Court opinions

Vagueness of policy is grounds for reversal

February 14, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed a District Court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of St. Paul Fire & Marine Insurance Company, holding that the language of its insurance policy creates a question of liability for deductible payments.
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On rehearing, COA affirms original opinion

February 14, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
On petition for rehearing, the state Department of Child Services claims that the appellate court imposed an undue burden upon the agency by recognizing that DCS has to make a prima facie showing regarding current conditions before the parent is obliged to come forward with evidence.
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COA reverses trial court on traffic stop case

February 14, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
The Indiana Court of Appeals has sided with the state in its appeal of a trial court’s ruling.
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Mother's prior statement undermines argument on appeal

February 14, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
A mother who appealed a court’s order acknowledging that her ex-husband is the father of her child cannot prove that the court abused its discretion.
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Appellate court orders hearing on judge's impartiality

February 13, 2012
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled that a Monroe Circuit judge abused her discretion in denying a motion to recuse in a small claims case that involved an attorney who previously served as the judge’s election campaign committee chair.
 
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COA reverses trial court in malpractice case

February 10, 2012
IL Staff
The Indiana Court of Appeals has sided with the commissioner of the Indiana Department of Insurance in a medical malpractice case.
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7th Circuit affirms inmate has no property interest in fund

February 9, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the decision in the Northern District of Indiana that an inmate has no property interest in prison recreation funds.
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Evidence supports elevated burglary conviction

February 9, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a man’s conviction of Class A felony burglary resulting in bodily injury because all the statute requires is evidence the victim experienced physical pain, which the victim in this case did when the burglar twisted her hand.
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Court erred in granting change of judge

February 8, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the grant of a stepfather’s motion for change of venue from the judge, holding the man is not a party to the underlying paternity action and therefore isn’t entitled to a change of venue from the judge under Indiana Trial Rule 76.
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High court to hear legislative fines appeal

February 8, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court has taken the appeal of a Marion County judge’s decision that ordered Democratic members of the Indiana House be refunded the money withheld from their paychecks due to a walkout in 2011.
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COA affirms original sentence revision

February 8, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals granted the state’s request for rehearing to address the argument that its earlier decision on a man’s sentence conflicts with an Indiana Supreme Court decision. The appellate court reaffirmed its earlier decision in all respects.
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Court does not have subject matter jurisdiction over child support

February 8, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
In addressing whether a trial court in Indiana erred in dismissing a woman’s petition for modification of child support previously entered in Maryland, the Indiana Court of Appeals noted an incongruity in the statutory scheme that leads to the “somewhat absurd result in this case.”
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Judges affirm credit restricted felon status

February 8, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a defendant’s claim that because he pleaded guilty to Class B felony child molesting instead of a Class A felony, the Credit Restricted Felon Statute shouldn’t apply.
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Court split on dismissing murder, attempted feticide charges

February 8, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
In a case of first impression involving a mother who ingested rat poison in an attempt to kill herself and her unborn child, one Indiana Court of Appeals judge felt that if the feticide statute is applied to women’s prenatal conduct, it might lead to a “slippery slope” in which a full range of a woman’s conduct while pregnant could fall under the feticide statute.
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Judges reverse felony sexual battery conviction

February 7, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Because the state didn’t prove an essential element needed to convict a man of Class D felony sexual battery, the Indiana Court of Appeals threw out his conviction. But there was enough evidence to support convicting the man of Class B misdemeanor battery.
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Homeowners' association can enforce ban on child day care

February 7, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the decision that would allow two homeowners to run a child care operation out of their residences. The homeowners’ association has restrictive covenants in place prohibiting the operation of a child care home.
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7th Circuit dismisses South Bend's appeal

February 7, 2012
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals was presented a novel jurisdictional issue Tuesday: whether a municipal land use case can come within the exception to the doctrine of mootness for cases that are capable of repetition yet elude review.
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Judge orders refund of legislative fines

February 7, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Democratic members of the Indiana House who faced fines for failing to attend sessions in protest of right-to-work legislation will be reimbursed any amount withheld in 2011, according to a ruling from Marion Superior Judge David Dreyer. The judge also ordered that any fines imposed this session may not be collected.
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Governor appoints interim secretary of state

February 6, 2012
IL Staff
After Indiana Secretary of State Charlie White was found guilty of six felony charges Feb. 4, Gov. Mitch Daniels appointed Jerry Bonnet as interim secretary of state. A convicted felon cannot hold statewide office in Indiana.
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7th Circuit affirms official's termination

February 3, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
The city of Anderson was justified in firing an official who failed to support a mayoral campaign, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals held Friday.
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7th Circuit upholds firearm conviction

February 3, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a man’s conviction of possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime, finding there was sufficient evidence to support the conviction.
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Appellate court to visit Sellersburg for arguments

February 3, 2012
IL Staff
The Indiana Court of Appeals will travel to a southern Indiana high school to hear a civil case involving First Amendment claims for a police officer’s private statements.
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Justices uphold driver's license suspension

February 3, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court has affirmed the suspension of a man’s driver’s license following his conviction of possessing marijuana. While the driver’s license suspension statute generally applies only when the defendant uses the vehicle in the commission of the offense, it’s not required that the defendant must either own or be driving the vehicle when he commits the offense.
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Personal cars fall under federal act exemption

February 2, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The billing agent for a central Indiana volunteer fire department can’t bill individuals involved in auto accidents with their personal vehicles for clean-up costs of hazardous substances, according to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
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7th Circuit affirms man's remanded sentence

February 2, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the 210-month sentence received by a defendant on remand for attempting to coerce or entice a minor to engage in sexual activity.
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  1. I like the concept. Seems like a good idea and really inexpensive to manage.

  2. I don't agree that this is an extreme case. There are more of these people than you realize - people that are vindictive and/or with psychological issues have clogged the system with baseless suits that are costly to the defendant and to taxpayers. Restricting repeat offenders from further abusing the system is not akin to restricting their freedon, but to protecting their victims, and the court system, from allowing them unfettered access. From the Supreme Court opinion "he has burdened the opposing party and the courts of this state at every level with massive, confusing, disorganized, defective, repetitive, and often meritless filings."

  3. So, if you cry wolf one too many times courts may "restrict" your ability to pursue legal action? Also, why is document production equated with wealth? Anyone can "produce probably tens of thousands of pages of filings" if they have a public library card. I understand this is an extreme case, but our Supreme Court really got this one wrong.

  4. He called our nation a nation of cowards because we didn't want to talk about race. That was a cheap shot coming from the top cop. The man who decides who gets the federal government indicts. Wow. Not a gentleman if that is the measure. More importantly, this insult delivered as we all understand, to white people-- without him or anybody needing to explain that is precisely what he meant-- but this is an insult to timid white persons who fear the government and don't want to say anything about race for fear of being accused a racist. With all the legal heat that can come down on somebody if they say something which can be construed by a prosecutor like Mr Holder as racist, is it any wonder white people-- that's who he meant obviously-- is there any surprise that white people don't want to talk about race? And as lawyers we have even less freedom lest our remarks be considered violations of the rules. Mr Holder also demonstrated his bias by publically visiting with the family of the young man who was killed by a police offering in the line of duty, which was a very strong indicator of bias agains the offer who is under investigation, and was a failure to lead properly by letting his investigators do their job without him predetermining the proper outcome. He also has potentially biased the jury pool. All in all this worsens race relations by feeding into the perception shared by whites as well as blacks that justice will not be impartial. I will say this much, I do not blame Obama for all of HOlder's missteps. Obama has done a lot of things to stay above the fray and try and be a leader for all Americans. Maybe he should have reigned Holder in some but Obama's got his hands full with other problelms. Oh did I mention HOlder is a bank crony who will probably get a job in a silkstocking law firm working for millions of bucks a year defending bankers whom he didn't have the integrity or courage to hold to account for their acts of fraud on the United States, other financial institutions, and the people. His tenure will be regarded by history as a failure of leadership at one of the most important jobs in our nation. Finally and most importantly besides him insulting the public and letting off the big financial cheats, he has been at the forefront of over-prosecuting the secrecy laws to punish whistleblowers and chill free speech. What has Holder done to vindicate the rights of privacy of the American public against the illegal snooping of the NSA? He could have charged NSA personnel with violations of law for their warrantless wiretapping which has been done millions of times and instead he did not persecute a single soul. That is a defalcation of historical proportions and it signals to the public that the government DOJ under him was not willing to do a damn thing to protect the public against the rapid growth of the illegal surveillance state. Who else could have done this? Nobody. And for that omission Obama deserves the blame too. Here were are sliding into a police state and Eric Holder made it go all the faster.

  5. JOE CLAYPOOL candidate for Superior Court in Harrison County - Indiana This candidate is misleading voters to think he is a Judge by putting Elect Judge Joe Claypool on his campaign literature. paragraphs 2 and 9 below clearly indicate this injustice to voting public to gain employment. What can we do? Indiana Code - Section 35-43-5-3: Deception (a) A person who: (1) being an officer, manager, or other person participating in the direction of a credit institution, knowingly or intentionally receives or permits the receipt of a deposit or other investment, knowing that the institution is insolvent; (2) knowingly or intentionally makes a false or misleading written statement with intent to obtain property, employment, or an educational opportunity; (3) misapplies entrusted property, property of a governmental entity, or property of a credit institution in a manner that the person knows is unlawful or that the person knows involves substantial risk of loss or detriment to either the owner of the property or to a person for whose benefit the property was entrusted; (4) knowingly or intentionally, in the regular course of business, either: (A) uses or possesses for use a false weight or measure or other device for falsely determining or recording the quality or quantity of any commodity; or (B) sells, offers, or displays for sale or delivers less than the represented quality or quantity of any commodity; (5) with intent to defraud another person furnishing electricity, gas, water, telecommunication, or any other utility service, avoids a lawful charge for that service by scheme or device or by tampering with facilities or equipment of the person furnishing the service; (6) with intent to defraud, misrepresents the identity of the person or another person or the identity or quality of property; (7) with intent to defraud an owner of a coin machine, deposits a slug in that machine; (8) with intent to enable the person or another person to deposit a slug in a coin machine, makes, possesses, or disposes of a slug; (9) disseminates to the public an advertisement that the person knows is false, misleading, or deceptive, with intent to promote the purchase or sale of property or the acceptance of employment;

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