Court opinions

Pro se plaintiff wins appeal round vs. DOC

August 28, 2015
Dave Stafford
A pro se plaintiff who claimed property seized from him in a “strip cell” disciplinary action and wasn’t returned will have his day in court after the Indiana Court of Appeals reinstated his claim Friday.
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Grandmother granted too much visitation time, COA rules

August 28, 2015
Dave Stafford
A paternal grandmother was properly granted visitation time with her granddaughter, but the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday the court abused its discretion by awarding too much visitation time.
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Award of attorney fees in wrongful death depends on existence of survivors

August 27, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
In a case of first impression, the Indiana Supreme Court said it was “neither absurd nor contrary to public policy” to find the state’s General Wrongful Death Statute provides different damage awards depending on survivors.
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Justices affirm denial of intervention in lengthy foreclosure suit

August 27, 2015
Dave Stafford
A clerk’s failure to docket a Carmel homeowner association’s judgment against a homeowner doesn’t mean a mortgagee was denied notice that a claim existed against the property, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Thursday. Justices held a lis pendens filing  provided sufficient notice.
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7th Circuit affirms ruling but rejects rationale

August 27, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Although it agreed with the decision to toss the testimony of three experts, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals cautioned the District Court about blanket assertions.
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Counterclaim in assault gets tossed

August 27, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A party guest arrested for allegedly assaulting two sheriff’s deputies was two months too late in filing a counterclaim.
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DCS workers' suit on unpaid overtime dismissed

August 27, 2015
 Associated Press
A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by two Indiana Department of Child Services investigators over having to work extensive overtime without receiving extra pay.
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COA finds medical provider made ‘reasonable effort’

August 25, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Telling the victim’s father it could not infer legislative intent, the Indiana Court of Appeals found a mental health care treatment center did comply with the state’s statutory requirements.
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7th Circuit affirms judgment for school in bullying case

August 25, 2015
Dave Stafford
A federal lawsuit brought against northwestern Indiana school corporations over a child’s alleged bullying was properly decided in favor of the schools on summary judgment, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
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Kentucky taxpayers owe $2.3 million in fees in same-sex marriage case

August 25, 2015
 Associated Press
Attorneys who successfully challenged Kentucky’s ban on same-sex marriage have submitted a bill for more than $2 million in legal fees, court costs and related expenses. The state of Kentucky, as the losing party in the case, gets stuck with the tab under federal civil-rights law.
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Court of Appeals affirms man’s domestic battery conviction

August 18, 2015
Dave Stafford
Evidence from a forensic nurse was not improperly admitted in the trial of a man who was convicted of felony domestic battery against his girlfriend of 20 years.
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Supreme Court rejects Think Tank trade secret appeal

August 17, 2015
IL Staff
A divided Indiana Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal from a northwest Indiana software company that unsuccessfully sued former employees it claimed divulged trade secrets to a competitor.
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7th Circuit not convinced by inmate’s double jeopardy argument

August 17, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A convicted sex offender who did not have the requisite certificate of appealability was still able to present his constitutional claims, but the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals found no grounds to overturn his conviction and sentence. 
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Reversal: Ex-DOC worker wins appeal in bid to marry inmate

August 17, 2015
Dave Stafford
A former contract worker who quit her job at an Indiana prison after her sexual relationship with an inmate was discovered was wrongly denied permission to marry him, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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Mom loses appeal against Planned Parenthood

August 17, 2015
Dave Stafford
A mom who sued Planned Parenthood after her 17-year-old daughter used another person’s ID and posed as an 18-year-old to get an abortion has no private cause of action to enforce abortion statutes. Planned Parenthood also owed no duty to the mother under the circumstances, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday.
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7th Circuit won’t reinstate Lauren Spierer family’s lawsuit

August 14, 2015
Dave Stafford
A civil lawsuit filed by the parents of missing Indiana University student Lauren Spierer was properly decided in favor of defendants who were among the last people to see her, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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Police deadly force justified against suicidal man

August 14, 2015
Dave Stafford
Police who shot and killed a suicidal man in his Cloverdale home were justified in using deadly force under the circumstances, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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Fired Polaris technician wins reversal at 7th Circuit

August 14, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A former Indianapolis lab technician presented enough evidence to support her claims of discrimination and retaliation that the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned summary judgment in favor of her former employer.
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Life sentence ordered in deadly Indianapolis house blast

August 14, 2015
 Associated Press
The man convicted of planning a massive Indianapolis house explosion that killed two neighbors was sentenced Friday to life without parole.
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Agreement means what it says, COA rules

August 14, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
While the Indiana Court of Appeals conceded the severance agreement was “not a model of precision,” it disagreed with a trial court’s conclusion that the agreement contained a mistake.
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Molestation charge dropped against committed incompetent defendant

August 14, 2015
Dave Stafford
A child molestation charge must be dropped against an incompetent defendant who’s been in psychiatric hospitals longer than he could have been imprisoned had he been convicted, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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7th Circuit divided over appeal from death row inmate

August 13, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A split 7th Circuit Court of Appeals denied an inmate on Indiana’s death row a chance for a new trial, finding the exclusion of a witness’s videotaped interview which could have possibly exonerated him was inadmissible as hearsay.
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Toyota dealership relocation to Fishers divides appeals court

August 13, 2015
Dave Stafford
Whether three competing greater Indianapolis Toyota dealers may block the relocation of another Toyota franchise from Anderson to Fishers divided a panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals Thursday.
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Divided COA panel reverses modification of support

August 13, 2015
Dave Stafford
A judge who ordered a modification of child support after a father told the court he was moving out of state and intended to seek custody of a minor child acted prematurely, a Court of Appeals panel majority ruled Thursday.
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In estate case, Tax Court upholds ruling against state

August 12, 2015
Dave Stafford
A probate court ruled correctly when it denied the state’s argument that distributions to heirs from a trust established in 2008 should have been subject to Indiana’s estate tax, which has since been abolished.
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