Court opinions

COA finds Yellow Book ad contract induced by fraud

May 22, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A heating and cooling company does not owe Yellow Book for a contract it tried to break after finding the publication didn’t change the terms of the contract as promised, the Indiana Court of Appeals held. But, the heating and cooling company is on the hook for two other contracts it had that it failed to fully pay.
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Judges reverse convictions based on use of witness’s statement

May 21, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Because the state called a witness solely to impeach her with a pretrial statement, and the jury may have relied on the witness’s testimony to convict the defendant, a majority on the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed burglary and receiving stolen property convictions. 
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Lucas Oil vendor not entitled to summary judgment in dram shop case

May 21, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
It should be up to the trial court or a jury to determine whether a vendor in Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis should be held responsible for serving alcohol to a man who later hit two children while driving home after a game.
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COA: Court should not have imposed 2-mile ban as part of probation

May 21, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found a trial court abused its discretion when it originally imposed a probation condition prohibiting a man from going within two miles of where he committed battery against a stranger.
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COA rules natural parents’ consent unnecessary in adoption

May 20, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl

Once a trial court found a child’s natural parents to be unfit, the court did not need to revisit that finding at an adoption hearing, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled.

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School district not immune from liability in shooting incident

May 19, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Although a principal was responsible for formulating and implementing a security plan for her school, the level of discretion the principal had was not enough to give the school district immunity from liability following an in-school shooting.
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Spierer civil suit discovery halted; claims called ‘precarious’

May 19, 2014
Dave Stafford
The federal civil lawsuit naming two former Indiana University students who were among the last to see missing IU freshman Lauren Spierer will proceed, but a judge Monday narrowed the inquiry regarding one defendant and halted discovery in the meantime.
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Tax Court affirms rejection of fire protection district

May 19, 2014
Dave Stafford
A faulty legal notice published to advertise a public hearing for the purpose of creating a fire protection district in northern Madison County was sufficient grounds for the state to deny creation of the district, the Indiana Tax Court ruled Friday.
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Bank wins in appeal of foreclosure action

May 15, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment in favor of Wells Fargo on its action to foreclose on a mortgage and collect from the guarantor of the loan, ruling that the loan documents were properly assigned to the bank.
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Tax Court: Company creates new tool, entitled to exemption

May 15, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Tax Court has ruled in favor of a Hammond company in its attempt to exempt certain equipment from the state’s sales and use taxes.
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Prosecutor’s lack of objection allows judge to modify sentence

May 14, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
In a case where a woman sought modification of her sentence more than a year after it was imposed, the Indiana Supreme Court found that the prosecutor’s conduct satisfied the “approval” requirement of Indiana Code 35-38-1-17(b).
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Indy lawyer suspended for 2 years

May 14, 2014
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court has suspended Indianapolis attorney and developer Paul J. Page from the practice of law for at least two years, although one justice thought he should be disbarred. The suspension stems from his guilty plea to one count of wire fraud in 2013.
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Justices: Cop went too far in saying man’s race prevented a fair trial

May 13, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court had strong words for police officers who intentionally mislead a suspect as to his rights to a fair trial and impartial jury because of his race: The tactic is unacceptable.
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Justices: Woman who had co-worker committed not in contempt of court

May 13, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A Clark Circuit judge lacked statutory authority to find a nurse in indirect civil contempt for completing an application for emergency detention of her co-worker, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Tuesday.
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7th Circuit issues correction in PepperBall opinion

May 13, 2014
IL Staff
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals issued an order Monday correcting errors in its May 9 opinion on whether Indiana has jurisdiction to hear a dispute over intellectual property issues between two California companies.
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COA: Wife is entitled to maintenance, larger amount of marital estate

May 13, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has ordered a trial court to divvy up a marital estate with more than 50 percent of it going to the wife because she rebutted the presumption of an equal division.
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Judge rejects petitioners’ requests to prevent tax collection

May 12, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Because petitioners seeking to enjoin the collection of tax filed their petitions before an original tax appeal was initiated, the Indiana Tax Court granted Marion County’s motions to dismiss.
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Judges reverse judgment in favor of town in water agreement dispute

May 9, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court erred as a matter of law in its interpretation of a disputed section of a water agreement between a real estate developer and the town of Huntertown; as such, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed partial summary judgment in favor of the town.
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Indiana doesn’t have jurisdiction in IP suit, rules 7th Circuit

May 9, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ordered a District judge to dismiss a case filed by a company with California ties against another California company alleging various IP violations. The judges found Indiana does not have personal jurisdiction over the matter based on emails the allegedly offending company sent.
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Man lacks standing to pursue cause of actions in failed home purchase

May 9, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed that the underwriter of title insurance stands in the shoes of its insureds, so a man suing several entities over a failed home purchase lacks standing to pursue his causes of action.
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Judges affirm $40,000 judgment in lawsuit involving neighbors

May 9, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Noting the grounds on which a defendant sought relief from a $40,000 default judgment are unclear, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed that the man must pay his neighbor that amount.
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Judges affirm $6,600 in child support arrearage

May 8, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals agreed that a father owed only $6,600 in back child support and not $74,000 as the child’s mother claimed.
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COA: State had no authority to bring paternity action

May 8, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court erred in ordering a southern Indiana teen to undergo genetic testing to establish paternity of a stillborn child, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Thursday. It found the state, which filed the petition for paternity on behalf of the mother, had no authority to bring the action because there were no custody or support issues to be determined.
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Court finds man abandoned shareholder derivative claim

May 8, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Because a man “expressly and unambiguously” abandoned his shareholder derivative claim when responding to a court demand to specify his legal claims, he cannot now assert that claim on appeal, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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COA addresses evidence needed for animal fighting conviction

May 7, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
For only the second time, the Indiana Court of Appeals has addressed the issue of evidence used to obtain a conviction under I.C. 35-46-3-8, which outlaws buying or owning an animal for an animal fighting contest.
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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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