Court opinions

COA upholds $300,000 verdict, addresses 'patient abandonment'

October 19, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled on the first of hundreds of medical malpractice claims filed against a former ear-nose-throat specialist in Merrillville, upholding a $300,000 jury verdict and also delving into novel legal issues that haven’t been widely addressed by the state’s appellate courts.
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Supreme Court upholds life without parole sentence

October 18, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court has affirmed a man’s murder and robbery convictions and left in place his sentence of life without the possibility of parole.
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Justices rule trial court didn't err in granting mistrial

October 18, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court found that although a defendant didn’t consent to a mistrial, the trial judge didn’t abuse his discretion in finding that a mistrial was justified by “manifest necessity.”
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Man pleads guilty to espionage, theft

October 18, 2011
IL Staff
A Chinese national and former employee of Dow AgroSciences LLC pleaded guilty Tuesday to economic espionage and theft of trade secrets in federal court. Kexue Huang’s case is the first prosecution in Indiana for foreign economic espionage.
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Judges to go to Oakland City for arguments

October 14, 2011
IL Staff
Indiana Court of Appeals judges Melissa May, Michael Barnes and Terry Crone will hear a convicted murderer’s appeal for post-conviction relief at Oakland City University Oct. 19.
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COA: Judge erred in giving jury instruction

October 13, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
A Jefferson Superior judge erred in giving a jury an instruction on a lesser included offense of domestic battery because there wasn’t a serious evidentiary dispute about whether the battery was committed in the presence of children, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Thursday.
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Appellate court reverses summary judgment for insurer

October 13, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed summary judgment in favor of a hotel’s insurance company in a negligent hiring suit, ruling there is a question as to whether the teenage hotel guest was under the “care, custody or control” of the hotel at the time the teen was molested by an employee.
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Appellate court tackles child support issues

October 12, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
In three opinions released Wednesday, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled on child support issues – the application of Social Security benefits to an arrearage and whether two fathers who were incarcerated for not paying child support could have their support obligations modified.
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Judges rule against hospital in fee suit

October 12, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Citing caselaw that goes back 120 years, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a Marion Superior judge’s dismissal of a complaint against a central Indiana hospital pursuant to Indiana Trial Rule 12(B)(6).
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Guidance offered on incarcerated parents' attendance at termination hearings

October 11, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Scolding the Indiana Department of Child Services for how it handled a parental termination case, the Indiana Supreme Court has found an incarcerated mother’s due process rights were not violated when she did not receive adequate notice about pending proceedings that would affect her rights as a parent or when she was not allowed to attend the hearings.
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State justices accept certified question

October 11, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court will consider a certified question from federal court concerning disability pension funds for police and firefighters who are already eligible and receiving benefits governed by Indiana statute.
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COA affirms jury's rejection of insanity defense

October 7, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The Indiana Court of Appeals has sided with a jury in rejecting a man’s insanity plea, holding that even when crimes seem horrific and senseless, that does not mean the perpetrator is legally insane.
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COA: Remonstrators didn't request timely stay of annexation

October 6, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld the dismissal of remonstrators’ challenge to annexation of land by the city of Evansville, finding the issue to be moot because the annexation has already been completed.
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Deputy owed no duty to warn of icy road

October 6, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
A county sheriff’s department that doesn’t own, maintain or control a county road does not owe a common law duty to warn the public of known hazardous conditions upon the roadway, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Thursday.
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Judges extend due process safeguards regarding interpreters to civil cases

October 4, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court must take the same steps in a civil action as it does in a criminal action regarding the use of an interpreter in order to address due process concerns, the Indiana Court of Appeals held for the first time Tuesday.
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Appellate judges will hear arguments in East Chicago

October 4, 2011
IL Staff
A panel of Indiana Court of Appeals judges will travel to northern Indiana Thursday to hear the appeal of a man convicted of attempted murder.
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Judges uphold admission of robbery confession

October 3, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court did not err in admitting evidence of uncharged misconduct from another incident during a defendant’s trial for robbery, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday. The evidence contained a letter that helped corroborate the man’s confession to the robbery.
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Justices agree subsidiaries are not new employers

September 30, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Emphasizing its ruling only deals with determining the proper merit rate for unemployment fund contributions, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled a manufacturer did not create employers through its new subsidiaries, so it wasn’t entitled to a lower rate.
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Circuit Court rules in favor of utility

September 29, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed summary judgment in favor of a Louisville utility in a dispute as to whether landowners could eject the utility from their property after violating portions of the lease. The appellate judges also declined to certify a question to the Indiana Supreme Court.
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Justices suspend attorney for collecting 'exploitive fee'

September 29, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court has suspended an Indianapolis attorney after finding he engaged in attorney misconduct by collecting a “clearly unreasonable and exploitive fee” from a vulnerable client.
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Court: CHINS fact-finding hearing required by due process

September 28, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals disagrees with the state Department of Child Services that fact-finding and dispositional hearings in a child in need of services case are interchangeable. The appellate panel has ruled a Marion County father’s due process rights were denied because he didn’t receive the opportunity for a fact-finding hearing.
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Justices uphold murderer's convictions

September 28, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court has affirmed that a man will serve life in prison without parole for his role in the murders of seven people in Indianapolis in 2006.
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Appeals court reverses judge on visitation ruling

September 28, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The state’s intermediate appellate court has reversed a southern Indiana judge’s ruling that a boyfriend should retain visitation rights over an ex-girlfriend’s child. It ruled that the finding is contrary to law because lawmakers didn’t allow for that type of circumstance to warrant visitation.
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Federal judge finds U.S. law preempts state 'robo-call' statute

September 28, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The state is not able to prevent out-of-state entities from placing political calls to residents within Indiana because of an existing federal law, according to a federal judge’s ruling on Indiana’s auto-dialer statute.
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Judge: query goes too far

September 28, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Ruling strikes down one Indiana bar exam application question.
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  1. You can put your photos anywhere you like... When someone steals it they know it doesn't belong to them. And, a man getting a divorce is automatically not a nice guy...? That's ridiculous. Since when is need of money a conflict of interest? That would mean that no one should have a job unless they are already financially solvent without a job... A photographer is also under no obligation to use a watermark (again, people know when a photo doesn't belong to them) or provide contact information. Hey, he didn't make it easy for me to pay him so I'll just take it! Well heck, might as well walk out of the grocery store with a cart full of food because the lines are too long and you don't find that convenient. "Only in Indiana." Oh, now you're passing judgement on an entire state... What state do you live in? I need to characterize everyone in your state as ignorant and opinionated. And the final bit of ignorance; assuming a photo anyone would want is lucky and then how much does your camera have to cost to make it a good photo, in your obviously relevant opinion?

  2. Seventh Circuit Court Judge Diane Wood has stated in “The Rule of Law in Times of Stress” (2003), “that neither laws nor the procedures used to create or implement them should be secret; and . . . the laws must not be arbitrary.” According to the American Bar Association, Wood’s quote drives home this point: The rule of law also requires that people can expect predictable results from the legal system; this is what Judge Wood implies when she says that “the laws must not be arbitrary.” Predictable results mean that people who act in the same way can expect the law to treat them in the same way. If similar actions do not produce similar legal outcomes, people cannot use the law to guide their actions, and a “rule of law” does not exist.

  3. Linda, I sure hope you are not seeking a law license, for such eighteenth century sentiments could result in your denial in some jurisdictions minting attorneys for our tolerant and inclusive profession.

  4. Mazel Tov to the newlyweds. And to those bakers, photographers, printers, clerks, judges and others who will lose careers and social standing for not saluting the New World (Dis)Order, we can all direct our Two Minutes of Hate as Big Brother asks of us. Progress! Onward!

  5. My daughter was taken from my home at the end of June/2014. I said I would sign the safety plan but my husband would not. My husband said he would leave the house so my daughter could stay with me but the case worker said no her mind is made up she is taking my daughter. My daughter went to a friends and then the friend filed a restraining order which she was told by dcs if she did not then they would take my daughter away from her. The restraining order was not in effect until we were to go to court. Eventually it was dropped but for 2 months DCS refused to allow me to have any contact and was using the restraining order as the reason but it was not in effect. This was Dcs violating my rights. Please help me I don't have the money for an attorney. Can anyone take this case Pro Bono?

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