Court opinions

Former city-county councilor sentenced to 40 months

December 2, 2011
IL and IBJ Staff
U.S. Senior Judge Larry McKinney on Thursday sentenced former Indianapolis City-County Councilor Lincoln Plowman to 40 months in federal prison for attempted extortion and bribery.
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7th Circuit affirms ruling against woman kicked out of public housing

December 1, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
A woman who challenged the Housing Authority of South Bend’s decision to terminate her lease for federally subsidized public housing because of criminal activity lost her appeal before the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
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Appellate court upholds criminal recklessness conviction

December 1, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals determined there was sufficient evidence to uphold a man’s conviction of criminal recklessness regarding his firing of a gun.
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'Inextricably intertwined' exception appropriate under state constitution

November 30, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that under Article 1, Section 13 of the Indiana Constitution, the right to counsel is violated only where a different offense is inextricably intertwined with the charge on which counsel is already representing the defendant.
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Majority reverses Hopper advisement created last year

November 29, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
A divided Indiana Supreme Court has reversed its 2010 decision to require pro se defendants be informed about the dangers of pleading guilty without an attorney. Two of the justices who originally voted to create the “Hopper advisement” found themselves in the minority on the high court’s decision on rehearing.
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COA addresses impact of guilty pleas on immigration status

November 28, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the denial of a man’s petitions for post-conviction relief, finding his attorneys’ failure to advise him of adverse immigration consequences of pleading guilty did not prejudice his defense.
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Appellate judges travel to Indianapolis high school

November 28, 2011
IL Staff
The Indiana Court of Appeals will hear arguments in Christopher Bryant v. State of Indiana Tuesday at Lawrence North High School in Indianapolis.
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Judge grants limited class certification in stage collapse lawsuit

November 28, 2011
Michael Hoskins
While she said she doubts the plaintiffs can win their case, U.S. Judge Sarah Evans Barker is allowing limited class certification in a lawsuit challenging the state’s $5 million damage liability cap. Plaintiffs incurred injuries in the Indiana State Fair stage collapse Aug. 13.
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7th Circuit cautions against 'ostrich-like' advocacy

November 23, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Warning appellate lawyers not to ignore precedent, a 7th Circuit Court of Appeals decision today issues a short but clear message to not use “ostrich-like” tactics when briefing and arguing cases.
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COA delves into grammar in reversing trial court

November 23, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The Indiana Court of Appeals issued three opinions Wednesday that dissect the grammar of a state statute in reversing a trial court’s decision regarding sentence enhancements.
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7th Circuit rules on Indiana's prison grievance process

November 23, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Addressing a question for the first time about prison inmate complaints, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals held that a prisoner's participation in internal affairs investigations isn’t an alternative for the administrative process an inmate must follow in filing a grievance.
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Supreme Court rules town can regulate aquifer's water use

November 23, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Underground aquifers are “watercourses” as defined by state law and as a result the Indiana Supreme Court says community officials have the ability to reasonably regulate how that water is taken out and used by other local governments.
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Judge rejects dental coverage cap

November 23, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Ruling puts Medicaid dental program in jeopardy.
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Knowing the possible consequences

November 23, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Legal community works to ensure defendants know plea agreements could impact immigration status.
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COA orders trial court to award credit for time served

November 22, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled a trial court erred in calculating credit for time served but found the record was insufficient to prove that additional credit time should be awarded for the defendant’s participation in a drug-treatment program.
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Tax Court rules on inheritance tax valuation

November 22, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Tax Court has rejected an estate’s attempt to sidestep trial rules by allowing verified tax returns to stand in for affidavits in determining a property’s fair market value.
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Court relies on equitable estoppel determination test

November 21, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Examining both state and national caselaw in an appeal involving an Allen County car crash, the Indiana Court of Appeals has used a two-part test in determining whether equitable estoppel is available to those filing a claim.
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COA: Serving notice on an adult's parents isn't adequate

November 21, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled that a trial court can’t serve notice on the home of someone’s parents if that adult doesn’t live there and expect that to serve as adequate notice for the party to appear in court.
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7th Circuit decides MDL appeal question

November 18, 2011
Michael Hoskins

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeal wants each federal judge handling multi-district litigation to have the flexibility to choose between sending parts of unresolved cases back to the original courts or keep those in one jurisdiction, once a final district-level decision has been made and the time for appeal arrives.

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COA affirms trial courts in truant kindergartner cases

November 18, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The Indiana Court of Appeals has sided with the trial courts in two cases that have been consolidated in one appeal in determining that referral and attendance records for truant students were admissible at trial under the state’s business records exception.
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Court won't remove trial judge in Simon case

November 17, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals has dismissed an appeal filed by Melvin Simon’s widow, finding that it doesn’t have jurisdiction to remove a Hamilton Superior judge from the case involving the late mall-magnate’s estate valued at more than $2 billion.
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Justices rule on applicable statute of limitations

November 17, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court decided Thursday that the period within the general statute of limitations controls the limitation period when a medical provider may seek payment of outstanding bills for authorized treatment to an employer’s worker. The justices came to that conclusion after finding the Worker’s Compensation Act is silent on what the applicable limitation period is for this matter.
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COA finds Army discipline does not exempt defendant from prosecution

November 17, 2011
IL Staff
The Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed a trial court denial of a man’s motion to dismiss, rejecting his argument that being reprimanded by the United States Army precludes him from prosecution for the same offense.
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Justices: court could impose only 1 juvenile commitment

November 17, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The Indiana Supreme Court has issued an opinion affirming that a juvenile may not be sentenced to both a determinate and indeterminate commitment.
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Court rules arbitration provision null and void

November 16, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Tackling an issue of first impression, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded that an arbitration provision in a loan agreement from a payday loan provider is null and void on the grounds of impossibility because the arbitrator named in the document is no longer available.
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