Court opinions

Brother’s previous threat allowed at trial

February 18, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals concluded Monday that a threat made by a man against his brother a year before the man threw hot water on the brother was properly admitted into evidence during trial.
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Pro se defendant wins reversal of restitution order

February 18, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A defendant ordered to repay more than $19,000 that a drug task force spent to investigate his methamphetamine manufacturing will not have to make restitution because the state isn’t a victim under the restitution statute, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Indiana farmer’s case goes before the SCOTUS Tuesday

February 18, 2013
IL Staff
U.S. justices will hear arguments Tuesday morning in the lawsuit brought by Monsanto Co. against Knox County farmer Vernon Hugh Bowman alleging patent infringement.
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Woman hit by foul ball strikes out at Court of Appeals

February 15, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A baseball organization in Lake County is not liable for the injuries a fan suffered when she was hit in the face by a foul ball during a game, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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COA split on whether judge can order community service in lieu of fines

February 15, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Two judges on the Indiana Court of Appeals decided that a trial judge didn’t have statutory authority to order an indigent woman to perform community service instead of paying fines and costs of her case, ordering the court to address the issue of imposing fees and costs.
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Judges rule in favor of bank on request to end trust

February 15, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A beneficiary of a trust couldn’t prove to the Indiana Court of Appeals that the purpose of the trust, created by her mother, was to benefit any grandchildren and because there are no grandchildren, the trust should be terminated.
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Rejection of garnishment request upheld

February 14, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A collection company seeking to garnish a woman’s wages in order to satisfy an alleged $1,800 debt was unable to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that the trial court had to issue the garnishment order.
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Judge-backed court staff attorney pilot program bill moves out of committee

February 14, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Legislation that would create a pilot program administered by the Indiana Judicial Center to assist trial courts when preparing and writing certain motions moved out of the House Committee on Courts and Criminal Code 11-0.
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Judges affirm defendant must register as sex offender as part of probation

February 14, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A defendant who was convicted of robbery and rape, but whose rape conviction was vacated on double jeopardy concerns, can still be required to register as a sex offender as a condition of his probation, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed Thursday.
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Defendant received ineffective trial counsel assistance in murder case

February 14, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the denial of a Delaware County man’s post-conviction relief petition finding his trial attorney was ineffective in not ensuring the jury was properly instructed on the elements of murder, voluntary manslaughter and the state’s burden of proof regarding sudden heat.
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7th Circuit orders proposed plan of reorganization open to competitive bidding

February 14, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a Southern District Bankruptcy judge Thursday, finding the judge incorrectly ruled that competition was unnecessary in a plan of reorganization involving a shopping center.
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Judges interpret Probate Code statute in favor of bank

February 13, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Finding that a bank did not receive proper notice in order to file a claim against an estate, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed summary judgment in favor of the estate of Samuel Tolley on the bank’s two claims.
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Car’s color alone doesn’t support traffic stop

February 13, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
In a matter of first impression in the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals and federal courts, the judges were asked to consider whether a discrepancy between the observed color of a car and the color listed on its registration alone gives rise to reasonable suspicion of criminal activity.
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7th Circuit affirms District Court in long-running nursing home litigation

February 12, 2013
Dave Stafford
More than a decade’s worth of litigation was tied up in a 21-page opinion from the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday, which affirmed decisions in favor of a landowner against the owners of a nursing home lessee.
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Supreme Court affirms what is said in mediation, stays in mediation

February 12, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A husband will not be able to offer as evidence comments made during a mediated settlement conference with his ex-wife, the Indiana Supreme Court has affirmed.
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Court error denying police deposition in drug case harmless, COA rules

February 11, 2013
Dave Stafford
A Marion Superior Court should have allowed a defendant to play parts of a police officer’s deposition for impeachment purposes, but the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled that failing to admit his inconsistent statement was harmless error.
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In affirming DUI on appeal, judges include predictive warning

February 11, 2013
Dave Stafford
An argument made on appeal in a drunken-driving case that the person who certified the operating condition of a breath-test machine should have been required to testify was rejected Monday by the Indiana Court of Appeals, which also warned in a footnote that such a ruling could cost criminal defendants.
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Thief who aimed to teach victim ‘lesson’ gets no relief on appeal

February 8, 2013
Dave Stafford
An Indianapolis man who said he stole a video monitoring system and car wash tickets to teach the victim a lesson about leaving valuables in an unlocked car lost his appeal Friday.
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Judges uphold man’s 151-month sentence

February 7, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A judge on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals believed a defendant was entitled to resentencing because the District judge could only view him through “career-offender tinted glasses” even though the career offender distinction did not ultimately apply to him.
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District judge incorrectly dismissed prisoner’s suit for length and unintelligibility

February 7, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ordered U.S. Judge William T. Lawrence to take another look at a federal prisoner’s Bivens lawsuit against prison staff and other unnamed defendants, finding that the lawsuit is actually written clearly and not as long as the judge believed when dismissing it.
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Woman’s sentence revised because she is not among ‘worst offenders’

February 7, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A home health care nurse whose flight from police while high on drugs and with her 89-year-old patient in the car had her sentence reduced because the Court of Appeals concluded she is not among the “worst offenders.” The high-speed chase led to a crash and the death of the patient from injuries she sustained.
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Court split over denial to commit man with dementia

February 7, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Although the majority on the Indiana Court of Appeals acknowledged it would have been better for the trial court to follow the statutory commitment procedures instead of outright denying the state’s motion to commit, it affirmed the trial court’s conclusion.
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Judges uphold convictions stemming from bank robbery

February 7, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Terry Smith made five arguments to the Indiana Court of Appeals as to why his convictions of robbery and other charges related to his robbing of an Indianapolis bank should be thrown out, but the judges weren’t persuaded to reverse his convictions.
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Prisoners can seek reductions of crack cocaine sentences

February 7, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals concluded two judges in the Northern District of Indiana should take another look at two defendants’ requests to have their sentences for crack cocaine offenses reduced based on revised sentencing guidelines.
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Judges affirm man’s drug conviction

February 6, 2013
IL Staff
A man stopped by police while driving through Vigo County for unsafe lane movement – and later convicted of Class A felony dealing in cocaine – couldn’t convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that his conviction should be overturned.
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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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