Court opinions

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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Court affirms protective order without evidentiary hearing

September 25, 2012
Dave Stafford
A Shelby County man’s protective order against a neighbor is valid even though the trial court didn’t hold an evidentiary hearing or honor the neighbor’s request for a continuance, the Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
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Court affirms mobile meth lab conviction, sentence arising from car search

September 25, 2012
Dave Stafford
A man’s conviction and 24-year sentence on charges related to a mobile meth lab found in his vehicle was affirmed Tuesday by the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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Teen bit by police dog during arrest may sue, appeals court rules

September 24, 2012
Dave Stafford
A man who more than five years ago sustained injuries from police dog bites during his arrest may proceed with a tort claim, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Court of Appeals points to ‘alarming trend’ in defendant’s appeal

September 24, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
A defendant who attempted to have his conviction reversed by citing the fundamental error doctrine instead received a sharp rebuke from the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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Appeals court reverses vacation of habitual traffic violator status

September 24, 2012
Dave Stafford
A trial court erred when it set aside a man’s 2002 guilty plea on a charge of operating a vehicle while a habitual traffic violator, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday.
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Question over spirit in which statements were made is enough for jury to deliberate

September 21, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
A defamation suit against an employee will proceed following the Indiana Court of Appeals' finding that there is doubt as to what conclusion a jury could reach in determining whether statements were made in good faith and without malice.
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Ankle bracelet excuse fails in court

September 21, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
A sex offender cannot use an ankle monitor as an excuse for failing to update his address on the sex offender registry, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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  1. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  2. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  3. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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