Court opinions

Judges clarify late-filed amendment required reversal, not remand

December 18, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
On a petition for rehearing, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed its decision to reverse a habitual offender enhancement because the amendment to the habitual offender allegation was made after the trial started and prejudiced the defendant’s rights.
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8-year sentence upheld for teen who killed friend while street racing

December 18, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A Madison County man who crashed his car while street racing, which killed one passenger and injured two others, could not convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that the trial court erred in declining to give a lesser-included instruction of reckless driving at his trial for reckless homicide.
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Fees against IHSAA for unreasonable litigation upheld

December 17, 2013
Dave Stafford
The Indiana High School Athletic Association should pay for its insistence on enforcing rules that courts repeatedly said were arbitrary and capricious, an appeals panel ruled Tuesday.
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Injured worker has to prove company is secondarily liable in workers' comp claim

December 17, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Court of Appeals split in deciding a workers’ compensation claim concerning who had the burden to prove whether the true value of work exceeded $1,000 and, therefore, triggered secondary liability.
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Reversal: Insurer had duty to provide dental office full coverage

December 17, 2013
Dave Stafford
An insurer that for decades wrote policies for a dental office had a special duty to advise the office about coverage and ensure the office was fully covered, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday in reversing summary judgment in favor of the insurer.
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Supreme Court revives Rockport plant proposal

December 17, 2013
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court revived a controversial state-backed deal that would facilitate construction of a $2.7 billion coal-using synthetic natural gas plant in Rockport. The decision likely sets up another round of state regulatory review if developers choose to move forward.
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Court erred, twice rejected settlement in covenant case

December 16, 2013
Dave Stafford
A trial court erred in denying a homeowners association’s request for an injunction against a resident who parked a trailer on her lot. The court then twice rejected joint settlement requests, according to a panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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Clenched fist and aggressive behavior merit resisting law enforcement conviction

December 13, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Supreme Court acknowledged that precedent does not provide a clear definition of “resisting arrest,” but still the court knew it when it saw it in a case where a man was subdued with a Taser after ignoring a police officer’s order to get down on the ground. 
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Despite objections, molester can’t appeal prior physical abuse testimony

December 13, 2013
Dave Stafford
Objections made to a line of questioning at a man’s child molestation trial that he had previously assaulted the victim and the victim’s mother didn’t properly preserve the issue, a Court of Appeals panel ruled Friday in affirming his conviction.
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Justices decline to apply dollar for dollar credit for Social Security retirement benefits

December 12, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court Thursday declined to revisit previous caselaw regarding crediting Social Security Retirement benefits to a noncustodial parent’s child support obligation. The justices affirmed the trial court’s decision to include the benefits in the custodial parent’s weekly adjusted income.
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COA finds man knew of protective order and violated it

December 12, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
There is ample evidence proving that a Marion County man was aware his ex-girlfriend obtained a protective order against him when he broke into her home, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Order prohibiting boyfriend from spending time with children too broad

December 12, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The longtime boyfriend of a mother of triplets should be allowed to continue his relationship with her children as long as it does not undermine or damage the relationship with their father, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday. As such, the judges reversed the order preventing the boyfriend from spending time with the children alone.
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Inmate’s negligence suit may continue, court rules

December 11, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals ordered more proceedings on a negligence lawsuit filed by an Indiana Department of Correction inmate after he fell and injured himself. In the decision, the judges also decided that prison operators are subject to liability in much the same manner as other private actors.
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Jury should decide whether Duke Realty intended to get law partner fired

December 11, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
There are genuine issues of material fact as to whether Duke Realty, involved in a dispute over a land agreement with a Parr Richey Obremskey & Morton partner, intentionally induced the firm to terminate Carol Sparks Drake’s partnership agreement and whether that interference was justified, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.
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Man entitled to homestead deduction on Fountain County property

December 11, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Tax Court Tuesday reversed the determination that a man could not receive the homestead standard deduction on his Fountain County property because the decision is unsupported by evidence. The Indiana Board of Tax Review’s conclusion that the property was not Roderick Kellam’s principal place of residence was contrary to law. 
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COA: Insurer has no liability for dog bite injuries

December 10, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld summary judgment in favor of Auto-Owners Insurance Co. on the issue of whether it had liability to cover the damages sought by the parents of a boy bit by a dog on the insured’s property. The person residing at the home, whose dog bit the boy, was not considered an insured under the policy.
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Property tax assessment prevents township from controlling cemetery

December 9, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Because a couple had paid taxes on the land where a cemetery existed since 1967, the township did not have authority under Indiana law to exercise control over that cemetery, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed Monday.
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State didn’t prove woman took drug while on probation

December 6, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the revocation of a Sullivan County woman’s probation, finding the state didn’t demonstrate that Michelle Orr Carpenter took a barbiturate while on probation.
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COA: Bank lacks standing to appeal trust terminations

December 5, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Old National Bancorp cannot appeal the termination of two trusts it served as a representative of, either in the representative capacity or on an individual capacity, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Thursday. As such, the court dismissed the appeal.
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Ex-wife allowed to enter QDRO 20 years after divorce

December 5, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
In a matter of first impression regarding when a qualified domestic relations order must be filed, the Indiana Court of Appeals held that a woman who waited 20 years after her divorce to have her ex-husband sign a QDRO for division of his pension may still be able to submit it.
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Policy provisions preclude coverage in settlement of class claims

December 5, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Because the “voluntary payment” and “legally obligated to pay” provisions precluded coverage, a trial court properly entered partial judgment in favor of an insurer of a distillery involved in a settlement over damages caused to nearby buildings by the distillation process.
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Husband can’t recover insurance proceeds after wife burns down house

December 4, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals Wednesday held that when an insurance company includes an explicit exclusion in its policy to cover loss resulting from an intentional act by a co-insured, the court will enforce that exclusion. Because a man’s policy included such an exclusion, he can’t recover insurance proceeds after his wife burnt down their home on purpose.
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Kraft wins in food fight with Cracker Barrel

December 4, 2013
Dave Stafford
A federal appeals court ruled recently that savvy consumers might be confused if food branded Cracker Barrel Old Country Store was sold in grocery stores that carry Kraft’s Cracker Barrel brand cheese. Turns out even a law professor who teaches a course on trademarks and unfair competition might be fooled.
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Insurance employee loses overtime appeal

December 2, 2013
Dave Stafford
An insurance company employee lost an appeal for overtime compensation when the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday affirmed a District Court grant of summary judgment in favor of the employer.
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Non-custodial parent must still pay arrearages to cover funeral expenses

November 27, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
An emancipated child will be able to collect child support arrearages to pay for her custodial parent’s funeral but she and her sibling will not be allowed to accept the remainder of the accrued support payments, ruled the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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