Court opinions

COA: Court must hold another hearing on custody

July 23, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court may refuse to approve a settlement agreement entered into by parents regarding custody of minor children, the Indiana Court of Appeals pointed out Tuesday, but in this case, the court erred by not granting the father’s motion for a continuance regarding his mental health evaluation.
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Appeals court orders more proceedings in pulley lawsuit

July 23, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Finding the trial court shouldn’t have granted summary judgment in favor of a distributor on a buyer’s claim of breach of implied warranty of merchantability regarding pulleys provided by the distributor, the Indiana Court of Appeals remanded to the trial court to take another look at the issue.
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Sewer district owed refund in easement dispute

July 22, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals ordered the White Circuit Court clerk to refund the thousands of dollars a sewer district overpaid in damages for easements on a couple’s property to construct sewers. The appellate court held that the trial court improperly admitted the court-appointed appraisal report.
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COA affirms second imposition of habitual-offender enhancement

July 22, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A Tippecanoe County man whose sentence enhancement for being a habitual offender was overturned by the Indiana Supreme Court – but later re-imposed after a retrial – was unable to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that his retrial was barred by res judicata.
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Search of man, car that led to drug arrest constitutional, COA rules

July 18, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals concluded Thursday that the search of the man who supplied cocaine to buyers as well as the search of his car did not violate state and federal constitutions.
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Inmate loses negligence suit on appeal

July 18, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment for the Adams County sheriff, finding an inmate was unable to make a prima facie case for negligence. The inmate sued after contracting a methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus – or MRSA – infection after visiting the hospital.
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COA rules company not entitled to surplus funds under agreement

July 18, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
An Owen Circuit judge erred by granting a Colorado company’s petition to claim surplus funds from the tax sale of property belonging to Ora and Leafie Chambers, the Court of Appeals ruled Thursday. The couple signed an agreement that transferred their right of the surplus funds from the sale of their property to Asset Recovery Inc.
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COA finds no error in Class A felony attempted robbery conviction

July 18, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
After determining it had jurisdiction over a defendant’s appeal, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed his conviction of Class A felony attempted robbery instead of a lesser-included offense.
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Justices: Order giving grandmother visitation rights is void

July 18, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Because a grandmother did not have standing under the terms of Indiana’s Grandparent Visitation Statute to pursue visitation, the Indiana Supreme Court affirmed the trial court’s finding that an original order granting visitation is void. The woman wanted to see her two grandchildren whose mother was murdered by the grandmother’s son.
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Question remains as to whether son is ‘child’ under Wrongful Death Statute

July 17, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed summary judgment in favor of the defendants on two parents’ claims under the Child Wrongful Death Statute regarding their 21-year-old son who died in a car accident. The appellate court found a genuine issue of material fact as to whether the informal apprenticeship the son was participating in at the time of his death would be considered a vocational program under the CWDS.
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Prisoner adequately stated First Amendment claim against DOC employees

July 17, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals quickly affirmed the dismissal of most of a prisoner’s claims regarding violations under Indiana statute or the state and federal constitutions, but found her First Amendment retaliation claims against several Department of Correction employees should not have been dismissed by the trial court.
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COA affirms dissolution of corporation embroiled in family dispute

July 17, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A company owned by two brothers – one disabled and one terminally ill – was properly dissolved by the trial court over the disabled brother’s objections, the Indiana Court of Appeals held.
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Attorney disbarred for writing book about client

July 17, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court has ordered a Carmel attorney disbarred after finding he wrote a book revealing sensitive information about a former client for his monetary gain.
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Justices: Voluntary associations must comply with Wage Payment Statute

July 17, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court Tuesday ordered more proceedings on a fired union employee’s complaint seeking payment for unused vacation time. The justices held that she is entitled to accrue vacation pay unless there was an arrangement or policy to the contrary, which is in dispute in this case.
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7th Circuit won’t make Indiana rip up section of I-69

July 16, 2013
Dave Stafford
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday rejected environmental activists’ arguments that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers failed to adequately address impact on wetlands when it issued permits for a recently completed section of Interstate 69 in southern Indiana.
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Conviction splits COA in determining actions of a ‘reasonable person’

July 16, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
In affirming the conviction of a man who violated a no-contact order, the Indiana Court of Appeals split over what a “reasonable person” would have done in similar circumstances.
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Appeals court cites apparent authority to affirm auction sale

July 16, 2013
Dave Stafford
The sale of Noble County lake and farm property at auction is valid even though some siblings in a family limited liability corporation objected because reserve prices hadn’t been met, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled in affirming the trial court.
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COA finds argument that documents were ambiguous is really ‘a failure to read’

July 16, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A real estate investor who argued that he should not be held personally liable because the loan documents were ambiguous was reminded by the Indiana Court of Appeals that “a failure to read does not equate with an ambiguity….” 
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Rear-ended motorist found 70 percent liable wins on appeal

July 16, 2013
Dave Stafford
A jury that found a Kokomo motorist 70 percent at fault when his vehicle sitting at an intersection was rear-ended misread the law, as did a judge who instructed jurors, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Criminal convictions and financial penalties do not violate double jeopardy

July 15, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A business owner will have to serve his sentence after the Indiana Court of Appeals rejected his argument that his criminal convictions and financial penalties imposed for failing to pay taxes violated double jeopardy principles.
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7th Circuit won’t excuse IMPD officer from wrongful arrest, excessive force suit

July 12, 2013
Dave Stafford
A man’s federal lawsuit against two Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officers and the city will go forward after a federal judge rejected one officer’s interlocutory appeal.
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7th Circuit affirms drug convictions, sentence

July 11, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld an Indiana man’s convictions and 360-month sentence for drug-related offenses, rejecting his claims that his right to a speedy trial was violated and the starting time of his offenses was incorrectly determined by the District Court.
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Man accused of violating city ordinances entitled to jury trial

July 11, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Because the underlying substantive claims brought against an Indianapolis man regarding his treatment of his dog are quasi-criminal, he is entitled to a jury trial under the Indiana Constitution, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled.
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COA: Surrogate can not petition to disestablish maternity

July 11, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A married woman who acted as a surrogate for another couple cannot petition to disestablish her maternity because it would cause the child to be “declared a child without a mother,” the Indiana Court of Appeals determined on interlocutory appeal.
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COA affirms $1,380 restitution order for missing CDs, coins

July 11, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals held Thursday that a trial court did not err in letting the state present evidence of a victim’s loss for the first time at a restitution hearing. It affirmed an order that Kenneth Smith pay $1,380 to William Kirkham for missing CDs and coins.
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