Court opinions

COA: Theories presented to trial court in med-mal cases were presented to review panels

February 22, 2017
Olivia Covington
After finding that evidence of disputed medical malpractice theories in two cases were presented to the medical review panels in each, Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed summary judgment in favor of a health care provider in one case but is allowing the provider in the other to present evidence related to a subsequent malpractice theory against him.
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Man’s forgery convictions for bogus check affirmed

February 22, 2017
Dave Stafford
A man who tried to pass a bogus check for $2,248.33 at two Marion grocery stores failed to persuade an appellate panel to reverse his convictions because of insufficient evidence. He argued in part his conviction shouldn’t stand because the stores had no video cameras.
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Despite inadmissible testimony, molestation conviction affirmed

February 22, 2017
A trial court erred in allowing evidence of a defendant’s alleged prior bad acts at his child molestation jury trial, but based on other corroborating evidence, the admission was harmless, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.
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Divided full 7th Circuit allows inmate death case to go to trial

February 22, 2017
Olivia Covington
A woman whose son was found dead in an Indiana Department of Correction facility can now take her case to trial after a divided en banc 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed summary judgment in favor of the health care providers who treated her chronically ill son.
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Defendant’s testimony makes admission error harmless

February 22, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
Although unauthenticated videos and photos showing a defendant appearing to make methamphetamine should not have been admitted at trial under the silent-witness theory, the Indiana Court of Appeals found the error was harmless because of the defendant’s own testimony.
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COA reverses drug convictions for lack of police inventory regulation

February 21, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals vacated a Putnam County man’s drug conviction Tuesday after finding that police officers were not following proper protocol when they searched the man’s vehicle.
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High court reverses termination of father’s parental rights

February 17, 2017
Olivia Covington
A Montgomery County father’s parental rights have been restored after the Indiana Supreme Court held Friday that lower courts erred in granting and affirming the Department of Child Services’ petition to terminate them.
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Law firm miscue in small claims case gets no relief on appeal

February 17, 2017
Dave Stafford
A law firm that failed to respond to an Allen County small claims court’s inquiry about settlement discussions because the attorney handling the case had left the firm got no relief Friday from the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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7th Circuit affirms conviction of man who threatened to blow up courthouse on social media

February 16, 2017
Olivia Covington
A man who wrote a Facebook post threatening to blow up an Indiana courthouse and kill several judicial and law enforcement officials cannot have his sentence overturned on the basis of the jury instruction, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals said Thursday, because the instruction adequately described the man’s actions.
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Fight over Knightstown demolition sent back to trial court

February 16, 2017
Dave Stafford
A man who owns a building on Knightstown’s Main Street can proceed with his lawsuit after the town lost some rulings in its favor on interlocutory appeal.
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COA tosses conviction after unlawful arrest

February 16, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
Testimony of police officers who stopped a man for walking on the wrong side of the road, then arrested him for intimidation and resisting law enforcement should not have been admitted at trial, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled.
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Tax Court grants partial reimbursement on discovery enforcement motions

February 16, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Tax Court has awarded reimbursement fees to both the University of Phoenix Inc. and the Indiana Department of State Revenue after finding that the two entities were entitled to reimbursement on some, though not all, of the discovery enforcement motions filed in their litigation.
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Justices rule against woman injured by karate kick

February 16, 2017
Dave Stafford
A woman who sued a karate classmate when she was injured by his jump-kick cannot prove recklessness, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Thursday, extending its jurisprudence applied to torts arising from sports injuries.
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COA orders man to pay remaining balance on lease of totaled car

February 15, 2017
Olivia Covington
A divided panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed an order requiring a man to pay the remaining balance on the lease of a woman’s car after he totaled it in a collision for which he was found to be completely at fault.
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Supreme Court reverses requirement for juvenile to register as a sex offender

February 15, 2017
Olivia Covington
A juvenile sex offender will not be required to add his name to Indiana’s sex offender registry after the Indiana Supreme Court decided Wednesday that the state had not met the requirements for juvenile registration.
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Court of Appeals reverses convictions after due process violation

February 15, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed a man’s convictions of neglect of a dependent and battery after finding that his due process rights were violated when the state withdrew its plea agreement after he had pleaded guilty.
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COA: All properties in stormwater district contribute to stormwater system

February 15, 2017
Olivia Covington
All property owners within a stormwater district “contribute to” the stormwater system, regardless of whether the property drains into the system, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday in a case that forces property owners in Richmond to pay a stormwater fee.
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Man's sentence challenge rejected by appellate court

February 15, 2017
Olivia Covington
In his third appeal before the Indiana Court of Appeals, a Marion County man’s sentence for rape, criminal deviate conduct and burglary have been affirmed after the appellate court found that a motion to correct sentence was not the appropriate remedy for his claim.
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COA: Dirty pictures allowed by Legislature

February 14, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
Revisiting the question of whether sending sexually explicit photographs to a 16- or 17-year-old is permitted under state law, the Indiana Court of Appeals upheld its earlier ruling by finding the Legislature’s inaction to amend the statute implies dirty pictures are suitable for these teens.
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COA affirms setback distance for Eastern Indiana wind farm

February 14, 2017
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals on Tuesday upheld a Rush County zoning ruling requiring industrial wind turbines to be at least 2,300 feet from some people’s property lines. The judges emphasized that the zoning ordinances outline minimum distances and the zoning board is able to increase those distances when warranted.
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COA affirms termination of parental rights

February 14, 2017
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected the arguments of a father with a history of domestic violence and other criminal convictions who said evidence was improperly admitted to terminate parental rights to his three daughters.
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COA allows Vectren to move forward with coal-powered plants project

February 14, 2017
Olivia Covington
An Indiana energy company can proceed with its plans to bring two of its coal-powered plants into compliance with federal emissions standards after the Indiana Court of Appeals rejected an appeal to force the company to build natural gas plants instead.
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COA throws out jury’s $550,000 defamation, blacklisting verdict

February 14, 2017
Dave Stafford
A jury’s $550,000 defamation and blacklisting verdict in favor of a former school athletic director in northwestern Indiana was overturned Tuesday by the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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7th Circuit rejects collateral attack

February 14, 2017
Olivia Covington
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has rejected a man’s petition for collateral relief based on ineffective assistance of counsel because the man failed to allege facts that proved his public defender did not provide proper counsel.
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7th Circuit affirms remand of veteran’s disability case

February 13, 2017
Olivia Covington
An Army National Guard veteran’s disability case is heading back to the Social Security Administration after the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday the veteran was not entitled to disability benefits based solely on the disability rating he received from the Department of Veterans Affairs.
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  1. The appellate court just said doctors can be sued for reporting child abuse. The most dangerous form of child abuse with the highest mortality rate of any form of child abuse (between 6% and 9% according to the below listed studies). Now doctors will be far less likely to report this form of dangerous child abuse in Indiana. If you want to know what this is, google the names Lacey Spears, Julie Conley (and look at what happened when uninformed judges returned that child against medical advice), Hope Ybarra, and Dixie Blanchard. Here is some really good reporting on what this allegation was: http://media.star-telegram.com/Munchausenmoms/ Here are the two research papers: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0145213487900810 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0145213403000309 25% of sibling are dead in that second study. 25%!!! Unbelievable ruling. Chilling. Wrong.

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  3. Mr. Levin says that the BMV engaged in misconduct--that the BMV (or, rather, someone in the BMV) knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged fees but did nothing to correct the situation. Such misconduct, whether engaged in by one individual or by a group, is called theft (defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the other person of the property's value or use). Theft is a crime in Indiana (as it still is in most of the civilized world). One wonders, then, why there have been no criminal prosecutions of BMV officials for this theft? Government misconduct doesn't occur in a vacuum. An individual who works for or oversees a government agency is responsible for the misconduct. In this instance, somebody (or somebodies) with the BMV, at some time, knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged. What's more, this person (or these people), even after having the error of their ways pointed out to them, did nothing to fix the problem. Instead, the overcharges continued. Thus, the taxpayers of Indiana are also on the hook for the millions of dollars in attorneys fees (for both sides; the BMV didn't see fit to avail itself of the services of a lawyer employed by the state government) that had to be spent in order to finally convince the BMV that stealing money from Indiana motorists was a bad thing. Given that the BMV official(s) responsible for this crime continued their misconduct, covered it up, and never did anything until the agency reached an agreeable settlement, it seems the statute of limitations for prosecuting these folks has not yet run. I hope our Attorney General is paying attention to this fiasco and is seriously considering prosecution. Indiana, the state that works . . . for thieves.

  4. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.

  5. From the article's fourth paragraph: "Her work underscores the blurry lines in Russia between the government and businesses . . ." Obviously, the author of this piece doesn't pay much attention to the "blurry lines" between government and businesses that exist in the United States. And I'm not talking only about Trump's alleged conflicts of interest. When lobbyists for major industries (pharmaceutical, petroleum, insurance, etc) have greater access to this country's elected representatives than do everyday individuals (i.e., voters), then I would say that the lines between government and business in the United States are just as blurry, if not more so, than in Russia.

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