Court opinions

COA orders new trial for overly talkative defendant

September 14, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
In a divided opinion, the Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed a trial court’s denial of motion for mistrial, holding that the court went too far in physically preventing a defendant from speaking.
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Judges disagree on whether use of names or initials is appropriate

September 14, 2011
Michael Hoskins
A clear divide exists at the Indiana Court of Appeals these days and is anything but confidential. Judges are debating whether parties’ names on certain cases should be released publicly or be shielded through use of initials only.
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Recent medical malpractice opinion causes some lawyers concernRestricted Content

September 14, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
Attorneys have asked the Indiana Supreme Court to weigh in on a recent ruling that has left some people wondering about the future of medical malpractice law.
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Constructing contracts for safety

September 14, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Indiana Supreme Court case examines construction manager's liability.
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Court reverses decision denying trial counsel appointment

September 13, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals has determined a Jay Superior judge didn’t look at a defendant’s “total financial picture” when assessing his need for a court-appointed attorney. It has ordered a new indigency evaluation and trial for the misdemeanor battery charge.
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COA: surety agency's lack of timely action justifies fines

September 13, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed a trial court’s determination that a surety agency failed to comply with Indiana Code and is therefore liable for a deceased man’s bond.
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Damage of personal property not unconstitutional taking

September 12, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of a sanitary district in a suit against it alleging an unconstitutional taking of homeowners’ personal property after sewage backed up into their homes. The judges relied on a case from Nevada to support their decision.
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Appeals court sets arguments in Camm case

September 12, 2011
IL Staff
The Indiana Court of Appeals has schedule oral arguments in the case of the former Indiana State Police trooper accused of killing his wife and children in 2000.
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COA affirms lower court in shoe-killing case

September 9, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The Indiana Court of Appeals has upheld a post-conviction court’s determination that a man convicted of kicking another man to death cannot appeal his conviction.
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Judges: State-law claims can proceed

September 8, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has allowed a woman’s state claim against a sheriff following the suicide of her son in jail to go forward even though she previously had accepted an offer of judgment in District Court on a federal claim.
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Judge dismisses challenge to NCAA bylaws

September 7, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Two former NCAA athletes whose scholarships were revoked following injuries have lost their suit that argued without certain NCAA Division I bylaws, they would have received multi-year athletic scholarships that would have covered the cost of their bachelor’s degrees.
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Summary judgment inappropriate in slip-and-fall case

September 7, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals stopped short Wednesday of saying in a negligence suit involving a slip and fall that under any circumstance a home detention officer visiting a detainee at his place of employment is a business visitor.
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Justices take 3 cases

September 6, 2011
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court has granted transfer to three cases, including one that led to a split in the lower appellate court in a child support case.
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Judges uphold contempt order against attorney

September 6, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
A Morgan Circuit judge had jurisdiction to order a Unionville attorney to pay $75,000 to the county clerk after finding the attorney in contempt, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
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Circuit Court upholds settlement; $43 million in attorney fees

September 2, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a $180 million settlement and grant of $43.5 million in attorney fees in a dispute between retirement plan participants and their former employer. Some class members objected to the amount of attorney fees, but the 7th Circuit saw no reason to disturb the lower court’s decision.
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COA: Grandma didn't have standing to petition for visitation

September 2, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed the denial of a mother’s request to set aside grandparent visitation, finding the grandmother filed her petition in the incorrect court.
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Prison jumpsuits don't constitute cruel and unusual punishment

September 2, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Requiring inmates to wear lightweight jumpsuits instead of shirt and pants is not cruel and unusual punishment, ruled the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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7th Circuit tackles 'novel' U visa review request

September 1, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled it does not have jurisdiction to review immigration orders denying a specialized visa to a non-citizen trying to stay in the country after assisting in an investigation or prosecution.
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Grandmother can't petition for visitation

September 1, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
A grandmother has lost her right to petition for visitation rights after her son’s parental rights were terminated, so the trial court was correct in dismissing her petition, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Thursday.
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Unrepresented litigants don't forfeit exemptions even if not pleaded

August 31, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court has ruled in favor of a couple who were ordered in small claims court to pay $100 a month toward judgments and look for work each week. The couple’s only income is exempt under the general wage and the Social Security Income exemptions.
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Man's detainment by officer violated 4th Amendment

August 31, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Conservation officers checking to see if a fisherman had a valid license did not have reasonable suspicion to detain the man and ask to see what was inside his bag after verifying his license, the Indiana Court of Appeals held.
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Attorney must pay credit card company

August 31, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
An Illinois attorney has lost his appeal in his fight against a credit card company seeking to collect money owed on a Discover card.
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Toxic dust exposure leads to litigationRestricted Content

August 31, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Indianapolis attorney Gabe Hawkins has already attended the funerals of three former clients, and he hopes that he won’t have to see a fourth before finally being able to say that the courtroom battle they’ve been waging for years has paid off.
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Can schools discipline for off-campus conduct?Restricted Content

August 31, 2011
Michael Hoskins
School is back in session, and a new set of court rulings issued during the summer break may make it more difficult for school administrators to decide how to handle inappropriate or potentially disruptive online activities carried out by students off-campus.
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Meth use linked to increase in CHINSRestricted Content

August 31, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
Leslie Dunn, Indiana state director for GAL/CASA, said the number of Child in Need of Services cases over time remains stable, but she’s seen some remarkable variations in cases per-county from year to year. In Vanderburgh County, for example, new CHINS cases jumped from 448 in 2008 to 818 in 2010. People who are watching these numbers with concern cite several possible reasons for these variations.
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  1. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

  2. Pass Legislation to require guilty defendants to pay for the costs of lab work, etc as part of court costs...

  3. The fee increase would be livable except for the 11% increase in spending at the Disciplinary Commission. The Commission should be focused on true public harm rather than going on witch hunts against lawyers who dare to criticize judges.

  4. Marijuana is safer than alcohol. AT the time the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act was enacted all major pharmaceutical companies in the US sold marijuana products. 11 Presidents of the US have smoked marijuana. Smoking it does not increase the likelihood that you will get lung cancer. There are numerous reports of canabis oil killing many kinds of incurable cancer. (See Rick Simpson's Oil on the internet or facebook).

  5. The US has 5% of the world's population and 25% of the world's prisoners. Far too many people are sentenced for far too many years in prison. Many of the federal prisoners are sentenced for marijuana violations. Marijuana is safer than alcohol.

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