Court opinions

Public interest in reducing poverty is grounds for application of doctrine of laches

December 27, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
In overturning a lower court’s ruling, the Indiana Court of Appeals opened the door for the doctrine of laches to be applied to the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles by finding the suspension of a Bloomington woman’s driving privileges conflicts with the public’s interest in reducing poverty.
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Man argues the sentencing guidelines were applied incorrectly

December 27, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
A Wisconsin man who used a stolen Indiana driver’s license to obtain a passport had his sentence affirmed by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals which held certain provisions in the sentencing guidelines should be applied differently depending on the circumstances.
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COA affirms ruling in suit brought after fatal train accident

December 27, 2012
Dave Stafford
The trial court did not err in concluding that a genuine issue of material fact exists as to whether federal preemption applies with respect to the adequacy of the traffic warning devices installed at a railroad crossing where a fatal accident occurred in 2009, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed Thursday.
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Appeals court reinstates injured motorist’s claim against insurer

December 27, 2012
Dave Stafford
A driver’s claim against an insurance company that was dismissed by a trial court was reinstated by the Indiana Court of Appeals on Thursday.
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Price of postage is not enough for 7th Circuit to review NLRB's ruling

December 27, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
The cost of a postage stamp was not enough for Beck objectors to request a refund from their unions, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled.
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Appeals court upholds Medicaid fraud charges

December 27, 2012
Dave Stafford
A woman charged with defrauding Indiana’s Medicaid program of nearly $350,000 lost the appeal of her partial motion to dismiss the charges.
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Man’s child molesting conviction upheld

December 21, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals acknowledged that although a defendant did not receive a perfect trial, it is confident that Steven Malloch received a fair trial on a charge of Class A felony child molesting relating to his stepdaughter.
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COA upholds cocaine convictions, sentence

December 21, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a defendant’s arguments to overturn his two convictions of Class A felony possession of cocaine, including that he should have been granted a speedy trial and the trial court erred when it rejected his tendered jury instruction.
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Judges affirm criminal recklessness conviction

December 21, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Someone shooting at a residence, for purposes of a criminal recklessness prosecution, may create a substantial risk of bodily injury to another person even if the resident is away from the home at the moment of the shooting, the Indiana Court of Appeals held in a first impression case.
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Supreme Court denies Star appeal in online commenter case

December 21, 2012
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court on Thursday denied transfer in The Indianapolis Star’s appeal of an order that it identify a person who posted an anonymous online comment that has been included in a defamation suit.
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Court orders new trial on damages owed to wrongfully convicted man

December 20, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Finding a District judge improperly limited critical evidence relating to an Elkart man’s innocence during his trial for damages following his wrongful conviction, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ordered a new damages trial be held.
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7th Circuit rules in favor of hospital in EMTALA violation suit

December 20, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals found that the 2003 definition of when a person is to have “come to the emergency room” is a clarification of the rule in effect in 2001 and that a woman who filed a lawsuit under the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act did not come to the Wishard Hospital emergency department under that act.
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7th Circuit reinstates suit to recoup environmental cleanup costs

December 19, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Finding the District Court erred in dismissing several claims made by the trustees of a fund to oversee cleanup of a contaminated site, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals is allowing the lawsuit to proceed.
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COA orders continuation of insurer’s case against tenant

December 19, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Because Indiana law does not currently preclude a landlord’s insurer from bringing a subrogation claim against a tenant and a landlord’s complaint established a set of circumstances under which it would be entitled to relief, the Court of Appeals reversed the grant of a tenant’s motion to dismiss. The landlord’s insurer filed a subrogation action against the tenant after a fire started on her patio.
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Justices reinstate 80-year sentence

December 19, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Disagreeing with the Court of Appeals, which ordered a convicted child molester’s sentence cut in half, the Indiana Supreme Court reinstated John Kimbrough III’s 80-year aggregate sentence for molesting his former girlfriend’s two young daughters.
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Justices: summary judgment inappropriate on some claims in contaminated waste suit

December 19, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court has affirmed in part and reversed in part the grant of summary judgment to various defendants involved in a landowner’s lawsuit seeking damages after a steel fabrication company deposited solid waste onto his property.
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Hospital wins on uninsured patients’ appeal of rates charged

December 19, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court ruled in favor of a hospital’s motion to dismiss a complaint brought by uninsured patients regarding the rates charged by the hospital, finding the patients’ complaint failed to state facts on which the trial court could have granted relief.
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Attempted ‘hybrid’ defense delay didn’t violate speedy trial rule

December 18, 2012
Dave Stafford
A criminal defendant who filed motions on his own behalf and who also had consented to appointment of a special public defender was not denied a speedy trial when a delay of more than 70 days occurred, the Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
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Justices order modification of sentence of convicted child caseworker to comply with plea agreement

December 17, 2012
Dave Stafford
A former child protective services caseworker convicted of sex crimes in Hamilton and Elkhart counties should have his sentence modified to comport with his plea agreement, the Indiana Supreme Court ordered.
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Woman who invited abusive spouse did not violate no-contact protective order

December 14, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
In a case of first impression, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled the Indiana General Assembly was deliberate when it did not criminalize the violation of a protective order by the protected person.
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Split court upholds $3.9 million workplace injury judgment

December 14, 2012
Dave Stafford
Whether a general liability carrier could intervene in a workplace injury lawsuit that awarded a plaintiff $3.9 million is a question that divided the Indiana Court of Appeals, which affirmed the lower court ruling.
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Divided appeals court affirms denial of incapacity maintenance

December 14, 2012
Dave Stafford
A woman with longstanding disabilities denied incapacity maintenance in her divorce judgment convinced one appellate judge that the trial court abused its discretion, but the majority affirmed the lower court’s decision.
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Justices issue 4 opinions tackling prejudgment interest

December 13, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
In four opinions dealing with the award of prejudgment interest under the Tort Prejudgment Interest Statute, the Indiana Supreme Court found Wednesday, among other things, that the TPIS applies to an action by an insured against an insurer to recover benefits under the insured’s underinsured motorist policy.
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7th Circuit affirms ruling for officers on excessive force claims

December 13, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals found no reason to disturb a judgment in favor of several officers involved in a standoff and shooting death of a Fort Wayne man in 2005. Rudy Escobedo’s estate challenged the jury verdict and summary judgment for the defendants on excessive force claims.
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Builder allowed to foreclose on lien

December 12, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found a Lake Superior judge erred in denying a construction company’s request to foreclose on a mechanic’s lien after the client withheld a final payment, claiming faulty work.
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  1. Whether you support "gay marriage" or not is not the issue. The issue is whether the SCOTUS can extract from an unmentionable somewhere the notion that the Constitution forbids government "interference" in the "right" to marry. Just imagine time-traveling to Philadelphia in 1787. Ask James Madison if the document he and his fellows just wrote allowed him- or forbade government to "interfere" with- his "right" to marry George Washington? He would have immediately- and justly- summoned the Sergeant-at-Arms to throw your sorry self out into the street. Far from being a day of liberation, this is a day of capitulation by the Rule of Law to the Rule of What's Happening Now.

  2. With today's ruling, AG Zoeller's arguments in the cases of Obamacare and Same-sex Marriage can be relegated to the ash heap of history. 0-fer

  3. She must be a great lawyer

  4. Ind. Courts - "Illinois ranks 49th for how court system serves disadvantaged" What about Indiana? A story today from Dave Collins of the AP, here published in the Benton Illinois Evening News, begins: Illinois' court system had the third-worst score in the nation among state judiciaries in serving poor, disabled and other disadvantaged members of the public, according to new rankings. Illinois' "Justice Index" score of 34.5 out of 100, determined by the nonprofit National Center for Access to Justice, is based on how states serve people with disabilities and limited English proficiency, how much free legal help is available and how states help increasing numbers of people representing themselves in court, among other issues. Connecticut led all states with a score of 73.4 and was followed by Hawaii, Minnesota, New York and Delaware, respectively. Local courts in Washington, D.C., had the highest overall score at 80.9. At the bottom was Oklahoma at 23.7, followed by Kentucky, Illinois, South Dakota and Indiana. ILB: That puts Indiana at 46th worse. More from the story: Connecticut, Hawaii, Minnesota, Colorado, Tennessee and Maine had perfect 100 scores in serving people with disabilities, while Indiana, Georgia, Wyoming, Missouri and Idaho had the lowest scores. Those rankings were based on issues such as whether interpretation services are offered free to the deaf and hearing-impaired and whether there are laws or rules allowing service animals in courthouses. The index also reviewed how many civil legal aid lawyers were available to provide free legal help. Washington, D.C., had nearly nine civil legal aid lawyers per 10,000 people in poverty, the highest rate in the country. Texas had the lowest rate, 0.43 legal aid lawyers per 10,000 people in poverty. http://indianalawblog.com/archives/2014/11/ind_courts_illi_1.html

  5. A very thorough opinion by the federal court. The Rooker-Feldman analysis, in particular, helps clear up muddy water as to the entanglement issue. Looks like the Seventh Circuit is willing to let its district courts cruise much closer to the Indiana Supreme Court's shorelines than most thought likely, at least when the ADA on the docket. Some could argue that this case and Praekel, taken together, paint a rather unflattering picture of how the lower courts are being advised as to their duties under the ADA. A read of the DOJ amicus in Praekel seems to demonstrate a less-than-congenial view toward the higher echelons in the bureaucracy.

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