Court opinions

COA: Admitted evidence of 20-year-old crimes requires reversal

December 7, 2012
Dave Stafford
A civil judgment in favor of a woman who claimed her ex-husband battered her and forged her name on a quitclaim deed was vacated Friday. A Court of Appeals panel ruled that evidence of the ex-husband’s criminal convictions from the 1980s were prima facie error.
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Majority affirms trial court in failed lease suit

December 7, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The majority on the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s ruling in favor of a leasing company on a suit brought by the homeowners after the lessees failed to pay their rent.
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COA splits over reversing possession conviction

December 7, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A divided Court of Appeals upheld a man’s possession of marijuana conviction that stemmed from a 911 call. Dissenting Judge James Kirsch doesn’t believe that the providing of a name by a 911 caller removes this case from the category of an anonymous caller, thus the call doesn’t give police enough evidence to stop the car the defendant was in.
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Insurer doesn’t have to cover cleanup of California sites

December 6, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Relying on California law and a case from 2006, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed that an insurer of former film-processing sites has no obligation to indemnify Thomson Inc. for the remediations of three California locations.
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COA rules against longtime shooting range owner

December 6, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A Marshall Circuit judge erred in granting partial summary judgment in favor of a shooting range owner on his neighbors’ claims of nuisance, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Thursday. The appellate judges found a statute cited by the trial court did not apply to the owner.
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7th Circuit upholds $3M restitution order for copper theft

December 5, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a defendant’s argument that the court should go against its precedent that restitution is not a criminal penalty and that a recent U.S. Supreme Court holding means the jury should determine the amount of restitution he should pay for his role in copper theft.
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Judges affirm 911 recording properly admitted as evidence

December 5, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Ruling on the issue for the first time, the Court of Appeals held a 911 recording that involves statements by a caller that were relayed from a victim are admissible where the victim had personal knowledge of the underlying incident but the caller did not.
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COA not persuaded by defendant’s claims on appeal

December 5, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed Bret Lee Sisson’s felony convictions of burglary, theft, receiving stolen property and unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon, finding no abuse of discretion or fundamental error during his trial.
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Refusal to give jury instruction not harmless error

December 5, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court’s error in refusing to give a defendant’s tendered self-defense and resistance of unlawful force instructions during his trial was not harmless and requires the man’s conviction of Class D felony resisting law enforcement be overturned, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday.
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Mother’s consent to adoption not required

December 5, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the decision by the Wabash Circuit Court to deny a father and his wife’s petition to allow his wife to adopt his minor child, finding the biological mother’s consent is not required.
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Court split over valid ID requirement for name change

December 5, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Court of Appeals concluded Wednesday that the trial court erred when it required a valid driver’s license or state identification card as a prerequisite to grant a petition for a name change under Indiana Code 34-28-2, but split over whether an elderly man can change his name because he’s never had a valid state-issued ID.
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Conour still without counsel

December 4, 2012
Dave Stafford
Ex-attorney William Conour still has not secured legal counsel in his federal wire fraud case, he told Chief Judge Richard Young during a status hearing conducted by phone Tuesday.
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Resisting conviction reversed, but meth convictions stand

December 4, 2012
Dave Stafford
A man who was convicted of multiple methamphetamine felonies had his misdemeanor resisting law enforcement conviction reversed, but the Court of Appeals was not persuaded to overturn his drug convictions.
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COA affirms on rehearing its ruling against Bloomington dry cleaner

December 4, 2012
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected on rehearing a Bloomington dry cleaner’s request that it reconsider its August ruling that went against him.
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COA rehearing restates trial court survey remedies

December 4, 2012
IL Staff
The Indiana Court of Appeals granted rehearing in a Starke County case in which the reliability of a survey is at issue.
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7th Circuit affirms drug conspiracy judgments, cautions prosecution

December 3, 2012
Dave Stafford
Nine defendants who were convicted in federal court of drug conspiracy for distributing methamphetamine and marijuana will continue to serve their sentences after the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the judgments but issued cautions for federal prosecutors.
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Religious bent of Indiana’s marriage statute is not unconstitutional, federal court rules

December 3, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
The Center For Inquiry, a non-profit that promotes a secular society based on science and reason, plans to appeal a federal court’s ruling that Indiana’s Solemnization Statute is constitutional.
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COA affirms sex offender’s removal from registry

December 3, 2012
Dave Stafford
A man convicted of rape in Pennsylvania in 1993 is not required to register as a sex offender in Indiana, the Court of Appeals affirmed Monday.
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Disciplinary Commission overreached, justices agree

November 30, 2012
Dave Stafford
An Ohio attorney who argued his disciplinary case in a rare public forum before the Indiana Supreme Court prevailed as justices said the Indiana Disciplinary Commission’s arguments failed.
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COA rejects insurer’s new arguments

November 30, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
An insurance provider was unsuccessful in its attempt to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals to change its mind that the company has a duty to indemnify or defend.
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Appeals court reverses adoption; birth mother denied due process

November 30, 2012
Dave Stafford
A Jasper County mother was denied due process when her children were allowed to be adopted while the birth mother’s appeal of her termination of parental rights was pending, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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COA affirms order Amish connect to sewer system

November 29, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has upheld a trial court’s decision to deny setting aside agreements several members of the Old Order Amish near Loogootee made to connect to a sewer system and the order that a couple hook up to the system.
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Latin Kings gang member, 2 others sentenced

November 29, 2012
IL Staff
A member of the Latin Kings street gang and two associates have been sentenced to prison for racketeering conspiracy and other crimes in support of the gang, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Northern District of Indiana announced Thursday.
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COA divided over dismissing fired HR director’s complaint

November 28, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals was split over whether Delaware County commissioners could terminate the contract of the Board of Commissioners’ human resources director after two new members were elected to the board.
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Judges uphold 10-year suspension of driver’s license

November 28, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A Porter County man who fought the Bureau of Motor Vehicles' decision to suspend his license for being a habitual traffic violator lost his case before the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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