Court opinions

Court rules on post-merger bank foreclosure rights

February 24, 2012
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled that a federal statute provides the authority for a bank that survives after a merger to enforce the promissory note and mortgage established by a predecessor bank.
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Judges affirm denial of post-conviction relief

February 23, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals declined to find an attorney provided ineffective assistance of trial counsel to a man on trial for the second time because that attorney didn’t defend the case in the same manner as did the attorney on the first trial.
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Judges uphold drunk-driving conviction

February 23, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals declined to find that a Marion Superior court abused its discretion when it admitted the results of a chemical breath test.
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No fundamental error in jury seeing previously dismissed counts

February 23, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals relied in part on two decades-old cases from the state Supreme Court to find that exposing the jury to dismissed charges did not deprive a defendant of a fundamentally fair trial.
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Justices address Batson challenges in 2 appeals

February 22, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court ruled on two cases Wednesday that stemmed from Batson challenges, and in doing so, articulated the standard of review of such challenges when a defendant raises a Batson challenge at the trial level, but then brings up a different argument on appeal.
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Supreme Court split over reducing man's sentence

February 22, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court was divided 3-2 over whether to reduce the sentence of a man who received the maximum 20 years for having cocaine within 1,000 feet of a school when police stopped his vehicle.
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Court of Appeals reverses molestation convictions

February 22, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has thrown out a man’s convictions of Class A felony child molesting because the trial court erred in admitting improper vouching testimony.
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Appellate court reverses grant of post-conviction relief

February 21, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found that the post-conviction court erred when it concluded that a defendant had not knowingly waived his right to counsel.
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COA overturns drug conviction

February 21, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Because there was no evidence presented as to why a defendant was stopped or that the state’s actions were reasonable, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a man’s conviction of misdemeanor possession of marijuana.
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SCOTUS denies 4 Indiana cases, issues order in pending appeal

February 21, 2012
Michael Hoskins
The Supreme Court of the United States has declined to hear four cases from Indiana, and it has asked the federal government to weigh in on a pending appeal about alleged workplace harassment involving Ball State University.
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COA upholds judgment in favor of employer in wrongful termination suit

February 21, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment in favor of the Indiana Department of Insurance in a lawsuit filed by a former employee claiming wrongful termination.
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COA rules on anonymous online commenter case

February 21, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
In a case of first impression, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ordered the trial court apply a modified test based on a New Jersey case to determine whether The Indianapolis Star must identify an online user whose comment is part of a defamation lawsuit.
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Judge: facility not exempt from property tax

February 17, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Tax Court has upheld the decision of the Indiana Board of Tax Review that a Tipton County assisted living facility failed to raise a prima facie case that it is exempt from property tax under Indiana Code 6-1.1-10-16.
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Nonsupport of dependent enhancement not based on number of children

February 17, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court ruled Thursday that under Indiana Code 35-46-1-5(a), the enhancement of nonsupport of a dependent child to a Class C felony because of an arrearage of $15,000 or more is triggered by the dollar amount owed, regardless of how many children the parent has.
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7th Circuit affirms sentence for sexual involvement with 12-year-old girl

February 17, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the 135-month sentence given to a man who drove from Illinois to have sex with a 12-year-old Westfield girl, finding that although the District Court miscalculated the imprisonment range, the defendant was sentenced within the correct guidelines range.
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Appellate court upholds man's detainment

February 16, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a man’s argument that he could not have been detained in the hospital for mental health reasons before an application for detention was filed, which occurred after facility security guards restrained him.
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Justices slash amount non-merit state employees can get in back pay

February 16, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court has adjusted the time frame for which state non-merit employees who sued for back pay may be able to recover funds. Instead of the period going back some 20 years, the justices decided the non-merit employee’s time period should be the same as merit employees.
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Judges disagree on state's ability to appeal

February 16, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals issued a divided ruling Thursday on whether the state could appeal the denial of its motion to correct error after the trial court granted a defendant’s motion to suppress evidence. The majority decided the state’s appeal should be dismissed as untimely.
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Justices reformulate jury instruction

February 15, 2012
The Indiana Supreme Court upheld the denial of a man’s petition for post-conviction relief claiming ineffective assistance of counsel. In doing so, the justices addressed the use and language of a jury instruction and rewrote it to make it clearer.
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Ruling leads to questions about pregnant women's rights

February 15, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
The Indiana Court of Appeals was asked on interlocutory appeal to determine whether the Marion Superior Court erred in denying bail for Bei Bei Shuai, a woman being held on charges of attempted feticide and murder.
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Indiana Court Decisions Jan. 26-Feb. 8, 2012

February 15, 2012
IL Staff
Read For Publication opinions from Indiana's appellate courts and the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
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Justices dissent on denying transfer in wage payment case

February 14, 2012
Michael Hoskins
Two Indiana Supreme Court justices disagreed with their colleagues about not taking a case on the state’s wage payment statute, issuing dissent that described how they believe the justices should clear up perceived uncertainty about whether the law can be applied to certain claims before the Indiana Department of Labor.
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Justices rule governor doesn't have to testify in IBM case

February 14, 2012
Michael Hoskins
On the same day it heard arguments, the Indiana Supreme Court reversed a Marion Superior judge’s ruling and held that Gov. Mitch Daniels does not have to testify or be deposed in an ongoing lawsuit over the cancelled contract to modernize the state’s welfare system.
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Vagueness of policy is grounds for reversal

February 14, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed a District Court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of St. Paul Fire & Marine Insurance Company, holding that the language of its insurance policy creates a question of liability for deductible payments.
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On rehearing, COA affirms original opinion

February 14, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
On petition for rehearing, the state Department of Child Services claims that the appellate court imposed an undue burden upon the agency by recognizing that DCS has to make a prima facie showing regarding current conditions before the parent is obliged to come forward with evidence.
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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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