Court opinions

Open Door violation not worth $8K, COA rules

August 22, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A group of petitioners who prevailed on an Indiana Open Door Law violation will get reimbursed for attorney fees, but the amount will be reduced by nearly $5,000 after a trial court found the group was requesting money for work unrelated to the claim.
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Dissenting judge argues tenants can’t ask drunk, disorderly man outside door to leave

August 22, 2013
Dave Stafford
An argument that tenants of an apartment complex may not ask a drunk and threatening man to leave common areas convinced one judge, but the majority of an appeals panel found otherwise, warning that such a holding would “defy logic and lead to an absurd result.”
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Threats of violence sufficient to order involuntary commitment

August 21, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Although an Indianapolis man never harmed another individual, his persistent threats of violence were sufficient to support his involuntary commitment to a mental health facility.
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Appeals panel affirms molester’s dissemination sentence, refines scope of ‘performance’

August 21, 2013
Dave Stafford
A man who molested children in his home lost his appeal on the argument that showing children pornographic images on a cellphone and exposing himself to them was not a public performance.
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Tinted-window stop yielding pot arrest by precedent-setting cop upheld

August 20, 2013
Dave Stafford
Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officer Keith Minch is on a roll in the appellate courts.
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COA affirms probation violation for nonsupport, modifies amount due

August 20, 2013
Dave Stafford
A trial court properly revoked probation of a man sentenced for non-support of a dependent child, but the Indiana Court of Appeals ordered the lower court to revise the arrearage.
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Foreclosure stands against ‘Redemptionist’ claims, appeals panel rules

August 19, 2013
Dave Stafford
A pro se litigant who fought a mortgage foreclosure by attempting to pay a bank with drafts from his purported account at the United States Treasury has no basis to reverse summary judgment in favor of the lender, the Court of Appeals ruled Monday.
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7th Circuit affirms tax convictions of Fort Wayne entrepreneur

August 15, 2013
Dave Stafford
A man whose family spent millions while he pleaded poverty to gain need-based scholarships for his children and failed to report foreign bank accounts lost the federal appeal of his conviction on multiple tax charges Thursday.
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Change in state statute gets public intoxication conviction overturned

August 15, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Although the evidence showed the man was intoxicated in public, the Indiana Court of Appeals overturned his conviction because he was not a threat to public safety.
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Conviction, 30-year sentence affirmed in armed robbery

August 15, 2013
Dave Stafford
A man who, with other masked gunmen, robbed an Indianapolis Asian market lost his appeal Thursday.
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For want of $2, negligence claim is untimely

August 15, 2013
Dave Stafford
A filing fee that was $2 less than required for a negligence claim in Clark County but was corrected and paid in full after the statute of limitations ran out may not proceed, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Thursday.
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Divided appellate court reinstates charges stemming from illegal stop

August 15, 2013
An Indianapolis man who faced multiple charges when he fled from and battled with police after a stop the state concedes was illegal still may be prosecuted on evidence gained after he fled, two of three Court of Appeals judges ruled Tuesday.
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Appeals panel affirms sole custody for mother moving to China

August 15, 2013
Dave Stafford
A father lost his appeal Thursday of a trial court ruling granting sole custody to the mother of the divorced couple’s child, who will move with her to China for three years.
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No new trial for defendant who discovered pitfalls of proceeding pro se

August 15, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A defendant’s request for a do-over after representing himself at trial and being found guilty was denied by the Indiana Court of Appeals with the admonishment “proceeding pro se is riddled with pitfalls.”
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Malpractice defense accused of ‘egregious mischaracterization’ of record

August 15, 2013
Dave Stafford
Defense attorneys who asked for a rehearing from the Indiana Court of Appeals panel that earlier affirmed a trial court medical malpractice jury verdict failed to sway judges who took the opportunity to call out their “egregious mischaracterization” of the record.
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Community-caretaking duties permits warrantless search

August 14, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A warrantless search that led to discovery of marijuana and a handgun did not violate the Fourth Amendment because the police found the items as part of their “community-caretaking” duties.
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Charge dismissed in error negates felony DUI enhancement

August 14, 2013
Dave Stafford
The state’s errant dismissal of a misdemeanor drunken-driving charge in 2009 may not be corrected in order to enhance to a felony a defendant’s second such charge within five years, a divided panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Man still drunk despite change in public intoxication statute, COA rules

August 14, 2013
Dave Stafford
A 2012 change in Indiana’s public intoxication statute adding a required charging element of at least harassing, annoying or alarming another person doesn’t negate a conviction for a man who the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled did at least that much.
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Nigerian immigrant's religious discrimination suit carries cautions for employers

August 14, 2013
Dave Stafford
Sikiru Adeyeye had a mission when his father died in Nigeria three years ago. Letters to his employer asking to take one week of paid vacation and several weeks off without pay expressed the urgency of his obligation.
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Accused murderers likely to stay in jail awaiting trial

August 14, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
When the Indiana Supreme Court upended 150 years of precedent concerning murder defendants, it raised eyebrows and stirred debate but, in practice, the impact of the opinion is expected to be very limited.
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Justices revive malpractice suit alleging doctor’s failure to warn patient not to drive

August 8, 2013
Dave Stafford
A medical malpractice suit arising from a debilitating head-on automobile crash should not have been disposed of through summary judgment in favor of the doctor, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Thursday. Justices reversed the order and sent the case back to the trial court.
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Muncie church did not invade on grieving couple’s privacy

August 7, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A church that issued a press release and held a press conference following the sudden death of a baby boy was found to not have interfered with the parents’ reasonable expectation of solitude and seclusion. 
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Seizure of guns upheld for ‘dangerous’ man who stalked Spierer site

August 6, 2013
Dave Stafford
A man who behaved erratically, told far-fetched stories of seeing missing Indiana University student Lauren Spierer, and scoped out the place she was last seen alarmed Bloomington police enough that authorities took from him and his Indianapolis home 51 guns and ammunition.
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Dismissal, jury verdict for Alcoa in cancer suit stand on appeal

August 6, 2013
Dave Stafford
A couple who sued an aluminum manufacturer and claimed their exposure to toxic chemicals led to the husband’s rare form of liver cancer lost their appeal Tuesday.
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Habeas writ reverses resentencing from divided COA

August 6, 2013
Dave Stafford
A Fulton County man who filed a writ of habeas corpus claiming he was falsely imprisoned won a reversal of a clarified sentencing order Tuesday, with one Court of Appeals judge saying he should be freed entirely.
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  1. Indiana's seatbelt law is not punishable as a crime. It is an infraction. Apparently some of our Circuit judges have deemed settled law inapplicable if it fails to fit their litmus test of political correctness. Extrapolating to redefine terms of behavior in a violation of immigration law to the entire body of criminal law leaves a smorgasbord of opportunity for judicial mischief.

  2. I wonder if $10 diversions for failure to wear seat belts are considered moral turpitude in federal immigration law like they are under Indiana law? Anyone know?

  3. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

  4. Justice has finally been served. So glad that Dr. Ley can finally sleep peacefully at night knowing the truth has finally come to the surface.

  5. While this right is guaranteed by our Constitution, it has in recent years been hampered by insurance companies, i.e.; the practice of the plaintiff's own insurance company intervening in an action and filing a lien against any proceeds paid to their insured. In essence, causing an additional financial hurdle for a plaintiff to overcome at trial in terms of overall award. In a very real sense an injured party in exercise of their right to trial by jury may be the only party in a cause that would end up with zero compensation.

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