Court opinions

COA reverses termination of mother's parental rights

December 8, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found Thursday that the trial court findings in a parental termination case out of Dearborn County do not support the decision to terminate a mother’s parental rights to three of her children.
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Husband allowed to petition for survivor's allowance

December 7, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Even though a wife had filed for divorce from her husband at the time she was killed, the husband is still allowed to petition for survivor’s allowance, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed Wednesday.
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Court upholds judgment for doctor, health care center

December 7, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
A woman who challenged the grant of summary judgment on her negligence claims in favor of the doctor who performed her breast reduction surgery and the heath care center where it was performed lost her appeal before the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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Man gets 326 months imprisonment, lifetime supervision for child pornography

December 6, 2011
Michael Hoskins
U.S. Judge Robert Miller Jr. sentenced an Elkhart man to 326 months in prison and a lifetime of supervised release after his guilty plea to sexually exploiting children.
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COA affirms denial of motion to suppress

December 6, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The actions of police officers who showed up on a man’s property to investigate a complaint – which led to the discovery of marijuana plants – were reasonable, according to the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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Appellate court rules in judge's favor

December 6, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Trial courts don’t have the authority to issue orders against other courts and judges mandating that they stop certain practices, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled.
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Construction of fence is actionable tort

December 6, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed the trial court in a land dispute case involving two companies.
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Appellate court rules on insurance coverage case

December 6, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of a group of insurance companies that argued a waste management company couldn’t seek coverage for asbestos and related worker injuries under policies signed by corporate predecessors before 1986.
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Appellate court cites claim-splitting, res judicata in rejecting appeal

December 6, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
In a life insurance case that has spanned eight years, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled that an appeal from a widow is without merit.
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Confidential informant testimony did not hinder defense

December 6, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
A man who was arrested after a confidential informant arranged drug buys was not hindered by the fact that the informant testified at trial anonymously, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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COA finds no error in juvenile adjudication

December 6, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed a juvenile court’s decision to place a minor in a residential treatment center, holding sufficient evidence exists to support the court’s dispositional order.
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Photos admissible when evidence has been destroyed

December 5, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
In an appeal from a man convicted of Class B dealing in methamphetamine and Class B misdemeanor visiting a common nuisance, the Indiana Court of Appeals has held that photos of a methamphetamine lab were admissible because the physical evidence had been destroyed.
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COA sides with appellant in probation violation complaint

December 5, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The Indiana Court of Appeals has held that when a probation is transferred between Indiana counties, the receiving county assumes supervisory authority over the case.
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Former city-county councilor sentenced to 40 months

December 2, 2011
IL and IBJ Staff
U.S. Senior Judge Larry McKinney on Thursday sentenced former Indianapolis City-County Councilor Lincoln Plowman to 40 months in federal prison for attempted extortion and bribery.
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7th Circuit affirms ruling against woman kicked out of public housing

December 1, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
A woman who challenged the Housing Authority of South Bend’s decision to terminate her lease for federally subsidized public housing because of criminal activity lost her appeal before the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
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Appellate court upholds criminal recklessness conviction

December 1, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals determined there was sufficient evidence to uphold a man’s conviction of criminal recklessness regarding his firing of a gun.
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'Inextricably intertwined' exception appropriate under state constitution

November 30, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that under Article 1, Section 13 of the Indiana Constitution, the right to counsel is violated only where a different offense is inextricably intertwined with the charge on which counsel is already representing the defendant.
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Majority reverses Hopper advisement created last year

November 29, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
A divided Indiana Supreme Court has reversed its 2010 decision to require pro se defendants be informed about the dangers of pleading guilty without an attorney. Two of the justices who originally voted to create the “Hopper advisement” found themselves in the minority on the high court’s decision on rehearing.
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COA addresses impact of guilty pleas on immigration status

November 28, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the denial of a man’s petitions for post-conviction relief, finding his attorneys’ failure to advise him of adverse immigration consequences of pleading guilty did not prejudice his defense.
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Appellate judges travel to Indianapolis high school

November 28, 2011
IL Staff
The Indiana Court of Appeals will hear arguments in Christopher Bryant v. State of Indiana Tuesday at Lawrence North High School in Indianapolis.
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Judge grants limited class certification in stage collapse lawsuit

November 28, 2011
Michael Hoskins
While she said she doubts the plaintiffs can win their case, U.S. Judge Sarah Evans Barker is allowing limited class certification in a lawsuit challenging the state’s $5 million damage liability cap. Plaintiffs incurred injuries in the Indiana State Fair stage collapse Aug. 13.
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7th Circuit cautions against 'ostrich-like' advocacy

November 23, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Warning appellate lawyers not to ignore precedent, a 7th Circuit Court of Appeals decision today issues a short but clear message to not use “ostrich-like” tactics when briefing and arguing cases.
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COA delves into grammar in reversing trial court

November 23, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The Indiana Court of Appeals issued three opinions Wednesday that dissect the grammar of a state statute in reversing a trial court’s decision regarding sentence enhancements.
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7th Circuit rules on Indiana's prison grievance process

November 23, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Addressing a question for the first time about prison inmate complaints, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals held that a prisoner's participation in internal affairs investigations isn’t an alternative for the administrative process an inmate must follow in filing a grievance.
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Supreme Court rules town can regulate aquifer's water use

November 23, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Underground aquifers are “watercourses” as defined by state law and as a result the Indiana Supreme Court says community officials have the ability to reasonably regulate how that water is taken out and used by other local governments.
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  1. Well, maybe it's because they are unelected, and, they have a tendency to strike down laws by elected officials from all over the country. When you have been taught that "Democracy" is something almost sacred, then, you will have a tendency to frown on such imperious conduct. Lawyers get acculturated in law school into thinking that this is the very essence of high minded government, but to people who are more heavily than King George ever did, they may not like it. Thanks for the information.

  2. I pd for a bankruptcy years ago with Mr Stiles and just this week received a garnishment from my pay! He never filed it even though he told me he would! Don't let this guy practice law ever again!!!

  3. Excellent initiative on the part of the AG. Thankfully someone takes action against predators taking advantage of people who have already been through the wringer. Well done!

  4. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

  5. Pass Legislation to require guilty defendants to pay for the costs of lab work, etc as part of court costs...

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