI conviction in Kentucky

December 5, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court publicly reprimanded Clarksville Town Court Judge Mickey K. Weber Friday and ordered he resign from the bench, effective Dec. 31. Weber pleaded guilty earlier this year to two charges stemming from a drunken-driving incident in Louisville, Kentucky.
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7th Circuit reverses denial of benefits, blasts ALJ’s reasoning

December 5, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Finding several things “wrong” with an administrative law judge’s decision denying a Fort Wayne woman’s application for Social Security Income for the years prior to her turning 55, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed and remanded for further proceedings.
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Justices order adoption petitions moved to juvenile division based on local rule

December 5, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court noted Thursday that the parties and both of the previous courts involved in an adoption matter were partly correct in their analyses as to where the petitions needed to be filed. But the Lake Superior Court, Civil Division should have transferred the petitions from its court to the juvenile division, where a local rule requires adoption petitions to be filed.
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‘Disputed facts’ prevent federal judge from overturning contested abortion restrictions

December 4, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Conflicting opinions from medical experts has stopped a federal judge from issuing a final summary judgment in a challenge to the Indiana statute that requires non-surgical abortion clinics to have the same equipment and adhere to the same requirements as a surgical facility.
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Court erred in affirming decision new seawall must be removed

December 4, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed the portion of a trial court’s order that affirmed the decision by a board of zoning appeals denying a company’s request for a variance which allowed its newly completed seawall to remain intact. The judges found Caddyshack Looper LLC demonstrated that strict application of the setback requirement will result in practical difficulties.
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Justices: Homes subject to tax sale from delinquent sewer fees

December 4, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court issued two cases dealing with the same issue Thursday: whether a tax sale could be used to collect unpaid sewer bills. The justices ruled it could and reversed judgment in favor of the homeowners.
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COA orders man’s birth certificate change to reflect gender

December 4, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The birth certificate of a person who was born a woman but now identifies as a man and has undergone extensive medical treatment for gender transition should be changed to show he is male, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday.
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Questions exist as to whether teen furnished alcohol to other teens

December 4, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed summary judgment in favor of a Pittsboro man in a lawsuit alleging he was liable for the death of friend because he furnished alcohol at a party. The friend died in a car accident while riding with another teen who had consumed alcohol at the party.
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No advice from counsel leads to post-conviction relief

December 2, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A mother’s refusal to convey her son’s threats of harm possibly saved the man from violating Indiana’s intimidation statute.
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Divided panel reverses default judgment against bank

December 2, 2014
Dave Stafford
The bank that promises customers 24-hour grace overdraft protection received more than 20 days grace in an Indiana Court of Appeals ruling Tuesday.
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Fired nurse’s retaliation claim reinstated

December 2, 2014
Dave Stafford
A nurse fired from a St. Joseph County clinic that treated patients with sexually transmitted diseases may go forward with a lawsuit claiming her termination was in retaliation for expressing concern that treating undiagnosed patients went beyond her scope of practice.
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Statements by insurance provider do not constitute defamation, COA rules

December 1, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A surgery center’s defamation claim that an insurance provider was making false statements purposefully to harm the center’s business reputation was dismissed because the communication did not allege any misconduct in business practices or trade. 
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Enhancement to sentence upheld by COA

November 26, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Finding Indiana’s criminal gang enhancement statute can be understood by individuals of ordinary intelligence, the Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a man’s challenge to his 175-year aggregate sentence.
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Allegation of conspiracy not enough to support civil conspiracy claim

November 26, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A parts supplier failed to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that a civil conspiracy claim against several co-defendants named in a breach of contract dispute can stand without showing every alleged conspirator committed an underlying unlawful act.
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Appeals panel offers direction to abusive pro se litigant

November 26, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals has heard about enough from pro se litigant Eddie G. Love.
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Man convicted of brutal beating loses appeal despite errors

November 26, 2014
Dave Stafford
A man who was convicted of the brutal beating of his stepfather lost an appeal Wednesday that argued his 2008 traumatic brain injury, prosecutorial misconduct and other factors should have reversed or mitigated his 20-year sentence.
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COA reverses custody evaluation granted to grandparents

November 26, 2014
Dave Stafford
A trial court that expressed in the record reservations about the legal status of granting a visitation evaluation sought by grandparents of children in the care or another grandparent had those doubts confirmed Wednesday when the Court of Appeals reversed.
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Man gets 11 years for $1M copper wire theft

November 26, 2014
 Associated Press
A northern Indiana man who admitted to stealing $1 million worth of copper wire from a recreational vehicle plant where he worked has been sentenced to 11 years in prison.
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Perjury voids conviction; COA refers prosecutor for discipline

November 24, 2014
Dave Stafford
A St. Joseph County man’s burglary conviction was reversed Monday by the Indiana Court of Appeals. The state’s knowing use of perjured testimony to obtain the conviction led the panel to refer the case for possible disciplinary action against a prosecutor.
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  1. My mother got temporary guardianship of my children in 2012. my husband and I got divorced 2015 the judge ordered me to have full custody of all my children. Does this mean the temporary guardianship is over? I'm confused because my divorce papers say I have custody and he gets visits and i get to claim the kids every year on my taxes. So just wondered since I have in black and white that I have custody if I can go get my kids from my moms and not go to jail?

  2. Someone off their meds? C'mon John, it is called the politics of Empire. Get with the program, will ya? How can we build one world under secularist ideals without breaking a few eggs? Of course, once it is fully built, is the American public who will feel the deadly grip of the velvet glove. One cannot lay down with dogs without getting fleas. The cup of wrath is nearly full, John Smith, nearly full. Oops, there I go, almost sounding as alarmist as Smith. Guess he and I both need to listen to this again: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CRnQ65J02XA

  3. Charles Rice was one of the greatest of the so-called great generation in America. I was privileged to count him among my mentors. He stood firm for Christ and Christ's Church in the Spirit of Thomas More, always quick to be a good servant of the King, but always God's first. I had Rice come speak to 700 in Fort Wayne as Obama took office. Rice was concerned that this rise of aggressive secularism and militant Islam were dual threats to Christendom,er, please forgive, I meant to say "Western Civilization". RIP Charlie. You are safe at home.

  4. It's a big fat black mark against the US that they radicalized a lot of these Afghan jihadis in the 80s to fight the soviets and then when they predictably got around to biting the hand that fed them, the US had to invade their homelands, install a bunch of corrupt drug kingpins and kleptocrats, take these guys and torture the hell out of them. Why for example did the US have to sodomize them? Dubya said "they hate us for our freedoms!" Here, try some of that freedom whether you like it or not!!! Now they got even more reasons to hate us-- lets just keep bombing the crap out of their populations, installing more puppet regimes, arming one faction against another, etc etc etc.... the US is becoming a monster. No wonder they hate us. Here's my modest recommendation. How about we follow "Just War" theory in the future. St Augustine had it right. How about we treat these obvious prisoners of war according to the Geneva convention instead of torturing them in sadistic and perverted ways.

  5. As usual, John is "spot-on." The subtle but poignant points he makes are numerous and warrant reflection by mediators and users. Oh but were it so simple.

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