Court opinions

Tests not required to disprove arrestee intoxication

July 18, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
In a case of first impression, the Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a woman’s argument that the Indiana Code requires law enforcement personnel to evaluate if there could be other reasons a person is displaying signs of intoxication before arresting her for public intoxication.
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COA affirms rulings for Sellersburg in annexation case

July 18, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The town of Sellersburg’s annexation proceedings should take priority over an incorporation proceeding involving the same area of land, the Indiana Court of Appeals held.
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Judges send insurance case back to trial court

July 18, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of an insurer in a dispute over whether it should pay a claim for underinsured motorist coverage.
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State will appeal IBM ruling

July 18, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The state is going to appeal Wednesday’s decision in Marion Superior Court that it pay IBM $52 million for ending early its billion-dollar contract with the company to update the state’s welfare system.
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US Supreme Court: Criminal fines require jury finding

July 18, 2012
Dave Stafford
An end-of-term U.S. Supreme Court decision did far more than reduce a penalty in a federal criminal environmental judgment from $18 million to $50,000. It created a new reality for how the government will have to pursue such prosecutions in the future, experts say.
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Clark County man waived right to appeal

July 17, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A Southern Indiana man, as part of his plea agreement on child molesting charges, knowingly and voluntarily waived his right to challenge the propriety of his sentence on appeal, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Judges rule in favor of state in contract dispute

July 17, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a trial court judgment against the state in a lawsuit filed by a subcontractor working on an airport project in Gary, holding the lower court erroneously determined the state had breached a contract between it and the subcontractor.
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Sex offender’s home ownership doesn’t impact residency restriction

July 17, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A convicted sex offender who argued that a probation condition prohibiting him from living within 1,000 feet of a school is unduly restrictive on his property interest in a home he owns lost his appeal before the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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COA upholds child exploitation convictions

July 17, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found that the state presented sufficient evidence to support a Marion County man’s five convictions of child exploitation.
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Appeals court affirms tax sale notice statute unconstitutional

July 16, 2012
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals on Monday affirmed a trial court ruling denying a petition for a tax deed after a Bartholomew County tax sale, finding that the court was correct in ruling that the state’s statutory notice violated the 14th Amendment guarantee of due process.
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In-court marijuana field test ruled error, but not reversible

July 16, 2012
Dave Stafford
An appeals court panel ruled that a deputy’s in-court field test to prove a substance was marijuana should not have been allowed, but it declined to use the error as a basis to reverse a man’s misdemeanor conviction.
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Appeals court upholds rape conviction

July 13, 2012
Dave Stafford
A man convicted of rape based on DNA evidence and his admission that he had sex with the victim failed to prove to the Indiana Court of Appeals that he was denied a fair trial due to the admission of hearsay testimony and a sustained objection to an attempt to refresh the victim’s memory.
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Divided appeals court affirms summary judgment for community action program

July 13, 2012
Dave Stafford
A divided Indiana Court of Appeals panel on Friday affirmed a Marion Superior Court ruling that dismissed a case against a government-funded agency because the victims in a vehicle accident failed to provide notice under the Indiana Tort Claims Act.
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Court reverses ruling in Plymouth church insurer's suit against contractors

July 13, 2012
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals reinstated an insurer’s case against contractors who built a Plymouth church gymnasium addition in 2008 in which the basketball court floor was ruined when a frozen sprinkler burst eight months later.
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Justices order new trial for Ripley County man

July 12, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A Ripley County man convicted of conspiring to commit burglary is entitled to a new trial due to ineffective assistance of his trial counsel and prosecutorial misconduct, the Indiana Supreme Court held.
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7th Circuit certifies questions for Kansas Supreme Court

July 12, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals was unable to determine under Kansas law how that state’s Supreme Court would rule on whether FedEx drivers are employees or independent contractors, so the court sent two certified questions to the Kansas justices.
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Man who killed girlfriend may be retried for reckless homicide

July 12, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The post-conviction court erred in denying Andrew McWhorter relief when he challenged his conviction of voluntary manslaughter in connection to the death of his girlfriend, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded. McWhorter may not be retried on the same charge, but may face retrial for reckless homicide.
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Judges disagree over impact of mental illness label at sentencing

July 11, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
7th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Diane Wood believed that Michael Dean Overstreet, who was convicted of killing Franklin College student Kelly Eckart in 1997, was prejudiced by his attorneys’ decisions at sentencing regarding which experts should testify about his mental illness.
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7th Circuit upholds conviction over DEA agent withholding evidence

July 6, 2012
Dave Stafford
A man convicted of federal charges of distributing cocaine was not deprived a fair trial after a government agent failed to record or relay exculpatory evidence from a co-defendant, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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7th Circuit affirms life sentences in prostitution ring

July 6, 2012
Dave Stafford
Two men sentenced to life in prison on an assortment of federal charges related to a prostitution ring involving underage girls that operated in northwest Indiana failed in their appeal before the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday, but judges asked the trial court to clarify the sentence for a third defendant.
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Drunken driving conviction affirmed; lesser included charge vacated

July 5, 2012
Dave Stafford
A Marion Superior Court conviction in a drunken driving case was affirmed Thursday by the Indiana Court of Appeals, but the court ordered a lesser included charge on which the driver was convicted be merged.
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Appeals court upholds, tweaks division of IRA in divorce

July 5, 2012
Dave Stafford
A husband’s individual retirement account is a divisible asset in a divorce, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled, but it ordered the trial court to revise the award to reflect an equal division of both parties’ assets.
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7th Circuit reinstates insurer’s case against shipper

July 5, 2012
Dave Stafford
An insurer’s lawsuit against an Indianapolis-based shipping company involving a loss of more than $1 million has been reinstated by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
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Indiana's immigration law reeling

July 4, 2012
Dave Stafford
Attorneys say the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Arizona case likely dooms parts of Indiana's law.
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Supreme Court review focuses on Shepard's legacy

July 4, 2012
Dave Stafford
The Randall Shepard era of Indiana’s Supreme Court is over, but in his last full year on the court, the former chief justice continued a legacy of consensus building and restoring primacy to the state Constitution.
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  1. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  2. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  3. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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