Court opinions

Justices vacate adoption by stepdad in win for grandparents

December 23, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court on Tuesday stripped the adoption of a child by her stepfather, ruling that maternal grandparents who had been primary caregivers early in her life were wrongly denied an opportunity to consent to or contest the adoption.
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7th Circuit: Jury correctly ruled in favor of gas station in personal injury suit

December 23, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The District Court properly excluded an ordinance a woman sought to introduce at trial to bolster her case that a gas station should be liable for her injuries sustained after she fell off a curb walking around a display outside the gas station store, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
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Family did not follow statutory remedies before suing bank

December 23, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A federal court properly dismissed a family’s lawsuit against an Indiana bank and employee alleging they breached a fiduciary duty to a veteran in managing his benefits, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals held Monday. The family is required to seek review of the fiduciary appointment as outlined under statute.
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7th Circuit upholds bank robbery conviction despite errors

December 22, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Although a federal court in Indianapolis committed some errors in admitting certain evidence at a man’s bank robbery trial, those errors were harmless based on DNA evidence and the defendant matching the robber’s description, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals held Friday.
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Tax Court invalidates contract distinction in administrative regulations

December 22, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
In ruling for a national home improvement chain on whether it had to collect sales tax from customers who used its contractor services, the Indiana Tax Court invalidated a distinction contained in Department of Revenue administrative regulations regarding the type of contract a contractor uses.
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COA affirms 100-year sentence for 2 murders

December 22, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A man with a history of mental illness was unable to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that his 100-year sentence for his role in the murder of two market employees in Elkhart is inappropriate.
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COA cuts down man’s claims grass ordinance unconstitutional

December 22, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A Bloomington man who opposes treating or cutting his lawn for environmental reasons could not convince the Court of Appeals that a city ordinance is unconstitutional or void for vagueness.
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Judges reverse 2 convictions based on double jeopardy violations

December 19, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Finding that the state relied on the same evidence to convict a man of three charges after he fired a gun at police while fleeing, the Indiana Court of Appeals ordered one of those convictions vacated and the other reduced.
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COA finds woman owes friend $800 more for unauthorized use of his money

December 19, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed that a woman improperly spent her friend’s money on repairs to a property he conveyed to her but found the trial court miscalculated how much she owes.
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Woman committed UPL, forgery in divorce filing

December 19, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A Marion County woman who forged a name and attorney number on a divorce filing had her criminal convictions upheld Friday by the Indiana Court of Appeals. The woman gave false attorney information because she didn’t want the litigant to have to watch a video about filing pro se.
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Fired IDEM employee entitled to unemployment benefits

December 19, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found a 25-year state employee did not breach a duty reasonably owed to her employer when she failed to meet monthly quotas because she thoroughly reviewed cases instead of quickly approving expenses.
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Justices suspend Muncie City Court judge

December 19, 2014
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court issued an order Thursday suspending Dianna L. Bennington, the Muncie City Court judge who faces 13 counts of misconduct.
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COA: Terminating guardianship is in child’s best interest

December 18, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
In a contentious guardianship case involving a child’s father and her former stepgrandmother, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed that the guardianship should be dissolved and the father should have custody of the child.
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COA affirms convictions despite erroneously admitted testimony

December 18, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has upheld a man’s convictions, including forgery and possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon, after finding the errors by the trial court in admitting certain testimony were harmless beyond a reasonable doubt.
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Grandparents lose second challenge of parental custody

December 18, 2014
Dave Stafford
Grandparents who largely were the sole caregivers of a child until about age 3 lost a second custody challenge and bid to regain visitation with the child.
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Whistleblower’s claim ‘sufficiently specific’ to continue with lawsuit

December 18, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A woman who claims she was fired after she blew the whistle about alleged accounting violations by her boss can move forward with her lawsuit against her former employer.
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New trial ordered after expert testimony improperly excluded

December 18, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A couple who brought a products liability claim against a ladder manufacturer and the store that sold the ladder are entitled to a new trial after the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals found the magistrate judge should not have struck their expert witness’s testimony. The couple lost their case as a result of the judge’s decision.
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COA affirms East Chicago judge’s request for more money

December 18, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
An East Chicago City Court judge carried her burden to establish that the $65,000 in requested funds were reasonably necessary, the Court of Appeals held Thursday in affirming the grant of her mandate request. The appellate judges also decided the city court is entitled to appellate fees and expenses.
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Public intoxication statute constitutional, but ‘annoying’ man’s conviction vacated

December 18, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court vacated a man’s public intoxication conviction after finding his agitation does not rise to the level that would annoy a reasonable person. But the justices did find that the statute is not unconstitutionally vague.
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Justices find detective’s inadmissible hearsay is harmless error

December 17, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court reinstated a man’s conviction of being a serious violent felon in possession of a firearm after finding that a detective’s inadmissible hearsay amounts to a harmless error.
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Malicious prosecution suit against Kentucky man and his lawyer may proceed

December 17, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The former employers of a man who sued them for discrimination and later dismissed his claims may proceed with their lawsuit alleging malicious prosecution and other claims against that man and his attorney, the Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.
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COA orders trial court to rule on motion to set aside tax deed

December 17, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Because a man’s appeal of the issuance of a tax deed was improperly before the Indiana Court of Appeals, the court dismissed the appeal without prejudice and told the trial court to rule on his motion to set aside.
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Man’s 76-year sentence for kidnapping driver affirmed

December 17, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected all of a man’s arguments on appeal as to why his convictions and sentence should be overturned for his kidnapping and robbery of a delivery driver.
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Despite jury instruction error, man’s battery conviction upheld

December 17, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Although the trial court erred in giving one jury instruction on self defense that only applies when deadly force is involved, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed an inmate’s Class A misdemeanor battery conviction because he otherwise couldn’t prove his self-defense claim.
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COA upholds most of man’s spice convictions

December 17, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals Wednesday affirmed all but one of a man’s drug convictions related to his selling of the drug commonly referred to as “spice” in his smoke shop. The judges also chastised the deputy attorney general who handled the case for again submitting a “foul” smelling record.
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  1. The $320,000 is the amount the school spent in litigating two lawsuits: One to release the report involving John Trimble (as noted in the story above) and one defending the discrimination lawsuit. The story above does not mention the amount spent to defend the discrimination suit, that's why the numbers don't match. Thanks for reading.

  2. $160k? Yesterday the figure was $320k. Which is it Indiana Lawyer. And even more interesting, which well connected law firm got the (I am guessing) $320k, six time was the fired chancellor received. LOL. (From yesterday's story, which I guess we were expected to forget overnight ... "According to records obtained by the Journal & Courier, Purdue spent $161,812, beginning in July 2012, in a state open records lawsuit and $168,312, beginning in April 2013, for defense in a federal lawsuit. Much of those fees were spent battling court orders to release an independent investigation by attorney John Trimble that found Purdue could have handled the forced retirement better")

  3. The numbers are harsh; 66 - 24 in the House, 40 - 10 in the Senate. And it is an idea pushed by the Democrats. Dead end? Ummm not necessarily. Just need to go big rather than go home. Nuclear option. Give it to the federal courts, the federal courts will ram this down our throats. Like that other invented right of the modern age, feticide. Rights too precious to be held up by 2000 years of civilization hang in the balance. Onward!

  4. I'm currently seeing someone who has a charge of child pornography possession, he didn't know he had it because it was attached to a music video file he downloaded when he was 19/20 yrs old and fought it for years until he couldn't handle it and plead guilty of possession. He's been convicted in Illinois and now lives in Indiana. Wouldn't it be better to give them a chance to prove to the community and their families that they pose no threat? He's so young and now because he was being a kid and downloaded music at a younger age, he has to pay for it the rest of his life? It's unfair, he can't live a normal life, and has to live in fear of what people can say and do to him because of something that happened 10 years ago? No one deserves that, and no one deserves to be labeled for one mistake, he got labeled even though there was no intent to obtain and use the said content. It makes me so sad to see someone I love go through this and it makes me holds me back a lot because I don't know how people around me will accept him...second chances should be given to those under the age of 21 at least so they can be given a chance to live a normal life as a productive member of society.

  5. It's just an ill considered remark. The Sup Ct is inherently political, as it is a core part of government, and Marbury V Madison guaranteed that it would become ever more so Supremely thus. So her remark is meaningless and she just should have not made it.... what she could have said is that Congress is a bunch of lazys and cowards who wont do their jobs so the hard work of making laws clear, oftentimes stops with the Sups sorting things out that could have been resolved by more competent legislation. That would have been a more worthwhile remark and maybe would have had some relevance to what voters do, since voters cant affect who gets appointed to the supremely un-democratic art III courts.

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