Court opinions

Divided court affirms life without parole for 17-year-old who killed younger brother

August 1, 2012
Dave Stafford
A 3-2 decision of the Indiana Supreme Court upheld a sentence of life without parole for a 17-year-old who killed his 10-year-old brother while babysitting and later dumped his body near a school in Rising Sun.
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Justices reduce caregiver’s sentence in child’s killing

August 1, 2012
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court reduced the sentence of a woman who, along with her boyfriend, was convicted in the events that led to the murder of the woman’s 2-year-old cousin while in her care.
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Federal courts rule against overtime in pharmaceutical cases

August 1, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
In a pair of decisions, the U.S. Supreme Court and the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals examined different exemption provisions to overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act but reached the same conclusion: Pharmaceutical sales representatives are not entitled to overtime pay.
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Private parties liable for attorney fees in open records disputes

July 31, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Supreme Court affirmed a trial court’s ruling that held a private party liable for attorney fees in an Access to Public Records Act claim.
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Justices reject jurisdiction in 'bizarre' fatal helicopter crash

July 31, 2012
Dave Stafford
The family of a man killed by a falling helicopter that crashed in British Columbia will not have their case heard in Indiana where the helicopter engine was built, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Monday.
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Divided justices reject opposing summary judgments in church split

July 31, 2012
Dave Stafford
Neither the trial court nor the Court of Appeals got it right in a dispute between an Evansville Presbyterian church and its former denomination when the church left over simmering disagreements on abortion and other matters of doctrine, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled in a 3-2 decision.
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Appeals court clears hotel in guest's death outside

July 31, 2012
Dave Stafford
The family of a hotel guest who died after falling and hitting his head outside on a cold night may not proceed with a wrongful death suit against the hotel, the Court of Appeals held in a ruling Tuesday.
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Worker's disability denial affirmed at 7th Circuit

July 31, 2012
Dave Stafford
A former worker whose degenerating discs and spondylolisthesis caused her to no longer be able to work as a sales rep for AstraZeneca was not improperly deprived of benefits when the insurer terminated them.
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Justices: Ex-wife must agree to lower sales price

July 31, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court unanimously held that a trial court had no authority to modify a property agreement made by ex-spouses and that the ex-wife is entitled by law to refuse to waive a provision that neither party had to accept a sale that was below specified minimums.
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Supreme Court divided on whether man's claims against bank can proceed

July 31, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Two Indiana justices believed that a man’s actual fraud and tortious interference with contract claims against Old National Bank should go to trial, an opposite conclusion reached by their fellow justices.
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Supreme Court knocks down habitual-offender enhancement

July 31, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Supreme Court found a habitual-offender enhancement tacked onto the 20-year sentence of a serious violent felon was an “impermissible double enhancement.”
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Supreme Court rules landowner must pay county drainage assessment

July 30, 2012
Dave Stafford
A Marshall County landowner will have to pay a drainage assessment on a county-maintained ditch, even though he said his property derives little benefit from the drainage system for which he’s ordered to pay a share.
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Coachmen, All-American win appeal in hotel dispute

July 30, 2012
Dave Stafford
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a District Court ruling in favor of two Indiana companies that were involved in a Tennessee hotel project that failed to develop.
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COA upholds trial court’s actions and sentence during drug trial

July 27, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
A defendant who contended the trial court abused its discretion and imposed an inappropriately harsh sentence had his drug conviction upheld by the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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245-year sentence affirmed in Hovey Street slayings

July 27, 2012
Dave Stafford
The gunman who pleaded guilty to four murders in the 3200 block of Hovey Street in Indianapolis was properly given and deserved a 245-year sentence for the crimes, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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Crawford holding doesn’t apply to probation revocation hearings

July 27, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court rejected a man’s argument Thursday that he should be afforded the same right of confrontation in his probation revocation hearing as is outlined in Crawford v. Washington, 541 U.S. 36 (2004).
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$2.9M verdict in mill accident case upheld

July 27, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed the admittance of an expert’s opinion as to causation of an accident at a northern Indiana steel rolling mill, finding the federal court properly denied a company’s Daubert motion to bar that testimony.
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Justices: Good-time-credit amendment not retroactive

July 27, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court interpreted a 2010 amendment on credit time earned during placement in community corrections to only apply to those placed on home detention on or after its July 1, 2010, effective date.
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COA affirms drug dealing, possession convictions

July 27, 2012
Dave Stafford
A man convicted of multiple felony drug charges and sentenced to 50 years in prison with 15 years suspended was not deprived his Fourth Amendment rights, the Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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Appeals court upholds killer’s PCR denial

July 27, 2012
Dave Stafford
A man convicted of murder in Delaware County is not entitled to post-conviction relief due to ineffective counsel, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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Justices reverse Tax Court, determine Miller Brewing owes

July 27, 2012
Dave Stafford
Miller Brewing owes $806,366 in income tax on beer transported by common carriers to Indiana from its Milwaukee brewery, the Indiana Supreme Court determined in a ruling Thursday that reversed the state Tax Court, ending a decade-long dispute.
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Appeals court: Worker entitled to pursue compensation after settlement

July 27, 2012
Dave Stafford
A worker injured in a traffic accident who received a settlement for a workers’ compensation claim in Wisconsin may proceed with a claim in Indiana, where the crash occurred, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Majority upholds habitual traffic violator conviction

July 26, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Four justices found that Indiana Code 9-30-10-16 indicating when a person commits a Class D felony while driving with a suspended license is not unconstitutionally vague and evidence supports a man’s conviction of Class D felony operating a motor vehicle as a habitual traffic violator.
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Justices uphold sentence for kidnapping jail officer

July 26, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
In a four-page per curiam decision, the Indiana Supreme Court reinstated the trial court’s 47-year sentence of Roger Bushhorn, who pleaded guilty to charges stemming from his escape, kidnapping and assault of jail officials.
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Judge believes court could remove man from sex offender list

July 26, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Indiana Court of Appeals Chief Judge Margret Robb dissented from her colleagues in a case involving a man who wanted his name taken off the Indiana Sex Offender Registry.
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