Court opinions

Divided 7th Circuit affirms 'career offender' conviction

March 9, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed a District Court’s 100-month sentence for a man deemed to be a “career offender.” But the decision was not unanimous.
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Judges uphold dismissal of suit filed after fall at work

March 8, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed the trial court’s dismissal of a couple’s complaint for injuries and loss of consortium for subject matter jurisdiction, finding the woman’s injuries sustained while at her work fall squarely within the Indiana Worker’s Compensation Act.
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Judges find search wasn't valid under 4th Amendment

March 8, 2012
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals has found that a woman’s Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures was violated and a trial judge erred in not suppressing evidence found during a home search.
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COA affirms dismissal of case 18 years after filing

March 8, 2012
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled that a Henry Circuit judge correctly dismissed a union’s complaint about a manufacturing plant closure more than two decades ago, finding that the union failed to prosecute the case for 18 years and that was an adequate basis for dismissal.
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COA remands parental rights case

March 8, 2012
Michael Hoskins
Finding that a trial judge and Indiana Department of Child Services didn’t follow the law before involuntarily terminating parental rights, the Indiana Court of Appeals has sent the case back to Elkhart Circuit Court.
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'Vouching testimony' not allowed in child sex abuse cases

March 8, 2012
Michael Hoskins
The state’s rules of evidence don’t allow for “vouching testimony” in child sex abuse cases to help determine when a youth isn’t exaggerating, and the Indiana Supreme Court won’t carve out an exception allowing for that testimony in these types of cases.
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7th Circuit affirms search warrant basis

March 8, 2012
Michael Hoskins
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has determined that enough probable cause existed to justify a search warrant that led to a man’s jury convictions on drug charges.
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Title dispute leads to appellate reversal

March 7, 2012
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed a decision in favor of a title company, finding that the trial court must re-examine the case to decide if the two property owners have an action for negligent contract misrepresentation relating to a land easement dispute.
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Court orders new trial in methamphetamine case

March 7, 2012
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals has ordered a new trial for a woman convicted of felony methamphetamine dealing, finding that the Hendricks Superior judge should have instructed the jury on a lesser-included offense of methamphetamine possession.
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Justices: injured cop prevented by law from rejoining force

March 6, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A police officer who was injured in the 1980s and received disability benefits – but later was physically able to rejoin the police department – is statutorily prohibited against returning to the force, the Indiana Supreme Court decided in answering a certified question.
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Union withdraws request for temporary restraining order

March 6, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The union that filed a lawsuit last month in federal court challenging Indiana’s “right-to-work” law has withdrawn its emergency motion for a temporary restraining order.
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COA: trial court erred in piercing corporate veil

March 6, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Because there was no causal connection established between misuse of the corporate form and fraud or injustice, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s decision to pierce the corporate veil.
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COA: Department of Labor should review claim

March 5, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found that a woman’s lawsuit for unpaid wages should have first been brought before the Indiana Department of Labor before she filed her action.
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COA finds man initiated communication with detective

March 2, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed the denial of a defendant’s motion to suppress an incriminating statement to a detective because the defendant initiated the discussion and understood his Miranda rights before speaking.
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7th Circuit ponders search of cell phone

March 1, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, which likened modern cell phones to computers, had to decide whether police could search a man’s phone for the phone’s number without a search warrant.
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Judges affirm ruling in favor of Jeep dealer

March 1, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of a southwestern Indiana car dealer being sued by a customer for injuries in a car accident under the Indiana Products Liability Act after Chrysler LLC filed for bankruptcy.
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Parents cannot each recover under policy's underinsured motorist provisions

February 29, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The parents of a teenager killed in a crash during a drag race cannot recover funds in their individual capacities under their automobile insurance underinsured motorist provisions, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded.
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Appellate court overturns sexual battery conviction

February 29, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed a man’s conviction of Class D felony sexual battery because the defendant’s actions don’t qualify for sexual battery under Indiana statute. It ordered the man be convicted of Class B misdemeanor battery.
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Judges rule in favor of California attorney in Simon case

February 29, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A divided Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed the decision of a Marion Superior judge that denied a California attorney’s motion to dismiss a defamation lawsuit filed by Herbert and Bui Simon for lack of personal jurisdiction. The lawsuit stems from comments the attorney made to an Indianapolis television station regarding lawsuits involving the Simons.
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Judges affirm dismissal for lack of subject matter jurisdiction

February 29, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has upheld the decision by a trial court to dismiss a company’s state law claims against a labor union, finding those claims are preempted by a decision of the National Labor Relations Board.
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COA: agency's claim for Medicaid reimbursement allowed

February 29, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has found that a trial court erred in concluding that the Family and Social Services Administration’s preferred claim for reimbursement of Medicaid benefits against an estate was not timely filed.
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Indiana Court decisions - Feb. 9-22, 2012

February 29, 2012
IL Staff
Read for publication decisions from the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals and Indiana appellate courts from Feb. 9-22, 2012.
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Divided court affirms liability in 'courtesy wave' case

February 28, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
In a case of first impression, the Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed a trial court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of a motorcyclist injured in a crash. One judge disagreed with the majority decision, stating the opinion is contrary to sound public policy.
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COA finds double jeopardy in DeLaney attacker's case

February 27, 2012
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled that two convictions of a former attorney who attacked a lawyer-legislator violated Indiana’s double jeopardy clause and that one of the charges should be reduced in order to remedy the violation.
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Court properly preserved home habitability claim

February 27, 2012
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals has found that a Clark County case can continue involving claims against a home construction company. The former homeowners allege that the company defectively built their home and that mold and water damage occurred, leading to loss of habitability.
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  1. I can understand a 10 yr suspension for drinking and driving and not following the rules,but don't you think the people who compleate their sentences and are trying to be good people of their community,and are on the right path should be able to obtain a drivers license to do as they please.We as a state should encourage good behavior instead of saying well you did all your time but we can't give you a license come on.When is a persons time served than cause from where I'm standing,its still a punishment,when u can't have the freedom to go where ever you want to in car,truck ,motorcycle,maybe their should be better programs for people instead of just throwing them away like daily trash,then expecting them to change because they we in jail or prison for x amount of yrs.Everyone should look around because we all pay each others bills,and keep each other in business..better knowledge equals better community equals better people...just my 2 cents

  2. I was wondering about the 6 million put aside for common attorney fees?does that mean that if you are a plaintiff your attorney fees will be partially covered?

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  4. I expressed my thought in the title, long as it was. I am shocked that there is ever immunity from accountability for ANY Government agency. That appears to violate every principle in the US Constitution, which exists to limit Government power and to ensure Government accountability. I don't know how many cases of legitimate child abuse exist, but in the few cases in which I knew the people involved, in every example an anonymous caller used DCS as their personal weapon to strike at innocent people over trivial disagreements that had no connection with any facts. Given that the system is vulnerable to abuse, and given the extreme harm any action by DCS causes to families, I would assume any degree of failure to comply with the smallest infraction of personal rights would result in mandatory review. Even one day of parent-child separation in the absence of reasonable cause for a felony arrest should result in severe penalties to those involved in the action. It appears to me, that like all bureaucracies, DCS is prone to interpret every case as legitimate. This is not an accusation against DCS. It is a statement about the nature of bureaucracies, and the need for ADDED scrutiny of all bureaucratic actions. Frankly, I question the constitutionality of bureaucracies in general, because their power is delegated, and therefore unaccountable. No Government action can be unaccountable if we want to avoid its eventual degeneration into irrelevance and lawlessness, and the law of the jungle. Our Constitution is the source of all Government power, and it is the contract that legitimizes all Government power. To the extent that its various protections against intrusion are set aside, so is the power afforded by that contract. Eventually overstepping the limits of power eliminates that power, as a law of nature. Even total tyranny eventually crumbles to nothing.

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