Court opinions

Justices affirm life without parole for murderer

June 13, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court affirmed in all respects the life without parole sentence imposed on a man sentenced for murder.
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COA affirms order mother attend psychotherapy

June 12, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Ruling on a matter of first impression, the Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a trial court’s decision to impose psychotherapy in a marital dissolution and custody order.
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COA reverses conviction based on charging information

June 12, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Because the charging information did not give a defendant fair notice of the crime of which he was convicted, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed his Class B felony attempted aggravated battery conviction.
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Officer’s testimony about victim’s statement admissible, COA rules

June 12, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court did not abuse its discretion when it allowed an Indianapolis police officer to testify as to a victim’s out-of-court statements made to the officer shortly after an incident where she was beaten up.
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Inherited IRA funds not considered ‘retirement funds’

June 12, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Supreme Court of the United States unanimously held Thursday that funds contained in an inherited individual retirement account do not qualify as “retirement funds” within the meaning of a bankruptcy exemption.
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Reasonable suspicion needed to search home detention participant’s residence

June 11, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the suppression of evidence found at a Tippecanoe County home by community corrections officers, finding the roommate of the man on home detention had a reasonable expectation of privacy.
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Judges order protective order extension recalculated

June 11, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Finding a 28-year extension of a protective order to be unreasonable, the Indiana Court of Appeals ordered the trial court to determine a “reasonable extension.”
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COA rules against former Junior Achievement boss in defamation suit

June 11, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed that a central Indiana organization and its president did not defame the former president of Junior Achievement of Central Indiana or tortiously interfere with a business relationship.
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Uninsured coverage doesn't include property damage in hit-and-run accident

June 11, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court Tuesday affirmed summary judgment for an insurance company that its motor vehicle policy issued to a family does not provide uninsured motorists coverage in a hit-and-run accident.
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COA affirms judgment in coverage dispute between insurance companies

June 10, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a trial court’s judgment regarding indemnification clauses and coverage under insurance policies. The issue came before the trial court after a worker sought compensation for severe injuries he sustained when he was electrocuted on the construction site of a Wal-Mart in Boone County.
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Judges order good-time credit reinstated

June 10, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The head inmate law clerk at an Indiana correctional facility is entitled to the 30 days of good-time credit that the prison revoked after finding he used the library’s computers without authorization. But the inmate was just following orders from prison library staff, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals pointed out.
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COA: Schools required to transport students for free

June 10, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that Indiana students cannot be charged to ride the bus to and from school. The judges found an arrangement between a school corporation and a private company that required parents to pay for their children to ride the bus violated the state constitution.
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Nonprofit unable to prove it is entitled to charitable tax exemption

June 9, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Tax Court Friday upheld the decision to deny a charitable purposes exemption for the 2006 tax year to a Bartholomew County nonprofit that provides housing for low-income residents. The court agreed the nonprofit failed to show that its rental properties qualified for the exemption under I.C. 6-1.1-10-16.
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COA: Man’s sentence after guilty plea is illegal

June 5, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a man’s 10-year sentence resulting from a guilty plea for abusing his adopted teenaged children, holding that the sentence was based on an incorrect application of I.C. 35-50-1-2.
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Husband’s agreement doesn’t preclude judgment against wife

June 4, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A company is allowed to sue both parties who executed a promissory note seeking recovery of owed funds because it will still only be entitled to one satisfaction on the debt, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.
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Court rules gynecologist can’t testify on mental competency

June 4, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A bank is able to foreclose on a mortgage against the estate of a deceased 95-year-old woman who opened the line of credit to pay her granddaughter to take care of her. But the elderly woman’s daughter argued the granddaughter unduly influenced Mildred Borgwald to open the account.
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COA orders trial over 1 issue in contaminated development land suit

June 4, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has ordered a trial on the issue of whether the known loss doctrine would bar coverage of an insurance policy held by the owner of land sold for a housing development that later was found to have been contaminated with toxic waste. A builder sued the landowner, claiming he knew of the potential contamination and failed to inform the builder.
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No abuse by trial court in modifying maintenance payment terms

June 4, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals held that a trial court did not abuse its discretion when it denied a man’s petition to revoke spousal maintenance.
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Justices question prosecutor’s tactics, but decline to award new trial

June 4, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that while a Marion County prosecutor committed one instance of prosecutorial misconduct during a man’s trial for sexual misconduct with a minor, the effect of this misconduct did not make a fair trial for the defendant impossible.
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Depositions delayed in Spierer civil case

June 4, 2014
Dave Stafford
Attorneys for the parents of missing Indiana University student Lauren Spierer must delay more than a dozen planned depositions. The depositions were scheduled this month in four cities in the federal civil trial naming two of the people believed to have last seen Spierer.
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Justices reverse, reinstate wrongful death claim against nursing home

June 3, 2014
Dave Stafford
The estate of a woman who died in a nursing home after an attack by another resident may pursue a wrongful death claim, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Tuesday. The family was initially told the woman suffered a fall but learned of the attack years later.
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COA affirms court order in trailer ownership and use dispute

June 3, 2014
Dave Stafford
A court that granted relief from a previous order in a dispute over the ownership and use of 119 semi-trailers was affirmed Tuesday by the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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Sentences imposed on Anderson juveniles in double homicide reduced

June 3, 2014
Dave Stafford
Two Anderson youths convicted for their roles in the shooting deaths of a couple they robbed of money and marijuana may someday be freed from prison after the Indiana Supreme Court significantly reduced their sentences Monday.
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Prosecutor’s ‘continual misconduct’ warrants new molestation trial

June 2, 2014
Dave Stafford
A man’s child molesting convictions were vacated and he was granted a new trial by the Indiana Court of Appeals, which found prosecutorial misconduct amounting to fundamental error. It’s the second reversal and remand attributable to the same prosecutor, the court noted.
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Admitting rifle into evidence not abuse of discretion, COA rules

May 30, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Telling the jury that an assault rifle was found in the car of the defendant did not unduly prejudice the jurors, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled.
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  1. Unlike the federal judge who refused to protect me, the Virginia State Bar gave me a hearing. After the hearing, the Virginia State Bar refused to discipline me. VSB said that attacking me with the court ADA coordinator had, " all the grace and charm of a drive-by shooting." One does wonder why the VSB was able to have a hearing and come to that conclusion, but the federal judge in Indiana slammed the door of the courthouse in my face.

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