Court opinions

COA: Courts need to consider proportionality of damages in restitution orders

June 5, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a Franklin Circuit judge’s decision to require a defendant to pay restitution and a fine after he entered into an open plea agreement on a burglary charge. But the judges instructed trial courts to consider apportioning the amount of restitution among co-perpetrators in relation to each person’s contribution to the victim’s loss.
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Statement in tort claim does not prevent woman from trying to recover for injuries

June 4, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Even though a woman originally stated she did not suffer any injuries after her vehicle was rear ended by a police car, the Indiana Supreme Court has ruled she can file a subsequent complaint against the municipality and the police department for personal injuries.
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Appeals court tosses 3 of man’s 5 molestation convictions

June 4, 2013
Dave Stafford
A man convicted of five counts of molesting an 8-year-old girl on repeated occasions should only have been convicted of two counts, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
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7th Circuit finds meth dealer was acting like a merchant, not a manager

June 3, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Although an Indiana man determined how much and how often his buyers received methamphetamine as well as pressured them to sell, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals concluded his sentence should not have been enhanced because his actions were not coercive.
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Justices rule defendant’s confession came under ‘increasing coercive pressure’

May 31, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Incriminating statements made to detectives during an early morning interrogation in the county jail have been thrown out by the Indiana Supreme Court because the defendant had invoked his right to counsel at an interrogation two days before.
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Contempt conviction for failure to testify affirmed

May 31, 2013
Dave Stafford
A woman who refused to answer questions about another criminal defendant after she was granted immunity was not wrongly convicted of contempt of court, an appellate panel ruled Friday.
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Appeals court tosses 1 of man’s 6 drug convictions

May 31, 2013
Dave Stafford
A man found guilty of multiple drug charges will have one conviction vacated because he was subjected to double jeopardy, the Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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Appeals court reinstates trucker’s wrongful death suit

May 31, 2013
Dave Stafford
A trial court erred in granting summary judgment for an axle manufacturer sued by the estate of a contract truck driver who died when a load fell on him in an accident that occurred while the facility was closed.
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Judge’s opinion keeps colleague in suspense

May 30, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
7th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Richard Posner had a fellow judge on the edge of his seat Thursday waiting to see how the opinion in a murder case would be decided. The court upheld a prisoner’s conviction of first-degree murder of the prisoner’s cellmate.
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COA: Social worker able to testify as expert witness

May 30, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A social worker who testified about a parenting assessment at a termination of parental rights hearing was properly allowed to testify as an expert witness, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled, because the Indiana Rules of Evidence control. The judges affirmed the termination of a mother’s parental rights to her two young sons.
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Ephedrine database allowable under business record hearsay exception

May 30, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals held Thursday that a National Precursor Log Exchange report documenting the purchases of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine by a defendant are allowed into evidence under the business record exception to the hearsay rule.
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Insufficient notice voids tax deed

May 30, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found a Carroll County man should be allowed to make a redemption payment to obtain five parcels of real estate owned by his mother that were put in a tax sale. The failure to comply with the statutes governing tax sales and redemption rendered void a tax deed on the properties assigned to someone else.
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Man ineligible to bring belated appeal

May 30, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Because his guilty plea included a fixed sentence, a man who pleaded guilty to a drunken-driving charge is precluded from challenging his sentence by direct appeal, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled. This also prevents him from challenging his sentence under Ind. Post-Conviction Rule 2.
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COA addresses first impression issue regarding education under civil rights law

May 29, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals – with one judge reluctantly doing so – affirmed a decision by an administrative law judge that found a religious organization unlawfully retaliated against a family by expelling them from the homeschooling group. The expulsion occurred after the family sought a dietary accommodation for their teenage daughter at a social event and later filed a complaint with the Indiana Civil Rights Commission.
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Judges rule cop won't have new trial on murder, arson charges

May 29, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
An Evansville police officer who killed his mistress more than 20 years ago wasn’t able to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals Wednesday that he is entitled to post-conviction relief.
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Ex-wife not required to pay attorney fees under FDCPA

May 29, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A woman does not have to pay the attorney fees for her ex-husband after she sought more than $135,000 in owed child support after he failed to pay for 16 years, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled. The trial court ordered her to pay the fees under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
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Prior knowledge of criminal history allows FSSA to disqualify employment

May 24, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals Friday concluded that a woman employed by a license-exempt child care ministry in Indianapolis can’t circumvent a prohibition from being employed at any child care ministry by relying on the Indiana Restricted Access Act.
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Appeals court affirms terminating mother’s parental rights

May 24, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A mother who was close to reunification with her three children, deemed children in need of services, until she battered her fiancé in front of them had the termination of her parental rights affirmed by the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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Officer had probable cause to believe defendant drove while drunk

May 24, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the denial of a man’s petition for judicial review involving his refusal to take a chemical test for intoxication. The judges found the evidence supported that the officer had probable cause that Paul Hassfurther drove his truck while intoxicated and that he knowingly refused to take the chemical test.
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COA: Mother should have challenged income evidence at trial

May 24, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A mother who claimed that the record doesn’t support her actual or current income after her ex-husband was granted sole custody of her children should have brought up her concerns at trial, not on appeal, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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Court affirms giving father custody after mother denies parenting time

May 24, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A LaPorte County mother’s decision to cut off parenting time of her three children with their father supports the trial court’s order that the father have sole legal and physical custody of the children, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Court rules in favor of insurer in environmental cleanup dispute

May 23, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A release executed between a chemical manufacturing business and its insurer that relieved the insurer from claims or demands related to remediation was unambiguous and covered all policies held by the company, not just the primary liability ones, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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COA reverses summary judgment for NCAA on negligence claim

May 22, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A woman who was injured at a fencing event at the University of Notre Dame should have been granted more time to present relevant materials in opposition to the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s motion for summary judgment on her negligence claim, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.
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Defendant not at fault for failing to timely appeal

May 22, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals declined to hold a man at fault for the failure to file a timely notice of appeal, pointing to his attorney’s death from cancer shortly after the sentencing hearing.
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Justices reinstate COA decision in Simon defamation suit

May 22, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals opinion reversing a Marion Superior judge’s denial of a California attorney’s motion to dismiss a defamation lawsuit filed by Herbert Simon will stand. The state’s highest court split evenly over whether the trial court should have denied that motion.
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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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