Court opinions

Tax Court orders reassessment of Westfield apartment property

October 5, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Tax Court decided Wednesday that the Hamilton County assessor misconstrued a portion of the Residential Property Statute in 2012, forcing the assessor to reclassify a Westfield apartment complex and its surrounding property.
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Justices opt to resentence convicted murderer facing life without parole

October 4, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Supreme Court chose to exercise its “appellate prerogative” and resentence a convicted murderer  to a total term of 88 years in prison after the man appealed his sentence on the basis of a Sixth Amendment violation.
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COA upholds denial of motion to strike expert medical testimony in malpractice suit

October 4, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed Tuesday a trial court’s decision to deny a motion to strike expert witness testimony after finding that a man could present certain evidence to prove medical malpractice against his now-deceased wife’s former physician.
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Exodus: Syrian refugees ‘not who Pence and others claim’

October 4, 2016
Dave Stafford
Fresh off a defeat of Gov. Mike Pence’s effort to bar Syrian war victims from settling in Indiana, the leader of a refugee resettlement program said the agency’s work assisting them will continue.
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7th Circuit: Schizophrenia meets ‘severe impairment’ requirement for disability insurance

October 4, 2016
Olivia Covington
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that an undisputed diagnosis of schizophrenia should be considered a “severe impairment,” an opinion that will allow an Indiana man to have another chance to receive disability insurance benefits after he was forced to quit his job because of his mental illness.
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7th Circuit affirms order against Pence in Syrian refugee case

October 3, 2016
Dave Stafford
Calling Gov. Mike Pence’s objection to the resettlement of Syrian refugees in Indiana because they may pose a terrorism threat “nightmare speculation,” the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Monday rejected the governor’s appeal of rulings blocking his bid to withhold federal funding to an agency assisting war victims.
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Man who attacked officers not insane during incident

September 30, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a defendant’s claim that he was insane when he charged at, bit and spit at officers while he was in jail, but that his behavior was a result of his drug withdrawal.
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Posey County man’s convictions for rape, confinement of woman affirmed

September 30, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The past drug use of the woman who was held against her will for nearly two months and repeatedly raped was not relevant to the criminal trial of the man who abducted her, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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Hot dog vendor who stabbed man in head loses appeal

September 30, 2016
Dave StaffordMore

Charge under wrong part of statute reverses conviction

September 30, 2016
Dave Stafford
A man’s conviction of attempted obstruction of justice was reversed Friday by the Indiana Court of Appeals because the state charged him under the wrong part of the statute.
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Tax Court dismisses case against Department of Revenue due to petitioner inaction

September 30, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Tax Court dismissed a gasoline and convenience store company’s case against the state Department of Revenue Thursday, writing that the company failed to respond to discovery requests or take any action in the case for a period of more than two months.
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Supreme Court upholds man's murder, robbery convictions

September 29, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Supreme Court has upheld a man’s convictions and life sentence for murder and robbery after the justices rejected each of his arguments alleging error on the part of the Grant Superior Court.
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Supreme Court vacates order to require restitution as part of woman’s probation

September 29, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Supreme Court has vacated an order a defendant pay restitution as a condition of probation after finding that the trial court failed to determine that the defendant did not have the ability to pay.
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COA rejects ex-teacher’s appeal for lighter sentence for seduction of student

September 29, 2016
Olivia Covington
A former Indiana teacher and coach convicted of child seduction with a student cannot have his sentence reduced after the Indiana Court of Appeals decided Wednesday that his character and the nature of his offense do not warrant a lighter sentence.
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COA finds electrician can sue companies after mesothelioma diagnosis

September 28, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday that an electrician can sue the companies where he previously worked as an independent contractor for negligence and liability after he was exposed to asbestos.
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COA says attempted murder is not an exception to voluntary intoxication statute

September 28, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals found Wednesday that a man cannot have his attempted murder charge overturned because he was drunk at the time of the incident, writing that voluntary intoxication does not negate the specific intent to kill requirement of an attempted murder charge.
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COA finds no evidence of severe mental illness to prohibit pro se proceedings

September 28, 2016
Olivia Covington
A woman’s convictions for possession of controlled substances and operating a vehicle while intoxicated will stand after the Indiana Court of Appeals found Wednesday that she did not suffer from a severe mental illness that should have precluded her from proceeding pro se.
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COA rules that negligent hiring claim against Pizza Hut can proceed

September 27, 2016
Olivia Covington
A negligent hiring claim against Pizza Hut can continue to move through Jefferson Circuit Court after the Indiana Court of Appeals found Tuesday that the trial court erred when it granted summary judgment in favor of the pizza chain.
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Court of Appeals finds parents unfit, affirms termination of parental rights

September 26, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed Monday a decision to terminate parental rights after both parents failed to show evidence that allowing them to maintain their rights would be in the best interest of the children.
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COA affirms denial of timber buyer’s petition for post-conviction relief

September 26, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals found Monday that a Washington County timber buyer failed to prove that he was not guilty of illegally purchasing timber and, thus, is not entitled to post-conviction relief.
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Tax Court allows for withdrawal of 29 requests for admissions

September 26, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Tax Court has ruled in favor of a recreational vehicle manufacturer and allowed a group of 29 separate requests for admissions to be withdrawn.
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COA affirms denial of foster parents’ petition for adoption

September 23, 2016
Olivia Covington
A set of foster parents do not have the right to adopt two children without their father’s consent despite the fact that the father does not have visitation with the children, the Indiana Court of Appeals found Friday.
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7th Circuit Court finds former county employee’s FLSA rights were not violated

September 23, 2016
Olivia Covington
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals found Thursday that Tippecanoe County adequately compensated a former employee who sued the county for violation of his rights under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
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7th Circuit affirms decision not to hold special election for judges

September 22, 2016
Olivia Covington
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed a district court’s decision not to order a special election for Marion County Superior judges after two candidates for judge said their names were unconstitutionally kept off of the general election ballot.
More

COA vacates public defender, probation fees for indigent man

September 21, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals has vacated an order for a man convicted of public intoxication and found to be indigent to pay more than $600 in public defender and probation fees.
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  1. Access to the court (judiciary branch of government) is the REAL problem, NOT necessarily lack of access to an attorney. Unfortunately, I've lived in a legal and financial hell for the past six years due to a divorce (where I was, supposedly, represented by an attorney) in which I was defrauded of settlement and the other party (and helpers) enriched through the fraud. When I attempted to introduce evidence and testify (pro se) in a foreclosure/eviction, I was silenced (apparently on procedural grounds, as research I've done since indicates). I was thrown out of a residence which was to be sold, by a judge who refused to allow me to speak in (the supposedly "informal") small claims court where the eviction proceeding (by ex-brother-in-law) was held. Six years and I can't even get back on solid or stable ground ... having bank account seized twice, unlawfully ... and now, for the past year, being dragged into court - again, contrary to law and appellate decisions - by former attorney, who is trying to force payment from exempt funds. Friday will mark fifth appearance. Hopefully, I'll be allowed to speak. The situation I find myself in shouldn't even be possible, much less dragging out with no end in sight, for years. I've done nothing wrong, but am watching a lot of wrong being accomplished under court jurisdiction; only because I was married to someone who wanted and was granted a divorce (but was not willing to assume the responsibilities that come with granting the divorce). In fact, the recalcitrant party was enriched by well over $100k, although it was necessarily split with other actors. Pro bono help? It's a nice dream ... but that's all it is, for too many. Meanwhile, injustice marches on.

  2. Both sites mentioned in the article appear to be nonfunctional to date (March 28, 2017). http://indianalegalanswers.org/ returns a message stating the "server is taking too long to respond" and http://www.abafreelegalasnswers.org/ "can't find the server". Although this does not surprise me, it is disheartening to know that access to the judicial branch of government remains out of reach for too many citizens (for procedural rather than meritorious reasons) of Indiana. Any updates regarding this story?

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