Court opinions

Self-defense claim of man who killed 2 fails on appeal

April 19, 2013
Dave Stafford
An Indianapolis man’s claim that the state failed to disprove his claim of self defense did not persuade the Indiana Court of Appeals to revisit his two murder convictions and sentence of 115 years in prison.
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Appeals court overturns suppression of evidence gathered in search

April 19, 2013
Dave Stafford
A special judge in Orange Circuit Court erred in suppressing evidence obtained during the execution of a search warrant that led to a man’s arrest on Class D felony charges of possession of marijuana, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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7th Circuit declines to overturn ruling on excessive force

April 18, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A man who entered a conditional plea on drug charges couldn’t convince the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Thursday that it should overturn a ruling that the use of excessive force during an arrest is not a basis for suppressing evidence.
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Mother, wife could consent to search of home for meth

April 18, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A man convicted of making methamphetamine objected to his conviction, arguing that his mother, who he claims has Alzheimer’s disease, and his wife did not have the authority to allow police to search his home on the report he was making the drug.
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Court orders more proceedings on laborer’s pay

April 18, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Boone Superior Court will need to take another look at a man’s lawsuit against R.L. Turner Corporation that claimed he was underpaid by the company for labor he provided on two public works projects, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday.
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COA reduces $125k judgment against company to $200 in fines

April 18, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Finding that a liability administrative law judge erred in determining that a company that previously operated a call center in Fishers owed more than $125,000 in unemployment insurance contributions, interest and penalties for a year when the company had no Indiana employees, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed.
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GE did not discriminate against employee

April 16, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A longtime employee at the Bloomington General Electric Co. plant could not prove to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals that the company discriminated against her because of a disability and retaliated against her when she filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
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Judges affirm AUL Insurance owed no fiduciary duty to 401(k) plan

April 16, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of an insurance company on a 401(k) plan trustee’s lawsuit that the insurance company's revenue-sharing practices breached a fiduciary duty under the Employment Retirement Income Security Act of 1974.
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7th Circuit affirms men’s drug convictions

April 16, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
In a consolidated appeal brought by two men convicted on charges stemming from a heroin conspiracy, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed their convictions. Ronald Zitt, who went to trial, argued he was entitled to a mistrial. Joshua Wampler pleaded guilty but argued he should be allowed to appeal.
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Trial court needs to take another look at alibi defense

April 16, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the denial of a man’s petition for habeas corpus and ordered the District Court to take another look at the defense counsel’s alibi defense investigation.
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Judge: Undeveloped land can be assessed as agricultural

April 15, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Tax Court Friday upheld a final determination by the Indiana Board of Tax Review to assess farm land as agricultural that was purchased by a developer but remained undeveloped for years.
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Judges affirm restitution order, sentence following deadly crash

April 15, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A man who was speeding and under the influence of alcohol when his car struck another, killing the driver and severely injuring the passenger, will have to make restitution to the victims, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Man found guilty again in South Bend murder

April 15, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A St. Joseph County man who was convicted of killing his girlfriend – but later had the conviction overturned by the Indiana Supreme Court – was found guilty again April 12 of murder.
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Court reverses hotel’s cybersquatting conviction

April 15, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A dispute over who could use the designation “Visit Michigan City LaPorte” led to a legal battle between LaPorte County’s visitors bureau and an area hotel-resort, with the trial court ruling in favor of the visitors bureau. But the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed Monday, ruling the bureau didn’t prove it held a valid and protectable trademark.
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Police Merit Commission may discipline former assistant chief

April 12, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A former assistant police chief of the City of Greenwood who was demoted to lieutenant may be disciplined by the city’s Police Merit Commission, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday. The officer argued that based on ordinances and codes, only the mayor could discipline police chiefs or assistant chiefs.
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Justices rule in favor of sewer facility operator in condemnation action

April 11, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A case involving a compensation award for condemnation initiated by Fort Wayne’s Board of Public Works that may appear at first blush as a “no brainer” is actually not as simple as it seems, the Indiana Supreme Court pointed out Thursday.
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Contractor wins on appeal of $14.5M damages award for defamation

April 11, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
State Farm Fire & Casualty Co. is on the hook for $14.5 million in damages after a contractor prevailed on his defamation claim against the insurer. The award is one of the largest defamation damages in the country, according to the court.
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State Farm must pay contractor $14.5M for defamation

April 11, 2013
IL Staff
The Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed a $14.5 million award of damages against State Farm Fire & Casualty Co. after finding the insurer couldn’t prove its three arguments on appeal to reverse. The award is one of the largest defamation awards in U.S. history, according to the court.
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Electric cooperative owed no duty to injured contractor

April 10, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
An independent contractor injured at a generating station owned by Bloomington-based Hoosier Energy Rural Electric Cooperative was unable to prove to the Indiana Court of Appeals that the electric cooperative was negligent regarding his injury.
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7th Circuit: Federal courts or juries can’t decide religious questions

April 10, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Taking up three appeals stemming from a lawsuit filed surrounding control of religious documents and artifacts from the appearance of the Virgin Mary, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals found that a federal judge erred in ruling that it should be up to a jury to decide whether a party to the lawsuit is still a religious sister.
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COA affirms father’s convictions stemming from daughter’s injuries

April 10, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a St. Joseph County man’s claims that the trial court abused its discretion regarding the admission and exclusion of certain evidence at his jury trial for charges related to injuries to his infant daughter.
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Vouchers validated, program scope at issue

April 10, 2013
Dave Stafford
The recent Indiana Supreme Court ruling affirming school choice renews Statehouse fight over vouchers.
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COA rules trial court cannot exceed scope of plea agreement

April 9, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A man will have to serve his full sentence, but the Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled since his plea agreement makes no mention of restitution, he will not have to pay.
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7th Circuit upholds precedent but asks for further guidance from U.S. Sentencing Commission

April 9, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Although a gun buyer had his sentence affirmed, his argument for reduced time has caused the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to call upon the Sentencing Commission to clarify a section of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.
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Disfigurement sufficient to affirm aggravated battery conviction

April 9, 2013
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals on Tuesday affirmed a Marion Superior Court conviction in a 2012 stabbing and the 20-year sentence enhancement the perpetrator received.
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  1. This law is troubling in two respects: First, why wasn't the law reviewed "with the intention of getting all the facts surrounding the legislation and its actual impact on the marketplace" BEFORE it was passed and signed? Seems a bit backwards to me (even acknowledging that this is the Indiana state legislature we're talking about. Second, what is it with the laws in this state that seem to create artificial monopolies in various industries? Besides this one, the other law that comes to mind is the legislation that governed the granting of licenses to firms that wanted to set up craft distilleries. The licensing was limited to only those entities that were already in the craft beer brewing business. Republicans in this state talk a big game when it comes to being "business friendly". They're friendly alright . . . to certain businesses.

  2. Gretchen, Asia, Roberto, Tonia, Shannon, Cheri, Nicholas, Sondra, Carey, Laura ... my heart breaks for you, reaching out in a forum in which you are ignored by a professional suffering through both compassion fatigue and the love of filthy lucre. Most if not all of you seek a warm blooded Hoosier attorney unafraid to take on the government and plead that government officials have acted unconstitutionally to try to save a family and/or rescue children in need and/or press individual rights against the Leviathan state. I know an attorney from Kansas who has taken such cases across the country, arguing before half of the federal courts of appeal and presenting cases to the US S.Ct. numerous times seeking cert. Unfortunately, due to his zeal for the constitutional rights of peasants and willingness to confront powerful government bureaucrats seemingly violating the same ... he was denied character and fitness certification to join the Indiana bar, even after he was cleared to sit for, and passed, both the bar exam and ethics exam. And was even admitted to the Indiana federal bar! NOW KNOW THIS .... you will face headwinds and difficulties in locating a zealously motivated Hoosier attorney to face off against powerful government agents who violate the constitution, for those who do so tend to end up as marginalized as Paul Odgen, who was driven from the profession. So beware, many are mere expensive lapdogs, the kind of breed who will gladly take a large retainer, but then fail to press against the status quo and powers that be when told to heel to. It is a common belief among some in Indiana that those attorneys who truly fight the power and rigorously confront corruption often end up, actually or metaphorically, in real life or at least as to their careers, as dead as the late, great Gary Welch. All of that said, I wish you the very best in finding a Hoosier attorney with a fighting spirit to press your rights as far as you can, for you do have rights against government actors, no matter what said actors may tell you otherwise. Attorneys outside the elitist camp are often better fighters that those owing the powers that be for their salaries, corner offices and end of year bonuses. So do not be afraid to retain a green horn or unconnected lawyer, many of them are fine men and woman who are yet untainted by the "unique" Hoosier system.

  3. I am not the John below. He is a journalist and talk show host who knows me through my years working in Kansas government. I did no ask John to post the note below ...

  4. "...not those committed in the heat of an argument." If I ever see a man physically abusing a woman or a child and I'm close enough to intercede I will not ask him why he is abusing her/him. I will give him a split second to cease his attack and put his hands in the air while I call the police. If he continues, I will still call the police but to report, "Man down with a gunshot wound,"instead.

  5. And so the therapeutic state is weaonized. How soon until those with ideologies opposing the elite are disarmed in the name of mental health? If it can start anywhere it can start in the hoosiers' slavishly politically correct capital city.

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