Court opinions

Judges divided over complicated issue of wrongful-death attorney fees

November 27, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A complex and complicated case regarding whether attorney fees awarded from the Indiana Patient’s Compensation Fund are capped at 15 percent led to a split in the Indiana Court of Appeals. The majority decided that the cap does not apply to the calculation of excess damages of any type from the fund.
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Prosecutor’s ‘CSI’ remarks don’t reverse molestation conviction

November 27, 2013
Dave Stafford
A prosecutor’s comments to a prospective juror comparing the evidence needed for a conviction to that seen in a typical “CSI” television show weren’t fundamental error, a Court of Appeals panel ruled in affirming a man’s child-molestation conviction.
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Malpractice complaint hobbled by ongoing foot pain

November 27, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A woman who suffered with a troubled toe for four years got her medical malpractice claim booted by the Indiana Court of Appeals for waiting too long to file the complaint.
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Panel affirms robbery conviction in confrontation clause appeal

November 27, 2013
Dave Stafford
A defendant who was denied the opportunity to cross-examine an expert witness who provided cell phone records placing him near the scene of a Morgantown bank robbery wasn’t deprived a fair trial, the Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.
 
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Divided Supreme Court reinstates claim DCS mishandled abuse case

November 27, 2013
Dave Stafford
Claims that the Department of Child Services was negligent in its handling of child-molestation allegations were reinstated Tuesday, when a divided Indiana Supreme Court in a 3-2 opinion reversed in part a trial court grant of summary judgment.
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Federal judge blocks Indiana abortion-drug law

November 27, 2013
Dave Stafford
A federal judge Tuesday granted an injunction blocking enforcement of an Indiana law that would have required Planned Parenthood clinics that provide abortion-inducing medications to also meet the requirements of clinics that perform surgical abortions.
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Judges affirm man must pay $5,000 in attorney fees to ex-wife

November 26, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
An Allen County man was unsuccessful in his attempts to persuade the Indiana Court of Appeals to reverse the order he pay $5,000 in attorney fees to his ex-wife in litigation over their child’s contact with the ex-wife’s new husband.
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COA: Wife of man injured at work entitled to benefits

November 26, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled that the Indiana Worker’s Compensation Board’s decision to deny benefits to a man injured at work was unsupported by the evidence. The judges ordered a determination of the benefits that the man’s widow should receive on his behalf.
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Commitment statute not unconstitutional as applied to man with brain injury

November 26, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A Marion Superior Court did not violate a defendant’s due process rights in ordering his commitment to the Department of Mental Health and Addiction after finding him incompetent to stand trial. Evan Leedy suffered a traumatic brain injury in an auto accident that killed his girlfriend and injured another driver.
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Order for IBM to pay subcontractor in state suits affirmed

November 26, 2013
Dave Stafford
An appeals court Tuesday affirmed trial court orders that IBM pay a subcontractor for costs it incurred related to lawsuits over the failed $1.3 billion Family and Social Services Administration modernization contract.
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Court properly declined to modify spousal maintenance agreement

November 26, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
An ex-wife must pay her husband $4,000 a month in spousal maintenance under an agreement she signed, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Tuesday, affirming a trial court’s decision to deny the woman’s request to modify the maintenance.
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Justices: Trustee of revocable trust serves self

November 22, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court accepted a revocable trust case to answer the first impression question: While a trust is revocable, whom does the trustee serve? The justices concluded that an Indiana woman, as trustee, served herself.
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7th Circuit: Federal law does not preempt Indiana’s ‘robo-call’ statute

November 22, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Thursday reversed the decision by a federal judge that Indiana’s Automated Dialing Machine Statute is preempted by the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act. The injunction entered against enforcing the law had been stayed by the appellate court pending appeal.
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Justices: Search of vehicle violated woman’s constitutional rights

November 22, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court Thursday reversed the admittance of statements a woman made to police after a concerned citizen set up a sting operation attempting to catch an alleged drug dealer. The justices held that the warrantless seizure of Danielle Kelly’s person and vehicle violated her constitutional rights.
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Foster child’s claim against health center falls outside Medical Malpractice Act

November 21, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A Morgan County court erred when it granted Adult and Child Mental Health Center Inc.’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed on behalf of a child in foster care who suffered severe brain damage from a near-drowning. The center argued the complaint was subject to the Indiana Medical Malpractice Act.
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Text messages properly admitted in custody dispute

November 20, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday that evidence presented during a custody modification hearing laid a sufficient foundation for the admission of text messages between the mother and father. 
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Court rules in favor of subcontractor suing Fort Wayne

November 20, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday that a trial court properly granted summary judgment for a subcontractor seeking payment from the city of Fort Wayne after the general contractor working on the city park project declared bankruptcy.
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Court finds facilities have immunity in suit over detention

November 20, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The three unidentified entities involved in the detention of a Bloomington man for several days after he refused in-patient treatment for alcoholism are entitled to immunity in his lawsuit alleging medical malpractice, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.
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Neighbors entitled to 12-foot strip of land under doctrine by acquiescence

November 20, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
In a dispute between longtime neighbors over use and ownership of a strip of land, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment for one set of neighbors based on the doctrine of title by acquiescence.
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COA: Possession of syringe doesn’t support conviction

November 20, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Because the state did not introduce evidence that a man intended to use a syringe found in his pocket after being stopped by police to inject a controlled substance into his body, his conviction for Class A misdemeanor possession of paraphernalia must be reversed, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded.
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COA permits Knightstown to abolish town court

November 18, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A battle between a town council and a judge over the fate of the local town court was stopped with the Indiana Court of Appeals noting the Indiana Legislature tends not to enact statutes that produce “unjust or absurd results.”
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Justices affirm trucker’s cocaine-dealing convictions

November 15, 2013
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court unanimously affirmed the cocaine-dealing convictions of a truck driver who challenged the state police stop that led to discovery of the drugs and claimed he was denied a speedy trial.
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Kraft prevails in Cracker Barrel fight

November 15, 2013
Dave Stafford
Not coming soon to a grocery store near you: food products from Cracker Barrel Old Country Store restaurants.
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COA: Food odors don’t support granting preliminary injunctive relief

November 14, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
In a dispute over smells from a produce business drifting into neighboring businesses, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed that the manager of the shopping plaza is not entitled to preliminary injunctive relief for cooking foods without proper ventilation.
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Injured woman’s insurance policy provisions are in direct conflict

November 14, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals Thursday agreed with a couple that their auto insurance policy is ambiguous because the two-year contractual limitation provision conflicts with another provision requiring full compliance with the contract.
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  1. Unlike the federal judge who refused to protect me, the Virginia State Bar gave me a hearing. After the hearing, the Virginia State Bar refused to discipline me. VSB said that attacking me with the court ADA coordinator had, " all the grace and charm of a drive-by shooting." One does wonder why the VSB was able to have a hearing and come to that conclusion, but the federal judge in Indiana slammed the door of the courthouse in my face.

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