Court opinions

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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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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  1. I don't agree that this is an extreme case. There are more of these people than you realize - people that are vindictive and/or with psychological issues have clogged the system with baseless suits that are costly to the defendant and to taxpayers. Restricting repeat offenders from further abusing the system is not akin to restricting their freedon, but to protecting their victims, and the court system, from allowing them unfettered access. From the Supreme Court opinion "he has burdened the opposing party and the courts of this state at every level with massive, confusing, disorganized, defective, repetitive, and often meritless filings."

  2. So, if you cry wolf one too many times courts may "restrict" your ability to pursue legal action? Also, why is document production equated with wealth? Anyone can "produce probably tens of thousands of pages of filings" if they have a public library card. I understand this is an extreme case, but our Supreme Court really got this one wrong.

  3. He called our nation a nation of cowards because we didn't want to talk about race. That was a cheap shot coming from the top cop. The man who decides who gets the federal government indicts. Wow. Not a gentleman if that is the measure. More importantly, this insult delivered as we all understand, to white people-- without him or anybody needing to explain that is precisely what he meant-- but this is an insult to timid white persons who fear the government and don't want to say anything about race for fear of being accused a racist. With all the legal heat that can come down on somebody if they say something which can be construed by a prosecutor like Mr Holder as racist, is it any wonder white people-- that's who he meant obviously-- is there any surprise that white people don't want to talk about race? And as lawyers we have even less freedom lest our remarks be considered violations of the rules. Mr Holder also demonstrated his bias by publically visiting with the family of the young man who was killed by a police offering in the line of duty, which was a very strong indicator of bias agains the offer who is under investigation, and was a failure to lead properly by letting his investigators do their job without him predetermining the proper outcome. He also has potentially biased the jury pool. All in all this worsens race relations by feeding into the perception shared by whites as well as blacks that justice will not be impartial. I will say this much, I do not blame Obama for all of HOlder's missteps. Obama has done a lot of things to stay above the fray and try and be a leader for all Americans. Maybe he should have reigned Holder in some but Obama's got his hands full with other problelms. Oh did I mention HOlder is a bank crony who will probably get a job in a silkstocking law firm working for millions of bucks a year defending bankers whom he didn't have the integrity or courage to hold to account for their acts of fraud on the United States, other financial institutions, and the people. His tenure will be regarded by history as a failure of leadership at one of the most important jobs in our nation. Finally and most importantly besides him insulting the public and letting off the big financial cheats, he has been at the forefront of over-prosecuting the secrecy laws to punish whistleblowers and chill free speech. What has Holder done to vindicate the rights of privacy of the American public against the illegal snooping of the NSA? He could have charged NSA personnel with violations of law for their warrantless wiretapping which has been done millions of times and instead he did not persecute a single soul. That is a defalcation of historical proportions and it signals to the public that the government DOJ under him was not willing to do a damn thing to protect the public against the rapid growth of the illegal surveillance state. Who else could have done this? Nobody. And for that omission Obama deserves the blame too. Here were are sliding into a police state and Eric Holder made it go all the faster.

  4. JOE CLAYPOOL candidate for Superior Court in Harrison County - Indiana This candidate is misleading voters to think he is a Judge by putting Elect Judge Joe Claypool on his campaign literature. paragraphs 2 and 9 below clearly indicate this injustice to voting public to gain employment. What can we do? Indiana Code - Section 35-43-5-3: Deception (a) A person who: (1) being an officer, manager, or other person participating in the direction of a credit institution, knowingly or intentionally receives or permits the receipt of a deposit or other investment, knowing that the institution is insolvent; (2) knowingly or intentionally makes a false or misleading written statement with intent to obtain property, employment, or an educational opportunity; (3) misapplies entrusted property, property of a governmental entity, or property of a credit institution in a manner that the person knows is unlawful or that the person knows involves substantial risk of loss or detriment to either the owner of the property or to a person for whose benefit the property was entrusted; (4) knowingly or intentionally, in the regular course of business, either: (A) uses or possesses for use a false weight or measure or other device for falsely determining or recording the quality or quantity of any commodity; or (B) sells, offers, or displays for sale or delivers less than the represented quality or quantity of any commodity; (5) with intent to defraud another person furnishing electricity, gas, water, telecommunication, or any other utility service, avoids a lawful charge for that service by scheme or device or by tampering with facilities or equipment of the person furnishing the service; (6) with intent to defraud, misrepresents the identity of the person or another person or the identity or quality of property; (7) with intent to defraud an owner of a coin machine, deposits a slug in that machine; (8) with intent to enable the person or another person to deposit a slug in a coin machine, makes, possesses, or disposes of a slug; (9) disseminates to the public an advertisement that the person knows is false, misleading, or deceptive, with intent to promote the purchase or sale of property or the acceptance of employment;

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