Court opinions

Criminal recklessness code covers firing gun into car

October 9, 2012
Dave Stafford
A car is a “place people are likely to gather,” the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday, unanimously affirming a Class C felony criminal recklessness conviction and eight-year sentence for a man who fired a gun into car in which a former gang ally was a passenger in Goshen.
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COA finds church member’s lack of brotherly love not sufficient to uphold conviction

October 9, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
A criminal conviction that resulted from church member’s demand for quiet during a worship service has been overturned by the Indiana Court of Appeals on the grounds that the evidence was insufficient to sustain the conviction.
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Divided appeals court tosses Boonville annexation

October 9, 2012
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a trial court decision that upheld an annexation by the city of Boonville, finding that the trial court erred in counting separate state-owned parcels of a highway for purposes of remonstrance.
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COA will not reweigh California environmental cleanup decisions

October 9, 2012
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that it would not reweigh California court decisions in favor of insurers who had no responsibility to cover environmental cleanup costs at former Thomson plants.
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Court of Appeals reverses and remands inmate’s request for kosher meals

October 9, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
A Pendleton Correctional Facility inmate will not be able to collect monetary damages against employees of the Indiana Department of Correction, but his request for kosher meals will get a second review.  
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Divided appeals court affirms disabled firefighter’s enhanced PERF benefit

October 9, 2012
Dave Stafford
A Brownsburg firefighter is entitled to disability benefits that a trial court enhanced after an appeal from the local pension board, a divided court of appeals panel ruled Tuesday.
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Divided court affirms sentence that exceeds statutory authority

October 9, 2012
Dave Stafford
A man who pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges and whose sentence exceeded statutory authority must nonetheless serve the term, a divided Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
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Indiana farmer’s tangle with seed producer over patent infringement gets SCOTUS review

October 8, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
The Supreme Court of the United States has agreed to review a federal appeals court decision regarding patent infringement in a case involving an Indiana farmer and a seed producer.
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Weinberger seeks sentence of time served

October 8, 2012
Dave Stafford
Former Merrillville ear, nose and throat doctor Mark Weinberger on Monday asked a federal court to sentence him to time served for the 22 counts of health care fraud to which he pleaded guilty.
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Justices tackle home foreclosure issue involving MERS

October 5, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Indiana Justice Mark Massa, writing for the court Thursday, delved into the history of the Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems Inc. and its role in today’s mortgage industry in a case involving a foreclosed home in Madison County.
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Appeals court affirms rejection of HOA ‘abusive junk fee’

October 5, 2012
Dave Stafford
A Morgan County man who took no action to defend a judgment in his favor nevertheless prevailed in the Indiana Court of Appeals on Friday. The judges upheld a trial court ruling that rejected a homeowners association charge it called an “abusive junk fee.”
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Death row inmate’s habeas petition denied

October 4, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A federal judge in South Bend has denied a death row inmate’s request for habeas corpus, rejecting the man’s claims that he is mentally retarded and, therefore, cannot be sentenced to death.
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7th Circuit rules against fired animal shelter worker

October 4, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed summary judgment for the city of Jeffersonville after finding that a terminated employee’s lawsuit claiming her firing violated the Americans with Disabilities Act can’t proceed because the woman doesn’t qualify as “disabled” under the ADA.
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Defendant’s argument should be made to rules committee

October 3, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
In affirming the denial of a man’s motion to suppress statements he made to an officer at a gas station, the Indiana Court of Appeals pointed out that his arguments pertaining to Indiana Evidence Rule 617 would be better presented to the Evidence Rules Review Committee.
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Judges find no misconduct by hospital

October 3, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the denial of a woman’s motion to correct error and relief from judgment following a verdict in favor of Clarian Health Partners on her medical malpractice complaint. The court found that Clarian’s counsel did not commit misconduct by not supplementing the deposition testimony of one of its doctors – a nonparty to the case – prior to trial.
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Fraternity pledge loses appeal involving alleged hazing incident

October 2, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Two Indiana Court of Appeals judges found that an incident involving “showering” at a Wabash College fraternity in 2007 – which led to injuries to a freshman pledge – were not considered hazing under Indiana law. Judge Nancy Vaidik, who dissented, found the majority’s view of pledging and hazing “far too restrictive.”
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Trial court should not have admitted statement to detective

October 2, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found the Vanderburgh Circuit Court abused its discretion in admitting at trial statements a defendant made to a police detective.
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COA rejects arguments Batson should extend to juror age

October 2, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court did not err in overruling a defendant’s Batson objection to the removal of two African-Americans from the jury during his trial for drug charges, the Court of Appeals held Tuesday.
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Justices reinstate COA opinion after hearing arguments

October 2, 2012
IL Staff
After hearing arguments last week in a discrimination case, the Indiana Supreme Court decided Monday not to assume jurisdiction over the appeal.
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Justices to hear negligent design case

October 1, 2012
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court took three cases last week, including a lawsuit filed by a man rendered a quadriplegic after he fell out of a company truck while working for Richmond Power.
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Clay County man entitled to discharge because of ruling delays

October 1, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found that Scott F. West is entitled to discharge under Indiana Criminal Rule 4(C) because he was held to answer on marijuana charges for more than a year without a trial date while his motion to suppress awaited a ruling.
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Trial court correctly revoked man’s probation in 5 cases

September 28, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A Washington Circuit judge did not abuse his discretion in revoking a man’s probation in multiple cases and ordering that he serve all of his previously suspended sentences, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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COA orders jury trial on animal cruelty charges

September 28, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
An Evansville man convicted of six counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty due to the condition of horses on his property did not knowingly waive his right to a jury trial and, therefore, is entitled to a jury trial, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded.
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7th Circuit affirms in part man’s convictions for producing fake documents

September 26, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
There is enough evidence to support two of the three convictions of an East Chicago man stemming from his making and selling various counterfeit documents, but photocopies in his possession cannot support his conviction of unlawful possession of five or more false identification documents.
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Admission of the videotaped confession constitutes fundamental error

September 25, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
The true finding that a juvenile committed an act that would constitute the offense of attempted burglary, a class B felony, was reversed by the Indiana Court of Appeals on the grounds the trial court made a fundamental error in admitting into evidence the juvenile’s videotaped confession.
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  1. Applause, applause, applause ..... but, is this duty to serve the constitutional order not much more incumbent upon the State, whose only aim is to be pure and unadulterated justice, than defense counsel, who is also charged with gaining a result for a client? I agree both are responsible, but it seems to me that the government attorneys bear a burden much heavier than defense counsel .... "“I note, much as we did in Mechling v. State, 16 N.E.3d 1015 (Ind. Ct. App. 2014), trans. denied, that the attorneys representing the State and the defendant are both officers of the court and have a responsibility to correct any obvious errors at the time they are committed."

  2. Do I have to hire an attorney to get co-guardianship of my brother? My father has guardianship and my older sister was his co-guardian until this Dec 2014 when she passed and my father was me to go on as the co-guardian, but funds are limit and we need to get this process taken care of quickly as our fathers health isn't the greatest. So please advise me if there is anyway to do this our self or if it requires a lawyer? Thank you

  3. I have been on this program while on parole from 2011-2013. No person should be forced mentally to share private details of their personal life with total strangers. Also giving permission for a mental therapist to report to your parole agent that your not participating in group therapy because you don't have the financial mean to be in the group therapy. I was personally singled out and sent back three times for not having money and also sent back within the six month when you aren't to be sent according to state law. I will work to het this INSOMM's removed from this state. I also had twelve or thirteen parole agents with a fifteen month period. Thanks for your time.

  4. Our nation produces very few jurists of the caliber of Justice DOUGLAS and his peers these days. Here is that great civil libertarian, who recognized government as both a blessing and, when corrupted by ideological interests, a curse: "Once the investigator has only the conscience of government as a guide, the conscience can become ‘ravenous,’ as Cromwell, bent on destroying Thomas More, said in Bolt, A Man For All Seasons (1960), p. 120. The First Amendment mirrors many episodes where men, harried and harassed by government, sought refuge in their conscience, as these lines of Thomas More show: ‘MORE: And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Paradise for doing according to your conscience, *575 and I am damned for not doing according to mine, will you come with me, for fellowship? ‘CRANMER: So those of us whose names are there are damned, Sir Thomas? ‘MORE: I don't know, Your Grace. I have no window to look into another man's conscience. I condemn no one. ‘CRANMER: Then the matter is capable of question? ‘MORE: Certainly. ‘CRANMER: But that you owe obedience to your King is not capable of question. So weigh a doubt against a certainty—and sign. ‘MORE: Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But if it is flat, will the King's command make it round? And if it is round, will the King's command flatten it? No, I will not sign.’ Id., pp. 132—133. DOUGLAS THEN WROTE: Where government is the Big Brother,11 privacy gives way to surveillance. **909 But our commitment is otherwise. *576 By the First Amendment we have staked our security on freedom to promote a multiplicity of ideas, to associate at will with kindred spirits, and to defy governmental intrusion into these precincts" Gibson v. Florida Legislative Investigation Comm., 372 U.S. 539, 574-76, 83 S. Ct. 889, 908-09, 9 L. Ed. 2d 929 (1963) Mr. Justice DOUGLAS, concurring. I write: Happy Memorial Day to all -- God please bless our fallen who lived and died to preserve constitutional governance in our wonderful series of Republics. And God open the eyes of those government officials who denounce the constitutions of these Republics by arbitrary actions arising out capricious motives.

  5. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

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